Aaaah. The intro song to Grease. <3
In less than a minute Danny and Sandy demonstrate love in all its splendor. The scene is a picturesque and (somehow) completely isolated beach. The young lovebirds frolic and play together all day, laughing and smiling and kissing and holding each other. Their hair is always perfect, and I can’t imagine either of them had to use the bathroom even once. (There is nothing romantic about using the toilet… absolutely nothing splendored going on there.)
Splendor is defined using words like brilliant… magnificent… grandeur… glory… bright… gorgeous. I think Danny and Sandy definitely lived up to their intro song.
The question is, does my love?
I love my husband to the depths of my heart. He’s my soulmate, my lover, my best friend. But if love is a many-splendored thing – and if Danny and Sandy can demonstrate that in less than a minute – then my marriage of nearly 14 years should most definitely demonstrate it, too.
Last April, Jay and I went out on one of our date night adventures. (Read about others here, here, here, here, and here.) We had decided to go on a scavenger hunt through the mall, and we had a great time hunting for things on our list and checking them off as we found them. Then we went out to dinner, where we laughed and talked and reconnected after Jay’s previous 2 weeks of travel.
And then things went sour. As the night went on and we talked more, we started becoming at odds with each other. Feelings were hurt, and for a few weeks following it seemed as though irreparable damage had been done. We began to realize that like most newlyweds, our love was brilliant and glorious in the beginning… but over the years it had slowly lost its splendor. The magnificent brightness of our love began to fade as walls went up. My walls were a result of his constant travels and me operating as the only parent in the home. His walls were a result of my bitterness at his freedom and my envy of his “escape” from responsibilities at home. It was bad.
We hadn’t even realized it was happening. We’d learned to adapt our relationship to accommodate those walls instead of forbidding them to even enter our hearts and our marriage. It got so bad that at one point I was sure he wanted to leave me and he was sure I wanted to leave him – even though neither of us had ever for a moment considered leaving the other at all. But that’s what walls can do. They have the ability to take away the splendor.
I watch a lot of HGTV, and one of the things I’ve noticed is that everyone seems to want an “open concept” floor plan. Homeowners want to knock down the walls and create a much wider line of sight. They want to feel more connected to the other areas of their home and anyone who may be occupying those spaces. Knocking down walls also allows light to flow more freely through the home. A lack of walls can make a home feel airer… less cluttered… open… brighter. You could say that removing walls in a home makes the home a more splendored thing. Removing walls in a relationship can have the same effects as removing the walls in a home.
And it took a long time, but we managed to tear those walls down. It wasn’t easy – just like removing walls in a home isn’t easy. At times it was even painful. We just took it one step at a time, always returning to the agreement that they had to come down and never be put up again.
I’m proud to say that those walls have been gone for nearly a year now. The result is that our love once again feels like a many splendored thing. It’s brilliant. It’s grand. It’s magnificent. <3
That doesn’t mean we don’t argue. I snapped at Jay just this morning because I thought he was trying to get off the phone too quickly and was too busy to talk to me (he’s out of town for work again). So stupid; so silly. But I didn’t snap at him out of jealousy for his “freedom.” That wall doesn’t exist anymore. And he’s not going to be afraid to call me out on my moodiness when he gets home later tonight – that wall is gone, too.
Love isn’t always a splendored thing. It takes work. But it can be everything that Danny and Sandy have… just don’t get your hopes up for the perfect hair and toilet-free days.
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Video credit: theamigoamor, You Tube