Love Is A Choice

Love is a choice.

This is something we don’t understand as teenagers as we “fall in love”. But this is something a lot of adults don’t understand as well. We often associate love with a feeling. Which is something we can’t afford to do, because feelings change. Feelings can also be based on chemical balance, which is constantly changing in our bodies. So how we can get married and feel securely about the future of the relationship?

Just choose your spouse.

It’s that simple.

How did you first come about being with your significant other?

You chose them.

You looked around a crowded room, they caught your eye, you chose to go talk to them with intention of getting to know them better.

Or they were your childhood friend and you chose you wanted to be more.

Or you were set up on a blind date, you saw them sitting at the table, and you chose to stay.

At some point, you CHOSE them.

Then you dated, then you fell in love, he proposed, she said yes. And here you are, married. In a world where marriage is becoming unheard of. And when you do hear of marriage, you hear divorce right behind it.

So where are we going wrong?

There’s a number of reasons why people divorce. Here are the top 8 reasons listed on Marriage.com :

1. Infidelity

2. Money

3. Lack Of Communication

4. Constant Arguing

5. Weight Gain

6. Unrealistic Expectations

7. Lack Of Intimacy

8. Lack Of Equality

So what do all of these things have in common?

At some point in the relationship, one of you woke up one day, and decided to NOT CHOOSE your spouse.

You may think that sounds too simple, so let’s take a closer look at each of these reasons, and I’ll show you how one simple decision can result in divorce.

1. Infidelity

No shocker here that this is the number one cause of divorce. You hear about it daily. So where did things go wrong? You didn’t accidentally sleep with someone, or your spouse didn’t just fall into someone else’s bed. That’s not the way things work. One of you made that first step. You created a Tinder account, you replied to your ex when they texted you and said you were looking good, you flirted with your coworker. Sounds small right? Flirting isn’t cheating. Every heard that phrase? Maybe it’s not the actual act of cheating, but in your heart, you just chose that person over your spouse. And that is how it all begins. You CHOSE someone else. Maybe you were the one that got cheated on, and you’re thinking “see it is all their fault!” And yes they are absolutely 100% at fault for their actions. But are they the only ones at fault in a failing relationship? Probably not. (There are exceptions of course where people suffer from mental disorders where this doesn’t really apply.)

2. Money

Again, no surprise here. Money is one of the most common topics of arguments. How does this fit in with what we are talking about? Typically, people don’t argue over having too much money. The problem lies in spending too much money, or not having enough money. Every family should know how much money they need for bills and groceries each month. If you don’t, you need to sit down and write it out. As your money comes in, set back enough money to cover all of it. What is left, put some back in savings and then the rest you can play with. The arguments typically begin when you spend the money for the mortgage on shopping, golfing, gambling, partying, pampering etc. The second you take money needed for your family, you’ve chosen YOURSELF over them.

3. Lack Of Communication

If your spouse is upset over something, LISTEN! It doesn’t matter if you think it is dumb, all that matters, is that it matters to THEM. Every time you ignore your spouses’ need to talk to you about something, you are NOT choosing them. And this goes reversely as well. If something is bothering you and you refuse to talk about, you are NOT choosing your spouse. In both scenarios you’ve chosen yourself over your spouse.

4. Constant Arguing

This really follows point 3. If you don’t have good communication, you will likely argue over the same things over and over again. Pulling things out of our spouses’ past will not fix anything. Every time you bring up a past action, or a past argument, or a past mistake, you are choosing your bitterness over your spouse. Nothing will kill a relationship faster than bitterness.

5. Weight Gain

Really? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised with this one, but still! The physical appearance of your spouse is typically the first thing that draws you in. You get married, you cut loose a little and the weight falls on. Or you’ve had children and the baby weight is just wont fall off. Or you’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition causing you to gain weight. It happens, and it’s hard to undo. But the second you look at your spouse and decide they aren’t beautiful or handsome, you’ve lost a very important part of your marriage. Yes, attraction begins physical, but by the time you are married, you should know your spouses’s heart, and THAT is where the attraction should come from. And trust me, the more you reassure them that they still got it, the happier you’re marriage will be. So don’t choose APPEARANCE over your spouses HEART. That being said, if you have gained weight, and it has effected the way that you feel about yourself, that will fall over into your marriage! So if that is you, and you’re physically able to get healthy again, do it! Do it together! Ask your spouse to help you get healthy again. It could be a great bonding experience and could actually be fun!

6. Unrealistic Expectations

This is easy. You can’t choose a fantasy over your spouse. I’m not saying you can’t dream, we all dream, and it is actually great for a marriage to dream TOGETHER! Sit down and talk about where you want to be in five years, ten years, twenty years. I don’t mean fill it with “win the lottery.” Let’s be real. You work at McDonald’s making minimum wage? Set a goal to become manager by X amount of time. Your spouse wants to own his own business? Set out a business plan and see what needs to be done to make it happen. You want your dream home? Sit down, and make a budget so you can start saving towards it. Unrealistic expectations happen when you have a want, but you don’t want to work to make it happen.

7. Lack Of Intimacy

This tends to eventually lead to infidelity. Not always, but pretty often. Intimacy is needed in marriage. No, you may not always be in the mood, you have a million things to do, but don’t we all? Write it down on a schedule if you need to. Don’t choose your busy life over your spouse. Maybe you have a chemical imbalance that has effected your libido, talk to your doctor! See if there is anything that can help. Ask your spouse to do things that will help you want to be intimate. Do not be embarrassed to talk about it! Don’t choose yourself over your spouse.

8. Lack Of Equality

In typical households the man goes to work, the wife stays home with the kids. In more modern homes both parents work, and even some where the man stays home with the kids. Common disputes I’ve heard are the spouse who stays home with kids has “no friends.” If both parents work, one usually gets stuck with all the housely duties after working while the other relaxes. Again, if you aren’t helping your spouse, you are choosing yourself over your spouse. No one wants to do the dishes. Literally no one. If you aren’t good at helping with housely duties, find another way to help. Don’t just sit down and let them do all the work, because they have a day job too. Help with the kids, take care of that honey do list she gave you a month ago. Something, anything. If one of you works and the other stays home, make sure your spouse is getting out of the house. Encourage them to join a group, a club, or a gym. Have a weekly date night with a friend. Schedule them something fun to do. Otherwise they might start going stir crazy. Choose your spouse!

See what I mean? Every problem begins with you not choosing your spouse.

I encourage you to find a way to incorporate the phrase ” I choose you” into your daily life. Whether it is a painting on your bedroom wall, a sticky note on your bedside table, something you say to your spouse every morning, a text you send once a day. But in some way, let your spouse know that you woke up that day and CHOSE them. And that you will continue to choose to love them.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Any points that I missed it or if you just have a comment, please leave it!

I hope this helps you in some way. And maybe you haven’t chosen your spouse for the last fifteen years. That can all change TODAY. One day, one choice is all it takes to turn a marriage around. Maybe your spouse isn’t choosing you, and it doesn’t seem fair that you keep choosing them. All you can do in a marriage is work on YOURSELF. Trying to change someone else will never work. But the more you show that you are trying to be the best you can be, the more you allow God to help you, the more your spouse will notice and will start making changes as well.

Remember to Live Life Big !


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Stacy Pinter says:

    That was fabulous, Chelsey! So spot on. You are so young to have such wisdom, Girl! You keep LIVING LIFE BIG!
    Stacy Pinter

    Like

  2. Emily says:

    Hey! I just wrote a piece about connection between people (mixed in with other things). But yeah love is a choice. I never knew how stupid love can be until recently. Things you said you’d never accept, and then you find yourself still in love! But why….

    Like

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