Over the years, in various phrasings and in a variety of ceremonies, words have been said with which we promise our unconditional love to our life-partners. “…for better or for worse, in sickness and in health….” How many of us have paused before we say “I will” to think of the responsibility of those two phrases? Do we even seriously think about what this promise entails? In the first blush of love, during the nervousness and excitement of the ceremony, when do we take the time to consider the possibility that the person we love will have a life changing illness?
During the first 50 years of my life, the people one would assume would demonstrate unconditional love were mostly non-existent. Then almost eight years ago I met an amazing man. No, he’s not perfect. He’s human. Showing unconditional love does not have to be an act of perfection, but it is an act of humanity. It comes from someone who is patient, kind, understanding, and willing to learn and change.
Unconditional love is arms tightly held around me, and the words “I’ve got you,” whispered in my ear. It’s not remembering the last time he “…saw my tattoos,” but not berating me for not being the wife I should be (the concept I was taught before I met him). It’s bringing home my comfort foods without being asked. It’s doing the dishes, cooking meals, cleaning, and doing the laundry without complaint. It’s watching his wife being torn to pieces by an invisible illness, being screamed at, thwarting suicide, drying seemingly unending tears, and then saying “I love you.”
Unconditional love is all of those things and so much more. To me, my husband is the epitome of unconditional love.
Tagged: bipolar disorder, marriage, mental illness, unconditional love