The other day I got into the most interesting conversation with women who were older than me. They said something so disheartening, that they would never love their current husbands the way in which they loved a particular guy from their past. The sort of love they had for this guy was naive, powerful and reckless but the relationship would have never worked. One went on to say that her husband is partially aware and accepts her feelings. It is so strange to me. I've encountered people that look on my relationship with my husband with a degree of cynicism and some of their comments are indicative of the notion that one day we will simply stop trying and being passionate toward one another. This evening I laid in bed after watching the Masterpiece Theater remake of Great Expectations and thought about the similarities between my husband and I and Pip and Estella. The similarities in our journey to find and love each other the hard way. The themes of love, heartbreak, brokenness, sadness, suffering and redemption. I love Great Expectations because it has two endings. The original sad and the final happy. I once read that the reason the happy ending was the appropriate ending was because the lovers deserved to be happy because they have suffered deeply; their suffering had changed them so much that they were no longer the same people. "Each is a fantasist who has grown into maturity; each is a fantasist that has dwindled into humanity."
Estella was broken and Pip overwhelmed by what the world had deemed his many inadequacies. You kept rooting for Pip no matter how many mistakes he made because of his remorse, his capacity for kindness and how he was so able to admit his faults and change. But the reader also knew that they had a love neither could recover from.
I love my husband, I am in love with my husband. I knew that if we did not work out that I would be simply settling for another. Both my husband and I are hopeless romantics, writers, poets, passionate people who can both entertain each other thoroughly and annoy each other fully. We utterly altered each other when we fell in love and had to beg God to allow our love to continue after we so thoroughly hurt each other on more than one occasion.
Sometimes forgiveness, repentance and love can give you back ten fold everything pain, hatred and hurt so easily stole away. When people see us now, so many don't know that we each had a turn breaking the other's heart so deeply. But we are what we are, not because idolatry of romantic love but because of repentance, faith and biblical love. A patient, kind, soft, forgiving love that holds little tolerance for pride and grudges.