What word comes to mind when you hear the word romance? My word is toilet and it took over a decade of marriage to make the connection.
Ideas of love and courtship filled my waking thoughts during junior high—and my dreams at night. I checked out every teen love story in the school library. Daydreams found me musing about Mr. Perfect who must be longing to discover me to make his life complete. College years proved that my fantasy lover wasn’t exactly searching for me. He wasn’t easily found either.
When I met and dated my husband, I struggled with the comparisons that I made between the man pursuing me and my ideals of Mr. Right. No worries—I’d fix him once we were married. I’d be such a great helpmate that he’d be goo in my hands, molded to my specifications which had been carefully designed through years of movies, novels and dreaming.
Would it surprise you to discover that my first year of marriage was rocky—
I felt disillusioned and wondered if I’d made a mistake. We argued constantly over things large and trivial.
One night I woke with a splitting headache long before the morning doves started cooing. Pregnant with my third child, I couldn’t take any migraine medicine. I had to tough it out.
I tossed and turned and then my stomach lurched. I ran to the bathroom and hugged the porcelain. My misery unbearable with my head pounding, the dark quiet house intensified my loneliness.
My husband showed up, standing over me. He got a wet cloth for my face and stroked my hair. “I’m sorry you are sick.” I turned my face up with one eye squinted open; I didn’t have to fake a pitiful look. “I know. Go to bed. You have to go to work early.”
He disappeared from the doorway and I sunk down on the floor of the bathroom afraid that if I tried to return to bed I wouldn’t make it back in time.
I heard my husband in the hallway a minute later. “Got room for me down there?”
He carried two pillows and a blanket from our bed. He put the pillow under my head and curled up next to me beside the toilet. He covered us with the blanket. His quiet steady breathing soon proved he could fall asleep anywhere.
I had never seen this in a romance novel storyline. This was better than any scene I had ever imagined.
Hollywood had done me no favors—only set a false idol before me and doomed my marriage to misery before it began.
I never could go back to sleep on that bathroom floor but sometime in the early morning I set my husband free from my expectations of perfection. With new eyes to appreciate my hubby’s unique love language, I arose leaving those deceptive romance fantasies at the toilet.
By Rhodema, MommyLife