We break free from disillusionment by making daily decisions to love. Almost 20 years ago, Belinda and I learned on a Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend that love is not a feeling. To love is a decision.
And a decision to love takes work. It takes real effort on my part. It doesn’t just happen, like “falling in love” happens.
Deciding to love is a conscious decision to go against my natural inclinations and to give Belinda what I believe she needs. It means deciding to act loving, even when I don’t feel very loving, or even if I think she doesn’t deserve it. It means making the decision to put our relationship first.
I recently made the decision to love Belinda when I noticed some distance in our relationship. I wanted to take responsibility for the quality of our marriage. I decided to do something special for Belinda every day for two weeks.
I surprised her with special treats that I know she likes. I did chores around the house that Belinda normally does. I cooked her favorite meal and brought home her favorite dessert. I gave her a back massage. I left romantic notes where she would find them around our home.
Now, it’s not my natural tendency to do these kinds of things. I had to step out of my comfort zone to think up these special things for Belinda and carry them out. I made the decision to love Belinda by going against my natural inclinations and taking romantic actions to improve the quality of our relationship.
I looked past my wants and my agenda, and set aside my own feelings. I decided to love Belinda by doing what she needed most from me. I made the decision to love her by being the husband she needs me to be.