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Our words have so much power – often even more than we realize! Our words can tear another down or build another one up. We often tend to lash out at those we love most because we feel safe with them. Yet we have to realize the power of our words.
Let’s rewind a few years… Andrew and I had just started dating. By my standards, we said “I love you” very early – at just five weeks. Shortly after that we were talking about moving halfway across the state and starting the next chapter of our lives together.
He was applying for teaching jobs, as was I. We were both born and raised in South Dakota, and that was the only place either of us had ever lived or taught. So my applying to Wyoming was a bit strange, but not completely absurd since it was just one state over.
Yet when I was called for an interview, I could tell it didn’t sit right with Andrew. He wouldn’t say too much, but he finally told me that I should go to the interview and we’d discuss it more if I got a job offer.
Folks, that was going to be an eight hour drive to an interview…by myself…one way!
I pointedly told him that if he had no intention of going with me to Wyoming, there was no way I was driving 16 hours for an interview. He hemmed and hawed for a bit, but finally told me that he would not follow me if I got the job. It wasn’t that he didn’t love me or that he didn’t want to be with me – but he also wanted to teach. He would only follow me if he found a teaching job there as well.
As upset as I was, I understood where he was coming from. He loves teaching even more than I do. It’s his passion. It makes him happy. I got it.
Later that night when he went to leave, he said “I love you” and my quick response was “Love you more”.
He gave me a weird look, and I just had to laugh.
“How do you know you love me more?” he asked.
“Isn’t it obvious? I’m willing to move to follow you, but you’re not willing to move for me,” I said with a playful grin on my face.
Now that could have started World War III in my little apartment, but instead Andrew simply laughed and said, “Well, then, I guess I love you less.”
With that he gave me a kiss goodnight and headed home.
Here we are over four years later, and we still say “love you more” and “love you less” on a regular basis. One of us may love another one “more” for taking the time to do an extra chore. Or after a fight, I may say “love you less” because I know it’ll help break the tension in the room.
We have had to explain our little inside joke to more people than I care to admit, and we’ve gotten more than a few lectures and eye rolls. But – you know what? That doesn’t matter!
We know we are in love! We know we have a strong relationship and marriage. We know that marriage is about give and take. We know there are going to be good and bad days. And we know that sometimes loving you less just means you love me so much I can’t possibly top it!
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