It’s been three years since the Marriage Equality Act was passed by the Supreme Court, and since then LGBTQ couples across the country, professed their love to their partners through marriage. Love had found its way home and couples could finally unite, however many couples married, without any real idea of how to remain married. This could be better understood if we considered the concern of the legal recognition of marriage. In the 1950s most states criminalized the sexual intimacy of LGBTQ people. In the 1960s and 70s gay and lesbian liberation movements gained momentum, yet marriage wasn’t a priority. Unlike the lesbian and gay liberation movements of the 1970s, today’s progressive queers have deemed marriage a priority. However, that is only a piece of the marriage puzzle. Successful marriages occur when two people prioritize each other, and define what love is as they see fit…even if that means redefining what you grew up believing love is.
If you ask anyone what love is, you will receive a plethora of responses based on their beliefs as passed on by their environments, society, religion, etc. The word love can mean many things, however, it can be defined as an intense deep feeling or emotion. The definitive of love doesn’t lend itself to love in its totality. While love is what one feels, it’s general definition doesn’t include the act of love. Love is both a noun and a verb. Because most of the world was reared understanding love as a feeling, people often experience pain while the feeling of love is present. For example, a woman will stay in an abusive relationship because of that feeling of love. As a result of their idea of love being a feeling, the meaning of love hides behind the truth that love doesn’t live in balled fist. No matter the intense deep emotion of love, what one does, how one behaves in love is what defines it. The feeling must be married to the act.
Love is one of the most profound emotions that we can feel, and while there are many kinds of love, romantic love is the most sought after. For many people, being in a relationship and in love is one of life’s most meaningful and defining moments. Pairing with someone that you are compatible with is quite the accomplishment. However, being in a relationship requires work and maintenance. All too often couples, married or not find themselves faced with turning points that require work to make it to the other side of the troubled waters. That requires being familiar your partner’s love languages. The way you express love may not always be the way that your partner needs or wants to receive love. Thus, requiring you to adjust your act of loving and not the feeling of love.
While getting married is a beautiful thing, it can also be viewed as simply the pomp and circumstance that precedes the path of productive struggle better known as marital bliss. Once the wedding is over and life as a united front begins, you or your partner may find yourselves second guessing your decision to marry. Here is where marriage gets real. You didn’t make a bad decision nor do you have an inadequate mate. What’s happening is the push beyond the limits you assigned to love are being pushed.
Case in point, you find that the rose colored glasses have somehow fallen off and you actually see that your honey doesn’t like sex as much as you do. So you do any and everything imaginable like, suggest counseling, role playing, set up romantic evenings and to no avail, your marriage seems to have turned into a passionless, sexless marriage. Does that mean divorce? No it doesn’t, but it does put in a call of action to find solutions that fit both parties involved. Now this level of commitment requires no inhibitions or masks, but does beg for open and honest communication and transparency. What’s required may not be anything fathomed before. Let’s say the solutions include, opening up the relationship, becoming a polyamorous couple, or separation to give the “unspoken” permission to satisfy your desires. If that saves your marriage would you be unwilling to try them? Of course you would. To do so would require you to shed and bury parts of yourself, deal head on with your insecurities, and let go of all the things you thought marriage was and love is.
The fact of the matter is when you love someone, not only is it professed it’s shown. Loving someone is about doing everything in your power to show them through your actions. We have the ability to form a healthy notion of love once we have accepted and understood that love is a feeling that shows itself in action. What we feel is displayed in what we do. That sometimes includes redefining love to make your relationship work.