The Third Third

What's Love Got to Do With It?

What’s love got to do with it? I’ve decided this is the question at hand, given the news (*c.f.*, South Carolina Governor Mark “Take a Hike” Sanford) and recent comments from my own grown kids who seem, suddenly, rather awed by the fact their father and I have been married 38 years when their friends’ parents haven’t and some of their friends haven’t even made 7.  So, if “What’s love got to do with it” is the question, what’s the answer? I think the answer is: Everything. Others, in particular, conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, and Atlantic contributor Sandra Tsing Loh, take a far less romantic, somewhat more analytic, realistic, philosophical, and decidedly jaded view. But I like to remember a priest who once instructed us: “Love is a decision. It’s not an emotion you get; it’s a decision you make, over and over and over again.” Much as I might crave the rush of infatuation and lust that once propelled me into my soon-to-be husband’s arms at every encounter and the electricity once generated by just our two hands touching, today I savor instead the deep, enduring connection that brings him home to me each night, good days and bad, and I know the life we have built – and continue to build -- together, the family we created, is precious beyond imagination. Thus, should Mark Sanford “try to fall in love again” with his wife? Give me a break. He should decide -- if he has any idea what love is – where to invest it. His wife, in the meantime, can make the same decision. I don’t mean, I don’t want, to sound smug at all. Most days I know I am just darned lucky – not good, not better than, just lucky – to have met the man I married, and to have had things work out, despite the fact I was a naïve, ignorant 23 year-old when this all happened. We’re truckin’ on. And these days, that says a lot. What’s love got to do with it? Everything.
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