Sometimes, I’m not sure I actually know what love is.

Luke and I have been married five years and sometimes i’m afraid i’m not loved or loving.

In the early days of marriage, I suspected my husband didn’t truly love me at all, because even though I knew I wasn’t perfect, he NEVER once sat me down with a list of things I was doing badly and encouraged me to do better and repent. Not a single time did he shout at me for selfishness.
I was truly disturbed at his refusal to be a godly leader who spoke the truth in love to me -(by giving me verbal lists of how badly i was doing). I figured he was just bottling up all that anger inside. (as a matter of fact, he does have a tendency to bottle up anger, but also he really just doesn’t get angry that often).
I sincerely believed love meant, in part, picking someone else apart, judging their motives, and encouraging them towards godliness by letting very little slide by unmentioned – because that wouldn’t be kind, and it wouldn’t be rejoicing in truth. Hate what is evil.

i was also under the impression that as an underling (daughter then wife) for ME to love meant to stay fairly silent. Love covers a multitude of wrongs, you see.
That love was unselfish and that I should therefore not even mention what I want unless asked.
That being a good wife meant belonging, body and soul, to my husband – always sexually available, a great housekeeper and general ‘helpmeet’ jumping at his whim, but actually trying to guess his whims ahead if time and fulfill his wishes before he asks if possible – otherwise i wouldn’t be a loving wife but a reluctant servant. Being a pretty wife, so he won’t leave (and it would be all my fault). He never asked for any of this from me, he only wanted me to be my own person but for years it didn’t matter. I tried to just merge the two – be me while subjugating every part of me to what i thought would make him happy, in the name of biblical womanhood and love. but eventually you lose track of who you are and find yourself just trying to earn love. Forever insecure and forever trying to earn something that is best just given.

And now…. now i don’t feel like I know what love is anymore.

I’m pretty sure love doesn’t mean picking people apart to make sure they never make god angry. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean losing all your boundaries to the people you love. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t look like burnout or codependency or denial of feelings.

So what is love? and do i love luke, actually? or am i really incapable of loving and being loved?
Here is where i should probably insert 1 Corinthians 13 on love. But you see, that’s been coopted, reapplied, to mean specific things in my mind I’m now doubting. It won’t be very helpful.

So…. To the Dictionary!


[luhv] Show IPA noun, verb, loved, lov·ing.


a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
well, i suppose so. does that mean i like him a lot, more than anybody else (that’d be profound), and (generally) have a soft heart to him? then check!

a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
Is this different from the first? Well, i like luke and i really like to be around him. i’m happy to have fun with him, or to work with him. so, check!

sexual passion or desire.
check! (when his teeth are brushed.)

a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
well, this isn’t about having love like the above, but about a person who is loved. I do call luke ‘love’ sometimes.

(used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie,love?
see above. also calling people ‘love’ sounds even better in a cockney accent.

a love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour.
we’ve done that. check!

sexual intercourse; copulation.
ahem. check.

( initial capital letter ) a personification of sexual affection, as Eros or Cupid.
huh? N/A.

affectionate concern for the well-being of others: the love of one’s neighbor.
well i want luke to be well, also to be successful. Although that’s self interested. I really want to be the editor for a brilliant writer 😉 also he’s more fun to live with when he’s healthy, he’s a grumpy sick person. True Story. anyways, check!

strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything: her love of books.
i’m enthusiastic about books! … wait, this is getting off topic.

the object or thing so liked: The theater was her great love.
luke isn’t an object, so, N/A. although i could objectify him, but that would be rude.

the benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God.
interesting that God gets his own entry in the definition of love. Well, i guess this is a N/A

Chiefly Tennis. a score of zero; nothing.
if we played tennis, that would probably be the score i got.

a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter L.
hey, i used to be able to speak in Alpha Bravo Charlie! i can’t remember it now though.
now for the verbs, which are a bit more useful for discovering how honest it is to say ‘I love you’.

verb (used with object)


to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her.


Well, this points us to the nouns, which had a bunch of checks. So i would say, yes. I do have love/affection for.

to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person).
well yep i got that too. (seriously, dictionaries ARE redundant). Check!



to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music.
check! I seriously enjoy being with luke. (when he’s not grouchy. i’m not a freaking saint)



to need or require; benefit greatly from: Plants love sunlight.



to embrace and kiss (someone), as a lover.




The dictionary has spoken, Luke.

I guess I do love you.

Although i still find it more meaningful to say “I like you”
“I like cleaning the kitchen with you (I like sitting on the floor while you clean the kitchen)”,
“I like discussing books with you”,
“I think you’re really attractive”,
“i enjoy being around you”,
“I need you; you make me happy”
“I demand a date night this week”
“I want to help you when you’re sad”,
“you’re my favorite person”.

Happy Anniversary, my Luke. I have a strong liking for you.

9 thoughts on “Love

  1. Pingback: allmixtips's

  2. Pingback: Mental Health: from Shame to Seeking Help – part two: the Shame of Failing to be Happy | Lana Hobbs the Brave

  3. Pingback: Mental Health — From Shame to Seeking Help, Part Three: The Shame Of Failing To Be Happy | H • A

  4. Pingback: courtship story | Lana Hobbs the Brave

  5. Pingback: learning the words: love | Lana Hobbs the Brave

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s