I Spent My Entire Life Searching For An Unrealistic Version Of Love, And My Marriage Suffered Because Of It

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“Believe me when I say it’s not about you only loving me.

For years I always wanted someone to love me.

The great parts.

The flawed parts.

The parts that are desirable.

The parts that are questionable.

For years I always wanted someone to love me.

It seemed like something I could accomplish at the time because everyone around me had love in their life.

Which seemed to come really easy for others.

The love that consumes you.

The love that you can’t live without.

The love that is in romance novels.

The problem was I spent a chunk of my life looking for that kind of love.

And I was unable to find it.

The harder I looked, the more it became clear that type of love wasn’t meant for me.

The harder I looked, I started to realize I was looking in the most unloving places for the type of love I wanted in my life.

Believe me when I say I always had this idea that love and happiness go hand and hand.

You can’t have one without the other.

That would be false.

Some of the most incredible humans I have ever been friends with have had the love that I only wished for.

But they weren’t happy.

You see, while I craved love, I had friends who craved happiness.

I remember a few years back wondering if I was happy in my life.

Am I happy with my life?

Am I happy with myself?

Now I am sure you are wondering what my answer was.

Truth be told, I was incredibly unhappy with my life.

Truth be told, I was incredibly unhappy with myself.

It’s funny to think about what speaking your truth or sharing your truth can do for your life.

That’s what I did.

Actually, that’s what I and my husband did.

I will remember the moment forever as I am sure my husband will also.

Many moons and so many months ago we finally were honest with each other.

We were honest about what was on our minds and what we were holding onto in our hearts.

We both spoke our truth till we couldn’t talk for another minute.

You see, for our entire marriage, I wanted this romance novel type of love for some odd reason.

The problem was my husband couldn’t give me that; he simply did not know how to and when he tried I wasn’t happy.

When he tried to give me all the love I wanted it was not changing how I felt, it was not making me any happier.

Probably because his love was never what I only needed.

Here for almost my entire life, I have searched for an unrealistic version of love.

How foolish was I?

Well, one person could say it was very foolish.

Believe me when I say it’s not just about receiving love from another.

Believe me when I say it’s about loving yourself.

And then everything else falls into place.

For years I wanted someone to love me.

I never needed that.

I needed to love myself unconditionally.

I had to find happiness within my life.

I needed to grow up being independent.

I had to gain purpose outside of motherhood and marriage.

I needed to learn that love is important but loving yourself always comes first.

So just in case, you’re reading this and thinking something is wrong because you can’t find the love you need in your own life…

Don’t be like me and go years without loving yourself.

I started to love myself.

I found my purpose outside of marriage.

I started to put myself first.

I started to love my life.

I found happiness outside of motherhood.

And the rest fell into place because it was never just about someone loving me.

Love yourself first.


wife and husband taking a car selfie
Courtesy of Katie Emde

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Katie Emde of Journey for Avery. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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