This post isn’t about Elvis, although his voice lends to loving message…

I was married for a total of twenty-six years to a narcissistic and sadistic man. Love was non-existent. If he was affectionate, he wanted something or was trying to reel me back in. He used the kids against me all of the time, then turned around and cast them aside. He never really sacrificed for anyone in his household. Everything was about him or what he could get out of life. Hindsight is a funny thing, especially when you realize you excused away all of a narcissist’s transgressions because you were “all in.” He wasn’t and it was heartbreaking. How then could you know what love truly is???

Well, first of all, my Mom told me to look in the mirror. I didn’t get her reference until MUCH later. However, I didn’t realize I needed to love myself before I could love anyone [romantically]. I had to put up boundaries, not the Wall of China!

Fast forward to the man I am with now. He is the epitome of love. How do I know? Let me give you some examples, which blow me away daily:

  • Last night he was gently washing a kitten we have, who is most likely dying. The poor thing cannot clean itself, has accidents all over itself, and isn’t eating much. My Honey fixes its food everyday and coaxes it, softly, to eat. He’s washed it, while hanging over the sink, soothing it while washing its hind end (because it can’t).
  • He ocassionally fixes my adult children dinner and always invites them to Thanksgivings and summer picnics. He listens to them, then gives them advice in the form of options or “things to ponder.”
  • Buys things for his grand baby and then turns around and gets my grand baby things to “be fair.”
  • Texts me periodically, throughout the day, to check on me and make sure I’ve eaten.
  • Raises an eyebrow when I’m being dramatic and plays devil’s advocate, but never guilts me or shames me — even after 4.5 years together!

NONE of this stuff was done by their own father…and I do mean NONE of it!

Is that love? It most certainly is! My Father told me to use 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 as a guide:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

My Dad’s advice is this: if you can replace your significant other’s name with the word “love” in the Scripture, they are the one for you! I never could with my Ex and it ring true…it was just, well, A LIE. With my Honey, it totally sings and rings of truth. I couldn’t be more blessed and humbled by it!

The Love Me Tender part is how I want to be loved, just as I am, in this moment. I’ve endured the harshness of anti-love and of bullying and meanness. I’ve stayed the course and I believe I have earned the tenderness and am thankful for it every day!

Love and light! <3