Many, many years ago, when Jason and I got married, my girlfriend gave me a book called the 5 Love Languages. Given I had not been successful at any of my previous relationships (hence being single for so long), and coming from a broken home where I didn’t see my father for most of my life, I felt scared, terrified, at the prospect of marriage. Could I make it work? Would I be able to stay ‘in love’? Would we be together forever? Love had been so elusive in the past, how could I keep it alive? Sounds a little depressing to think that you won’t be madly in love, ripping each other’s clothes off for the next 50 years, but for me, I was worried about making it last. This book, the 5 Languages of Love, really resonated with me. He says love, it’s a choice. You choose to love each other, have each other’s backs, stay faithful, watch the football when you don’t want to, go shopping for shoes when you don’t want to, pick up their socks, empty the trash, make the bed. Some days it’s easy, like breathing or eating melted cheese, other days it’s H-A-R-D. But at the end you choose to love them, for better or worse. When I let that really sink in, it actually made me feel less terrified. Now I’m no stranger to hard work, I run a business for goodness sake, hard work is my motto. When I realised that love was a commitment, a choice, and all I had to do was work at it every day, I relaxed. The funny thing is, the longer you are married, the more you see that it’s not their faults that you have to learn to live with – it’s not watching the football, picking up their socks for the 1000th time, emptying the trash after you have nagged so hard you’ve blown a blood vessel – the longer you are married the more you realise that it is actually your own faults that need work. And when you see how those faults can affect the person you love, the relationship you have, the life you want to lead, you realise that the choice is real, and when you choose to work on your faults the person there to help you is your love. Love, it’s a choice, and a gift. The best and most precious gift.