I enjoyed this article by Hallie Lord about the nature of loving one's spouse during difficult times. Conquering selfishness is a theme I often hear spoken to men (lay down your life for your bride, practice sacrificial love, etc.), but rarely spoken with such force to women. It's a good reminder then that:
In choosing to deprive Dan of care and affection, I had (conveniently) forgotten that though two had become one, there were three people in this marriage. On that cool October night that saw us married, we had not only given ourselves to one another, we had sworn an oath before God to “forgive one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to be ‘subject to one another out of reverence for Christ,’ and to love one another with supernatural, tender, and fruitful love.” (CCC 1642)
I hadn’t promised to love and cherish Dan only when he deserved it, had earned it or when I felt like it. I vowed to love him in good times and in bad. In my naiveté I had assumed we would always go through the bad times together. I’ve since learned that sometimes the bad times stand between us like a wall. Though challenging and perhaps even painful, it’s during these times that it’s more crucial than ever to choose love.
And it's a helpful clarification for all of us -- single, married, religious -- that we are called to love when we don't feel like it. It's something we can know intellectually but still struggle to live out in various circumstances. Reminders like this article, then, are very good!