A Valentine’s Day Love Letter to my Husband

Dear Kevin,

Almost fourteen years ago, I walked down a candlelit aisle toward you, carrying a bouquet of roses in my trembling hands and you gazed at me as if I was all you’d ever dreamed. We whispered forever, vowing for better or for worse, having no earthly idea of what that really meant. We have some idea now, don’t we love? Then, we only knew thumping hearts, and dreams spoken between breathless sighs in a world where happy endings always came true.

I had no way to know that sometimes marriage means dancing under the moonlight on a private balcony on a honeymoon in Paris. And sometimes, sometimes marriage means waking to your husband swaying in the corner, your lifeless baby in his arms, as he quietly sings her the ABCs because it’s the only “lullaby” he knows. Sometimes marriage means both of your hearts silently breaking in a dim hospital room.

And you, my love, you had no way to know that sometimes marriage means strawberry waffles and laughter on a Sunday morning. And sometimes marriage means a wife who slams doors and collapses in tears, and screams at you out of pain and grief and then hopes you’ll find it in your heart to comfort her anyway.

You’ve always found it in your heart.

We had no way of knowing, did we?

We had no way of knowing about the fights and the silence, the turning away and the bitterness. We had no way of knowing the fathomless depths to which love can go, the private jokes that are only ours, the familiar hand that grasps in the darkness, and the way our mattress dips where we meet in the middle.

We’ve met in the middle again and again, haven’t we?

And that’s really what marriage has to become. For true love isn’t about candlelight and roses. God, I wish it was. True love is always at least a little bit about sacrifice, about forgiveness, about turning back when you’ve turned away. We had no way of knowing.

We had no way of knowing about the five babies who would come as I gripped the hospital sheets and screamed through the pain, and your eyes widened and you fed me ice chips like you were the CEO of Ice Chip Feeding—the five babies who would once again change everything, each in their own unique way.

Sometimes I think back to the things I first noticed about you. The way you boyishly glanced at me and looked away, and glanced back at me again. The way your full lips parted over those perfectly straight teeth. The way your dark hair fell over your forehead and the way you brushed it away. The way you looked at me as if I was the only girl on earth.

You say you saw me first, and yet, I swear it was me. I saw you walking toward my friend and I and noticed in a glance how handsome you were. I braced myself because I thought my friend was prettier than me, better hair, better everything and I just knew you’d approach her first. Why wouldn’t you? But when you walked up to us, you looked straight at me and never looked away.

Just as you’ve never looked away since.

I told you once about the boy I dated before you, the one who told me I wasn’t the prettiest girl in the room. “I think he was joking . . . I guess . . .” I’d let the words fade away as I offered an uncomfortable laugh and shrugged my shoulders. But you  must have seen the hurt on my face because you lifted my chin and looked right into my eyes and said, “He was wrong.” I wanted to look away, but I didn’t because I saw your whole heart right in your expression and I swear to you, it healed me more than a thousand therapy sessions ever could.

Sometimes marriage is about not letting the other person look away.

How is it that I deserve you? How is it that you still look at me the same way you first did? I’ve never quite figured that out.

And I wonder . . .

Did we really love each other then? Did we know each other then? Do we ever really know the one we fall in love with? Do we ever really know how they’ll handle piled laundry and the baby screaming in the wee hours of the morning as we’ve finally drifted off to sleep? Do we ever really know how they’ll deal with lost jobs and lost dreams and lost keys on a Monday morning when it’s raining outside?

I like to think I had an idea. I like to think I saw something in your eyes that told me you’d grit your teeth and stay, a glimpse of the man you’d become. I like to think it was more than that I just got wildly lucky.

But I’ll always consider myself wildly lucky anyway.

I want to thank you for looking past the ring of soap scum in the shower, and the burnt dinners, and the way I put emptying the dishwasher in front of spending a few minutes in the crook of your neck sometimes.

I want to thank you for the way you wore the same clothes for years and years because you wanted to spend any extra money we had on me and the kids. I want to thank you for driving a totally uncool mini-van, and shoveling snow, and scraping eggs out of the dirty pan I left in the sink . . . two days before. I want to thank you for knowing how to say sorry in a way that lets me know you love me more than your own pride. And I want to thank you for graciously accepting the apologies I owe you, and never, ever making me feel small.

I want to thank you for being proud of me, for making me feel like you see every part of who I am and love me anyway. I want to thank you for being so much more than I ever dreamed and I want to thank you for making me feel so deeply, deeply loved.

And I want to thank you for always leaning close whenever we go out—no matter who we’re with, and even after all this time, all these years—and whispering in my ear, “You’re the prettiest girl in the room.”

I love you to the very edges of my heart. Your wife

Comments (41)

  1. A.D. Ellis February 14, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Beautiful, Mia. Thank you for snot and tears on Valentine’s Day.

  2. Kristin February 14, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Mia,
    What beautiful words! Thank you for sharing something so touching and intimate to everyone. Thanks, too, for the reminder that the everyday blessings (easy and hard) are what makes love and marriage.

  3. Tina D February 14, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Wow, what a sweet and touching letter. Thank you for sharing it.

  4. Gloria Herrera February 14, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    I am in tears! This is lovely and loving!

  5. Tamara February 14, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Beautiful <3
    Happy Valentine's Day, Mia & Kevin!

  6. Amanda February 14, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    I had tears in my eyes as I finished reading this because it was both heartwarming and heartbreaking but also the definition of love. I want to thank you because even though this is not for us, you shared it anyway. This makes me realized how little we unmarried/childless people know about love. We might know family love, and teenage love, but what I read in this post is what some people call soul-mate love, true love. And I tell you after seeing this, its what I want to find and I hope I am lucky enough to do it.

    Thank you, not only for the beautiful stories you present us in your books, but for this personal posts you share with us, because they are also beautiful.

    Happy Valentines Day, I hope for infinity years of love and happiness in your marriage and for your family.

  7. kimberley February 14, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Omg that was beauuuuutiful. Tears and Smiles!!!!!! <3

  8. elizabeth February 14, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    just beyond beautiful Princess! <3

  9. Sanja February 14, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Oh, dear Mia, you made me cry, love have such strange ways, but it is always love if you found it once. Have a beautiful Valentine’s day!

  10. Theresa February 14, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Absolutely beautiful!!

  11. Rebeca February 14, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    This is sooo sweet!! I have to say that I’ve never had a boyfriend but I would really like to be as lucky as you and to find a boy that will love me so much.

  12. theresa February 14, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing that. It was beautiful.

  13. Sue February 14, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    OMG that is so lovely. If only my ex had the same love for me. I think the death of my 2nd child as poorly newborn wasn’t enough to hold us together his eyes strayed but after walking out on me wasnt man enough to still be a dad to our 2 children. His loss my grandsons are a credit to my daughter he will never know, you i would say are lucky. But I guess luck doesnt come in to it hard work and commitment to making it work, I wish you both many more laughs, no more tears and so much happiness.

  14. Donna Freeman February 14, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Wow…your writing makes everything come to life. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Sandy Roman Borrero February 14, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Dammit Mia! You just ripped my heart out. My only son was stillborn – it broke me. I sang to him, kissed him, prayed for him and whispered “mama loves you” before I let him go. Your lullaby line had me sobbing. Your letter was one of the most beautiful and real things that I’ve ever read. Thank you for sharing it. Your guy is a keeper!

  16. Lauren February 14, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    This has got to be THE most beautiful love letter I’ve ever had the privilege to read!

  17. Loraine Oliver February 14, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    This has to be the most exquisite, lovely, heartfelt and honest love letter that I have had the Privilege of reading. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us.

  18. Carol Schaffer February 14, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Very beautifully written. I have been married for 27 years and all those situations apply.

  19. Livia February 14, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Aw, this is so freaking awesome! Thanks for sharing it with us. And congrats on finding a sweetheart who doesn’t need prompting to tell you that you are always the prettiest girl in the room. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your husband, Mia!

  20. Sandy Schmidt February 14, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Probably the best love letter I ever read! Thank you, for sharing such a heartfelt moment with us!

  21. Arwen Shoemaker February 14, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Aw, so sweet! Thanks for sharing..and another reminder of what truly matters. It sounds like your husband is a treasure, and you are one to him as well!

  22. Bethany February 14, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Your words are always so beautiful and meaningful. So much depth, and so emotional. What a beautiful letter to your husband.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to both of you.

  23. Susan M February 14, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Too beautiful for words. Lucky you and lucky him! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  24. Ciara February 14, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Wow. Just wow. Beyond beautiful.

  25. lourdes acosta February 14, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    I am speechless. What a beautiful way to say you love each others. May God keep blessing you with this amazing love you have for each others.

  26. Arwen Shoemaker February 15, 2015 at 12:33 am

    This is so sweet and touching, Mia. Thanks for sharing, and for this reminder of what truly matters. It sounds like your husband is a real treasure, and you are his as well. I wish you a long path of continued love and happiness together. 🙂

  27. Shermaine Dowling February 15, 2015 at 1:43 am

    Wow, you write love letters to your hubby that carries a touch of the feeling you express in your books. He must be a pure inspiration for the kind of heart-grasping, all-encompassing love you reveal to your readers! Happy Valentines Day to Mia and Kevin!!

  28. Cynthia D February 15, 2015 at 4:15 am

    Oh Lord…
    this is way too beautiful. seriously I couldnt control my tears right now. I thought your books are the best love stories ever told in the world… boy I had it all wrong.. this! this is the best love story EVER told!! <3
    Wish you and your whole family are always encircled with joy 🙂

  29. Mary Ovalle February 15, 2015 at 5:42 am

    I was crying as I was reading your beautiful words of love to your loving husband. What a beautiful tribute to the love you both feel privileged to share. Through the good and the sad, these words you wrote feel as if both your lives are a Valentine to each other. Thank you so much for giving us a tiny glimpse into your life with the man you love and share your life with.

  30. Lea February 15, 2015 at 7:01 am

    OMG Mia!! This made me cry. What an incredible love story you have. I feel like I just read something so private and sacred between the two of you. How lucky is your hubby to have this letter to treasure forever! Such a gorgeous couple. Such an amazing love you share.

  31. Jo Fergus February 15, 2015 at 7:19 am

    once again your beautiful poetic writing has brought me to tears, I loved this insight into your relationship with your wonderful man. He is lucky to have you too!

  32. Carina February 15, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I am in awe of your talent with using words…You truly have a gift. Thank you for sharing something so personal, raw, real, and beautiful. I wish you endless love & blessings, and continues success.

  33. DD Lorenzo February 15, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    …and THIS is why I admire you, and am glad that we are becoming friends. It’s the “core” of you, Mia, that I admire as well as your stories. I choose my friends carefully, especially in this crazy book world, and you my friend, are a treasure. ❤️

  34. Marta February 15, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Wow this just brought tears to my eyes.

  35. Niya Randolph February 15, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Oh my gosh reading this almost made me cry! I have no words right to explain to you how much i love this! Man do you have a way with words! I hope to find a love like you have one day!

  36. Connie February 22, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Mia, I have stumbled upon your blog after finishing three of your books; literally just finished Calder & Eden’s amazing love story. First let me say you are an amazing writer and I will read everything you write. I love the fact that I can follow your blog to enjoy your reading frequently. I feel some sort of “kinship” as well, just because we live in the same state. I live in Columbus. I couldn’t put Calder and Eden down. I love the way you add excitement, white knuckles and mystery to the tender, beautiful love stories you create. You are TRULY a gifted and amazing writer. Thank you!

  37. Sierra April 15, 2015 at 3:29 am

    Mia,
    I just stumbled upon your blog, although I’ve read two of your books over the past year. All I can say is, wow. The way you’ve opened yourself up and shared a piece of your heart with your readers. It’s beautiful. And how sweet and poignant your writing is and how it leaves me just literally heartbroken and breathless…but still full of sweet hope.
    I have many authors who I’ve listed as my “favs”…but you are certainly one of the very top. Thank you for being an inspiration to me, as a writer, but also as a woman and a reader.
    Blessings,
    Sierra

  38. Lyka July 10, 2015 at 8:37 am

    This made me cry happy tears. True Love do exists, and it might not be perfect but the imperfection makes it pure. You make the best heroes because you’re married to one and best heroines too, because there’s a piece of you in them too.

  39. Lyka July 10, 2015 at 8:38 am

    This made me cry happy tears. True Love do exist, and it might not be perfect but the imperfection makes it pure. You make the best heroes because you’re married to one and best heroines too, because there’s a piece of you in them too.

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