A (How To) Love Story

Long ago, a man once travelled for a thousand days and nights, looking for the meaning of the word Love.

He searched and searched and, after several false starts, he finally found someone who had the answer.

And this is what he said to him:

“The one who loves must learn to feel rejected and the one who rejects must learn how to love.”

And with that, the man went back to his home and wrote down the answer.

Many years later, a descendent of the man found himself living what he considered to be a horrible and difficult life.

But what he thought was the worst of it all was his marriage.

He felt unloved, rejected, alone.

His wife, on the other hand, liked the man, but was generally angry and resentful towards him.

She didn’t see the love he had for her which made him feel unloved, rejected, and alone.

He did not know how long he could go on feeling this way and considered leaving his wife.

She, on the other hand, always figured he would leave her anyway, which kept her from fully opening up to him and trusting him.

Then, one day, after a particularly bad argument with his wife, he finally got up enough nerve to leave.

He packed up his bags and left her.

After he checked into a hotel, he began to unpack his bags.

Among his things he found, tucked away neatly in one of the smaller inner pockets of one of his bags, a note.

And the note said:

“The one who loves must learn to feel rejected and the one who rejects must learn how to love.”

After reading the note he decided to pack up his bags and go back home.

His wife was quite surprised that he had returned, since she had always expected him to leave her.

For the next forty years, the husband always remembered the words:

“The one who loves must learn to feel rejected and the one who rejects must learn how to love.”

With these words in his heart, he no longer reacted as strongly to feeling rejected, unloved, and alone.

Instead, he continued to love his wife and enjoyed their life together.

For her part, for some reason she felt herself slowly change towards her husband as the years went by.

Eventually, she no longer believed that he would leave her so she began to enjoy him and the marriage more.

Some years later the man died and his wife was extremely sad.

She felt alone now, but could still remember all the years they’d had together and his faithfulness to her.

These thoughts helped her to live on and to feel good inside.

Then, one day, a few years later, she was cleaning out her house of some old things and she came across her husband’s old luggage.

As she cleaned it out she found, tucked neatly away in a small inner pocket of one of the bags, a note, which she read.

It said:

“I will always love you no matter what and I will never leave you again.”

And it was signed:

“Your faithful husband.”

She recognized her husband’s handwriting and she began to cry.

For the first time in her life she understood what had changed in her heart all those years ago.

She now knew it for what it was.

It was Love.

And she had loved her husband.

Anthony Ferraioli, M.D.

Author, Don’t Get Married! (Unless You Understand a Few Things First)


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