I don’t know if my wife loves me. There is no way I could know. She has no idea if I really love her. How could she? I am the only person inside my head.
How can I live with someone who I am not entirely certain loves me? Through her actions, I can be somewhat certain. Through her words, I can be mostly assured. And yet doubt is there.
And how about the fluctuations of it all? Despite those artful mediums trying to portray love and romance, life is always, always, more complex. On any given day, I can love my wife more or less. Sometimes she is a divine light on a dark day. Sometimes she is a nuisance obstructing my path. And yet other times, plenty of them while engaged in work, I forget her existence entirely.
All these phases are brief and intertwined. There appears to be an overlying constant of loving her. No denying it, really. But one cannot help but entertain some doubt in those in-between spots within the flux.
So steps in faith. Faith is a tough concept for an atheistic humanist such as myself. The word is thrown in with belief and prayer so, to those like me, it becomes polluted. Still, I have always held fast to my faith in humanity because it made sense to me.
This faith is more related to trust. It is not a blind faith that something is there when it very well might not be. I see evidence surrounding it; there is past precedent supporting it. It is a trust that where there was once a hand to pick me up that it would be there again.
I have faith in my wife, and I am faithful to her. I have faith that though I may get under her skin, she does in fact love me. I still hold faith that having given her my heart that she will only cherish and sustain it.
And I maintain my faithfulness to her so my heart may be protected. It sounds almost selfish, to think I am paying her my faith to maintain my emotional stability. But it is how the world works, and I am nearly positive it is reciprocated.
I put my trust in my friend because she has always proven herself to be there in times of both poor and plenty. I put my faith in my wife because she is the one who has kept my heart well. And I will always put my faith in love for it has never shown itself to be false.