What This Strange Autocorrect Taught Me About Marriage

Years ago after buying my first iPhone, I fat-fingered an “I love you” text to my wife, which my phone promptly autocorrected to “I live you.”

I thought it was funny, so I left it unchanged and hit send.

Now, years later, when I mis-type an I love you text, my damn iPhone is still as likely to autocorrect it to “I live you” as “I love you”… thanks, no doubt, to that confirming send all those years ago.

On the surface, it’s a trifle: one of many humorous yet meaningless quirks of modern life. But I’ve come to see in that nonsensical turn of phrase something unwittingly profound:

For, in contrast to “I love you,” a phrase that rolls so easily off the tongue… a phrase we trot out without thought, letting the inherent weight of the word itself do the heavy lifting for us…

…LIVING another person implies an investedness that goes far beyond mere intention.

For “I love you” is easy to say but harder to live…

Easy to send into her ears, but harder to get put beneath her skin and into her heart.

Hence the startling electricity of “I live you.”

What could it possibly mean?

It would mean not just cohabitation, but breathing her in: drinking in her talents, fears, wisdom, gaps, brilliance, wounds…

…in taking ALL of her, wholesale, into our own life… accepting all of her, at every turn, as deeply you are able… which is to say, to experience her life almost as though it were your own.

To live her would mean going beyond mere affection to affirmation;

To go beyond mere appreciation to acceptance;

To go beyond the gift of words to the gift of abiding, unflinching presence.

For when you open yourself to all of her… when you stop resisting her otherness, stop picking and choosing among her qualities…

Then, when you say the old familiar words, your “I love you” will mean far more:

The “you” in “I love you” will no longer be just the sliver of her that is comfortable to you… the “you” that meets your needs… won’t be some curated crosscut of her most becoming qualities.

No, it will be the YOU that surfaced through your living of her: the “you” entire.

So do not content yourself with “I love you.”

To get to the good stuff… to unearth the black soil love she longs to take root in, and that you crave to give her…

Go beyond mere I love you and LIVE her.

What else did you think marriage was for?

Related article: How Your Soul Dies

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