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What I've Learned in Love | Podcast

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It's love month, so what better opportunity but to talk about, yes you got it - love


My love story starts 22 years ago, on the day I turned 16 years old. 

I wasn’t supposed to find love that night. My mom was dying from a cancer she had been battling for 8 years. A month before the doctors found a tumor in her brain and it was sadly inoperable. There was nothing to do. She was 44 years old at the time and it was the saddest part of my life I think. 

My parents absolutely wanted to do something big for my 16th birthday so I decided to have a caterer and a complete set of musical instruments. It was an open door party and anyone who was in a band could come and play. 

I met my husband by the food table outside in the garden. He came with my neighbor because they were in the same band. I quickly introduced myself and told him to make himself feel at home and get food.

He nodded. He said he knew then and there that I was the woman he would someday marry. Thankfully, he didn’t tell me then because I think I would have freaked out and ran away. 

But anyways, we started hanging out. Again, I wasn’t looking for anything serious. 

Sadly, my mom died a month after my birthday.

My husband and I weren’t together yet. I didn’t even realize that he was courting me. But he was with me, by my side, the whole time. And as I like to say, he loved me back to life. Both times - with my mom and my dad. 

A week after, we were officially together as boyfriend and girlfriend, although I was completely lost. I was way over my head. 

Admittedly, it took me a few months to get myself together and finally feel feelings of love, just in time to start university. I was supposed to go abroad, but I decided to stay for my dad and my then boyfriend. 

University had a lot of ups and downs. 

A lot of drama. 

A lot of experiences. 

A lot of joy. 

A lot of learning.

A lot of firsts. 

Being one year older than me, he graduated a few months before me and I followed suit. We had our first jobs and started our careers, but as it happened a few months later- I was pregnant. Twenty-two years old and pregnant with my miracle baby. Our only baby.

Pregnant after I had been told that I couldn’t have children naturally. The Boyfriend and I saw our life completely change, moreso because we found out we were pregnant pretty late too! I was in the middle of the second trimester! Can you believe it?

We then became young parents, then decided to get married a year after,  while juggling work and life. It wasn’t easy, but in my mind, in our minds, as long as we were together in this, everything would be alright. 

Then we decided to move to France where we had to be geographically separated for 1 year. This was the hardest year of my life. Being away from my daughter, my husband, and my dad all at once. 

For one whole year, I lived with my heart outside of my body. The only thought I held on to was that I was doing this for a brighter future for us. 

The day we were reunited in France was the happiest moment ever and felt like the first day of the rest of my life. 

It’s been 12 years that we’ve been here in France. The Husband turned 40 last month, I’m slowly getting there. We’ve officially been together for 22 years. That’s more than half of our life and sometimes I can’t help but wonder where did the years go?

There is a saying that goes, a successful relationship requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. 

That’s how I feel about my husband. 

I’ve loved him as a teenager, then as a college student, a young adult, a young father, a husband, and now as a man. 

Each love is different because I’m different each time and so is he. 

The tricky part about young love is going through each step of  life for yourself and your own evolution. But at the same time, you’re with someone and they also have their own evolution that’s parallel to yours. Neither can sit back and watch the other go. Both have to constantly move forward, sometimes at a different speed, but all the while making sure no one gets left behind. 

Loving someone is such a beautiful thing, but it’s also so challenging. It’s free but you have to constantly work on it. 

I don’t expect my husband to make me happy, I am in charge of my own happiness. 

But with him, I can totally be myself and I find comfort in him. 

I recently saw a podcast where Former First Lady Michelle Obama was saying how marriage is the natural hardest thing one will ever do. Building a life with someone who wasn’t raised as you. Who has a different personality, different way of seeing life. Of course it’s going to be hard. But in the end, it’s all worth it. She couldn’t have been more on point. 

I love the life the Husband and I have created. It’s not perfect - far from it. It’s not what I had envisioned it would be. But I’m thankful and grateful for it. 

Along the way, I have learned many lessons. 

Growing up, I had no idea what a love language was or that it even existed. I probably heard it for the first time a couple of years ago. But I’ve quickly learned how important it is to understand our partner’s love language which helps in increasing connection, enhancing appreciation, and improving communication. 

Laurie and I briefly talked about it in last week’s episode (click here) about adult friendship. Knowing one’s love language helps to be heard which is extremely important in any kind of relationship. You want to be recognized. 

We all receive and express love differently. 

My husband and I are complete opposites. We are so different from one another in every possible way. I don’t think anyone would have ever imagined us getting this far. But as much as we love each other very much, there is also a lot of respect. We somehow managed to work our way around our challenges, but I can still remember the moment we identified our love languages. It changed so much in our relationship. 

But the effort doesn’t end at knowing what your love language is. It’s actually expressing it, which isn’t always so easy. My receiving love language are words of affirmation. Unfortunately, my husband is very timid, very modest with his feelings, and doesn’t use many words. His expressing love language are acts of service. So I know that when he makes a compliment, as simple as it might be, it took a lot from him to do. And I really really appreciate it. 

But ultimately I think that the greatest lesson I learned in my marriage is to ask for things. I grew up in the 90’s with all of those rom-coms that we all love. I wouldn’t give anything to change that because I think that they don’t make movies the same way they used to. But in a way, it has romanticized relationships for me. It took some time, but I finally realized that prince charming doesn’t exist. The perfect guy doesn’t exist. The bad boy in the story will not naturally know how to set up a romantic picnic by the perfect spot on one’s anniversary with the perfect gift and the love words all on his own. 

That doesn’t exist in real life. 

Many times I would be frustrated. Sad. Angry. I would expect things because that’s how it was in movies and in books. But nothing happened? Wasn’t I loved? I was mad, he was confused. 

That is until one day, it finally hit me. 

Unless I tell him what I want, I’m not going to get it. Because he doesn’t know what I want. 

We’re so different from one another, how would he even know what I want? Unless I tell him. 

That realization hit hard. It erased every misconception I had about love and relationships. 

And things did go better from there. We were finally speaking a common language. 

Take care and always remember - la vie est belle!

xoxo Elodie


Link for Season 2, Episode 6🎙️


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