This is Jared, obviously, but I am going to take advantage of the fact that Katrina and I share the same computer and respond to her question with a post, rather than with a comment.
Katrina's question really challenged me on Sunday and caused me to search my heart. I don't doubt the fact that I love her and appreciate her, fervently, intensely. But what do I love in her beyond her love for me or the things we share in common?
I think that the question of what we love that doesn't benefit us is virtually impossible, since every quality and virtue benefits those around us--that is why we seek to be good people! But Katrina's provoking question remains answerable because she didn't ask what we love even though it doesn't benefit us, she asked what we love that isn't attached to ourselves. In other words, we love others because they are like us--we love the "us" in them. We share common values, likes, experiences, and so forth. All this makes sense and is necessary, but loving others for how they are different than us takes a certain level of maturity and spiritual evolution.
So, here goes, and I hope my answer measures up.
The number one reason I love Katrina fails miserably in the "doesn't benefit me" category, and I hope that it isn't too different from me either. I love the way Katrina LOVES, which obviously benefits me. But it is also different than me, too. Katrina's greatest gift is the way she loves people, and I admire her for her encompassing, gentle, consistent love for others. I have joked that the person I end up with has to be amazing because I am so much to take on, and Katrina has excelled in this area. She loves me as I have never been loved before, and my admiration for her overflowed when I saw how she took on taking care of my three children. We are different in many ways, and Katrina loves me for what I am, even in areas she does not share. I have never been loved the way she loves me. I try to learn from her in this area. This is Katrina's greatest gift, which works out nicely because it just so happens it is also the most important trait in all of eternity to acquire. Someone could have every talent and gift and beauty, but without love, it is all worthless. Katrina's genius is in relationships, and next to that genius, nothing else matters. She has allowed her love for me and the accompanying commitment to join my life to change her, and I admire her for it.
I obviously love all the things we share--I love Katrina's passion for food, for good discussions and movies and snuggles. I love how affectionate she is. I love how intelligent and expressive she is (we both were able to make lists of over 100 things we love about each other when we were dating). I love how much she enjoys learning and art and culture. I love how she expresses her artistic abilities and creativity. I am absolutely smitten with her voice, both reading and singing.
So, now to the hard part, differences that I love. Katrina and I harness different emotional complexions. I am intense, passionate, vivid almost to the point of imbalance. Katrina is balanced, consistent, and stark raving sane. I love her for that. I love her healthiness. I love the way she entered my crazy life with open eyes, heart, and soul. These differences complement me. I also love and admire her deep and genuine interest in people, which goes far beyond my native self-centeredness.
And though it isn't the most important thing, I love Katrina's sense of style. I think this counts especially well because though I appreciate it (and do so more because of being with my fashionista wife), it is not something I naturally do. I love how I can actually appreciate "What Not to Wear" because of her. I love how she can make both of us beautiful (and her makeover of me into the "hot professor").
So, that is a bit long, but I hope it answered your question in part, my precious wife. I have never been so happy, and love you more. This answer seems somewhat inadequate; I am grateful I have forever to complete my response.