There's been an article going around facebook that is supposed to be written by a newly divorced man talking to men about how they should be treating their wives. I've only seen women sharing the post and, to be honest, I doubt that it was really written by said man. I'm not saying that it's a bad article. Not at all. What I think we need to remember is that marriage is a two way street. It takes two to tango and all of that.
It got me thinking about my own marriage and my husband. We'll be married for 21 years this December. I can barely realize that I'm over 21 myself, let alone that my marriage will be this old! Time does march on. So I got to thinking about all the reasons I love being married to Mike. I think when we focus on the positives (because we all know there are negatives) we can keep this marriage thing going.....and keep it going passionately!
So here are a few of the things I love about my husband. There are lots more, but for time's sake, I kept it to the things I could think of within a few minutes.
- Always calm. My husband gets calmer the moment anyone around him gets more agitated. Since I'm easily agitated, this comes in handy.
- Talented. Most people think Mike's musical prowess is the thing that first attracted me to him. Not so. However, having an uber-talented musician as a husband makes me strive to ensure he uses these gifts to their fullest.
- Always positive. Mike is such a quiet person (until you really know him) but he really has kept a positive spin on our family life. Especially with our children. Having a child with a major disability has been a very hard life lesson for me. Mike's perspective on it has always been positive. Very Montessori, in fact. He is the Ying to my Yang.
- Space giving. Especially when the kids were young and I was a stay-at-home-mom-who-needed-time-to-herself. Mike was always more than happy to let me leave the second he came home from a hard day at work so I could unwind at Barnes and Noble or Borders with a cup of coffee until the kids were bathed and bedded. He was always chipper when I arrived home and always awake to spend a little time with me.
- A Listener. I guess this is the thing I first fell for. Mike is such an introvert and quiet thinker that he is happy to let the other person spout off! Although I'm not really an extrovert, I'm more-so than he. I need to talk to process and my husband is always available to listen.
- Puts our marriage ahead of our children. When our kids were little I was a little bit miffed by this. Now that they are almost adults, I appreciate this about him. He has always known that we would need to have a relationship in the years after our boys were adults. He was always a loving father but never put their needs completely above those of our marriage.
- A loving father. When we were dating, I knew I could not marry someone who had an aversion or an indifference to children. I watched carefully how he interacted with my nieces and nephews. He was, of course, wonderful with them. He is sometimes so child-like himself that he has no qualms interacting with children and teens wherever their development happens to lie. He's so much better at it than me, to be honest!
- He does the dishes and the laundry and the grocery shopping and makes dinner. He never EVER complained when he came home and I DIDN'T do the dishes or the laundry (or when supper wasn't ready). He doesn't put the dishes where they belong, my clothes aren't always folded or put where I like them and I'm not always thrilled with his dinner plan. Do I tell him this? NO! (ok, not usually). How nice is it to have dinner planned after a day at work? It is nice! I'm thankful for what is done, not ungrateful for how it is done.
- He's happy to let me do my thing. He didn't blink an eye when I quit my job and started a new career path despite the fact that it would put us in a financial bind. He is always supportive of my endeavors. He doesn't need us to always do the same things. We give each other space but continue to enjoy the time we have together (even if that time is together but doing our separate thing).
- Every morning before we wake up he turns to put his arm around me. We aren't really awake. We know we should be getting up but we aren't. His first thought: me. Love that.
- Did I mention he's just so damn sexy with that upright bass? Sorry for the expletives but....well, he is.
Have these 21 years always been easy? No. But sometimes, yes.
I am so looking forward to the next 21 years. Sometimes I feel guilty for imagining life together without the kids and their activities and needs. Other times I can't wait. For if we can enjoy ourselves without our children it means we have raised them well. To hold on to them, and be unable to focus on our marriage is unhealthy, I think.
Take some time today to think about why you love your spouse. Ignore the things that bug you and focus on the good parts of your marriage. Talk to each other tonight after the kids go to bed (YES - make them go to be early enough so you can do this without falling asleep). Enjoy each other's company. Remember why you are good together.