My husband's birthday was yesterday. And we tried to have a nice dinner. But our two y.o. son was feeling iffy and just couldn't/wouldn't sleep without "daddy hold you in the rocking chair". So, I think we each got about two hot bites of food in that marathon "put to bed" session.
Anyway, I have been thinking about all of the reasons that I love him and why he is perfect for me. Many of the reasons are in direct contradiction to "feelings" I may have had for someone else earlier in life.
We got married later than average, at least for me. I was 34 when we got married. I had just about given up finding "Mr. Right." In my twenties I went through of phase of settling for "Mr. Right Now", but that phase ended predictably. By the time I entered my thirties, I had finally settled on a career that was satisfying and had great potential (law). But I had kindof given up on finding an equally satisfying life partner.
And then I met Marcus.
Within just a few dates, I realized several things:
1) He actually really listened to me, tried to figure out my likes and dislikes, and what made me tick.
2) He had a grounded steadiness that was incredibly comforting. I knew that I could count on him.
3) He faithfully stuck by his word. If he said he would be there at 7:15, he was there at 7:15. That might seem like a small thing, but it is indicative of his faithfulness in all areas.
4) His faith was very important to him. He actively encouraged us to go to church. Together. (And he picked MY church!)
5) He has a weird, quirky, funny side to him that the vast majority of people never see, because he is quiet and reserved. When I discovered these little quirks, I realized that there were hidden layers to him that only I (mostly) would get to see. And that has been very fun over the past few years.
6) He is very smart, but doesn't feel the need to brag, like many do. I have to brag for him. For instance, when asked where he works, he will say, "the government" without mentioning that he is a lawyer. When people find out, and ask where he went to law school, he says, always, "In Boston." (And when I chide him for that, he says, with a grin, "Well, they asked where, they didn't ask what school."
I learned all those things within a few weeks. But those have been indicative of his character. So, while I am continually impressed that he seems to do things for me that are above and beyond what other wives might expect, I am not surprised.
I am seven months pregnant with our second child, and while I am in generally good health (thank you God!) I am woefully out of shape, and have a toddler to chase around. So I am super tired. And I feel like I complain all the time. But he doesn't. And suddenly I find that the dishwasher has been emptied and filled, and two loads of laundry done, all the while he has been working 80 and 90 hours a week. (And the trash regularly gets taken out, but that is a constant).
These past couple months have been really rough on him at work, yet every evening that he can, he rushes home, throws off his suit, and takes over with Jonathan. Who relishes his time with his father. I know that Marcus would rather put his feet up, but he runs the bath, finishes feeding the kid, and reads him story after story to get him to sleep. I tell some of my young friends never to underestimate the power of a man who loves his family more than his free time.
We both have strong opinions on a wide variety of issues, but somehow we have never had a fight. Sure, there are some disagreements, but I can't even think of something that rose to the level of an argument. And sure, there were some snippy moments when we were severely sleep deprived after our son was born, but that was just the sleep problem.
I think the reason we don't argue or fight is that we both go out of our way (more him than me) to make sure that we understand the other's position and thoughts and feelings.
And that is my definition of respect. We are more similar than we are different, and that probably helps, but the commitment to love and care for each other is still a choice. Which he makes freely.
I love you, sweetie. Happy Birthday.