It is a truth universally acknowledged* that marriage isn’t easy. I’ve never met a perfect person, and therefore I’ve never encountered a perfect union (neither human nor country). I could storm and rage and tell stories and give you a litany of imperfections in my own marriage. Beloved and I, we’re flawed and human. We get tired and cranky and a bit mean just like the rest of the human race.
But this man, oh let me tell you, this man. They don’t come much better. Here are five reasons why I adore him.
- He is hilarious. I take life very seriously. I am unbelievably literal. Beloved can always find something to laugh at and most of the time that’s a good thing. I’ve only gone to bed really mad twice in our thirteen years. He never lets me stay mad very long.
- He serves his heart out. At church on Sunday he was sitting at the front of the congregation and yes, gasp, his eyes closed and his head nodded a couple of times in exhaustion. What those observing didn’t see was he’d been up working and doing chores til 1am and then was up at 6am to get to church meetings. Then he stopped by to help a friend with some advice, came home to help me finish getting the kids ready as I was combatting the final stages of a migraine, then headed back to get ready for his next set of meetings. By 1:30pm on a hot summer afternoon it was no wonder those eyes were closing just a teeny bit. Last night he was working on a presentation til the early hours, after being out with a client all day, then cleaning up the disaster of a kitchen mess I’d made because I had to run to my office for a video call. This morning he drove me to the train at 5:30am, worked for a couple of hours, put on laundry, and got the kids all ready for the day. He never stops.
- He is wholly authentic with me and expects me to be the same. I knew I wanted to marry him when I realized it was the first relationship I’d ever been in where I felt like I could be ALL of myself, all of the time. There has never been the need to hide my strength or my vulnerability or anything in between. Ever. It is the greatest gift he keeps on giving me.
- He shares his thoughts and says sorry often. One of the greatest regrets I have about the two of us having so much work right now (for which I’m so grateful!) is that our lengthy chats on the sofa or in bed are much harder to have. But when we do have those conversations, there is no topic off limits. We disagree on many things. My politics, my lens on various issues is quite different from his. I rail against things he doesn’t see or doesn’t think are problems. But he will always hear me out. And he will take steps to engender change where and when he can. He is free with apologies and frank with his feelings. When we have problems, we also have transparency. That’s huge.
- He loves God more than he loves me. I think if it came down to a choice between God and me, God would win, and I’m OK with that. He is guided by purpose, by something infinitely bigger than himself. And that purpose and set of principles motivate him to try so much harder to fulfill his potential. I am always the primary beneficiary of that process.
I don’t know how he came to be my partner in all things — it certainly wasn’t anything I deserved and this post’s intention is not to invite comparison with others. It’s simply to acknowledge and say thank you. I promise you he is not perfect. Not anywhere close. But he is constantly trying to do better and to be better. And I know he’s in this for the long haul.
That counts for everything and I am grateful.
*Extract from the opening sentence of Pride & Prejudice, that great treatise on the art of getting married.