Last week, I shared how my husband has been a real hero during this unbelievably challenging, heart-wrenching, soul shakingly tough postpartum period. I’ve been reflecting on our relationship some more, and just how much my husband has impacted me since we’ve been together.
First of all, I don’t feel I had the best model of a marriage from my parents. My parents separated while I was in preschool, and I have no memory of them together. They each remarried while I was in elementary school. My stepdad commuted across the country for work when I was young, so I grew up watching my mom doing everything mostly on her own. My dad went on to get married again, divorced again, married again, and divorced again. I don’t claim to know the ins and outs of his relationships, but from my outsider perspective, it seemed he gave up whenever things got hard.
When I was younger, I was always the girl with a boyfriend. I loved being in a relationship, but I also had low self esteem. This meant I usually settled for the first semi-interesting guy I met, even if he was not right for me or serious about me. I was cheated on countless times. I even had one college boyfriend ask if we could break up just for the summer so he could sleep with other people, expecting everything to go back to normal when he came back to town in the fall. Seriously. Looking back, I think this says more about the losers I was going out with more than me, but I know now I never should have chosen to be in those relationships in the first place.
My husband and I met at work. I was a twenty-two year old recent college graduate, and had no interest in the sorts of jobs my international studies degree qualified me for. I, begrudgingly, took a job in software sales, figuring I’d get into the corporate world and figure it all out from there. He so very keenly “took me under his wing” on my first day and slowly but surely won me over.
He wasn’t like the other guys I had dated. He had a good head on his shoulders, a successful career, and was very serious about me. We got engaged after just one short month of dating. We were married a year and a half later.
We are the epitome of opposite attract. I’m a hardcore introvert. To the point where if I go to a party or baby shower or really any kind of social event, I can count on a massive tension headache a few hours later. My husband, however, thrives on being the center of attention. And not in the annoying way. He is constantly making new friends, being spontaneous, and cracking jokes with whomever will listen. I am a book nerd. He hates reading. I am clumsy and detail-oriented. He is an athletic dreamer. Somehow, this works well for us.
My husband has been able to draw me out of my shell like no one else has. Whether it’s by encouraging me to put myself out there at work or trying (and failing) to teach me to play tennis, he is constantly pushing me to excel and trust myself.
Don’t misunderstand – our relationship is not without arguments. After the first year or so of dating, my husband asked me why I sometimes lose my temper with him and not anyone else. I’ve never yelled at my parents, siblings, coworkers or friends. After much reflection, I’ve realized it’s because I have a deep trust that he will always be there. He sees me for who I am, and I feel comfortable blowing up and venting all my feelings out, without worrying what repercussions their might be. I don’t try to disregard his feelings (although he may sometimes disagree); I feel secure enough in the longevity of our relationship and in his acceptance that I feel free to be myself and share the true extent of my feelings.
I love him because he makes me laugh even when I don’t want to.
He made me a mother and gave me my two wonderful children. I love seeing their eyes light up when he is being goofy.
It really boils down to this: Being loved by him has helped me to love myself, which is the greatest gift. I have learned to accept myself by seeing that he does it so easily.
This is Day 10 of my 30 Day Writing Challenge.
Feel free to join me by writing about the man who has had the greatest impact on your life.
Post a link in the comments below and I’ll be sure to read and comment