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Sitting down to write a blog about why I married my husband is an extremely overwhelming task. It’s like trying to count the pieces of sand on the ocean shore. Or attempting to catch the wind with a net. The reasons are absolutely immeasurable and impossible to compile. I have stared at the screen, made notes, looked back through old photos and honestly, just stared at this man who I call my husband. How, and more importantly, WHY did we get here?
Joe dated one of my friends in high school. I vividly remember him beeping his horn every day during 6th period as he was going home. My friend would smile lovingly every time, but I remember feeling very jealous. It never failed that he would beep every single day. I wanted a boy who would show me that dedication.
Twenty years later, I ran across Joe’s name on Facebook and sent him a friend request. Innocently enough we began chatting through Facebook. He had been separated for about eight months and I had been divorced for about eight years. I had dated many men over the years (sorry if any of you are reading this), but not one of them had ever shown me that dedication that I remember Joe showed my friend. Some of them even failed to really understand what “being in a relationship” involved. Square peg, round hole. None of them ever became anything of substance.
Joe and I decided to meet for lunch for a “non-date” and I have pretty much seen him every day since. Even on that first lunch date I saw in him characteristics that I could love. Now, almost two years later, we are married and have blended our two families into one party of six full of love, respect, kindness and dedication. Here is a list of some of the many things I love about this man:
1) WE SPEAK THE SAME LOVE LANGUAGE – This is huge. If you have not read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, then go download it NOW. If you are dating or married to someone who shows you love in a way that does not fill your love tank, then you need to understand why. When Joe and I first started dating, he did EVERYTHING for me. I joke about how he full-court pressed me because he brought me flowers, lunch, books from the library, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and more. He was always giving me gifts. I finally had to say to him, “While I love the gifts and attention, please know that my love language is 50% Physical Touch and 50% Words of Affirmation. Gifts and Acts of Service do nothing for me.” Although he still takes care of me nonstop, I think it was comforting to him to know that we speak the same love language, so all of that extra stuff is nice at times but not necessary. Now we just hug each other non-stop (ask the kids, because they claim it’s annoying) and tell each other how much we love each other. Our rule is to never walk in or walk out of the house without giving each other a kiss and telling each other we love each other.
2) HE ADORES ME – Joe has adored me from the beginning. Most importantly, he has SHOWN ME how much he has adored me from the beginning. He was never scared to show it. It was the best feeling for the first time in my life to be with someone who I adored, but who undoubtedly adored me back. And went out of his way to show me that. From the beginning, he was there for me. He was genuinely interested in what had happened in my life over the twenty years between when we had last seen each other. And he listened. And remembered. He’s happiest when we are together as a family with our kids and everyone is laughing. There is nowhere in the world he would rather be.
3) HE LOVES HIS CHILDREN MORE THAN LIFE – I could tell in our first lunch together that his children were his life. It was obvious to me without even knowing the whole story that his divorce had destroyed his life because he was forced to only be with his kids 50% of the time. Over time, our conversations got much more involved and I learned the extent of the pain the divorce had caused him. He was still very wounded and struggling when we reconnected and I was hesitant to begin a relationship with him, but it was clear that he WANTED to move on and he wanted to move on WITH ME. We waited for six months to introduce his kids to me since it was all so new for them. Although I struggled with not seeing him 50% of the time, I knew how important that time was for him and for his kids as they began their new normal. The wait definitely paid off.
4) HIS SENSE OF HUMOR – From day one I knew that Joe was the man with whom I wanted to grow old. He made me laugh a lot in messages before we even had our first lunch. I have always been proud of my quick wit and I realized early on that I may have met my match. We would text quip after quip back and forth and I would laugh every time I got a text. It’s so nice to have a man who I can spend an entire weekend without seeing another soul and we laugh, dance and have so much fun together. No matter what we are doing.
5) HE MAKES ME A PRIORITY – He is quick to defend me when someone criticizes me and would stand up for me to anyone if necessary. He turns off the security system in the morning and goes all the way down to the cold kitchen to make me coffee. I can’t tell you how many mornings I wake up to him handing me a cup of perfectly made coffee in bed. What a wonderful way to wake! He does chores that he may not want to do to give me time to write because he knows how important my writing is to me. Recently he even took me away for a weekend to a cabin with no wi-fi, television or cell service, so I could work all weekend on my book. It was perfect. It may not have been his first choice of things to do, but he did it for me because seeing me happy makes HIM happy.
6) HE EMBODIES THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – I knew immediately that there was something DIFFERENT about Joe. There was something about him that I wanted to be around. I now realize that it is the man who he is inside his heart. He’s one of the strongest Christian men I know. Anyone who knows him can attest to the fact that he shows love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control every day of his life. He’s certainly not perfect, so there have been times when he may not have shown the self-control that he would have liked, but I don’t expect perfection from him. I’m not perfect either. We are, however, perfect for each other. I am proud that our children will grow up seeing a man who is truly the spiritual leader of our home. I pray our girls will look for a man who has the same attributes.
7) HE DOESN’T FOLLOW SOCIAL RULES – Trust me when I say that my husband is all man. He loves sports and exercising and loves having beers with his friends. However, he is not restricted by gender roles. He loves to cook and he loves to bake. When we first started dating and spent time rehashing his marriage and ultimate divorce, he told me what his “splurge” item was following his separation… a fancy sports car? a trip to Costa Rica? a new grill? No. No. No. He bought a stand mixer. Yes, a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. At the time, I was flabbergasted. I think my next sentence was something like, “If you ever want to be romantic with me again, then you may not want to talk about that ever again.” Since that time though I have realized that one quality I love more than anything about that man is that he is sensitive and loving and kind hearted, but still has just enough of an edge to always keep me intrigued. EDGE. I have always loved that about him.
I could go on and on and on, but I think I have hit the highlights of why I married this man. I had a list of the characteristics I wanted in a man, but had failed miserably in finding anyone who had even a few of the characteristics on the list. Then, out of the ashes of many failed relationships and eight years as a single mom, a man who had EVERY SINGLE QUALITY on my list appeared from my past when I least expected it. And I cannot wait to enjoy every single day of the rest of my life with him.
Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. They say the book is like “Eat, Pray, Love meets The 5 Love Languages.” I say the book is inspiring. You can grab a copy HERE.