(Photo by Cressy Goodwin.)
This is a post that I have been writing for some time now. I wanted to write it, but I worried that it might be too painful for my friends and readers who are not as fortunate in this area of life as I am. I decided that I am going to go ahead and publish it now because it is a gratitude that I carry every day. If I always wait for a better time, it will never be done. Therefore, today I am so very grateful for my husband. I know that sounds corny and cliché, but I am. I haven’t always had a great marriage, as I alluded to in a previous post. Having had two disastrous marriages has made me really appreciate a healthy relationship. And so I want to celebrate my husband today.
On our first date, we both metaphorically dumped out our baggage at each other’s feet. He confessed that he had been out of work for 18 months and felt overshadowed by his siblings, and I told him about my five children and utter failure at marriages. There was no judgement. We laid our cards out on the table from the beginning so there would be no surprises later.
One of the many things we talked about on our first date were our values. I was delighted to hear that he knew of the SCA. Our musical interests overlapped. We shared a passion for clean living and for a light footprint on the Earth. Our religious views were compatible. As it turns out, I had met his father in my church, though he himself had stopped attending some time back.
My husband is a quiet man. We are both introverted, but he runs more on the shy side, while I am much more chatty. He has an inner strength that I admire. Like me, he doesn’t always conform to society’s expectations, and breaks taboos. He has a clothing style that is very unusual, but he doesn’t care what others think of it. He wears what he wants to wear. I am much more sensitive to the opinions of others, and I admire that he is not.
I like to make things. Sometimes this is expressed in traditionally domestic activities such as cooking, sewing, and knitting. Sometimes, though, it looks more like building furniture, or building chicken coops. My husband is not intimidated by my comfort with power tools. He does not seem to feel like his masculinity is threatened because I can wield a Skil saw. He is comfortable in who he is, and that allows him to be comfortable with who I am.
We share many of the same passions. We met on the contra dance floor and dancing was a huge part of our early relationship. I want it to be again now, but his work schedule does not permit it. His eyes just light up when he twirls and twirls all evening long. Soon, though, the work demand should taper off and I am hoping to go dancing this winter.
We both wasted many years playing World of Warcraft. In his life, it ended up costing him a job. In my life, I was an emotionally absent parent and my children suffered for it. We both understand and can sympathize with each other’s longing to play the game again. We share stories of our WoW days, and drool over each new expansion pack when they come out.
My husband also encourages me to go ahead and do activities that he doesn’t necessarily enjoy. I love to knit, and although he knows how, there are plenty of other things that he would rather do instead. Just last night, though, I went to a yarn event in a town 30 minutes away while he stayed home and fed the kids supper. Doing things I enjoy by myself is a strange world for me. I am accustomed to being on a leash, and only doing activities that were approved. It is so delightful to know that he encourages me to keep doing the things that make me who I am.
Permaculture and homesteading are shared values. His grandfather was a solar engineer, and his father inherited a passion for living lightly. My husband is not quite as passionate as his father is, but whenever there is a more eco-responsible choice available, he will make it. In this regard, he not only tolerates my interest, but he fully supports it because he shares it. In my history, when I would make a suggestion, I would be answered with a bored, “Sure, do whatever you want.” Now I hear instead, “Oh yeah! That sounds great! Let’s try it!”
I am grateful for my husband’s view of our roles in the family. I grew up knowing that I would be a homemaker. Even as a teenager, I knew I would have six children, and that I would be a professional mom. Over the years, I have had jobs outside the home, but I am happier at home. I enjoy cooking good food for my family, and taking care of them. I take great pride in being a good steward of our finances. If the kids get sick at school, I can pick them up or keep them at home without having to talk to my boss or getting someone to cover my shift. My husband works very hard to give me this privilege, and he does not show any resentment of it. In respect for that, my goal is to create a home that is a sanctuary for him. I also want to build a home income so that he does not have to work 50-60 hours every week and can afford to leave his job for a new one that suits him better.
My husband is a hard-working, loving, supportive man, and I am so grateful to have met him and to share my life with him. I want to make him feel as loved as he makes me feel.
Is there a person in your life for whom you are particularly grateful today? How have they impacted your life?