As a married couple, it’s all too easy to be critical of each other. To concentrate on the “towels on the floor” or the “tone in the voice” than on all the wonderful things that made you fall in love with each other.
My husband and I recently had a conversation that we want to work better at always giving each other the benefit of the doubt. If I was too short with my tone, just assume I’m tired and forgive me. If you’re late home from work, assume you’re really working hard for our family and not just exercising poor time management.
When we look for the best — and assume the best — we often get it.
On this Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fun to make a list of the sometimes unnoticed qualities that I love in my better half.
When I was first writing this list, I thought — eh, maybe I should just tell him this over dinner tonight. After all, this sort of public gushing can seem a little braggy. But then I thought: wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all bragged on each other every once in awhile? So forgive my mush and gush, as I share 10 Surprising Reasons I Love My Husband:
1. He has great friends. Instead of feeling threatened by my husband’s friendships — or feeling as though I must love my husband in spite of them — I actually love him more because of them. After all, he chose them. And his closest friends are some of the most outstanding men I know. They love their wives. They love our family. And at the end of the day, they make him a better man.
2. He always kisses me first. Before he leaves. When he comes home from work. When he comes home from anywhere and there is a room full of kids, family, friends — all waiting for his attention — he always kisses me first.
3. He tells me my “uterus is still shrinking.” Even when it’s pretty obvious that most baby weight is NOT just “a shrinking uterus.” For all the other times he’s the most honest man I know, I truly appreciate his sweet white lie.
4. He knows how I like my coffee. And he brings it to me that way.
5. He likes dessert. And so do I. And together, we enjoy our fair share of cookie dough. (See #3). Even though I gave up dessert for Lent and am currently filming the How-To-Exercise-With-Toddlers workout series. (Not really. But good idea, right?)
6. He never asks me if I’m PMSing. Or tells me I’m just being a girl. But more importantly, he knows that I’m a girl — and loves that I’m different from him. Instead of being annoyed by his more emotional counterpart, he knows that it is because of my “girl emotions” that we’re a perfect match.
7. My interests are his interests. He may be the only Dad who reads all the posts on my new project 3 Things for Mom. And then talks to me about the posts like we’re in the same book club. He eats weird vegetable dishes when I’m on a health kick. He listens to my whining. And mostly — he cares about what I care about because he cares about me.
8. He’s “Salt of the Earth.” He has dirty nails and builds decks and fixes faucets and then stays up in the wee hours of the night rocking a soft, crying baby in his arms. On our first date I loved that he had arm hair and that his hands were big and strong.
9. He likes my cat. Or pretends to. He even cleans up his throw-up. That’s love.
10. He dreams big. When I was in college, I watched the movie Cheaper By the Dozen. In the movie there’s a quote where “Kate” (Bonnie Hunt) tells her husband (Steve Martin), “I’m glad I found a man who dreams as big as I do.” I remember thinking that I wanted to find a man like that — not necessarily one who just had big dreams, but good dreams. Dreams that weren’t based on money or worldly success, but on a shared purpose to making the world better.
He makes the world better. He makes my life better. And when I looked for the best, I found him.