Hearing this question invoked a mental image of my husband's face the morning after he read my blog.
"Do you want to divorce me?" He asked.
I now raise my right hand and pledge from the bottom of this seemingly-man-hating blog... "I do not welcome divorce."
I can't count how many times I've heard different women say, "Ugh, if he looked at porn I would be gone."
And I nod along not really sure how to say, "Well, you never know REALLY until it hits you broadside..." Nodding is such a great gesture. I sing praises to whoever coined The Nod.
I also count how many times I've heard different women say, "You guys are like, so perfect together."
And what do I do? I NOD! Because I don't think it would be appropriate to elaborate on our circumstances. Don't get me wrong: my husband and I don't fake public happiness and then go home and tromp around in scowl faces and refuse to touch or talk or connect.
Let me say honestly with all my heart: My husband rocks my socks. I am off-the-charts in LOVE with that man.
I fell out of love with him once, and GOSH darn it all if I didn't fall back in. Even when I wasn't in LOVE with him, I still didn't want out. I like him. I respect him.
Even if I didn't want any part of my lover, I still wanted my best friend around.
He makes me laugh... he mispronounces words and uses them at the wrong time and he uses slang like it's his first language. And his slang just GETS me. He has a certain way about using it that kills me. Slaughters me every dang time. He makes potty jokes when I least expect them and I end up giggling in the middle of a bite of spaghetti. Potty jokes get me every time and he KNOWS it.
He believes in me. He bought me a lap top so I could write. He loves the way I write. He sometimes gives me alone time so I can just sit and write. He once had flowers delivered to me with a card that read "You can do all of the things you want to do." He never discourages or stifles or doubts. He's my biggest cheerleader (sans uniform, unfortunately).
He protects me. Hell hath no fury like my husband's when someone crosses me and he's there to see it. You don't treat his wife like that. You don't talk to her like that. And what's more: he packs heat pretty much all the time. I'm not here to get political about gun control... all I'm here to do is say: it's pretty hot. When we were dating, we spent a summer four hours apart. I drove to visit him one weekend, and I had horrible car trouble. I didn't have a cell phone (that was 2004, so it was still pretty normal for a person to not have a cell phone). It was the scariest, worst trip I've ever taken. I was single with no form of communication traveling scary roads and night was beginning to fall. I prayed and cried and prayed and cried... I pulled into my boyfriend's drive and he was standing on the porch, worried sick. I barely stepped out of my car before I was completely enveloped in his long, strong arms. I melted into his arms, and I felt safe. I felt HOME. The next morning, my husband took me to a cell phone kiosk and added me to his plan. He didn't give any thought to whether we might break up in the future, he just knew he needed to protect me. So he did. And that, ladies and gents, is how he won my Dad over.
He provides for me. I'm a stay-at-home country mom and I'm ruddy good at it. I mean, I could work outside the home. It's physically possible... but I'm much better at home. I like it here. Matter of fact: I LOVE it here. I love our two-bedroom rental. We're happily shoving three kids and two adults into it, and we love it. We live on my husband's income (and supplement it with the cash I make teaching piano lessons), and it's enough. It's steady. It has benefits. And my husband has always done whatever he could to get his name on a paycheck somehow... because of me and because of our kids. He worries about money, not because he wants a boat but because he wants us to have the things we want. It always overwhelms me how much he wishes he could give to me. The thing is: I don't want more. Honestly. I love my little rental. I love my used car. And I love that my husband is driven to provide.
He accomplishes what he sets out to do. I know that sentence may be *tsk* provoking given that he has set out to conquer porn addiction in the past and hasn't been able to. But I've been near my husband for 9 of his 32 years of life, and this much I know: if he says it's going to happen, it's going to happen. If he says he's going to choose _____ for his career, it will happen. No matter if people close to him are telling him, "Take the grocery store position, more money!" or "That fact that you haven't been hired for that career is probably a sign." To them we raise our W2 that showed our annual income of (no joke, folks) $12,000 and say... sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. He has his career, and he's dang good at what he does. When it comes to life ambitions, he is determined. I love him for it.
He is a good dad. He loves his kids. When I miscarried, he hurt just as much as I did. He's been known to get baby hungry. He has to restrain himself on birthdays and Christmas. He loves to spoil. He loves to feed his children. He loves to make his children laugh. His children inspire him.
Sometimes when he's sleeping, he reaches up and lightly scratches his face with his thumb. It tickles and irritates him. So rubs his face to get rid of the tickling sensation. And it so entertaining. He has no clue when he's doing it. But every time he does and I'm awake to see it? Makes me happy I'm married to him.
What do I love about marriage?
Marriage is the stuff. Marriage is something to be reverenced and revered.
My marriage is my favorite. It's messy and funny and sad and bliss and Friday Nights spent playing PS3 with two hyper kids. It's staying up late on Saturday and sleeping in on Sunday (yeah, we're the "late" family in church). It's Spring gardens and Fall Harvests. It's tears in the dishwater. It's tears in the shower. It's watching the sunset from the couch. It's pretending he can't cut tomatoes, so she can come up from behind and "help." It's three beautiful children -the most commonplace of miracles swarming his n' her ankles and knees. It's a constant supply of Gatorade and Sprite when he's sick. It's wearing matching cold sores. It's being able to buy things like laxatives for the her without even thinking about what they're eventually going to... bring about. It's talking. It's trying to explain why a bad hair cut is debilitating. It's trying -really trying -to understand how that's even possible. It's paying off a car. It's knocking teeth when kissing. It's chocolate on a bad day and chocolate on a good day. It's one night away per year. It's experiencing sushi for the first time together. It's traditions of caramel apples and gingerbread houses. It's family pictures. It's church callings. It's prayers and prayers and prayers. It's hormones and it's pills. It's wearing the tie tack she bought. It's wearing the necklace he bought. It's a shoulder. It's getting goosed. It's thin ice. It's emotion. It's holidays at home. It IS home. It's rocky. It's smooth. It's predictable. It's unpredictable. It's hard, satisfying, gratifying WORK. It's filing complaints. It's listening to complaints filed. It's phone calls to her while he's gone training. It's swollen ears from hours of talking over the phone. It's texting him from the bedroom so she doesn't have to get up. It's sinking into a hot bath at the end of the day. It's him noticing a tired her under a foot of bubbles and giving her unasked for mood lighting before leaving her alone to zen. It's about her choosing to make her own self happy. It's Ben & Jerry's. It's 7 years of roses on every occasion. It's her finally admitting that she doesn't like roses. It's him sending mixed bouquets. It's her baking his favorite french bread. It's testimonies. It's an unspoken pact that no one will ever know that they watch Hart of Dixie together... and like it. It's love. It's love. It's love.
Our marriage is undergoing a lot of change. A LOT. So I'm only telling you why I love my marriage RIGHT NOW, today. In a few months, my reasons for loving marriage may change radically. And the list above doesn't include addiction... it's the "other" side of our relationship. It's the side that's kept us fighting, so to speak. We don't really relish the idea of buying laxatives for anyone else. Doing it for one person is enough.
I don't welcome divorce.
I don't welcome addiction either.
But no matter what: I know I will be okay. I know the Lord has a plan. I know He's aware of me. I'm safely tucked in his long, strong arms as well.
I know that I can do tomorrow. And for now? That's enough.
Please, friends, if you've read this post in it's entirety: consider writing one similar. If you'd rather not, don't. But even if you don't write it, ponder it.
Ponder your up side, if you safe enough to do so.