Appreciated

For a little over a month I’ve been having some health issues. In the big scheme of things, it’s no big deal. Primarily, constant pain and absolutely no energy. To say the least, I’ve not been a lot of fun to live with.

Never once has my husband complained. He stepped up without my asking. He’d come home and ask, “What can I make us for dinner?” He started doing the chores I usually do as well as his own. When I’d go to bed at eight o’clock or sometimes, even six, he’d tuck me in bed and dote on me.

You’re probably thinking, that’s too good to be true. You only find that kind of love and devotion in a romance novel. About twenty, twenty-five years ago, I would have agreed with you. We didn’t always have the relationship we have today.

We married at eighteen and started having kids at twenty-five. Like everybody else, we worked our butts off. We went to work and school, took care of the kids, and I was the primary care-giver to my mom in the last few years of her life. We were like ships passing in the night.  We lived separate lives together.

After a few years of that, we grew unsatisfied. We were at a crossroads and something had to give. Since I was so unhappy with my life, I used escapism to get me through the day to day grind.

For me, my choice of escape was books. I found one that really spoke to me. I must have read that one five times back to back. I remember laying in bed one night reading that book and silently crying I was so envious of the characters in the book. Their relationship was exactly what I wanted.

One day I got up the nerve and asked my husband to read it. I explained that it was really important to me. He said he would read it. He promised me and I believed him. He’d never lied to me and I knew he had every intention of reading it, but I also knew it wasn’t a priority. He was living his life and barely had time for things that were important to him. I can’t fault him. He never read fiction. He was a non-fiction kind of guy. Had he asked me to read a manual, I wouldn’t have slid all the to-be-read fiction books off my nightstand.

But I wasn’t going to give up either. In the car, when I had him as a captive audience, I started reading him the sex scenes. We’d been married over ten years. I knew how to get his attention ;). After a few trips in the car, I saw him reading the book.

Oh the conversations that book started. We talked and talked and talked some more. Money was tight, but we started a weekly date night. Even if we just drove to the park and ate fast food, we still took that time to be alone together. We learned so much about each other. I don’t know when it happened exactly, but he became essential to me. He wasn’t just my husband, he was my best friend, the reason why I smiled. Over the years, our relationship has continued to evolve.

Is it perfect? No, probably not. I don’t think I’d want it to be either. I enjoy learning new things about him, new ways to make him smile.

The one downside to being so close, is the worry. When your spouse is the other half of your soul, you get scared quickly when a health issue arises. I scared him and for that I’m sorry.

Next month, we’ll celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. On one hand, it seems completely impossible that it could have been that long, yet it also feels like there was never a me without him.

While our marriage has had its ups and downs, I wouldn’t change a thing.

My love, I appreciate you and everything you do for us. You show me in so many ways how much you love me and value ‘us’. Luckily for me, you aren’t one of those strong, silent types either. You’re willing to spell it out for me too. Your whispered sweet talk and your naughty texts make me smile all day long. You’re deeply loved and you’re appreciated too. Thank you!

 

 

 

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