Sometimes I look at my husband and think, how did I get so lucky? Other times I want to tear his lips off because his loud, wet, open mouthed chews classify him as a full neanderthal.
Sometimes, at night I find myself counting his flaws like sheep while I lay awake listening to his deep, guttural snores. He’s obsessed with the gym, extremely impulsive, loves food, craft beer, sex, cut-off shirts, the beach, and just about anything that takes him away from having to do yard work on the weekends.
Neither of us are perfect (I’ll get to some of my flaws later), and our relationship began at a time when our flaws were probably most visible. I had just ended a terrible marriage and he had just stopped dating his on again, off again high school sweetheart. Normally this would be a no fly zone, and we definitely didn’t entertain the idea of anything serious for a while.
I’m not sure my husband knows how infectious his love is. I’m certain there were girls before me that fell hard for him, and he didn’t really know why. I know this because loving other people is just part of his nature, it’s not an act or something he forces himself to do in order to make others happy, he just does. As time went on, I saw his unconscious love as a son, friend, brother, and eventually as a husband and step dad.
I want to clarify before I continue, that Brent’s love is not completely selfless. He needs affection and love as much as he gives it… a lot! I am not, and have never been, the most affectionate person in the world, so I have to make valiant efforts to reciprocate his affection on a regular basis. Like all flaws, it’s a work in progress and I often find myself jealous of his effortless affection for others.
There is no perfect relationship, Brent and I have serious struggles when it comes to our flaws, but there is one thing we never struggle with, and that’s loving each other.
Here are 5 ways my husband sets the standard for how a woman should be treated
He never points out my flaws
I think I might be a bad wife because I started this post by pointing out a few of his flaws, but we can’t talk about marriage like it’s always perfect. He’s flawed, I’m flawed, you’re flawed, we’re all flawed, especially when it comes to relationships. Blending two lives isn’t supposed to be easy.
The first few years of our relationship people would ask what my quirks were and he’d say, “nothing, she’s perfect.” I’d laugh inside my head and think, just wait, buddy. I’m not always affectionate like him, I worry a lot (which could possibly come across as nagging), and I get annoyed at things like chewing and wearing cut off shirts outside of the gym, but he never points out my flaws. Instead, after 5 years, he still treats me like I’m flawless.
- (Me) “My ass is getting big” (Him) “No it’s not, it’s perfect.”
- (Me) “Is my make up in the car?” (Him) “You don’t need makeup.”
- (Me) “I feel like the worst mother ever!” (Him) “You’re the best mom in the world.”
No matter what I say, he comes back with a comment that makes me feel like I’m beautiful. Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror after a really icky day and think why? Then, he comes up behind me, puts me in his strong embrace and I suddenly feel like the sexist woman on the planet.
2. He TELLS me he loves me
Some people think that their partner must know how much they love him/her because they married them after all. This belief is not enough to sustain a healthy marriage. We change, and our relationships change so much, that we need reminders of love often. Here are some things Brent does to remind me he loves me everyday:
- He sends me a text every morning to say I love you and good morning. Sometimes he adds a little something extra in there 😉
- He says I love you every time we hang up the phone.
- He wakes up from a dead sleep and says, “I love you,” and then gets mad when I don’t say it back (okay, maybe that’s a little annoying).
- He hugs me tight and says things like, “have I told you how much I love you today?”
- He sings, terribly off key, love songs to me.
3. He SHOWS me that he loves me
I thought constant affection wasn’t important, until I got it. I’m not talking about the smothering kind. Usually husbands and wives can’t smother each other because you barely have time to touch each other. I’m talking about the kind of affection that reminds us why we’re married in the first place. If there’s no affection, it’s just a roommate sitting next to you on the couch.
When it’s easier to tell someone you love them than show them, try Brent’s approach:
- He hugs me everyday, as soon as he gets home.
- He kisses me at least twice a day (more often if I let him, lol).
- He always wants to sit next to me to hold my hand.
- He brushes my hair and gives me massages because he knows how much I love it!
- He chooses me – Affection isn’t always about touching, it can also be showing love in your choices. Coming home on time (or even early), skipping an invite to spend time together, or choosing not to drink at a party and be the DD are all choices that SHOW your partner you love them. When you’re married you always have to think about how your partner would feel about your actions.
The best part about all this, is this is who Brent is. I don’t guilt him into doing these things, he just does. When you’re shown this kind of love on a regular basis, it makes for a very “healthy” marriage!
4. He’s a great dad
Brent didn’t just marry me, he became a father to my 3 girls. It took me a while to introduce them (a year maybe), but when I did they bonded immediately. I knew this would happen given Brent’s nature and I took so much time because I wanted to wait until we were in a serious, committed relationship.
Of course, it wasn’t until they met that things truly got serious. He was a natural dad, playing with them all the time, listening and taking part in all their daily routines. He rearranged his work schedule to get them ready and take them to school in the mornings. He was a natural at taking care of them, and making them feel loved.
He’s not their biological father but he sets the standard for what a dad should be. Here are some things he does that makes me feel loved through his love and care of them:
- He’s present; he’s not on his phone or working when he’s with us.
- He’s home on time to have dinner as a family every night.
- He asks the kids about their day and listens. He responds without criticism.
- He helps with a little homework, especially math.
- He knows what the kids like (food, movies, etc.) and surprises them often.
- He has no problem getting the kids ready for school or to go out.
- He helps with housework (most notably the dishes) so we can cuddle on the couch asap.
5. He’s my biggest fan
Without his encouragement and support, I would be in a miserable job, but instead, when I reached the end of my rope, he gave me the freedom to let go.
- He trusted me enough to know the weight of my decision and didn’t parent me with all the possible negative outcomes.
- He had faith in my new venture and encouraged me to go for it it in spite of our finances.
- He believed in me and bought me flowers when I launched.
- He never once said, you could fail.
- He never once made me feel guilty for my choice.
- He doesn’t come home and ask what I did all day.
Like love, trust and faith are also strong points for my husband. I know that as freely as he gives these things to me, I must treat them with extreme care. If ever, any of those things were violated, he would be broken.
There may have been some luck that brought Brent into my life, but keeping our marriage healthy has nothing to do with luck; it’s work, it’s compromise, it’s looking past the flaws and appreciating all the qualities that make your partner, and therefore your partnership, unique and amazing.
I get to spend my forever with this man <3
What makes your relationship unique? How does your partner let you know how much he/she loves you? Share your comments below.