FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m writing this after being away from my husband for over two weeks. And I’m still counting about five more days before I see him; I hope you’ll excuse any sappiness you might find laughable but….
My husband is one of those people who balances cuteness, humor and irritable spirit perfectly. I mean… I can feel like the perfect woman one minute, and go full psycho on him the next. And then, this man makes me laugh until I cry at the simplest things. I can laugh at one joke for hours (no joke); he will look at me like I’m crazy with that it-really-wasn’t-that-funny face on. As a matter of fact, I’m just remembering a joke he told me about a month ago and I’m laughing out loud as I’m writing this. That’s just how he is.
His communication skills drive me up the wall, though. Point in fact, just today he shared with me that Tim Keller just finished translating the bible in Elvish (satire, not a fact; my point still stands). But man, don’t expect him to remember to share that his grandmother asked about me and “she’s saying ‘hi’” – I’ll have to find out at Thanksgiving all the times I was supposed to receive her greetings in the past year.
He has the memory of a bee. He remembers where he lives, to breathe and who the Buckeyes coach was in [insert any year here]. Other than that, expect about a 30% chance he will remember what you asked/said/praised/beseeched of him.
Did I mention he’s handsome? I find my husband quite attractive. That’s usually a good thing but I need him to trim his beard; but not too much because then I’ll have to roll my eyes. He is not allowed to wear a goatee. And the suits have to be modern fit. Then, his hair must be the right size, shoes the right color, ties knotted just right. Did I mention that every winter day I pray he will not pair his brown ‘work’ boots with the slim fit jeans and his Buckeye sweatshirt? For the love of Vasile, please don’t ever pair these together.
We are not the type to display our affection in public. We don’t even talk much of each other to others. Unless to give a fact of life, make a snarky comment, poke fun or for simple entertainment. Yep, we entertain ourselves by making fun of each other.
I promise there is a point to me sharing all of this. I’m getting there.
I recently read an article about what destroys relationships; thanks, Sarah McDugal, for sharing it (LINK HERE). It made me think of him (there’s a lot that makes me think of Matthew when I’m away from him). Anyways, the point of the blog piece was that ‘unmet expectations are the silent killer of relationships’.
As I was reading it, I started thinking that’s the truest truth I’ve read in a while. Then I thought: my husband is really great at expecting me to expect him not to meet my expectations (I wrote that on purpose). I am an expert at letting my husband know how often he doesn’t meet my expectations. I was already playing our most recent future reunion in my head: I get home tired after 12 hours of driving with a 2-year-old, we hug, we kiss, we tell each other we missed each other and then I go on a house inspection as he catches up on hugs and kisses with our daughter. More than likely, I will find one of these undone: dishes, laundry not folded, I will find those extra clothes I left on the guest bed three weeks ago, when rushing to pack and leave, to still be there. I will find a bathroom dirty, a coffee table dusty, or I will step on crumbs on the kitchen floor… really, I will find a house full of unmet expectations if I look hard enough. More than likely, the week will be ruined because, well, I’m stubborn and hold on to things forever and ever (not a hyperbole).
As I was running this scenario through my head, I had to stop, get off my high horse and think… Thinking comes uneasy when there’s too much feeling involved. I can easily observe that I am missing this man so much while he’s away. I can also observe that my feelings towards him can change in a blink of an eye, contingent on what he’s wearing, when he shaved last, when he breathed last, when he text me last, when he did dishes last; really, anything.
I am one conflicted woman. Conflicted in my passions, in my thinking, in my feelings. Just re-read the first few paragraphs and you won’t have any doubt. In my self-conflict, Jeremiah 17:9 stands out: “The heart is deceitful above all things…” – My heart has doubled in size since I married this man; I feel stronger about a lot of different things.
Today, I will choose to feel a stronger, steadier love, to observe less of his shortcomings and more of mine; today, I choose to put aside the unmet expectations and look at what he’s done to me: I am blogging today because he’s encouraged me to do it. I am empowered today because he’s never clipped my wings. I am secure today because he’s not shown insecurity in being equal partners.
Matthew has loved me despite the sinful heart he found when we first met; he loved me through heart break, mindless fears, bad choices, mistakes, mood swings; through temper tantrums, through unmet expectations, through baby blues, through idealist illusions.
I will take a big GULP and publicly share that this post is fully about him. My husband is not perfect (far from it) but he’s not as imperfect as my faulty heart pictures him at a moment’s passion for an unmet expectation. It is time to think well about my feelings; time to put some thought into my passions.
I choose to love you consistently, Matthew! (and no home inspection on Monday this time)
…and thanks for loving me