I have this really embarrassing confession: I love my husband. It's embarrassing because it seems like these days, being generally annoyed with your husband is the "in thing." I feel peer pressured into complaining about him or wanting to spend time away from him.
Often, when I hang out in a group of women, conversation turns to our annoying husbands. Certainly we are not the first generation to partake in such squawking but we do seem to be more public and forward about it. There's even a website devoted entirely to complaining about husbands. I know we need to vent but after a while, it all sounds very mean. If I don't have anything ugly to say, I feel the judgmental eyes, sneers that say, "whatever...you're not all that and a bag of chips."
I don't think I'm all that. Not at all. I hug my imperfection every single day. Neither do I think that my husband is perfect. Let me just take a moment and laugh at the hilarity of the last part of that statement. I could unleash a scroll ten miles long with detailed complaints about him. He is so FAR from perfect. He annoys me daily with his 45 minute bathroom visits and his forgetfulness. Being married to a man with ADD is like sitting in the passenger seat next to a circus monkey. He's friendly and funny but he's unpredictable.
That being said, damned if I'm not totally head over heels for the man. We've been together now for nearly fourteen years and while we've had ups and downs, he's made my life better. By some struck of luck I found not a perfect man, but the perfect man for me; a man who gets me and makes me feel like the most loved and adored woman on the face of the earth. It's not that there isn't anything to complain about, it's that I'm trying to love him enough to see past all of it.
There is a quote in the book Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith that says, "A good marriage is where both people feel like they're getting the better end of the deal." I definitely got the better end of the deal because most of the time, I offer up way more crazy than he does. Every month I swell up, turn green and roar. I never put the lid on the toothpaste. I try to read through the lines when he says something innocuous and try to twist his words into something else. This exasperates him but he's so good at overlooking it. I'm grateful for that, for how he never sees my mistakes or points them out to me.
This drove me batshit crazy when we were first married, that he wouldn't tell me when something I did bothered him. When I yelled at him for his flagrant disregard of battle engagement he said, "I'm just going to get over it anyway." That is the definition of unconditional love and true grace, when the well of forgiveness is so deep that there is no point in wondering if it will ever fill up.
I'm not so good at doing this. I like to point out his flaws and beat him over the head a few times with them. This too he forgives which says to me one thing, that in the never-ending game we play called, "I love you more" wherein we argue back and forth, "I love you more, NO...I love you more" and then settle the dispute with a round of rock, paper, scissors, he is most definitely the winner.
He loves me more and not only am I okay with that, it endears me to him in a way that weaves me into the very fabric of his being. I stand dependent on him, knowing that at least in the physical sense, he is what I cling to, as necessary to my living as air. He was out of town last week and his absence felt like an amputation. I was like those people who have phantom itches and pains in limbs that are no longer there. I anguished at his loss.
I'm no good without him. I grope around like a blind person. My heart has been removed and it's flying on an American Airlines flight to Las Vegas for an IBM conference.
I am happiest with him beside me. We don't have to talk, sometimes we don't even have to touch, he just needs to be close to me. I am complete in that place, able to take deep breaths and sleep for more than 10 minutes straight. So you will pardon me when I do not wish to complain about my husband, at least not right now. I don't want to go out for drinks with the ladies tonight. Okay, maybe you can convince me to go out but just for a little while because by 9pm, I'm already longing to be sitting next to him on the couch.
Maybe it's not "cool" anymore to be in love with your husband, to think that he's the most magnificent man in the whole world and you are your happiest when you orbit around him like a moon, magnetically and forever attached through some invisible force field. Maybe that's corny and dramatic in an Elizabethan kind of way. I don't care. May it go down officially in the records that I'm a swooning lady.