On last Sunday, as we were driving to church, I said to Douglas, “Our marriage works because we like each other, not just love each other. When we argue, it is our liking each other that makes us quick to forgive.” This rumination derived from how easy we were together Sunday morning after some harsh words had passed between us.
He just laughed at my words, but I knew that he liked knowing that I think he is a great human being, and that I would want to know him, even if I were not his wife. Our different backgrounds and my dismal marital history should have doomed the marriage. But, we were not two verdant newlyweds; indeed, we were veterans of the marriage wars, having both survived a slapdash marriage that taught us to be more careful with our hearts.
Admittedly, in the first months there were the antiquated arguments about which way the toilet paper came off the roll, whether the toothpaste was squeezed from the bottom or the middle, and if the top sheet should be placed on the bed wrong side up or down. I went around turning the toilet paper around, only to come back and find it the opposite of how I liked it. After about a month of this adn my anger growing, I had an epiphany.
If all I had to complain about my new husband was toilet paper and sheets, I was actually very lucky. What did it matter in the scheme of life which way the toilet paper fell, just as long as there is some on the roll when you need it. The sheet question stopped bothering me, as I realized that what mattered most to me was the man underneath the sheets. Lastly, I just bought a different tube of toothpaste for me, and concentrated more on his sweet kisses.
So I learned to abstain from petty disagreements and to simply be happy that he had no pesky perversions such as drunkenness or making threats to leave when things did not go his way, behaviors I so prayed to never experience again. Douglas is a safe harbor for my emotions and my love, a man who laughs easily and often.
So, I work diligently to make him smile, just to see his whole body shake with delight. He endured a rough patch in his first marriage and lost confidence in himself, so he needs reminding that he is one of the good guys and capable of changing the world around him.
Over the nearly 15 years since he sent me an email on an Internet dating site, I have ferreted out what makes my husband joyful and engenders feelings of security and the knowledge that he can let his love for me show. I write my love on his heart by complimenting him every chance I get on his goodness, kindness, compassion, gentleness, patience, and self-control, all the traits of the Holy Spirit that lead others to recognize him as a man after God’s own heart.
We are alike in that where some people just need to be shown that they are loved, we need to hear the word. So I tell him at least once a day that God showed me His great love by placing Douglas in my life, a true gift that keeps on giving each day.
Proverbs 18:22 in the New Living Translation states that a man who finds a wife finds a treasure, receiving favor from God. Well, it is the same for the woman who finds a good husband, one free of violent tendencies and who is your number one fan and supporter. I don’t want him wasting his time wondering if he is loved. I want him enjoying life to the fullest, knowing that at home there is someone who thinks that he is the best thing since cornbread.
Fandango prompt is Abstain. Ragtag Community prompt is Slapdash. Scott’s Daily Prompt is Background. Daily Addictions prompt is Ferret. Word of the Day by Mws R is Antiquated. Word of the Day Challenge is Verdant.