I am a hopeless romantic. That means, and yes I’m admitting to it, I’ve been watching the Christmas schmaltz fest that happens in December on the Hallmark channel. The movies, at least the ones I DVR, all have the same theme: girl meets boy, girl and boy don’t like each other, and then in a matter of days/weeks, girl and boy are in love and/or engaged (or as happened last night, married).
That was not my courtship. Girl and boy did meet. Girl and boy did argue at our first meeting. Harmlessly argue but he called me the Texas Hammer and explained the evils of lawyers (of which I am one) and I debated him vigorously on my position about drilling in ANWR. Remarkably, he called to ask me out the next week. We dated for nearly two years before he proposed, and we were married six months later. My amazing hubby is not a Hallmark guy. He doesn’t show up with flowers, but he fixes anything in our house that breaks. He doesn’t line our dining room with rose petals and candles (wisely now, can you imagine the disaster that would be with three-year old triplets?), but he can change a tire, drive a tractor, build a fence, and tell good night stories to our kids.
Despite my personal life differences from these Hallmark fantasies, I do occasionally find nuggets of wisdom buried deep in the storyline. Last night, the dad counseled the daughter that, “it’s not about meeting someone you can live with – it’s about meeting someone you can’t live without.” Regardless of if you believe there is only ONE person in the world for you or if there could be several fits, I think that line still has value. There’s a lot of people we can survive living with – a lot of us have. I had family I did not choose but I lived with and I had roommates from college through law school that I wouldn’t have committed until death do us part but they were fine for a season.
But my hardworking husband, he I could not live without. I realize that anytime he’s gone for the night. The closet light goes out and my tire gets low and the trash is full and usually that stuff is all just magically handled without him ever saying a word. He jokingly told me the other day when I was attack kissing him, “oh, so you love me today?” I said, “Oh, I love you EVERY day. I just don’t like you every day.”
And isn’t that how it is? We have good days and bad. High seasons and low seasons. But through it all, I’ve always loved him. And I’m pretty sure he’d say the same thing. I’ve never wanted to imagine a life without him in it.
There’s a woman who writes a blog about Christian marriages, and she asked today, “How to Be a Helpmate to Your Husband.” I think there are a lot of deep and wise ways to do that. I’m sure a lot of them I could do and it would make me a better wife. But this is one that I try even though I botch up the wife thing all the time by stressing out and planning too much and trying to control the outcome: I tell him I love him. I tell him every day. He tells me he loves me every day. We kiss hello and goodbye. Even in our biggest fights, we say I love you at the end of the night and he’s even better about it than I am. I wouldn’t trade it for surprise flowers and candles. And I wouldn’t swap it for a Hallmark movie.