I have the most amazing husband on the planet and every woman deserves a man like him. I know, you may be thinking, "yay, good for you." Don't be a hater. There's more to the story.
I don't always feel this way. I have been known to throw myself the occasional pity party, whining and complaining about this same man. Or at least about the overinflated ideas I hold him up to.
My idea: He's been working a lot of hours. I've barely seen him in days. All the house and family obligations are on me. I'm feeling tired and lonely. The doorbell rings, he has sent me a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolate!
His idea: He brings me a case of energy drinks left by one of his customers.
My idea: He whisks me away to some rooftop decorated with a thousand white, twinkling lights. Gently walking me over to an exquisitely set table complete with white linens and champagne, he pulls my chair out and gestures for me to sit. Taking the sterling silver lid off of its sterling silver tray, he reveals a stunning diamond necklace.
His idea: "Burgers on the grill tonight?"
While my ideas may be romantic as heck and would score him a lot of points (hint hint), meeting him halfway makes for a more peaceful, loving marriage. My expectations need to take a backseat so I can see what is really in the road right in front of me.
On a daily basis, he shows up and participates in our lives. After working a 15-hour day, he walks in the door smiling, happy to be home and happy to see us. Day after day he gets up for his job, not his dream career, and shows up ready and on time.
I can count on him to be there for me and the children. When he is busy at work, he always makes time to talk to us on the phone if we need something. More often than not, he tells me he loves me and gives me a kiss and a hug. He tells me I'm beautiful and an awesome wife and mother. He sends me text messages with smiley faces that blow kisses. He's not afraid to be himself and he makes us all laugh.
So I may not get the "stuff" that commercials, magazines and romance novels would have me believe I "need" to have a happy marriage, but in the real world, he is an awesome dad, a man of his word, a great friend and my funny little Valentine.
Cheryl Burns is a mom living in North Riverside.