Even though I'm not necessarily doing these thankful posts in order of importance, I just wouldn't feel right starting them out without highlighting the very important people in my life that I am thankful for. So, I guess this week will be dedicated to those people. First was my children, now I'm going to share how thankful I am for the man that has been by my side for the past nine years helping me raise our children.
It's hard to find a picture of him, because he's not a fan of being in front of the camera. This picture was taken last Christmas, and it's the most recent photo I have of him. He hasn't changed much, but I must make a point of getting some more recent photos of us.
Hubby and I met a little over nine years ago. We met online, of all places, in a chat room. I had been a single mother for three years, and really wasn't all that interested in meeting anyone. I had dated over the course of those three years, but found nobody that filled the void that was missing in my life. To be a friend, someone I could talk to, and be there for me.
An online chat room was the last place I thought I'd find love. I wasn't in a chat room for that purpose. I was just lonely, and enjoyed the company that I could find from talking to local people. But, somehow, someway, this guy stole my heart.
Hubby is different from any guy I've ever dated or been in a committed relationship with. He's quiet, yet opinionated. He's a major homebody. He's a great listener and a great friend. He has absolutely no stereotypical perceptions of how a relationship should be, and has no problem cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, or doing laundry. And he puts up with me.
He is definitely not someone I would have pictured myself with before I met him. Growing up, I always found myself attracted to the "manly men" who wanted their woman in the kitchen, taking care of him and the house, and raising the kids. Which is probably why none of those relationships didn't work out. That's just not who I am. I'm too independent to worry about taking care of a man. I have three kids that I have to take care of and I really needed someone who would help me with that endeavor rather than adding to the workload.
Which is why Hubby and I are perfect together. He gets me. He tolerates me. He supports me. We are equals and a team. Neither one of us is more important than the other. We both have our individual needs, yet we compliment each other and how we help each other perfectly.
In the nine years we've been together, we've only ever had one "fight" and it wasn't really a fight. When I was desperate to find a house, and he was worried about the financial burden it would bring on us, I basically gave him an ultimatum: We find another house to live in together, or I do it without him. That was a horrible thing to do, and I shouldn't have done it, but I'm thankful that I did. I don't know what I would have done if he'd have let me go. But, that's the part we do differ on. I'm a go-getter and a risk taker, and he's the sensible one. He likes order and plans and time to make decisions, while I'm more about taking a chance if it's something I strongly believe in.
But, other than that one incident, we have NEVER fought. We've disagreed, sure. We've been upset with each other. But, in the entire time we've been together, we've never raised our voices at each other, called each other names, or gone any amount of time not talking to each other. It's just not how we do things. And that was something Hubby brought to the relationship.
After being in an abusive relationship, and witnessing my own parents verbally destroying each other when they disagreed, I was brainwashed in to the thinking that fighting was the only way of communicating. If I didn't like something, I thought I had to yell and scream to make my thoughts heard. What Hubby quickly taught me was the fact that I could talk to him, tell him what was on my mind, and then he would talk back to me. A concept I just wasn't familiar with. But, he just doesn't "do" fighting. And I thank my lucky stars for that each and every day.
Which is also reason #5308 as to why he's such a good father. He absolutely refuses to allow our children to witness their parents fighting or verbally attacking each other. And before I stopped talking to my mom, I remember how nervous he'd be about letting the kids and me go over there, because you just didn't know when a fight was going to erupt between my parents.
So, I'm very thankful that he's patient, calm, and collected. It's important to me, and important for our children. That doesn't mean I don't do my share of venting. I often have stuff I want to yell and scream about, but he allows me to talk to him about those issues, gives advice if he has any to give, and calms me down. It's such a nice feeling to have someone that will do those things for me.
Something else I love about Hubby is the fact that he's seen me at my worst and my best, and neither way has any change on how he loves me. When we first met, I was around 300lbs. I had been living through terrible depression and loneliness. I honestly thought that no man would ever be able to look at me and see someone they would want to be with. Yet, I still remember the text message he sent to me after he left the first time we ever met telling me that he wanted to see me again and that he thought I was "sexy". Definitely not a word I'd ever use to describe myself. He has a way of making me feel beautiful even when I feel everything but.
Even though he was perfectly fine and happy with me weighing as much as I did, he's also supported me through all of my weight loss efforts. He's provided encouragement, helped me with fixing foods that are better for me, and has spent a good amount of time over the years helping me write meal plans and grocery shopping for the right foods. Yet, through the successes and the failures, he's never shown any change in how he looks at me.
He also loves to shop, which is a rare treat. Over the years, we haven't really been on many "dates". We've had a few occasions where the kids have gone off to family members, and that left Hubby and I free to do something together. Our ideal date is a day of shopping, dinner, and then home for a quiet movie and some alone time. He'll gladly follow me around from store to store, and is even willing to give HONEST opinions on stuff that I pick out. If he doesn't think something looks right on me, he'll tell me. And, that's something I am very happy about. He's not one of those guys that will appease me just because he thinks it's something I want to hear. If an outfit makes me look fatter than I am, he'll tell me. And, it's not how you think. He has always tried to get me to do away with my "frumpy" wardrobe. He would rather me show off some of my curves rather than try and hide them under layers of clothes. He just has a way of making me feel beautiful, and that's very important.
At the end of the day, I just can't see myself coming home to anyone else. He is my rock. He is the yang to my ying. We are a great team. I love him very much, and I'm so thankful for all the love and support he's given me over the years.
We've been through so much together, and we still have a long road ahead. I'm excited to see what the future has in store for us. Maybe, just maybe, we'll actually get married one day. Something we've never really spoken much about. We've lived like a married couple for so long, that the topic just hasn't come up all that much. But, it's something we'll do one day, I'm sure.
I am just thankful for him. For all he's done for me, for how he takes care of me and the kids, and how great he is. We're an odd couple, and that works for us. I just don't know what I'd do without him, and every day I wake up thankful that we are living this life together.
Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!