Ten years ago I said “I do”to Nate, and vowed to be his wife in good times, hard times, sick times, fun times, confusing times, and any other times Nate and I might traverse together.
Some might say we’re lucky to make ten years, and a look at the marriage statistics in our culture would confirm it. luck has nothing to do with it. Neither does “being in love.”
When we said “I do” I knew there would never be an “I don’t” between us–not in the divorce way. There have been plenty of “I don’t want to” times and “You drive me crazy” times (interpret that as you want).
But all the time is “I love you” time
That’s commitment. We know that we know that we know that we love each other. No matter what. To be honest, I’ve had to remind myself of that a few times. I’ve asked myself, “Why does he love me?” because I’ve seen nothing good in myself. And at other times I’ve asked myself, “Why do I love him?” Even if I can’t articulate why at the moment, when I climb into bed at the end of the day and he’s there, I know that I do.
So do I have a good marriage?
I have a great marriage. A spectacular, wild, heart-thumping marriage. That doesn’t mean it is struggle-free, and in today’s social media culture we can pretend that a great marriage is two-dimensional, something we see on the pages of a magazine or on TV. Happiness looks so easy.
Let me assure you, I’ve yelled at my husband for the stupidest things. Like when he leaves mounds of dishes by his side of the bed, or blatantly rejects the facts of science (like germ theory) or refuses to attend social events with me.
But this post is not about the struggles. It’s about the blessings. In honor of ten years of marriage, here are ten things I love about Nate:
Does this need explanation? He endures the yucky in me, and I’m thankful. And he even cuddles me when my bearish ways are at their heights.
No loud speeches or fancy talk, just action.
The things this man has made me would blow your mind. And just because he’s a quiet server, someone who likes to give. I’m lucky to have received from him.
Yes, you read that correctly. I love that he loves football. It’s manly. It exhibits the strength and wildness innate in a man. Label me whatever, but that’s how I grew up–with sports-loving men. When I was in seminary, we used to joke that Sunday’s were “s” days: Sabbath, sports, study, and . . . .
We had this great idea once to hide a turtle in the bed of a friend for a practical joke, but as soon as we took it inside, it peed all over. We never knew a turtle could go so much. And we laughed. There have been so many more times that laughter gets the best of us and we can’t stop. He’s got a great laugh, and I’d do almost anything to hear it.
He took a personality test once, when I had to for seminary. He came out a loner. A LONER! I’ve always thought of him as my mountain man, someone who could disappear into the hills for months on end without seeing others. Though his introvertedness has its frustrations, it’ good for me, also an introvert. Talking can be overrated. Being together while being silent, now that’s a five-star night.
Respects it, loves it, thrives in it, and makes me feel safe in it. This man appreciates the beauty of God’s creation.
It’s amazing to look at our kids and think, “We made them.” I couldn’t have made these two without him. And even with him, what are the chances of that one sperm connecting with that one egg? The creative power of procreation is a wonder to me. I think I could have ten more kids with this man and be continually amazed at the results. “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” wrote the Psalmist. We all are.
Sometimes I like to fight with words. I can zing some good phrases his way. He doesn’t take the bait. He goes quiet on me. Which drives me crazy. But really, it’s a good thing. I married a man that lets me get the wild out, and stays tender. He’s patient with the kids when I want to run out of the house and up the road all the way to the railroad tracks and jump on a westbound. Tenderness should never be underestimated. A tender man is a rare and beautiful thing.