When I first saw my husband in his military uniform, I about lost my breath. Here was this man standing before me, looking trim and finely cut with a sense of authority. To this day, I can still see my husband standing before me and often, I get the same loss of breath sensation. True, he is no longer in a military uniform, but the way he walks, and moves is often breath taking to me. After a few years of marriage, you begin to know the person beside you inside and out, and sometimes their insides tend to sneak their way to the outside. I often find myself leaning in for a kiss only to hear the rip of something disgusting.
“Really, when I lean in for a kiss you have to do that?”
“What?” my husband will reply with an innocent smirk on his face.
“You are the sexiest man ever, why do you have to be stinky?”
Imagine if you will, a high school boy befriending you in tenth grade biology class, your first year at a new school. As the years pass by you begin a type of courtship only to have it shatter to pieces. Years later that boy has joined the Army and you are in a circumstance all your own. One evening, on the other line is his deep sexy voice, telling you how wonderful you are and how he had made a huge mistake years earlier. You are swept off your feet at the sound of this man apologizing and telling you he was wrong. That is our romance story (give or take a few details) and it is part of what keeps our relationship fresh.
How is it possible that the man I picture as the lead hunk in a romance story can be so irritating and disgusting? I suppose it is by some divine creation from the creator above, the unique oneness that marriage creates is undeniably something divine. I also suppose I do like knowing everything there is to know about my husband, being the one who knows all his hopes and fears is remarkable. I do like to be the woman he crawls into bed next to and the one he kisses good-bye before leaving for work. So, I suppose that if that means I have to partake in the “not so good” parts about knowing everything there is to know about my husband, okay.
We have a great love story. However, I still find myself getting a reality check when he does something irritating like relentlessly pick on me about the silliest things or when he gets frustrated and needs a moment all to himself. I am reminded that I am the one he turns to when his day has not been the greatest, and even though I have to hear him gripe (he’ll agree to this title), I am the one he wants to gripe to. Yes, the end of the romance story is just the beginning of a whirlwind life where the sexiest man alive drives you to the brink of insanity. There are fights and frustration as you learn to live with each other after long distances, including deployments. A while down the road, routine will sneak into your life and you have to find ways to spice up the romance. Between work, school and children, the sexiest man alive is going to grab at your body just to entertain himself. There is beauty in marriage. However, it is possible that he will make you cry and feel horrible at times, but it is also possible that he is also going to touch your hand at the dinner table, winking at you when you catch his eye. The person you know more than anyone else is also going to be the one who wants you to sleep close to him, tugging on your arm when you move away. If only you knew my leading hunk with baby blue eyes and dimpled smile, stink and all is still the sexiest man alive to me.
There has to be something for each couple that reminds them of the reasons why they fell for the other person. Finding joy in the little things can often be the difference between a happy marriage and a dismal one. So you may have to put up with a few things that might seem to suck the romance from the relationship, but imagine sharing your life without these things, not knowing someone as you might know yourself. I tell my husband when things get frustrating or our plate begins to fill up, “remember, we are lost and holding hands.” It doesn’t matter what goes on around us, the pile of bills, screaming and running kids, or a calendar full of appointments we are together through it all. My husband may know more about my body as a woman and mother than he ever thought possible and as I know more about his bowels than I ever knew one could know about a man, but nonetheless, we are in love.
So, what has happened to the sexiest man alive? He is with me every day. I take pride in knowing that I married the sexiest man alive, and that we can share our lives together. To this day, when my husband decides to give me grief, I simply smile and tell him, “You're luck you're hot.” Insert eye roll.
The biggest moral of the story is that we are going to have change throughout our relationships, we're going to be tired and busy and bogged down with all the demands of life. When you're in the throngs of parenthood, it can be difficult to find time to make love or go out on a date. As long as both of those in the relationship understand that somethings are not going to be as glorious. I am not saying don't try, by all means, I would love to have more time on a date with my husband, but we know that our kids take a lot of our time. We both acknowledge out loud where we are in our marriage and how much time our children take away from the founders of our family. We plan and look forward to the adventures of the future and steal away as much time as we can. We kiss, we hold hands, and routinely flirt with each other.