How I Know

Recently I wrote a post on what it is in my life that affirms me and makes me feel like I'm just so totally freakin' awesome. OK, I actually feel like I'm totally freakin' OK and acceptable, but that isn't a long stretch from awesome. The first item on that list refers to my own darling man, Sweet Hubs. Well, a conversation with a friend the other day reminded me that not everyone has a Sweet to call their own. Some people have a Sweet and don't recognize it, which is even more sad. So let's talk about that.

Where do we get our expectations about relationships? Friend mentioned Disney movies and bodice-ripping romance novels, and I know there is an element of truth in that. Sometimes when I read a romance novel where the hero is "all that and a bag of chips", I'll catch myself looking at Sweet Hubs with one eyebrow kind of raised. Figuratively, that is, as I am not able to operate my eyebrows independently of each other even though I would love to be able to do that.

Why in the world would I look askance at Sweet Hubs because of some fictional character??? It usually only takes me a moment to shake my head to dislodge the goofy idea and remember to look at him as the amazing human being he is. It shows that even a very happily married and contented woman can get distracted by the ideals we are fed. What if you are already feeling a little nonplussed with your Sweet Whatever? What if you're looking FOR your Sweet Whatever and using that fictional character as a template for what you want?

Sweet Hubs and I have certainly had our challenges. We have each gone through spells of feeling less appreciative of the other person than we should be. We have each had spells of not being much to appreciate, for that matter. There were times I was not sure we would make it, and I know he had those same doubts at times. Even when we struggled, though, I knew. How did I know?

I knew because every time a dog sits next to him, he pets it without even thinking about it. Even if he was having trouble showing affection to me, I could see that there was a tender heart there.

I knew because this same man who hunted meat for our freezer will catch a spider and put it outside instead of squashing it. He always had his priorities clear.

I knew because he can build a house, fell a tree, fix a car and gut an elk, and still held our babies with capable, confident and loving hands.

I know because he eventually gave up enough of his macho-ism to laugh at my jokes.

I know because he tells people that WE built this house in Montana. Pshaw. Sometimes, I handed him nails. That was about the extent of my contribution.

I know because he treats me with honor when I'm with him and behind my back, too. Even when we were angry with each other, he didn't go telling his friends about what a bitch he married.

In a hundred little ways, he has shown me every day that even though he is a normal, flawed, fallible human being, he is also a man of integrity who is strong enough to be gentle, wise enough to be silly, and willing to weather the storms in order to bask in the sun. That's how I know.