I think it was Khalil Gibran that said*: ‘Love that does not grow every day is busy dying’. When I look back over the last 12 years and specifically this time of year, every year, when I do some introspection about being married, I feel like I love my husband a lot more this year than I did last year. Did I love him more last year than I did the year before? Possibly not as much as I realized at the time as I was not ok myself. But this year my self-loathing is a little more in check, so my own capacity to love is bigger. (I’m hoping this doesn’t sound completely crazy and self-involved, there really is a point to this)
So anyway, there are some very specific things I love about Etienne, some I mention a lot and some I don’t.
1. His humanity. He will feed every single person that comes to our door if he could.
2. His complete uninterestedness in ‘stuff’. He doesn’t need to drive a fancy car or wear expensive clothes to feel good about himself. It really is just stuff to him.
3. His capacity to love. All of us that live in this house know exactly how much he loves us and he shows us every single day in a myriad of different ways. Whether he is cooking a favourite meal or brushing a child’s teeth, he does it as an expression of love, not as a chore that requires effort.
4. His ability to be organised. He is the one that makes sure we have a menu for the week and mostly cooks supper. He is the one that makes sure that we stay afloat financially. He is the one that goes to the library, takes out the trash and sorts out the bills I forget to pay because I had my head in the clouds (or up my bum).
5. He listens. I can complain about something in our relationship and he will actually actively try to change whatever I was unhappy about.
6. He would rather talk through a problem than let it hang, unresolved. I freak him out because I’m a master sulker and the Queen of The Silent Treatment.
7. He doesn’t hold a grudge. He is one of the most unconditionally forgiving people I have ever had the privilege to know.
8. He doesn’t get mad easily. And then, even when he does, he only gets sad, not aggressively mad.
9. He doesn’t stay mad. He is really good at getting it out and getting on with life.
10. He is affectionate. He spoons, he says “I love you”, he cuddles on the couch, he holds my hand.
11. He actually enjoys talking, he asks about my day. He listens and offers advice and doesn’t take it personally when I don’t listen (see point above about me having my head in the clouds or up my bum or stuck in my cellphone)
12. Lastly, he is an incredible Father. His children feel treasured and safe and love and cherished and listened to, much like his wife does. He sets the example that they will hopefully end up like as adults, because that was all they knew to be.
I look forward to growing old with this wonderful, wonderful man I am blessed with.
*for the life of me I cannot find that quote anywhere