1. He knows me better today and I him.
My husband and I dated for two years before getting married. I had read somewhere that two years was a good number; you went through each holiday twice; you really got a chance to know each other’s families; the honeymoon phase of dating was definitely over. So, my husband knew me pretty well by the time we got married, but there were still things he did not know. He didn’t know my favorite facial scrub. He didn’t know how much of an organization freak I am (although he may have had a clue…). I knew he loved guitars and that his family was very important to him but not little details of his likes and dislikes. There is no way you can know until you live with someone after marriage. We all have things we do, and don’t do, that are just habit for us but are not seen by everyone. After 10 years of marriage we know a lot more of these little things, some are wonderful and others can drive us crazy, but they are all part of the package that is called marriage, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
2. He makes me feel safe and comfortable.
When we were dating, especially the first few months, we both ordered salads and healthy stuff a lot when dining out. I also wore makeup and did my hair. Now, don’t get me wrong, those are still important. Being healthy and looking nice for your spouse show you care. However, what we didn’t realize is that after that healthy dinner, after he took me back home, we both went to the nearest cheap burger joint and got something substantial! We also avoided topics that may have made us look too human. I won’t list any here, but if you are married (or dating) you can probably think of a few! Now we can talk about anything. I love that we don’t have to hide anything. We don’t have to keep ourselves in a “honeymoon phase.” I love my husband so much more now because we are real with each other.
3. He can celebrate without extra hoopla.
Ah, the joys of celebrating and not having to make a huge deal out of it like dressing to the nines and eating at a restaurant you where you know you will cringe when you see the prices on the menu! My husband told me recently he knew celebrating with me would be enjoyable when I asked (while we were dating) if we could forgo the expensive restaurant and just go in jeans and chill at our favorite Thai place. I love that we can make going to McDonald’s or Burger King or Sweet Tomatoes (a salad place) a special time. I love that our dates don’t have to break the bank. Maybe when people are dating they dream of being able to do something fancier, and it can be fun, but after ten years of marriage you realize that just being together is what matters.
4. He is definitely my best friend.
I’ve had friends say they don’t understand the “best friend” and “soul mate” comments made by their other married friends. That makes me sad. I love my husband more now because he really is my best friend. I want to do everything (ok, almost everything) with him. I love being with him, talking to him, listening to him, cuddling with him, and knowing I can tell him anything (still working on this…but I know I can). Marriage should be your best friendship ever! I had wonderful, female friends when I was child, and I still have some that I truly appreciate and enjoy being around today. My husband is that and more, and it gets better the longer we are together because as we age to together we also grow together and get to know each other so much more.
5. He understand the importance of being together but also having separate interests.
As a couple we love to do things together. It is part of who we are as husband and wife. However, we can drive each other crazy at times, mostly me driving him crazy. I know he needs his time with his guitar and his band friends and church. That is his stress relief. And, I know he wants the same for me. So, I do get out with friends when my anxiety isn’t high. I take small trips to see friends and family out of state. I volunteer. We both go to dinner or concerts, mostly with each other, but sometimes not but rather with a friend. I love that we both realize this is important and it makes our marriage stronger.
6. He knows just when I need that butterscotch square.
You know your husband has a keen sense of you when he goes to your favorite candy store and gets you your favorite chocolates! It is a bit of a drive from his office, but I love that he goes out of his way to get me these wonderful little treats and he always seems to know just when I need them!
7. He still holds my hand anywhere and anytime.
This may not seem like a big deal, but it is! When we were dating, and on a Costco date for lunch (it was cheap and we liked the food…still do), an older gentleman who saw us said it was obvious we were not married. Of course we looked at him with that “huh?” look, so he explained. He said that the married couples he knew did not sit next to each other anymore but rather across from each other. And, he said that we were holding hands, and that was the giveaway. A middle aged couple was sitting across from him and they nodded in agreement. (For the record, they were across the table from each other and barely talking.) Well, 12 years later (10 of which we have been married and just celebrated), we still sit right next to each other at a restaurant. We still hold hands. We still look at each other with that look that the older gentleman seemed to think happened only with those in the dating stage. For all of these I am so grateful.
8. He works at our marriage.
Having just had our 10th anniversary I can definitely say marriage takes work. There are ups and downs, “discussions”, frustrations, good times and bad times. What is much better now than when I married my husband is that we both really understand that we must work at our marriage. He is much better at it than I am…even before we were married he was better at love than me. But, I love that we work at it together to make our love as strong as it is today. We continue to strive to make our marriage a good one, whatever it takes.
9. He still uses pet names.
When a couple first starts dating often times they come up with pet names for each other. We weren’t any different. Ten years later we still use those same pet names and use them over the phone when we call each other. It can be easy to forego those cute names, and sweet nothings, over the phone when you get into a routine and are busy.
I love it more now than when we are dating because it tells me my husband is still in love with me, treasures me, and believes I am still beautiful in his eyes. Given I am definitely looking older, and weight comes and goes, it means the world to me to know he loves me just as much now as when I was thinner and did not have gray hair.
10. He just “gets me.”
The longer you are married the more, and better, you know your spouse, at least that is the way it should be. My husband definitely gets me. He can read my face and know (almost) what is going on. Now, I do have a “give away” face, but it does take time to figure out which “face” I am giving. I would imagine it is a bit like knowing a baby and the faces he/she makes. Is it gas? Is it laughing? Is it thinking, “Wuh?” I know it is a bit strange to relate marriage to babies, but the idea (at least for “looks on the face”) is the same. My husband knows if I am having a good or bad day by the looks I give. He can even tell if I am about to have a panic attack just by looking at my face. He just “gets me.” And I love that about him, especially since marriage is a “No instructions included” relationship.