(a bit of fiction based on a whole lot of reality)
My husband is over six feet tall, by about two inches or so. Probably weighs about 5 or six pounds over what he’d like to, but is still physically attractive to me – it’s the broad shoulders and muscled arms that get me every time. He’s well groomed, believes in keeping a close shave, his hair cut short. I wouldn’t mind seeing him scruffy on occasion but that’s just not his style.
He irons anything he wears that will be seen by the public whether I think it’s wrinkled or not. He fusses at me occasionally when I pull out a shirt and toss it on without a second thought. I know for a fact when he does the laundry, most of my shirts get a quick pressing before he puts them on the hangers. When I do laundry, the only things I touch are his underwear and socks. Those I fold and put away in his dresser, the rest? I put them on hangers then hang them on the rack in the laundry room next to the ironing board. He then presses and folds or re-hangs and puts them away when he’s finished. It’s a system we can live with, no arguments over the fact that I apparently don’t know and don’t want to learn the proper way to iron a shirt. The other household chores are divided so that it plays to our individual strengths as well. He enjoys and is much better at cooking than I am, so he handles all of that. I, in turn, keep the kitchen clean, the dishes washed and put away. We’re on the same page as to what constitutes as clean so no arguments there. He knows I’ll bleach stuff down to the bone, am quick to get crumbs and spills up, and have no problems hand scrubbing a floor when needed. I do the bathrooms once a week, while each of us makes sure to wash the tub, sink, or shower out after each use. Trash duty? If it’s full whoever notices first takes it out to the big trash bin in the garage, but since he’s much better at remembering to take the big bin to the curb on time, that’s his chore. I just make sure to keep the lid on the big bin locked so the critters don’t get in it. We sometimes get raccoons.
Speaking of the house, he’s more into big spaces than I am. I could have been happy with a thousand or so square feet, he wanted much more. He also came with much nicer, more traditional looking furniture than I had. We found a builder who, at our price point, could deliver an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, solid two-story, brick home that met both of our needs. In other words, it looked different enough from all the other McMansions we’d looked at that I was happy, and the interior came with the proper traditional finishes that would make his furniture look right at home, so he was happy. He still fusses about my love of Ikea cabinetry and I still feel as if the living room is too formal to relax in – we’ve managed to combine our differences though in order to make our master suite, the large library slash office we share, and the basement family rooms spaces we both enjoy. We tricked out the back yard as well with an outdoor kitchen he can work his magic in, and a huge deck with space for me to write and read. The fire pit, hot tub, and two person hammock serve as icing.
Our relationship works so well because there are areas in which we’re evenly diametric and others were we are freakishly in sync. The image that comes to mind is one of a man holding the string of a big balloon that’s floating high over his head. I’m the balloon in that my creative, child-like (ADD) nature tends to have me free-floating all over the place. He is so grounded that it’s hard for him to relax and play. He can be so serious most times, so caught up in his sense of responsibility that it’s hard for him to just be in the moment. He keeps me from floating away; I give him a safe place to be somewhat whimsical. Think Marlin and Dory from Finding Nemo. A strong example – he handles the money because I tend to be distracted. Fortunately, I don’t have expensive addictions or strong impulses to spend money. It also helps that I earn a decent living with my business activities so when I do feel the need to satisfy my shoe / puzzle / medieval weapon desires, I may do so without jeopardizing our finances. I also honor his need for financial security so I’ll check in with him regularly before I buy and I make sure I’m contributing to our common financial goals. Both of us love to travel but while I’m happy as long as the hotel is clean and safe, he prefers five stars or higher across the board. I have definitely adjusted to going first class.
When it came to being in sync, we couldn’t have picked a better spot than agreeing so strongly on what makes a GOOD relationship – the two people involved had to be aware of and committed to owning their own bull shit AND then be committed to overcoming it for the benefit of the relationship as a whole. We knew that this wasn’t a matter of finding someone to “complete” us, but instead, it was more important to find someone we could be fully and wholly ourselves with. We wouldn’t be judged, dismissed, abandoned, or rejected based on who we were at our core. In fact, it was the opposite. We knew we’d found someone who would support us, lift us up, and compel us to be our best selves. There were no expectations that one would change the very essence of themselves in order to “make” the other “feel” good. Once we’d discovered that this was the case, we knew we were meant for each other.
He’s affectionate too. And not afraid to show it. Touch is important to both of us and we’ll often reach for each other’s hands, lean against each other, rub each other’s backs or arms. Yes, in public, and no, not in any way that would require an NC-17 rating. PDA is kept tasteful, but happens often. I won’t give details about our sex life here because well, while we’re not prudes in any way, we do believe some things are meant to be kept between us. I will say, mutual satisfaction is another thing we are in sync about.
If I believed in such things, then he would be my romantic soul mate – that mythological “one” who was “made” for me and vice-versa. I’m lucky to have finally connected with him.