Doug & I have been married almost 25 years now .
It never occurs to him that I can't do something or won't succeed at something. This is big, because I am the one who typically is the self-nay-sayer. When I'm sure I can't do something, he's the one pushing me out there.
He immediately backs whatever cockamamey ideas I have. :) He's "on-board" from the start and if one of my big ideas falls flat, he doesn't sweat it.
He comes across at first as somewhat stern and deadpan and serious. But then you get to know him...He still surprises friends who have known us for years with things that he says....How's this one: Just last weekend, during the women's show I was in, a woman from another booth comes over to preview our things for sale during some down time before the show. She says something like " Oh, I see a lot of things I want! I want to just touch everything!" So my otherwise serious and all-business husband Doug pipes in and says "So long as you don't lick it, it"s okay." My head swung around so quick, as I heard those words falling from his lips...OY! So much for my image as one of this year's top "romantics!" Ahh...the beautiful life... Of course, everyone else around us just died laughing, so its all good.
Doug is a simple guy married to a very complex gal. He's used the same deodorant, toothpaste and shampoo for as long as I've known him. I, on the other hand, try a new brand weekly it seems. I can change paint colors in a room several times a year -- he would have the same scheme from now to eternity if he weren't married to me. And on it goes...He is very, very, very patient. When I get a new idea for the house and ask him what he thinks, his standard response is "I know nothing about that stuff. You're the decorator. You do what you want." Ladies...is that music to our ears or what??? :)
He is always the one who gets stuck with the dirty jobs without complaining: removal of whatever the cats have brought to us on our front door mat (YUCK!), trash duty twice a week at 6:30 AM, upkeep of our property (2 acres of which needs to be mowed).
When I on impulse wanted to purchase an entire lot of about a dozen old, broken down, chippy window frames at a flea market, he just shook his head and said "at least let ME do the negotiating" -- he knew I'd just step up and pay the asking price, and if we WERE going to buy this bunch of worthless things, he at least wanted to pay the least amount possible. Well, fast-forward almost a year and just a couple of weeks ago he was outside hinging them together to make me a floor screen to display my aprons and dishtowels and other things on. I had finally found a use for them and there he was, again, stepping in to help. :)
He offers to bring dinner in or take us out just about every night of the week. More and more often I'm taking him up on it! :)
Since we've been married he's offered to get me a housekeeper but I've never taken him up on that one. Yet. I feel I may be getting closer to caving in on this one, though! But seriously, I fret all the time about the house being "just so" and he has never, ever complained about anything. He's just always glad to just be home after a long, grueling day at work and the last thing he cares about is whether or not our bed is made or if the tabletops are dust-free. He's just glad to be home. Even in that, he is communicating to me that there is nowhere else he'd rather be than here at home, with us.
He buys me and our daughter Godiva chocolates throughout the year and hates it when I balk at the cost (vs. our usual stuff like Milk Duds and M&Ms).
He's never been one to worry about what things cost -- I guess in his own way that's how he "lives in the moment". If we take a trip, he will not even hear of staying anywhere but the best of places. I guess you could say, when he does something, he does it right (or at least to the very best that we can at the time).
In what's often referred to as the "love chapter" in the Bible (1 Corinthians), it says "love is not boastful, nor does it seek it's own; it looks out for the good of the other...." This is Doug. It occurs to me that over the years, he has made it a point to always have me in the "nice" car while he drives the "practical" car. He always says it's because he has such a long commute everyday, that it doesn't make sense for him to put a ton of miles on the car, yada yada yada....I suspect it's really just him being him. Stepping back and letting his wife be indulged even in the simplest thing like having a fabulous ride while he drives his "practical" car. My man....
In 25+ years together, lets face it, ladies -- we change physically. We change our hairstyles, hair colors, then there is the "toll" pregnancy has on you. Unfortunately for him, when we met I was at probably my lowest weight ever and in the most optimum shape of my life. I say "unfortunately for him" because it didn't get better from there.... :) Still, not once has he EVER -- never -- mentioned a thing, not ONE thing about my appearance in a negative way. All I've heard from him for 25+ years has been totally positive. Again, I refer to the "love" chapter in 1 Corinthians in the Bible..."love covers another's weaknesses...". Doug has truly given me the gift of his seeing past the outer me and right through to my heart -- to the real woman he married. For a woman, this says "love" more than anything, I think. For as we all know, as our bodies change through the years, we crave knowing that we are loved not because of our looks but regardless of them.
He makes it evident by how he conducts himself and the way he lives that our marriage, our relationship is a "closed corporation" -- we operate as one unit, not two people doing their own thing. He never allows for anything that would even hint at anything other than that. He has eyes for only me when we're out and about and he is always, always a gentleman in conduct, speech and intentions.
Years ago, all on his own, he started sponsoring a little girl in India named Kalpana through Compassion International. This was his thing alone. He writes to her and she writes back. Its their sweet relationship and its something he initiated all on his own. I hope they meet one day -- if not here, then in heaven.
He began years ago volunteering on Sundays at our church as one of the ushers. Now he's in charge of all the ushers during one of our services on Sunday and I often just stare at him from my perch up in our church balcony where I usually sit, watching him go about his duties there, seeing that side of him -- a side not many, if anyone, at places like his office are aware of. Come what may, he takes his place of service there, week in and week out.
He truly spoils me. When we bought this house we're in now, he did so almost solely on my recommendation. He came to look it over ONE time -- by himself one night on his way home from work. That was it. The next time he saw it was when we held the keys to it after closing on it. (And the one time he did see it, he was NOT impressed!) He allowed us to buy this house strictly on my instinct that we could make something out of it. NOW THAT IS TRUST, ladies!
He's backed me totally throughout the almost 10 years I've had my store The Beautiful Life. He's encouraged me during the down times and celebrated with me with "atta-girl's" during the up times. When I recently was featured as one of 2009's top "Romantics" in Romantic Homes magazines, no one was more hot on the trail of laying hands on a copy the minute it hit the racks. He was out on Christmas day looking for one! What a sweetheart.
He was encouraging and understanding and wonderful during the trials we faced trying to have a child. With the loss of each child, he grieved as I grieved -- deeply. When we threatened to lose our Olivia (now 18!) he had a real sense that we would have her and that all would be well this time. It was during those horribly trying times that he became the pillar of strength and faith -- when my own faith very honestly was waivering. And, sure enough, our Olivia was born, beautiful & healthy (10 lbs. 13 oz!). His strength during that time was monumental and I will never forget it. A young man, so strong and believing. Truly beautiful.
I truly believe that Doug would do anything for me. You cannot ask more than that from another. I don't ask it of him. He simply gives that of himself.
Happy Valentine's Day, and "thank you".
And for another 25 years, I thank you in advance, Mr. Harsham.
~~Mrs. Harsham ~~