This week my husband and I celebrated 13 years of wedded bliss. As is often the case with military marriages, my husband was not here to celebrate with me this year. We are kind of used to being apart on “big” days–birthdays, holidays, anniversaries–so it’s become normal for us to not go overboard with gifts or celebrating. That’s one of the things I love about my husband, we both are committed to celebrating our marriage every day, not just on the ones Hallmark tells us we should.
I thought in honor of our anniversary I would post a list of things I have learned during these 13 years as a wife, but something on Twitter made me change my mind. Yesterday on my feed, I saw this tweet by Melanie Weeden, wife of former Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden who is currently preparing for the NFL draft:
@MelanieWeeden: My man@bweeden3 is KILLIN it on ESPN today!!!!! #proudwife
(Very quick aside here: I am a HUGE sports fan, but I have a particular affinity for all things Oklahoma State. While I’m not a grad, my husband and I met while we were both attending OSU and my husband is indeed a proper alum. I will likely address my passion for OSU sports when we begin gearing up for football season again–although with the spring game approaching, it might be sooner than that. Yeah, I’m kind of fanatical.)
Back to the topic at hand, Melanie’s enthusiastic and deservedly proud tweet reminded me of the very best compliment I have ever received as a wife. About five years into our marriage, I was talking to a family friend about my husband and all that he’s accomplished, how he’s followed his dreams, and how that has made him a better husband and father. The friend said, “I really admire the fact that you are your husband’s biggest fan.” There wasn’t a trace of irony or sarcasm in her comment, it was quite sincere. I’d never really considered it from that point of view before, but it really summed up how I felt about my husband. I AM his biggest fan, his cheerleader, encourager and promoter. I want nothing but the best for him simply because I love him. On the days when things don’t quite go his way, I want to be the person he comes to–to renew his confidence and raise his spirits.
On the flip side, he’s also my biggest fan. For some strange reason, he thinks I’m wonderful. He tends to see the best in me rather than seeing me as the mess I feel like I am most of the time. He appreciates and respects me as a wife, a mom, and–most importantly–as a person with her own opinions and ideas. I am a better woman for having the opportunity to see myself through his eyes.
Now don’t misunderstand, we are both painfully aware of the other’s quirks and faults. While we acknowledge those traits, we don’t dwell on them–most of the time anyway. When you are truly someone’s biggest fan you don’t focus on the negative, you promote the positive. You take joy in their success. You support and encourage them in any way you possibly can. And to me that seems like a pretty good foundation for a lifelong relationship. I know that’s what my husband and I are both rooting for.