Sometimes You Have to Look for the Romance

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No girl dreams about being compared to this:

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I have been blissfully married to someone who is truly the perfect husband for me for more than nine years. He was – and is – the answer to many prayers. Together we have moved three times and had three babies. We’ve had some challenges and many successes. He’s the calming force to my not-so-terribly-calm nature. He steadies me when I need it and reassures me that everything will be fine. He’s annoyingly right most of the time!

My husband is a planner. He’s wildly logical and analytical. His education and professional background started in the world of engineering and then moved into financial analysis. To say he’s left brained is a wee bit of an understatement. Becoming a father has brought out a different side – a fun-loving, game playing, happy to play make-believe with little people side that I love to see.

He is, however, not prone to flowery or overly romantic speeches. He lets me know daily how he loves and appreciates me. That works for us. The reason it works for us now is because I understand his language and can translate for myself. This was not always the case.

When we had been dating for a few weeks and were happily in that early infatuation stage (there are days I miss that phase), he went away for the weekend with some friends. He called me one night from his hotel and we talked and talked for a long time. About what I don’t know. Except for one thing – one thing that has stuck with me for more than ten years.

At one point in the conversation, he said something like, “You know what I really like about you?” I readied myself for some dreamy compliment about my ravishing beauty or sparkling personality. You know, the kind of things you want a new boyfriend to spend his time thinking about you. That’s not what he said.

“You’re not a show horse. You’re a plow horse.”

Um, what?

He went on to say that I wasn’t flashy, I was solid. Dependable.

Oh.

When the conversation ended, I immediately called a close friend of mine. A male friend because I really needed a guy to act as interpreter. When I told my friend what my new boyfriend had said, he acted like it was a good thing. A romantic thing. I admitted that I was going to need a translation. My friend said it meant that I was more than a pretty face. That I had depth and substance. Staying power. Now that all sounded good, but I was still a little unconvinced. I mean really, what girl dreams of a guy calling her a plow horse?

But when that new boyfriend came back from the weekend and showed up at my door with a dreamy smile on his face and an armful of flowers, I started to understand. I was going to have to alter my idea of what he should say and how he should say it. This was someone who had his own ideas of what he wanted in a relationship. He wanted someone to walk by his side, not to just hang off his arm. A partner, not a trophy.

There are times when my husband speaks my language. When he says exactly the right thing. Like on our wedding day, when I got to the altar, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said just one word. “Wow.” Well done, darling husband, well done.

So I’m proud to be a plow horse. Proud to be someone who is capable of doing the work, of carrying the load when needed. But I also like the wows when they come my way. I think I speak for all of us women when I say we all do.

What do you find yourself having to translate in your marriage?

Copyright 2014 Marilee Haynes

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