Apparently I really like to write letters to my loved ones for life’s big occasions. I didn’t mean to have two letters on the blog two weeks in a row, but it just turns out that my mom’s birthday and my anniversary are within a week of each other, and I wrote letters for both without realizing it.
Here’s a letter to my sweet, adventurous, delightful husband for our second wedding anniversary.
These two years have flown by, and they feel like a drop in the bucket, don’t they? I wouldn’t trade them for anything, and it fills my heart with pure wonder to know that the best is right now and still yet to come.
I thought I knew you well when we were dating, and I did, for the most part. We went into marriage with healthy attitudes and healthy hearts, having talked about so many of the marital and family issues we would likely face. We knew we’d have to tackle these challenges all over again when we faced them in real time, and naturally, there have been plenty of unexpected challenges along the way, but I think your openness and leadership in dating helped us approach each of these situations with empathy and grace.
But no matter how well I thought I knew you, being your wife and living with you and sharing a bed and bathroom with you for two years will teach me a few things. This is what I’ve learned about you and learned from you over the couple of years that have been ours. I promise I’ll always be an eager student.
1. You’re more of a dreamer than you let people see. Your dreams often look different from mine; you dream of a healthy retirement nest egg and camping adventures with our kids, while I dream about soft things like peace and passion, but we’re actually both after the same things. You dream with an entrepreneurial mind and an ambitious spirit, but your level-headed pragmatism tempers this perfectly. You love a good risk, but you’re not willing to gamble away any part of our life.
2. You’ve become an acts of service guy when it comes to showing love. You saw my love language changing from quality time to acts of service before I did, and you swooped in to meet that need. Each time I’ve come up against a challenge—working two jobs, being exhausted and sick during my first trimester, purchasing a home and having no idea what to do with it—you’ve stepped up and done far more than your share. And not just with the things I ask for help with; you actively notice what needs to be done and then you do it. It means everything to me.
3. You value balance, even when you struggle to find it. I know your job demands a lot from you, and you place a lot of pressure on yourself to perform well and provide for our family. I appreciate every drop of sweat you’ve shed, real and proverbial, for my sake. I also am so relieved that you’re not the workaholic type, and that even when you’re at your busiest, you make time for what matters.
4. You attempt empathy, even when it’s hard. You always try to see an issue, conflict, or source of joy from my perspective, and when you can’t, you acknowledge that you’re not sure how to understand and relate, even though you want to. You also might be the only man in the world who knows how to listen instead of fix. Your “I’m so sorry, dearest,” goes further than you could ever know.
5. Your adventurous spirit is infectious. I’m cheating a little here, since I already knew this, but being married to you has allowed me to see this even more fully. You’ve pushed me out of my comfort zone (usually gently) so many times—encouraging me to make the career change, going off the trail on your bike and therefore forcing me to follow you, challenging me to spend a couple of days at Yosemite when I really didn’t think I liked nature. While I would say you’ve changed me in many ways, I’d also say that your sense of adventure and gentle challenges have made me more myself than I’ve ever been.
These characteristics, among so many others, are also the reasons why I’m so certain you’re going to make an amazing daddy to our girl. I don’t know if I ever told you this, but one of the reasons why I married you was because I could picture you being a tender, fun, and responsible father, and I know I’m still right.
I don’t know how to say this without sounding cheesy, so here it is: you’re the best thing that ever happened to me. In the midst of one of my darkest seasons, you shined the light of Christ into my life. You walked me through healing from deep body-image issues, abandonment fears, and abuse scars. You make me laugh every day with your silly nicknames and ridiculous claims. Every day I have with you is the best day of my life.
I love you, Daniel. Happy anniversary.What one wife has learned from her husband in 2 years of marriage. Click To Tweet