I posted a question on Facebook recently that got me into all sorts of trouble (including a stern phone call from my father to "stop putting that nonsense on Facebook").
I asked my FB followers who had gotten divorced whether the divorce had come as a surprise to them. Whether, looking back with hindsight, the signs were there all along. It was a question that had nothing to do with my marriage. Apparently a few people thought I was asking the question for myself! Um, no. If I was thinking about divorcing my husband, I wouldn't be doing my research on Facebook.
The truth was, I was in the shower, thinking about life and how happy I was, and then I wondered how many people were in that same situation yesterday, last month, last year, last decade.... feeling content and happy in their relationship, when their world came tumbling down. And then I started thinking about marriage and divorce and wondered whether one always 'knew' something wasn't right, or whether divorced came as a surprise. I was hoping that the answer was that people always 'knew' something wasn't right, because I have never had the feeling. Sure, I have often wanted to KILL my husband when he was being an industrial strength enemy but our marriage feels right, even if it is different to the norm. (or as far as the 'norm' is displayed by many happy, lovely FB marriages). My friends always say that Marko and my unconventional* relationship is probably going to outlast all others.
(*Unconventional in that we aren't all touchy-feely, lovey-dovey, syrupy sweet. He is full of shit, I am even worse. We are both odd, but we are 'our' kind of odd. There is a saying in Afrikaans that says "Elke pot het sy deksel". Every pot has its lid - no matter how misshapen and odd the pot is. Marko is my lid and I am his).
I will give you two examples of why I have the best husband ever.
1. I am a pain to buy gifts for. I don't like things. I don't like jewelry, chocolates, flowers, clothes, shoes, kitchen utensils, perfume, creams, hair stuff. I don't have hobbies and I don't collect things. It drives my friends crazy. I always tell them not to buy me anything, but they always feel they have to. (Side note - one of the BEST birthdays I ever had was when I asked all my friends to donate money to charity on my behalf - instead of gifts. I loved that so much, I must do it again).
This year, Marko decided to surprise me with a custom made, engraved cell phone cover thingy with my name and business logo on it. He went through a huge amount of effort to get it for me. My previous standard iphone cover (that I loved so much, it was a beautiful colour, classy, leather and super slim) was damaged so I needed a new one. He presented the new cover to me with great excitement. All wrapped up in a pretty box. I opened up the box (cursing him silently as I did because I have told him so many times not to spend money on gifts for me) and my heart sank when I saw it. I hated it :( I put it on my phone and it felt horrible. It made my phone feel thick and bulky. I am very sensory sensitive so the 'feel' of something is so important to me.
The next day I asked him where he had put my old iPhone cover. WHY! he asked sternly. "Just asking" I replied. "Do you not like the new cover I got you?" he asked with a pissed off look. I scrambled and thought and decided that the only way I know how is to be honest, so I said "no, I am so sorry, I don't. It makes my phone feel too bulky". So he mumbled and sulked and stomped off. I felt so bad. And then later on, he joked with me that I had hurt his feelings, I apologized and he laughed and said he was fine, he had gotten over it already.
The next day there was a box wrapped for me. I opened it up not knowing what it was, and inside was an exact same cover as my previous iPhone cover that I loved so much. The same colour, everything. I didn't even know you could get it in SA as I had bought it in London. Within a day he had tracked down the same cover locally as I had bought in London AND went all the way from work to fetch it for me. I was so touched.
And that is my husband. He loves me so much, even though I am a huge pain. He always tries to make me happy, even when it requires sacrifice on his part.
I can't tell you how much that meant to me. It might seem insignificant to others, but it meant everything to me. Seeing that new old cover in the box.... knowing that he went to so much effort for me, despite me telling him I didn't like his special gift the day before....that right there is why I love my husband so much. He gets me. He loves me, despite me being a total PITA.
2. Second example. We are on holiday at the moment and the bed in the main room is tiny (according to our standards - we need SPACE when we sleep). So I had the bright idea of moving a mattress into Max's room, putting him on the mattress and me on the bed. Marko carried the mattress upstairs and made the bed up on the floor. He then called me to have a look to see if it was the way I wanted it. I said "it looks great, I just wish I had safety plugs for the plug outlet behind Max's head". Silly I know, because he is 5,5 years old and knows not to stick his fingers in the plug. But I am a worrier, and that would worry me a bit. "No problem" he says, "I brought safety covers with us". WHAT!!! We haven't used safety plugs in over 3 years and yet my husband will have safety plugs on standby on the minuscule chance his pain in the arse wife might need some. He is AWESOME.
My husband is the type of guy you would want to get stranded on a deserted island with, start a house with, do a DIY project with, go on holiday with, travel abroad with, buy a used car from, go on Amazing Race with. He can be a real pain sometimes (he is super strict about somethings, and has really high standards. Plus he is VERY stubborn), and he might not write romantic love letters or want to talk about feelings and stuff, but he is such a great husband for me and to me. I couldn't have asked for a better partner for myself. He really is the 'deksel' to the very odd pot that I am.