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33 And No Hard Feelings

birthday-cake-110x100

So here I am, writing another marriage post this week.

It’s my blog, I can write what I want.  Also, it’s my birthday so…..

I LOVE birthdays! I love celebrating people, and really try to make those around me feel special on their birthdays.  My kids all get a special date with just me, that I really try to make memorable.  I bake a fancy cake and make a decadent meal.  For the hubs, I take the children to get him gifts and have them make cards, as well as try to find something I know he will like.  I just love birthdays so much.  We live a good life worth celebrating. Any life that is rooted in Jesus has good reason to celebrate.

Now, as much as I love doing the birthday thing….I married a man who fails basically every year at this.

Let me tell you how.

Today, he had to work so I knew there would be no celebration to speak of.  However, he did manage to stop this morning and get me a card.  BUT this afternoon he spent the last 20 minutes before work having the children call his dad and sing happy birthday to him (his birthday was yesterday), and there I was…..

I plan for his birthday months in advance, like literally planning now.

I stopped last week and bought steaks for him to grill me at some point in the future (he did marinade them).  I picked out a gift a few months ago that is basically something we needed for the house.  He just doesn’t have it in him to succeed on this day.

This used to hurt my feelings.

When we were first married and well, for about 8 years, this was something that really bothered me.  I felt like he didn’t care enough to try for me like I did for him.  It hurt.  And then time went on, and I began to put aside the hurt and understand my husband.

He would NEVER intentionally hurt my feelings.  In fact, he spends his life trying to please me.

He is just wired differently.

There are random times throughout the year that he will come home with a dozen roses (my favorite) just to brighten my day.  He rallied last week with the care of the home and kids as well as trying to keep everything clean the way I like it, so that I didn’t carry more burden with the hurt I had from losing my grandpa.  If he sees me struggling emotionally, he will do whatever he can to help me.  If he sees me struggling physically, he will do whatever he can to help….sometimes  he doesn’t see (he is wired differently), and those moments are also times when I try not to get hurt.  Again, this has taken years to mature to this level.  I really had to learn to look past my hurt to see him  for who he is.

He really and truly cares.

He really and truly stinks at birthday and Mother’s day.

Today when I spent the day alone dealing with whining kids and wiping butts (and a nauseating migraine), I had to laugh when instead of having the children sing to me, he had them call his dad.  It was just classic John.  He said the same, “I’m sorry I didn’t get you anything, life has just been crazy this week.”

I could choose to feel hurt.  I could say he doesn’t value me enough to make my special day something special since I do spend so much time doing it for others.  I could be mad.

But then what would I gain?  A brief moment of self indignation and time to wallow in self pity?

I choose instead to see his true heart and understand his failures are not intentional hurt.  I choose to know that he does value me in the way that he cares for me, and to know that he has a disconnect with holidays (oh yeah, he’s pretty bad with Christmas to lol).  I choose to love him and forgive him instead of holding a grudge.  I choose to put my marriage above my own briefly damaged pride, and I choose to understand beyond just the presenting circumstances.

It took a long time to develop this understanding and appreciation for one another.  I am so glad that we were able to not give up on each other for all of the hurt we caused; as we muddled through that first year decade, of learning how to be married to another human being with all of their own flaws/thoughts/opinions.

I am 33 today…. I think I may have finally grown up 😉

 

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