Last year my husband and I celebrated our ten year anniversary. Being a monogamous relationship, with two young children it’s perfectly imperfect.
It’s easy sometimes to focus on the imperfect bits. The ways we clash over parenting, dirty bowls or how loudly one of us is chewing. Recently I started to think about the unexpected ways my husband (Daniel) is quite outstanding – and because it’s a new year, it felt like an appropriate time to celebrate the good stuff.
1. He’s the man you want in a zombie apocalypse
Last week my husband fixed the two broken side mirrors on my car. He sourced replacements from a wrecker, took the door off and attached them. Like a real mechanic. He has a supernatural ability to fix stuff. Everyone knows that in a zombie apocalypse you need handy folk around. Ones that can build a power generator from chicken wire and create hunting weapons from kitchen appliances. There is no doubt in my mind that Daniel is that kind of man.
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2. He is the spider whisperer
I cannot go within one metre of anything that has more than four legs. Spiders, cockroaches, cicadas. Even writing those words gives me the creeps. I also have a Buddhist sensibility without being a Buddhist. Killing said beastie is baaaad karma. Daniel, bless his soul, will catch critters (including the big hairy Huntsman variety) and put them outside. Mostly while I cower on a stool in the corner.
3. He loves playing in the pool
I am not a pool player. I’m a book reader, a card gamer, a car racer. But playing in pools is not my thing. I love nothing more than a quick dip, and I’ll be on hand to towel dry and dress. But spending hours getting wrinkly in the water? No thanks! When Daniel is in the pool I feel like he’s reliving his childhood. He’s remembering all the hours he spent in his own backyard pool – and he plays with the kids like he’s one again. There is much throwing of small humans, tag and taking underwater dives with the kids on his back. It’s a delight to watch.
4. His obsession with random objects
This summer my husband bought an electric toothbrush. He would not shut up about that flippin’ toothbrush! He told me how amazing it was every time he cleaned his teeth (which was a lot, because: new obsession). Daniel does this sporadically about different objects and pursuits.
The obsession that’s lasted longest is guitars. A few years back I bought him a guitar, and he’s taught himself to play. He plays to the kids when they’re in the bath, when they’re out the back on the trampoline, late at night when everyone’s in bed. He’s created a musical soundtrack to our lives of a softly strumming guitar. Nice right?
5. He doesn’t make me feel guilty for not having sex
Our eldest is now six years old, and there have been plenty of times since she was born that I have been too tired for sex. He never complains when I turn him down, never takes it as a slight against his masculinity. He understands that it’s not always business time just because it works for him, and that when the time is right it will all come together.
6. I’m never scared he’ll laugh at me
This one’s not entirely true. He will laugh at me when I ask where you plug the Soda Stream in, or if I trip, or say something particularly dense. But when it comes to my deepest, darkest most confusing thoughts, I know he will never laugh at me. I can be nervous about speaking things out loud, but he always takes my words without judgement. It’s like settling down into a warm hug, knowing that my thoughts are always safe with him.
7. He makes me coffee, even though I could learn to do it myself
When Daniel turned 40 all his friends put in money to get him a proper coffee machine (barista-style). Making the perfect latte became another obsession. I learnt how to do it a couple of times, but his were always better. Now in the morning, or in the evening after dinner, he will make me a coffee. We both know I should really learn to do it myself, but he keeps on making them for me … and I think that says a lot.
What are the unexpected things you love most about your partner?