What did I do to deserve this?

I was halfway through another post about, ironically, my fiery emotions when I saw something on Twitter that I absolutely had to respond to with a post.

This is a tweet from my friend Angie about her husband Patrick, both of whom I happen to adore.  He is one of the greatest men to ever become a husband and father, a title reserved for men like Jared and Faiqa’s husband.  I don’t have any idea if Angie has insecurity issues about deserving her husband, but it’s a hot button for me – and so, here we are.

I need to say this:

I deserve my husband.

I need to say it for all the years I’ve told myself that it wasn’t true.  I need to say it for all the friends and strangers who’ve looked on from the outside and suggested it wasn’t true.  I need to say it because of the little jokes about poor Jared.

You know what’s not actually funny?

Suggesting that being married to someone is a hardship.  In front of them.  Actually, it’s not even funny if it’s not in front of them.  And it’s not only insulting to them, it’s insulting to the poor bastard whose side you claim to “be on”.  It’s insulting to suggest that someone – especially a grown man – should be pitied because his wife is too much for him to handle.

Excuse me while I wind myself up.

It’s just… damn.  Am I strong personality?  An opinionated woman?  Louder and more aggressive than my husband?  Hell yes. Does that mean that I don’t deserve all of the love, compassion, loyalty and kindness that he shows me?  According to him… I’m worth it.

I don’t know where I’m going with this.  I don’t know, exactly, why I had to stop that other post and write this post.  It’s just…

It’s not nice to pit one spouse against the other in some sort of strange “the pathetic one vs. the bitchy one” dynamic.  It’s not good for the marriage or either spouse.

And I let those snide little comments from friends and strangers affect my marriage for a really long time.  I was extra defensive about some things, projecting how other people seemed to feel onto my husband.  I beat myself up and then pushed harder than necessary to make myself feel better.  And I still (obviously) struggle to believe my husband when he tells me how he feels.

I need to tell myself, over and over again – and maybe in black and white words on a screen, that I deserve my husband.

That yes, he is kind and generous and forgiving.  He is almost always the first to apologize, while I am almost always the first to raise my voice.  He paints my toenails and I keep up a running commentary of jokes during his vasectomy.  He makes dinner and I make plans.  I am beyond grateful to be married to this man.  Next to my children, having his path cross mine and him choose me is one of the single greatest gifts I have ever received.

But I make plans.  I make him laugh and think and dream bigger than he might have dreamed without me.  I, too, am a spouse worthy of being appreciated.  A person worthy of appreciation and love.

So, yes.  I deserve my husband.

And Angie deserves hers.

And you, I daresay, deserve yours.

And… I guess I just needed to say that.

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