This month is my sweetheart’s birthday. In his honor, I’m dedicating this blog in thanks for the wonderful partner and father he is to me and our son. These are the essential secrets to the success of our relationship. They took me about 30 years to learn, so I hope they will help save someone else a little bit of time.
1. Lighten the load. I am so lucky to have a partner that makes taking care of our son and keeping the household going a balance. We take turns with little household chores, fixing the little one meals, etc. On nights he has to work late, I like to try and make sure all the chores are done so he can just come home and relax. On weekends that I have volunteer work or fundraisers, I usually come home to an already prepared meal.
2. Don’t keep score. There’s nothing worse than having someone do something for you only to have them hold it over your head. When you truly want to show you care, you do things without expecting thanks or reciprocal actions.
3. Do something unexpected. When my sweetheart had to go away for a week of work, I took the time to get a few minor repairs done on his truck along with an oil change and detailing. Then I topped the tank off with gas. It was a complete surprise when I showed to pick him up from the airport.
4. Have a sense of humor. I don’t think there is a day that goes by that we don’t have laughter in our home, either between the two of us or when playing with our son. It keeps things interesting and tempers at bay.
5. Give a little space. He and I have a lot of varied interests. We are respectful of those, allowing each other time away from home and time in the evenings to pursue them. It not only makes us appreciate our relationship but gives us something to talk about later.
6. Take time for each other every day. At least once a day I get an email from my sweetheart with either words of love and appreciation or funny images, jokes or links. Every night that we are both home, we watch Jeopardy! together. Those minutes every day are our time, time away from the rest of the world to celebrate our inner geek and twisted sense of humor that only we can appreciate.
7. Accept that what you see is what you get. From the moment we met, there were no false airs of who the other person might be. In fact, we didn’t like each other at first, but thought the other looked good enough to keep going out. We recognize the quirks and annoyances and instead of trying to change them, either just roll our eyes or ignore them. While we each have made little changes in ourselves, they have simply been a result of our learning to live with each other a day at a time, not because someone mandated them. I have accepted that he will never accompany me to a black tie affair, and he has accepted that I will never be cooking a four course meal that didn’t come out of a box.
Thank you for indulging me with this blog. I have come to truly understand the blessings the good Lord has given me. To the man who made all these realizations possible: Happy Birthday, Handsome.
Feature image by Andrea Hillis Photography