Husbands are a different type of Best Friend

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Do you guys know Robin O’Bryant?  She’s hilarious.  Insightful.  A published author.  I adore her.

She wrote a piece that was published on the Huffington Post about how she’s not married to her best friend.  It’s really, like most everything she does, a great post.

Robin brings up some great points about her relationship with her husband, Zeb, vs the relationship she wants/has with her best gal-pal.

In my eyes, though, everything she describes about her relationship with her husband, does, indeed, make him her best friend.

I just think that husbands are a different type of best friend.

Now, I don’t know about your friends, but mine are all so different.

I have my best friend since childhood.  The one who I’ve been friends with for so long, it would just feel wrong to not call her my best friend.  She’s artistic, geeky, and loyal to a fault.  In the 18 (!!!) years that we’ve been friends, I think we have only had 1 argument, and that was very early in our friendship.  I can tell her most anything, but she’s not particularly girly, and we’ve always had a few differing interests.

My best friend since middle school, she’s my troublemaker friend.  Passing notes in class, introducing me to what being a teen living in the city was like.  The one who got to hangout with whoever she liked, whenever she liked.  Hacky sack, smoking dope, and listening to her friends play in their garage band.  An awesome dancer, so cute that everyone loved her, and quick to make friends.  We barely knew each other and then one day we started hanging out and have loved each other since.  We fell out of touch for a while, but when she had her first baby we found each other again and it was like we’d never stopped talking.

Another friend was Captain’s best friend’s girlfriend.  The more we’d all hang out, the more we came to enjoy each others’ company until she and I became great friends, despite being in completely different phases in our lives.  We became shopping buddies.  She, and another friend, filled the need I had for feminine past times.  Shoes became Cabin Girl’s first word because of the amount of time we’d spend shopping and having lunch dates together.

When Captain and I moved across the state with Cabin Girl, I made my first real, ‘from scratch’ adult friendship.  Our firstborns were born a few weeks apart and we were both looking for a friend in a new town.  She’s cautious and an introvert, but, surprisingly, I didn’t scare her away.  A bit nerdy and an insanely talented crafter, once she opened up, there was no going back.  The bond that began as commiserating mothers became a fast friendship of shared experiences and thoughtful conversations.

I consider all of these women, still, to be my best friends.

They each provide me with something the others don’t but it doesn’t make any of them less of a bestie.

The same way that what Captain provides me doesn’t make him any less of my best friend, either.

Robin said, “I want best friend who will tell me I need one more pair of shoes and a man who will remind me to save for my retirement account. I want to call my best friend when I feel I’ve been wronged and hear her say, “What a b*tch! I can’t believe she said that to you!” I want to be married to a man who says, “Who gives a sh*t what she thinks?””

My best friends offer me counsel just as often as they get mad on my behalf.

They gently remind me of what’s important after listening to me rant and rave about stupid things that upset me.

We commiserate on the frustrations of everything from diet to kids to societal issues and then bask in each others triumphs.

They are my shoulders to cry on and hands to hold.  My support system and my sounding boards.  My biggest champions and some of my most cherished people.

All of these things can be said about Captain, too.

Captain just gets the added bonus of seeing me naked almost every day.

So, yes, my husband is my best friend.

I don’t know what else I should call someone who has held me while crying, puking, and giving birth (on many separate occasions), knows all of my hopes and fears, has cared for me and those I love when we’re sick, can make me laugh until I hyperventilate with a well-timed look, infuriates and excites me simultaneously, and has made me feel complete these past 8 years.

Happy Anniversary, Captain.

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I am proud to call you my Best Friend.

 

Accept that aging doesn’t diminish spousal attraction

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Does age change the attraction you feel for your spouse?  Do you worry about your spouse wishing you looked different?

Even though I’m not yet out of my twenties, being a mother of 4 is taking its toll on me.  Mentally, emotionally, and, most notably, physically.  Captain will be 30 this year, and the tolls of hard work and stress are showing on him, too.

Tell-tale signs of self-neglect lay the foundation for insecurities that I’d hoped to be past by this point of my life; Dry skin, yesterday’s makeup still smeared beneath my eyes, crows feet, frown lines, and frizzy hair, to name a few.  Add onto those the major changes having babies puts you through; Wider hips, stretch marks, extra weight, and changed breasts.

So many things that I look at and think: Ugh.

Enough things to make me wonder why Captain still takes an interest in me, as I’m clearly not the 17 year old girl he encountered when we first met anymore.

Things that make me consider expensive treatments to fix.

Until the other night, when I was cutting Captain’s hair and noticed that his hair is thinning.  If, as they say, men should look to their mother’s side of the family to find out what their predispositions for hairloss will be are true, then he’s on the road to becoming completely bald before he’s 40.

I looked at him, really looked, later that night, and saw what I’ve always known was there: stretchmarks over his muscular thighs, laugh lines and crows feet of his own, moles, and his receding hairline.  Things that really aren’t attractive at all. spousalattract

I really absorbed the way Captain has started to age, and you know what?

It didn’t change the way I feel about him one bit.

His extra weight doesn’t make me want him less.  His complexion doesn’t make me less attracted to him.  His silvering, thinning hair doesn’t make me want to go out and find a younger man to romp around with.

Why would I assume that the faults I see in myself would make him love or desire me less?

So, the next time he calls me beautiful, I’ll accept it with a smile.

When he says he finds me sexy, I’ll put my self-depreciating doubt behind me.

Because I love more than his body.

He deserves me to be accepting of his loving more than mine.

Will YOU Be My Galentine?

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Yes, YOU.

With all the hype about Valentine’s Day, many women are listing why they don’t care about it, they hate it, or they could do without it.

Myself included.

Is it a defense mechanism?

Maybe.  It’s one of those ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ type things.  I know my husband won’t do anything nearly as romantic as Suzy Q’s husband, so I’ll just tell myself that I don’t need it/want it/care about it.

I know some of you out there really, truly don’t care.  Massive kudos to you!

Others, well… others just want to feel a little special.  A little appreciated.  Just a bit.

That’s why stumbling upon Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls Galentine’s Day event on G+ has me SO excited. (Yeah, yeah… Jessica, they did that on Parks and Rec, like, forever ago! Well, I don’t watch Parks and Rec, sassy pants.)

Because, we DON’T need to rely on the lovers in our lives to make us feel special.  We have whole communities of people who love each other just because they’re people, and worth loving.

People just like you.

YOU, who works 60 hours a week.

YOU, who works part time while going to school.

YOU, who is laid off and taking time to rediscover your hobbies.

YOU, who stays home with your kids.

YOU, who serves in our nation’s military.

YOU, who jetsets and explores this huge, amazing world we live in.

You.  Yes, you.

I want YOU to be my Galentine.  I want to celebrate the awesomeness that is you.  Not because I want to get laid, or because I’m socially obligated to make you feel special.

But because you deserve it, Galentine.  For being awesomely, perfectly, unapologetically you.

Call me sometime, and we’ll go do Gal-Pal stuff.  I’ll listen to you rant about the new guy at work, I’ll spare you the details of the latest poop catastrophe my 2 year old created, and we’ll laugh over mimosas and pedicures.

gal1platonic gal2crazy gal3pedisI put stuff in my hair and did my makeup for these, you guys.
You’re welcome.

Why I Don’t Expect Romance on Valentine’s Day

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With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I’m finding myself in a tough spot.

The spot where, while I love being romanced, my husband is not a romantic guy.

I know this.  I’ve always known this.  He’s sweet, but he’s never been over the top.

He proposed to me while we were getting ready for bed, for Pete’s sake.  But that’s a story for another day.

This June will mark 10 years of us being together and I can’t remember one epically romantic instance initiated by him.

For him, Valentine’s Day is one of 4 times a year I hope for flowers; Valentine’s Day, our wedding anniversary, Mother’s Day, and my birthday.  We rarely get each other cards, because we clearly express our feelings for each other on a daily basis.  No need to waste money to write the same sentiments out.  While I would love the thoughtfulness, Captain just doesn’t see the point.  If I ask, he’ll take me to a nice dinner, or we might go on a date.  Most of the time, though, we choose to stay in and have a nice Valentine’s Day dinner as a family.

None of it excites me.  For the most part, Valentine’s Day is the same as any other day, with a lot of extra hype.  I still have kids to take care of, he still has a job to go to, and there will still be fights and messes along the way to bedtime.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I would LOVE for there to be a Valentine’s Day when he goes all out and treats me with surprises and sweet sentiments.   But in our 9.5 years of being together, I’ve learned that if I want something from him, I have to spell it out, and getting a gift because I told him to get it doesn’t have the same significance as being surprised with a heartfelt gesture.

It’s the difference between having hopes and having expectations.  Sure, I’ll always hope to have a super romantic Valentine’s Day, but will I expect it?  No.

And that’s okay.

Because,

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It’s the every day I Love Yous.  The hand holding during dinner, just because we want to touch.  His doing the dishes because he knows I hate it.  Me bringing him his coffee.  The flirty pats on the butt as we pass each other in the hallway.  Him knowing that I can’t fall asleep if he’s wrapped around me, me understanding that he enjoys falling asleep physically connected, and the compromises we make to ensure we both feel fulfilled.

So you can keep your fancy chocolates, your glitzy jewelry, your expensive flowers, and your glamorous nights on the town.

I’ll be happily parked on the couch with the man of my dreams, who makes sure I know I’m loved every day, indulging in our Friday family ritual of pizza and a kid movie.

And, maybe we’ll get a dessert pizza for the occasion.

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