Today marks eight years of being married to my hubby, John Fileta (also known as the greatest man I know). I’ll never forget walking down the aisle toward this sweet, excited, tear-eyed man, and saying “I do” to the rest of our lives. It was the best day of my life.
It’s no doubt that marriage is romantic, but with that said, I think we often “romanticize” it into something it’s actually not. We buy into the Hollywood portrayal and imagine romantic walks on the beach, breakfast in bed, and legs intertwined after sex.
While marriage is certainly made up of those things, as I reflect on the past eight years, I realize that the interesting thing about marriage is that the most significant moments are often found in the normalcy of life.
The past eight years has come with the welcomed changes of four moves to three different states, two beautiful children, and a slew of different jobs along the way. Somewhere in the middle of those major milestones you throw in a few vacations, a couple projects, and a bunch of chores and you have what we call life. Beautiful life.
When we envision marriage, I don’t think most people grasp that the majority of being married is made of the simple stuff that comes with living your life. From paying bills, to unloading the dishwasher. From buying furniture, to getting the car’s oil changed. From making dinner, to giving the kids a bath. So much of marriage is created in the day to day stuff of life.
When it comes to marriage, I often get asked why I married my husband. What was it about him that set him apart from the rest? As I was getting to know John, one reason I KNEW that he would make a great husband is because he fit into the normalcy of my life. Not only did he fit, but he made the day to day stuff so much better…here’s why:
He Loves Jesus:
From the day we met, I knew my husband had a genuine love for Jesus, because it was a love that was spilling out of his life. That love was the driving force behind everything he did: from his pursuit of a job, to the people he invested in. No matter what decision we’re making, or what direction we’re going, the bottom line always comes down to living for Christ. And whether we’re raising our kids, choosing a Netflix movie, or managing our finances – his commitment to walk with God is the reason I can fully, faithfully, and fearlessly commit to walking through life with him by my side. Always.
He Loves me:
I always had a fear of “one-sided” relationships, because I had seen so many of them around me. But one of the main things that sets my relationship with my husband apart is that it’s always been a two-way street. From the day we met to this very day, we’re both working toward loving, giving, and serving one another to the best of our ability. I can trust without a shadow of a doubt that he will love, support, and put me first in his life. And when you find a friend who will lay down his life for you – that’s a love worth holding on to.
One thing I’ve always loved about my husband is that when it comes to taking responsibility: he’s not a boy, he’s a man. He knows how to take care of himself and our family. I can trust him to carry his weight in our relationship, to give-and-take, and to be right there with me through thick and thin. One of my favorite things about this is that I get to be his wife — not his mother. As weird as it might sound, it’s so easy to fall into the “mother-son” roles in marriage. Maybe the man doesn’t “step it up” like he should in one area or another, and the wife finds herself nagging, criticizing, and controlling more often than not. As a woman, I’m always on guard not to let the “mother in me” take control because I don’t want to have that role in his life; I want to be his wife, his partner, and his companion.
Even though I love to laugh, I tend to be a more serious person overall. I’d much rather talk about religion than sports. And I’d choose a drama over a comedy any day. I’m a realist by nature and I tend to see things for what they are, dark side included. My husband, on the other hand, is the bright side of the two of us. He’s the optimist, the comedian, and he’s pretty much always relaxed. He’s a much needed factor to the equation of our day-to-day life. He reminds me to take a step back, take a couple breaths, enjoy life and always makes me laugh along the way. Our personalities fit so well together, because we bring balance to each other’s lives. Like our pre-marriage counselor told us, “you’re the gas…and he’s the brakes”. And you always, always, always need both.
One thing I know about my husband, without a shadow of a doubt is this: he’s not going anywhere. I got my first glimpse of that truth two weeks before our wedding day. We had just finished up doing some wedding registry shopping, when all of a sudden I got terribly sick at the store, and upon driving home, I threw up my Pad Thai lunch all over his bathroom floor. Yikes. As awkward as that could have been, one thing I’ll never forget about that day is how well he took care of me, holding my hair and supporting my head while I literally puked out my lunch. That same faithfulness has been the strength of our family, supporting me and taking care of us through the highs and lows of life. Successes and failures, illness and health, he’s walked by my side every single step, holding me through the laughter and the tears. He’s a man of faithfulness, committed to changing, maturing, growing, and doing whatever he needs to do to be the man our family needs him to be.
There are so many reasons I love my husband, and so many things that set him apart. But as I look back at the past eight years of our marriage, I’m so thankful for the man God has made him to be. There’s no other person I’d rather do the “stuff of life” with.
Happy Anniversary Babe!!! I love you more and more with each passing year. Go with me, my love…
To hear more of our story: Pick up a copy of my book, True Love Dates!
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!