Eric and I have been a couple for a really long time, longer than half of our lives. We have known each other since we were kids. I was there when he couldn't grow any facial hair to the point at which we currently find ourselves; with a beard so large that should probably have a name (spitballing beard name ideas: Griswald, Rachet Porksaw, Brick McFrizz, etc.) He knew me when I exclusively wore vintage men's polyester to the point at which we currently find ourselves; I have broadened my vintage polyester tastes.
We have gone through several life phases together including: high school, college, more college, more college still, grad school, parenthood, and various other adulting phases. Throughout these many years we have grown together: talking out our dreams, plans, ideas, and whatever else people talk about over the course of time. We have had some amazing highs together and we have weathered the trials and heartaches that life has thrown our way.
Through it all we have been given and have actively maintained a loving and supportive relationship. Honestly, I am thankful every single day for our friendship and marriage. He has taught me so very much. I get an unreasonable amount of credit for being a kind person, but the truth is that Eric is by far my better half. Or, ugh I hate that term as it implies that we aren't whole on our own, but you get the idea. I have learned so much about being a good person from my husband. Eric is going to be so uncomfortable with this post, but I am going to share anyway. So here are a few of the things Eric has taught me about marriage:
Give: Eric gives so much of himself. He works really hard at everything he does. His job, art, music, skating, relationships. He will give and give and give. Just this week alone he'd had a long day at work and was still not 100% after a stomach bug, but he knew I'd had a hard day. So he came home from work and took the girls to a class they had, giving me time to take a long walk and a bath. Then he brought home dinner. Last night after the girls were in bed I went out to meet with a friend for an hour (he had encouraged me to make more time for my friends) and while I was away he went through a whole bunch of my drawings and put them in order by cutting matboard and packing them for sale. Some of the gestures seem small, but they are so big!
Be patient: His patience is seemingly endless. I don't know how he does this.
Forgive: He always forgives, not just me, but everyone. Always. He never looks for revenge or retribution, only forgiveness.
Try to understand: He is endlessly trying to think about others' needs, feelings, or point of view. I cannot tell you how valuable this skill is to a person.
Encourage: Eric is the great inspirerer. Possibly his most underrated gift is his ability to encourage and inspire others. He inspires me every day. He inspires our children. Through his work he does this with artists all. the. time. Inspiring someone is such a powerful gift; it truly can transform lives.
Have fun: Eric is always coming up with something fun. From creating a My Little Pony zip line to spontaneously inventing rules for croquet. He is always making me laugh. Just this week we had an hour long discussion about whether or not we should collect walrus art to hang on a single wall.
Anyway, I don't mean to sound like I am bragging, I'm not. I am just endlessly thankful.