My husband and I are getting ready to celebrate a milestone anniversary – one that makes me feel really old if I think of the number – 35 years. (I was a baby when we married. It was one of those arranged things between families. We were betrothed at birth, wed via proxy, didn’t meet until years later after we’d reached the age of consent…) In truth, we were young, but we were legal by a couple years.
Over these many blessed years, there has been only one thing about him that I truly wished I could change: his temper. It’s HOT. But not a steady burn, more like a leap of flame that’s quickly extinguished. He calls it an “Irish” temper. I call it a pain in my you-know-what because I don’t understand how he can get angry over stupid little things—like getting stopped at a red light.
Life happens. Get over it. Am I right?
My temper, in contrast, is more of a slow boil. It simmers and simmers and simmers …then blows. So afterhe’s blown (his lid, his cool, whatever), it's as if nothing has happened. But I’m left with this simmering I-want-to-strangle-him-but-know-I-can’t-because-he’s-the-father-of-my-children-and-my-husband-of-35-years feeling.
So I was thinking about this big milestone anniversary coming up and how, after 35 years, if that’s my biggest complaint, I’ve been pretty lucky.
Then I started analyzing his temper, and I realized that his anger is balanced by the other side of his emotion—his romantic, loving side.
He loves to cuddle. He tells me I’m beautiful. We tell each other “I love you” before we go to sleep every night, even if we’re PO’d at each other.
He’s fiercely protective of me, too, to the point where it’s sometimes annoying (like I lose track of time shopping and he’s all worried). But if I’m honest with myself, I like knowing that someone cares that much. And if he gets cranky over little stuff, he’s a rock when it comes to the big stuff—like driving me with my cat (who has a broken tail) to the vet in the middle of a snow storm. He’s there for me every time. Or standing nose-to-nose with our teenaged son (who had just called me a nasty name, as teenagers will) and telling him to NEVER speak to his mother like that again.
Still, he’s a big marshmallow when it comes to family. He cried when both our sons were born. With our younger son, he was so enamored, he walked right out of the delivery room holding him, not noticing where he was going, and had a whole bunch of nurses give chase. He cried at their graduations and other proud moments in their lives, and I know he’ll cry if we ever get them married off. Grandchildren? He’ll be a fountain.
I know friends whose husbands are “cool-tempered,” men they can barely wring a word out of, much less a nightly “I love you.”
So after thinking about it, I’ve decided if I had it to do over again, knowing what I do now, I’d go for the hot-headed emotional cuddler every time.
What about you?
Hello, all -- I'm at the Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, Virginia, all day Saturday, getting my fill of romance in a day of romance panels affectionately termed "Love Fest." I apologize for my absence, but I'll try to respond when I'm home Saturday evening...you know, back with my hubby who will be worrying about me driving across the state of Virginia by myself. :-)
Leah writes stories of mystery and romance, good and evil and the redeeming power of love. Visit her at LeahStJames.com, or on Facebook or Pinterest.