Whether they admit it or not, most women when they were 12-year-old girls, began to dream about that special guy for them. Growing up I had such Hollywood examples as Patrick Swayze in “Dirty Dancing.” Talk about heartthrob! I definitely wanted a guy who could do the Mambo and the Cha-cha. Who knew I’d marry a man who couldn’t stand to even sorta slow dance?!
When I envisioned the man I would marry, I knew he’d need to have lots of money to provide for me, preferably a doctor, lawyer, or Wall Street businessman. I figured he’d have a degree, a sports car, and no problem handing me the keys to a big house with a white picket fence. I didn’t realize that at 40-years-old I’d look at the man beside me and see a pick-up driving, vagabond, high-school graduate.
I grew up in the amazing fashion trends of the eighties so I definitely knew I’d snag a guy like Blane from “Pretty in Pink”; an Andrew McCarthy, snazzy, yet casual, suit-wearing sweetheart, complete with crooked shades and a matching smirk. Well, I got the smirk all right, but I spent some days wondering if I hid my husband’s favorite T-shirt with the holes in it, if he’d notice.
As a young girl, and even later as a young woman, there were certain traits, qualities, and attributes that I was sure I required in a spouse. As a non-married person, I felt qualified on what constituted a good marriage partner. I had specific key points such as looks, finances, housing, and stuff like that. You know, the things that would make you happy in life. Of course, he had to treat me well, open doors, and buy me flowers. He needed to like long walks on the beach and share my hobbies and interests. Boy, was I in for a shocker.
If I were to be completely honest with the man I married I’d have to tell him that he doesn’t have a checkmark beside most of the things on my Dream Guy list. In fact, he’s nothing like the man I dreamed of marrying! Nothing!
It turns out, though, that the things you imagine to be deal breakers are no big deal, and then the nuisances you found adorable happen to turn quite annoying when you’re doing full-time life. A cute smile doesn’t cure an argument, a fancy car doesn’t help you raise the kids, and along the way, you realize the things that matter most in life don’t even have a price tag. In real marriage, the good guys win, not the charming ones in designer duds with a well-known family name. A good heart triumphs over a dozen roses any day, and qualities like patience, faithfulness, and kindness rank above dirty dance moves and that attractive, bad boy bit.
So yeah, my husband is definitely nothing like the man I dreamed he would be. He’s better. Over the past eight and a half years, he has exceeded my wildest dreams. I thought that when you fell in love with the man of your dreams the best you could hope for would be that the love remains, that it wouldn’t fade with time. They say, after all, that true love sustains, that it never ends. That’s what I was counting on. Well, I had no idea. What I didn’t know was that love could grow every day, that it could multiply, deepen, and persist. I didn’t know it could teach me to become a better person, that it could stretch me, and make me more giving of my own emotions. I never dreamed that each day with my husband could be better than the last, yet somehow it is.
I thought I’d get lucky and land the man of my dreams. Instead, I’m building a life with the man who shares my dreams, who helps me dream bigger, and who shows me happiness isn’t just a dream. It’s a reality. It’s a real thing that we can sustain and build upon. I have married a man who shares my passion for God, who sees family time as most important, and who isn’t afraid to fail, or try something new as the Lord leads us. I’m on a traveling adventure with my best friend who loves me more than the air he breathes, and has no problem showing it. I have a partner who truly shares the load, serves me, loves me unconditionally, protects, teaches, and lovingly disciplines our children, and who understands neither of us are [is] perfect, and that’s okay.
So he doesn’t like to dance or read books out in the sun like I do, but when I snuggle into the space on his chest and under his arm, I feel like I could die happy. When I look into his deep, caring eyes I can’t imagine looking anywhere else. As I gaze upon my husband at the end of another wonderful day together I realize that I didn’t marry the man of my dreams. Instead, I married the man God led me to, and each day becomes a dream come true.