As Valentine’s Day approaches, I’m putting my heart to paper and sharing what I love about my husband…with a little extra help from the experts at Hallmark.
A year before I met my husband, I sat down and wrote a list of all the things I wanted in a spouse. I had a series of relationships prior, including a crushing, failed marriage, that really forced me to take stock in what I wanted my future to look like. I wanted my next serious relationship to last, but I wasn’t going to settle for someone who didn’t fully meet everything I wanted in a husband. I was done settling and ready to find that person who I knew…absolutely knew… fully and easily fit into the space I had in my heart for someone.
A few weeks ago I was doing some cleaning and decluttering and in the back of my jewelry drawer, I found some folded up pieces of notebook paper. When I pulled the paper out, I realized it was my “list” I had created 17+ years ago, outlining the 40 things I wanted in a husband. The funny thing is, I’ve never once shared this list with my husband, even though up until the day we got married, I had a mental checklist going on in my head, always amazed at how well he stood up to it.
So, as part of the Hallmark “Put Your Heart to Paper” initiative, I’ve decided to share some of the things I love about Nick. These things just so happen to correspond with “the list”…and still stand true, a thousand times over. What words would you use if you couldn’t use “I Love You”? Think beyond those three little words, and express your love by putting your heart to paper. For some ideas, read what the writers over at Hallmark would say. But for now… to my husband…and my list of 36 things (combined some of them) I wanted in a husband:
- Faithful – I’m not sure exactly how I meant this… loyal or faith in God, but either way, your faithfulness to me… your un-relenting loyalty to me and our family means so much. Take with that your faith in God, even though quiet, is such an incredible thing to witness.
- Likes the city and the country – I’ve never met a more compatible travel companion than you. I love exploring new places with you….whether it be a quiet small town in the midwest, or an island of adventure…there’s no one on earth I’d rather see the world with!
- Loving – You are loving in small ways and big. The way you put your hand on my back when you walk beside me, the tender way you hold our kids when they are sad or frustrated…each loving moment is noticed and appreciated.
- Complimenting – You aren’t a gusher, but you never fail to tell me how beautiful you think I am… even after all these years, pounds and wrinkles. Your belief and confidence in me and your continuous support in voicing it keeps me going, often. Thank you.
- Best Friend – You were then and still are #1 in my life. My best friend.
- Great with Kids – I had no idea when I put this on my list so many years ago that we’d be a family of 6, with 4 awesome kids. Watching you with them completes me. You are the best dad…the absolute best.
- Priorities – I can’t imagine how you manage to balance all you do, but you have always made it clear to anyone or anything trying to intervene on your priorities that your family is first. You say it and you live it.
- Affectionate – Considering I am probably the least affectionate person on the planet, I’m not sure why I even put this on there…but there you are, way more affectionate than I have ever been. Nothing is better than your hugs. I feel safe and loved in your arms.
- Loves Animals – It’s taken awhile, but the relationship you and Meg have warms my heart. It’s the oddest friendship, but special just the same! I know you have a soft spot for animals…
- Appreciates nature – Yes… I think our hikes in the mountains and bike rides in the summer, when we sometimes just pause to take it all in… just yes.
- Successful – You are one of the most successful men I know. I admire so much how driven you are and how you work hard and set goals to achieve the successes you have in your life.
- Older – This is the only item out of 40 you don’t meet. I guess I don’t mind settling for someone who is 3 months younger.
- Unselfish – I’m selfish… and I am so glad I found the opposite in a husband. You let me be spoiled and selfish and you unselfishly put everyone else first in front of you and your needs.
- Likes my friends – you like my friends, my friends like you. That’s a good thing!
- Social – you don’t love social situations but in the right crowd, you know how to captivate an audience. You are funny, endearing, thoughtful and easy to talk with.
- Goal Oriented – Motivated – You kind of make me sick with how you are able to set goals and stick to them and achieve them, without wavering. It’s a trait in you I admire and one I wish I was more like. When you say you are going to do something, you do it. That’s a rare quality in people these days.
- Loves their family, loves mine – Your closeness with your siblings is something I am jealous of…I admire how much you love them and they love you. You have always loved and accepted my family – as challenging as we may be sometimes – as your own. Watching you with my parents all those many years ago is what made me fall in love with you. It’s one thing that makes me fall in love with you over and over again today.
- Flexible – Our biggest fights over the years have been about change…but you are growing in this are and learning and trying so hard to be more flexible and adaptable. I know it’s hard for you, but I want you to know I notice the effort and appreciate it so much.
- Loves Kansas City – Well, I can’t get you to move away from here, so I’d say you love Kansas City!
- Likes to travel – You knew I wasn’t kidding when before we got married I said I wanted a commitment to traveling someplace every year in our marriage vows. I love that you love to explore and travel as much as I do. I’m so thankful that traveling is as much of a priority for you as it is for me. Travel fills my soul!
- Responsible / Mature – Remember when I wouldn’t date you because I said you were too responsible and mature? Well I’m glad I got over that. Your maturity and responsibility has taken you far in this world… and is proving to be a pretty amazing characteristic in a husband. I’m glad twenty something year old me went against my young wishes and realized how important these qualities would be someday!
- Adventurous/Fun – We’ve had so much fun and every day is an adventure with our family. I am glad you are willing to embrace the craziness!
- Spontaneous – With 4 kids, this one has a different meaning than it used to…but now sometimes spontaneous may even mean heading out at 10pm to bring back ice cream to go with a late movie. I love our version of spontaneous!
- Casual and Formal – You look amazing in a suit and damn sexy in jeans (especially with that black button down shirt and a scruffy face).
- Sexy – Yes… just yes. See #24.
- Kind – You are the single most kind person I know. You look out for others and do so many small acts of kindness everyday that get overlooked. You are a quietly kind, not needing fanfare or attention… I love this about you so much.
- Giving – You would give the shirt off your back to someone if they needed it. You care about others and have such a giving heart.
- Funny – Your sense of humor catches people off guard sometimes. I love how your funny sneaks up on people! I love it when you make me laugh.
- Willing to try new things – I think all the food you’ll eat now compared to when we first met is just one great example of this…had you even eaten a salad before we met? 😉 Thanks for always willing to be my adventure partner in crime.
- Patient – One word… Ella. The patience you show to our daughter and her special needs when I am completely out sometimes brings tears to my eyes. You are a good, good dad.
- Good job – You’ve been at the same company since college and have moved so rapidly up that ladder. You have a great job and you’ve done a great job of navigating your way to the top with honor and integrity. I love that about you!
- Family Oriented – You always, always, always put our family first. Always.
- Romantic – OK, so you may not be rose petals in the bathtub kind of romantic, but you are romantic in the small things you do… surprise coffee on my nightstand when I wake up, flowers for no reason, sweet cards, calling during the day just to say hi… those little things are way more to me than the grand romantic gestures.
- Intelligent – You are so smart and think outside the box. I love how practical you are, your common sense and the way you use your brain. That’s sexy.
- Willing to spoil me – Considering you brought me breakfast in bed on YOUR birthday weekend, I’d say I’m spoiled. Thank you 🙂
- Open/Honest – I can trust what you say without a doubt, and trust the commitment we have to each other. Trust is such a key ingredient in a marriage and I am so thankful that I can trust you 110%.
I know that when I wrote that list out when I was in my 20’s, God had you in mind for me…and I thank Him everyday for that. Thank you for being my shoulder to cry on, my hand to hold, and the great love of my life. I love you. Always.
Disclosure: A special thanks to my friends at Hallmark for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are my own. For special discounts, product offerings and news about Hallmark, feel free to sign up for their newsletter. Thanks for supporting brands that help Dine & Dish to be possible.