Family, Living

Stronger Together

I’ve spent a very large part of my life being self-sufficient. Life required it at some points. And at other points, I just preferred it that way. And while all of this can be positive work wise, I’ve sometimes gone overboard with the Alpha woman mentality at home. Self-sufficiency and resiliency can have drawbacks if you completely forget how to be a team player and let people in, both in work and in life.

Married life has taught me that it takes a pretty special kind of man to be in a good relationship with a self-sufficient and independent woman – and some particular qualities. Here are some of the things I love most about my special guy, and some of the things about him that make it all work.

1. He’s patient.

He’s strong, confident, and steady, and not afraid of taking a long time on things that need time. He’s been a great balance for me that way, since I’m forever running after something new and sometimes not giving things the time they deserve.

2. He’s rational and logical. And patient.

His approach to solving problems and arguments is solid and rational, and he’s always looking for a deeper understanding of the situation. He’ll stand his ground and back up his argument, and he’ll fully consider the other side.

And if things get emotional, he’s patient enough to engage the discussion at another time instead of trying to fight it out then. He knows when to engage, and when it’s safer just to ninja out of the room, which he also does with dexterity.

3. He supports my plans but has his own, too.

My husband has made a lot of sacrifices so that we can follow my career around the world, but he’s definitely still got his own thing going, and is having a great time in the world of visual effects and architectural pre-visualization. I love seeing how passionate he gets about his projects, and I love also that he’s always ready to support mine as well.

He’s the perfect complement for formal functions because of his willingness to let me be my social butterfly self balanced with holding up his own side of the conversation as needed.

4. He challenges me and pushes me when I need it.

His creative energy, ideas, and desire to experience new things push me as well. While I’m more adventurous, there are plenty of times when I’m holding back and not pursuing something, for whatever reason, and he’ll call me on it. He’s fair and he’s calm about it, but he’s never afraid to call something what it is.

I’ll tell you, I get a lot more done and it’s easier to stick to resolutions with someone around who isn’t afraid to call me on copping out. And I wouldn’t stick to my creative pursuits at all without him. I’m always looking to abandon them because they’re not productive, and he reminds me that not everything has to be.

5. We make each other laugh like crazy people.

Life is short and full of things that will stress you out like mad. Anyone who can make you sit in the midst of all the craziness and laugh at it saves you from being driven crazy by it, and that’s gold.

There are so many things I could add to this list, but I could also summarize it pretty easily, too – our best relationships are made up of people who don’t hinder our abilities to be our best selves, but augment and support those abilities so that we’re better in combination than we are alone. We aren’t perfect by a long stretch, and we’ve got our fair share of things that drive us nuts, but if we’ve learned anything in our time being married, it’s that we’re stronger and better together.

Happy six years, handsome guy. And thanks for putting up with me. I love you.

P.S. Our beautiful engagement pictures courtesy of the lovely and talented Kelly Schwark.