We hear it all too often. Especially in Southern California, land of the sunshine, palm trees and botox.
"I hate my ex husband."
"My ex wife took all my money."
Instead of being negative, I decided to go the OPPOSITE way. Never mind that our marriage didn't "last." We still had a decent 13 year run at it and laughed a lot along the way. (Reasons for divorce? Another blog post.)
7 Reasons Why I loved my Former Husband
1. He knew what he wanted.
From the moment I met him at 17 (yikes) he knew he wanted to get married and have a family and own his own businesses. He was clear from the get go. There was no, "well, let's just hang out and cruise." He knew where he was going (even if his internal GPS threw him off the trail!) and no on was going to stop him. SEXY.
2. He was funny.
I have never laughed so hard then when I was with Brad. Crying, laughing, stomach splitting laughing. He was so self-deprecating and would so easily admit his faults that I couldn't not laugh. I'm positive not everyone else agrees with me, but make me laugh and I'm yours forever...........
3. He owned stuff.
And not just an xbox. He had grownup stuff. Furniture. Appliances. Not fancy stuff but stuff that showed commitment.
4. He was kind to animals
On Cinco de Mayo 1999, a day after his 33rd birthday I ran into him at Gold's Gym in Lahaina and he told me a story. The previous day he came home from work and his cat was so excited to see him and she ran across the street, got hit by a car right in front of him and died in his arms. But not before she took a serious bite out of his hand while she looked in his eyes. He cried in the middle of the gym with his swollen cat bite hand. He had feelings. He CARED.
5. He had houseplants
He had a knack for green things (hahahaha hence all the comedy) and was able to keep them alive. I cannot keep anything green alive, just small human beings and I'm not great at that. His plants were not dead.
6. He was passionate
Our first year of marriage was SUPER hard. We barely knew each other, were having a baby and I might as well have been 12. Christmas morning 2000, I phone my Grandpa who goes off on some tangent about how I should have gone to college and blah blah blah. I hang up and can't stop crying. I'm 20, pregnant and super excited for my first Christmas as a married woman. What does my husband do?
Calls the Grandpa.
Tells him off in a kick ass respectful way.
"How dare you ruin my beautiful wife's Christmas morning?!"
By the end of the conversation they are friends and my Grandpa agrees and recants. This is crazy town. My Grandpa NEVER recants. A man that is wiling to stand up for his bride, or in this case WHAT IS RIGHT is a man I want by my side.
7. He was handy
Not all men are handy and that's fine. However, if you can fix my flat tire, change my oil, tell me the ins and outs of a diesel engine or what the molecular structure of an atom is... YOU ARE WINNING. Brad was handy. He was loaded with common sense. WAY more than I. I'm loaded with artsy fartsy stuff no one cares about. Logic? Have no clue what that is. This guy though was full of it. He had a knack for common sense and never let the fact that he dropped out of high school get in his way. One of my favorite lines from him was "if people just used their mirrors in cars they would be much better drivers." Hehehehehe
What do all of these things have in common?
Vulnerability. Compassion. Care.
Show me a vulnerable human being and I'll show you an amazing person. If I can show vulnerability in a person thru a photograph, then the image becomes ten times better.
Don't be afraid to be yourself. Put your masks away.
I'm happy I can look back and smile when I think of all the wonderful things he brought to me.
It's a pretty good place to be.
(And I know he NEVER reads this blog.)
(Handy also qualifies you to be in my post-zombie-apocalyptic-caravan)