My husband never wanted the family he ended up with. He was in his mid-twenties, rebelling against The System, self-medicating, and a very experienced player when I first met him. He was trying to break away from that lifestyle, but he had no idea how or what to do even if he did manage to do so. He knew no other way in life. No other way to be.
It was the same kind of fast and furious- with a dash of faith for good measure- way of life he grew up around that kept him trapped.
Unfortunately for him, the kind of girls he preferred were not the loyal, take-home-to-mother type. When I met him, I was just the kind of girl he needed to support him through his most recent bad boy expenditures and provide the foundation necessary for a change in outward appearances – I was a young, naive, gullible, unwed, single mother of two toddler boys.
So he settled for settling down with me.
I was only supposed to be a pawn ticket he could cash in later on and retrieve the freedom he sold out for a stereotype when he found his way.
He knew he was way above my league and could charm me into anything he wanted. I would do anything to feel like one of the enviable girls that came before me – gorgeous, sexy, tiny with all the right curves. The bad boy in him could live on undetected under the guise of his instant ready-made family. I never saw it coming and was too desperate not to be the shamefully single, young mom I was to stand up for myself once I saw his true colors. While his party hard debauchery never led him unfaithfully astray, he valued his ability to live on the edge more than he valued life itself. In the back of my mind, I was waiting for the day he decided to redeem his pawn slip, shattering my dreams of happily ever after.
Ten years later, I am in complete awe of the man standing before me today.
He has come full circle and embraced the life he never wanted for anything more than appearances sake. This man went from drinking and popping pills until he figuratively was the walking dead to sober and clean for the past 7 years. He busts his ass and bloodies his knuckles, even suffers the occasional second degree burn, in a cold-drawn steel factory anywhere from 60 to 78 hours a week. A WEEK! Some humans barely stay awake that long in a week. The level of exhaustion this man has reached must be previously unheard of before – and this is coming from the mouth of a stay-at-home mom of 4 kids. Yup, we have even added to the family he never wanted. Two little girls to match the two boys of mine. His time at home is wrapped around all their fingers as they get attacked by Tickle Monsters and cuddled during campfire story nights in the living room. He plays endless games of catch and gets up to look at every, “Daddy watch me!”
My husband is now the kind of father I used to dream of having as a young girl watching her own father get lost in the bottom of a liquor bottle every night.
Even the dynamic of our marriage has turned around. No longer do I feel as if I will never measure up to all those damn notches in his old headboard; as if I am not the kind of woman he wanted to stand by his side without being embarrassed. We have a genuine friendship stronger than any I have ever had. More so than even my longest of childhood friends. My husband has learned to be selfless where he once was very selfish. He is incredibly humble and tender, with a fierce need to protect all five pieces of his heart. Somehow, the barrier around his soul has been shattered, allowing our love to penetrate his once icy, egotistical heart…and that cold heart has warmed over, radiating love back into our lives tenfold.
It is the most amazing thing.
A man who lived each day like it was his dying last, who was the only human left on this planet worthy of greed, has left behind the only life he ever knew. And for what? His wife and children.
There is no greater man… father… husband… than that.
I am the luckiest woman on this Earth. This man who never wanted the family which landed in his lap is now the family man I always knew he had it in him to be. By some unknown kismetted grace of fate, he chose me, and for that I am eternally grateful. I cannot think of anything better life could have ever had to offer me than my husband – the father of my four children.