Friday, September 17, 2010

I Married Up

When my loved ones act shocked that I landed such a smart, good looking, and put-together guy, I get a little insulted sometimes. Of course, I, too, think my husband is fabulous, but do they have to act like I pulled something off? What kind of schlump did they expect me to end up with?

It’s quite the opposite of how they acted, back when I was single. Back then, every guy I took interest in was fatally flawed, and I needed to show more self-respect. His hair style was too feminine. He owned too many guns. He wasn’t funny. He tried to be too funny. He just wanted sex.  Time after time, my treasured family and friends warned me off a potential love interest and suggested that perhaps I didn’t realize how smart, beautiful, or wonderful I was, because I should not settle.

Then along came my husband, and suddenly the tables turned. “How does he put up with your…?” “You should really cut him some slack about….” “Doesn’t he need a guys’ night by now?” Somehow, they can’t seem to believe that my husband tolerated the sound of my voice, let alone my fashion-sense, family values, sense of humor, or ego long enough to meet me at the altar. There was an overall wave of shock when we announced our engagement and I didn’t change my plans to teach abroad for a year before the wedding, “You mean he’s going to wait for you?” Imagine that – a guy so great and so in love with me, that he would give me space to fulfill a dream before settling down together.

Well, as you can probably imagine, I’ve developed some perspective about this as the years have gone by. I’ve been part of my husband’s family, as my brothers-in-law have sought and found love, and witnessed the process through my siblings, cousins, and friends. I’ve even (I’m sure you’re not surprised) developed a theory about it.

When you are with someone that your loved ones think might not be right for you, all they see are your attributes and their flaws. They are fearful that you might have to live out your life burdened by those flaws. When you are with someone that your loved ones think is really the right one, they are fearful that it won’t work out and you will miss this amazing chance at happiness. They begin to focus on your flaws, but not because they think any less of you. They’re your loved ones; they knew your flaws all along. They’re just amazed to find that there’s another soul in the world who can see you for who you are and love you the way they do. They probe your flaws to confirm whether it’s really true and probe his attributes to figure out if they’re for real, too.

As insulting as it can be sometimes, I’m thrilled that the most important people in my life think my husband is such a catch. They see what I see and they’re happy for us. I’m so glad I didn’t settle. My dearest hope for my own children is to someday believe in my heart they married someone as perfect for them as he is for me; hopefully I can communicate that to them someday without making them feel like comparative schlumps.

Get married and have children, then help your sons find wives and help your daughters find husbands, so they can have children as well. Jeremiah 25:6


  1. I never thought you married up. I praised God that you finally met your match! Although you found a fabulous husband, Brian married a wonderful, warmhearted, dedicated woman.

  2. Oh Emily, I know your pain... I married up too. We should start a club :)

  3. Funny you should say that, because we all thought Todd did. :D tee hee. You're great together.