In Praise of Lee

>> Friday, July 3, 2009

Ah, yesterday, I bitched about my ex. Believe me, giving me some "amusing" stories is the least I deserved.

On the other hand, living with X for all those years would be worth it if it were necessary for me to find and appreciate my current husband. I'm not sure if it was, though I don't doubt I appreciate my husband more (and stand up for myself better) as a result of all those years in a different environment.

Lee is a not without flaw. He is, in fact, quite challenging in many ways. But Lee is also impossibly incredible. When I look at him, it's like looking into the cosmos, an infinity of possibility and wonder. But, aside from the blind, overpowering, brain-eradicating and irrevocable love I feel, the overwhelming soul recognition I have, he's actually a pretty incredible person with a wealth of traits that would have been appealing anyway:

  • Lee genuinely cares about me more than anything. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever put me first before - not even me. When I was going through my divorce, most of us, myself included, were focused on my daughter and what was best for her. Lee was focused on me (and was willing to use my preoccupation with my daughter to manipulate me to take steps for myself).
  • Lee listens. Twelve years with X has really given me an appreciation for someone willing to hear what I have to say, to listen to what I have to say, even when we're fighting. I've discovered, although he can be intractable during a fight, my viewpoint actually tends to filter through the angst and the arguing. After the noise has gone away, he often thinks about what I say and rethinks his position, sometimes even changing his mind, but, at least, developing a better understanding for my point of view. I can't tell you how appealing that is.
  • Lee can say the absolutely right thing at the right time (though he can do the opposite as well). The moment he went from friend/kid to me to a real person with incredible wisdom was the day he defused my first ever panic attack by choosing exactly the words I needed to hear to regain my perspective. And, periodically, he does it again.
  • He understands where I came from. We're both the oldest of large families and many of the trials and challenges I've faced he has, too. We've both dealt with unadulterated hatred, selfishness, dysfunction.
  • He's incredibly capable. His dyslexia has not stopped him from being creative, intelligent, capable, reliable and thoughtful - as it shouldn't have. Because of his own brilliance, he isn't threatened by my own. In fact, he insists on it.
  • He knows how to play. One of my own weaknesses is how hard it is for me to really relax, to take time to play, to play effectively. I've not only learned more than I ever knew about that from Lee, he has helped me learn to take time for myself (which is healthy) and helped me remember that my children should get their play time, too.
  • He balances me. Where I'm too unselfish, he has some measure of greediness. Whereas I can be too honest for my own good, some of Lee's morals are of the flexible kind. Where I focus on all the things we need to do, he reminds me of the equally important things we want to do. When I get too logical/rational, he gives me some much needed nonsense. Whereas I can be too focused to see the big picture, he can remind me of it.
  • He helps me regain my whimsy. Lee is particularly imaginative and his imagination and mine mesh wonderfully, both on paper and in life.
  • Lee sees the real me like no one else. And he thinks I'm beautiful. How do you beat that?
So if the husband lottery didn't turn out too well for me the first time, I lucked out big time the second time around.


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