On his 55th birthday 5 things I’ve learned about men since I met my husband 16 years ago

I know- I can’t believe I am married to a man who is 55 . A man who is technically older than Archie Bunker was, a man who is a member of the AARP, a man who is at that age where he looks like the men on those Cialis commercials. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE THIS MAN. I love him with everything I have,  with every single solitary fiber of my being. I loved him the first day I met him, on what was our whirlwind day into night first date- and basically – if you ask my sister I moved in with him the following weekend. Of course that is not quite true ( I moved in with him two weekends later than that, and didn’t officially move in until he put a ring on it four months into our courtship). I know, it sounds like a REALLY small window in which to get to know someone, and to make a life altering decision of spending your life with that someone – what can you possibly LOVE about someone in the span of just four months (other than lust and being high on the adrenaline of the newness of your relationship?)

While I can’t with all certainty say I wasn’t somewhat wrapped up in the fantasy of what our love would be, I know the same characteristics that drew me to this man who I met as a 38 years old and who is now turning 55 on May 10th are essentially unchanged. In fact I think in these past 16 years we’ve spent sharing every bit of minutiae about the other’s existence ( those marital pearls of information only spouses can share with one another like, ” Honey you need to get me a box of prunes STAT because I am really constipated, or can you take a look at this corn on my foot .. .)those basic feelings- the ones that solidified the fact that this man was someone I wanted to breed with- well those are unchanged- and if anything stronger having weathered many a night when the easiest thing would have been to cut our losses and call an attorney.

So on what will be his 55th birthday- my husband who loves to tell everyone he is now COMPLETELY GRAY because of me-  is still the cutest man I know and if you asked me 5 things living with him for 16 years has taught me about men- here is what I would say:

#1 Men REALLY think laundry is highly overrated. My husband really doesn’t understand how it is that I am constantly folding laundry. he thinks most clothes don’t need to be washed until they are drippping with mud and even then… he would likely let them dry and just brush the mud off.

#2 Unless you cut your hair like Anne Hathaway did in Les Miserables, men probably won’t notice your new haircut or color. In 16 years my husband has yet to notice when I’ve cut and colored my hair and usually says my hair looks the same all the time.

#3 The sky could be falling, the world could be at war, your kids could be screaming in the next room and men will still want to have sex. It’s true in 16 years my husband has NEVER passed on an opportunity to have sex, or propose that we get busy. I’d like to think that means I Still GOT IT,  but it’s probably just more of a man thing.

#4When a man has a strong opinion about something- he will NOT BE EASILY CHANGED. That’s right men are TOUGH NUTS TO CRACK. My husband is not a very strongly convicted man- but the few convictions he’s held.. he’s held for 16 LONG YEARS and NO amount of wining, begging, bribing and screaming on my part is going to get him to change. In other words, if you think you are going to marry a man and change him- THINK AGAIN.

#5 Men can handle a lot more than we think they can. I never imagined my husband would be that guy who would braid our daughter’s hair, who would make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with crusts cut off, who would sit in two delivery rooms with me as I MADE HIM WATCH EVERYTHING HAPPENING while simultaneously screaming bloody murder at him for getting me pregnant and who would essentially get up every morning and encourage me to be the best version of myself. Yes after 16 years – my now 55 year old husband has taught me that men are like onions– they’ve got so many layers and I’m still uncovering the things I love about this man.

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