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Marry the man who holds your coat for you, opens your car door, helps you figure out how to set your garage code, and hangs the shelves for you . . . marry him because the patient look in his eye soothes something inside of you that has been rocky and neglected for too long. That thing that tells you you’re too loud or too much or too dumb to figure it all out. Marry him because he makes you feel like you are magic.

Marry the man who covers you up when you’re taking a nap because he knows you’re forever cold. Marry the man who doesn’t care if you take up all of the room in bed. Marry the man who knows what you’re searching for in the middle of the night when you reach across the flannel sheets. Marry the man who leans in closer, his warm breath tickling the hair in your ear. The one who, even in sleep, clutches you close.

Marry the guy who calls you out. The one who tells you you can do whatever fancy, wild dream you have conjured up. The one who listens to your late-night rambling and helps you plan and chase. Marry the guy who preaches yes to you over and over. The one who practically shoves you forward. The one who makes you feel like you just . . . might . . . be . . . able. The one who yells out to the crowds that are starting to gather around you, the one who points to your blushing face, the one with all of the faith in you, and the one who tells everyone who’s listening, “This girl. Right here. Bet on her.” Marry that guy.

Marry the guy who laughs at all of your stupid jokes. The one who knows all of the songs on the radio and hums them to himself while he drives you around on Sunday afternoons. Marry the guy who holds your hand in the car, while you’re crossing the street, and the one who holds your hand in church. Marry the one who wants to learn you—what you want for breakfast, what your favorite color is, and what your favorite flowers are. Marry the one who helps you write your story . . . the one who whispers words to you when you can’t remember.

There will be long nights. Marry the one who isn’t afraid to fight for you when it gets dark. Marry the one who doesn’t run. Marry the one who widens his stance and sticks around. Even if it sucks. Even if he’s mad. Even if you’re mad. Even if, even if, even if. Marry the guy who remembers his promises. Marry the guy who lives his promises.

Marry the person who makes you think. The one who questions your surface-deep theories and forces you to charge forward or reevaluate. The one who knows about String Theory and Penny from The Big Bang Theory. The one who makes you face IT. Whatever it is. Your hurts, your worries, your can’ts, and your questions. Marry the one who helps you to sit with your loneliness and your quiet and still holds your hand. Marry the one who gives you a minute when you need it the most.

And then . . .
And then . . .
And then . . .

Marry the man who will let you (this is very important, I’m afraid) be his champion, too.

Marry the man who will let you in—the one who lets you see the vulnerable, the sad, the hurts that came before you, and the dark days he thought wouldn’t pass. You marry the guy who lets you fight for him, too. The one who learns from you, too. The one who isn’t afraid of your power, the one who isn’t afraid of your love, and the one who isn’t afraid of that one hot second every month when you’re about two breaths from losing your mind.

You marry the one who shows up for you.
And you marry the one who you want to show up for.

Over. And over.
And over.
And over.

Originally published on the author’s page

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Dear Husband, I Loved You First

Dear Husband, I Am With You Even When It’s Hard

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Rebecca Cooper

Rebecca Cooper-Thumann is an English teacher in a sleepy town in the midwest. She has published four novels and is currently working on a fifth. She has a precocious four-year-old son, she loves nachos and Jesus, and she tries to live her life every day rooted in courage and joy. 

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