I would have to say that the person that has influenced my life the most is my husband Daniel. Most of his influencing has been done simply by being in my life, by being my most constant source of support. Daniel and I will be married for 35 years on August 25 of this year.
I decided to write this article after reading a wonderful article on friendship and gratitude from the following website:
Damian, the author of the article sent out the challenge to his readers to send out gratitude to those people who have influenced their lives the most in the form of an article to say thanks. Well, this is my first of several articles that I will write to do this. In writing these articles, I am becoming part of "being the change".
My words can't say all that I feel for Daniel. He is my husband, lover, best friend. He is a comedian, a wonderful storyteller, a wise man, and a teaser extraordinaire. I learned to be a smart ass in self defense. He has a wonderful, twisted sense of humor that you either get or you don't. There is no half-way with Daniel. People either love him or hate him. There is no middle ground where he is concerned. He taught me about laughter, joy, loyalty, and pleasure. Can you begin to see why I love him?
Daniel cares what I think. He allows me the space to do and be what I need to do and be. He stays even though he knows all of my secrets. He supports me when I am sad and mad. He is wise enough not to argue with me. He lets me rant and yell and then he quietly goes and does whatever he wants to. Which is fine with me, because most of the time, I just needed to be heard.
Daniel and I together have created a safe place for me to grow and explore my world and my Self. He gives me space and freedom which are really important to Sagittarians like me. Neither of us is jealous of the other. We do things together as a couple and separate as individuals. We have similiar and different likes and dislikes. We compliment each other as individuals who are part of a couple.
When we were first married and I was in denial of my incest issues, Daniel would hold me some nights and let me cry on his shoulder for an hour or more at a time. He never pushed for answers that I couldn't give at that time. He never asked questions. He would just quietly, lovingly, offer his support until the crying was over and I was asleep.
Daniel taught me patience. The man had no idea of what time was when we were young. I didn't drive for many years. Daniel would drop me off wherever I needed to go and come back and pick me up, usually hours later because he would meet someone and get lost in conversation and forget what time it was. It took me about 15 years to learn to take it in stride where I wouldn't get upset each time he was late. Now, it isn't important. I find other ways to spend my time. Also, I have been driving for about 10 years now. His family used to joke that Daniel would always be home 2 hours later he said he would. When I finally let go of my reactions to his being late, he quit being late.
Daniel taught me about trying to control other people. He taught me that it isn't nice. He also taught me that we both had issues in that area that we had to learn to let go of. When I finally made up my mind to learn to drive was after an acquaintance told me that I was using not driving as a way to control Daniel. If he dropped me off and had to come back to pick me up, then, according to her, I was controlling Daniel by controlling his time. In case she was right, I decided to let go of that by learning to drive. When I decided to learn how to drive, Daniel unconsciously did the controlling, by making excuses why I couldn't have the car to practice my driving. When I caught on to what he was doing, I decided to let him have the control for awhile. I stopped fighting with him over the car and my time to practice driving. At the same time, I conveniently started needing to go more places. He spent more and more time taking me places until he got tired of doing that and was then willing to let go of his attempts at control. He still won't admit that was what he was doing. A few months after that I had my license.
Daniel, with his sense of humor, taught me to laugh at the world and at myself. His sense of humor was his biggest attraction for me, when we first met. He admits he liked my smile so he would say funny things to make me laugh. Before I met Daniel, there was never that much laughter in my life.
Daniel can be a very quiet, private person too. I always know when Daniel has accepted my friends as being a part of our lives. He starts to tease them. That means he likes them and feels comfortable with them when they call or visit.
Daniel is kind-hearted and easy-going. I tell him that he is much nicer than me. He really is. Daniel, my love, you hold my heart in your hands. A side of Daniel that most people don't see is that of a poet. On our honeymoon, he wrote me a funny, beautifully sentimental poem. For our 25th wedding anniversary, I talked him into renewing our wedding vows. When the minister asked if Daniel and I wanted to say anything. I read that first poem that he wrote for me. Daniel didn't know that I was planning on reading it. Unknown to me, he had written another poem, especially for the occasion, that he read after I finished reading the first poem. As we get older together, our thoughts do seem to be more in harmony with each other.
Our journey has not been an easy one, mostly because of me and my incest issues which were responsible for a ton of fears and anger that I carried around for a lot of years. Just because you don't acknowledge a problem, doesn't mean it doesn't exist or that it doesn't affect you in significant ways in your life. Daniel, I thank you for your continued love, patience and support. Life would have truly been Hell without you by my side trying to lighten my load. You continue to add your light to mine. I love you.
Daniel told me on our 25th Anniversary that he would marry me again on our 50th Anniversary. I intend to hold him to that. I will expect another poem too. It is a wonderful experience when you get to see the softer side of a man. Romance has never been a problem for Daniel. He has taught me that it is ok to enjoy life, to not be so serious. I wore white for our first wedding and teal for our second. I love bold, bright colors. I wonder what I will wear for our 3rd wedding. Oh well, I still have 15 more years to plan it. I am sure I can come up with something outrageous by then. Variety is what keeps a marriage interesting. It also keeps Daniel on his toes trying to figure out what I will do next. Well, Daniel, keep guessing. I know you enjoy every minute of it.