Seven Years of Tripp
Did you make a list of qualities you want in your future spouse when you were a teenager? If yours was like mine it said things like tall, cute, funny, respectful, sweet… I’m pretty sure all my friends had the same list. There are some obvious things we all knew we wanted but there are a few that I had no idea I wanted until I found Tripp.
Today marks seven years since Tripp and I started doing life together. I often question how I got so lucky. I didn’t always date great people but somehow I ended up with a partner who makes me want to be better because he dedicates so much of his life to being the best version of himself. This week I have been reflecting on the things that I am so thankful for about Tripp because those qualities have made my last seven years so much better. After looking back at the list I made I also realized that all of these qualities are learned. It says a lot about someone when they have invested time into becoming the best version of themselves.
So, in honor of our seven years together, here are seven things I would add to my teenage list of qualities to look for in a spouse:
Self Aware: I believe there is nothing more complicated than someone who cannot see themselves. Everyone has blind spots but being in relationship with a person who has no idea where they need improvement is exhausting. It creates defensiveness, it prevents growth, and it limits vulnerability in the relationship. More importantly when someone is self aware they take responsibility for themselves and it builds trust and security in the relationship. Tripp is the most self aware person I know.
Willing to Change: I never knew this would be important to me. Even in my adult life. Then I watched Tripp chose to change things about himself, his routines, his life, to benefit me. I had no idea how impactful it would be on me and our family. It has made me feel loved in a deeper way than I can explain. Some people aren’t willing to change things about themselves for the sake of another person. Changing for someone else because you love them, not because you have to, is such a sacrifice and act of selflessness. I know that Tripp would sacrifice what is best for him to honor what is best for me and in return that only makes me want to do the same for him.
Open Minded: I thought one of the most important things in a spouse was having someone who was set in their beliefs. As I get older I realize what’s more important to me is someone who doesn’t think they have all the answers, someone who is actively learning, someone who’s willing to see other perspectives, and someone who is willing to change their own perspective. Tripp and I don’t always agree on things but the fact that he is so open-minded has allowed me to be vulnerable in our relationship. I know that I can open up to him about anything and I won’t be judged.
Honest: I know this seems like an obvious one but I think when people put honesty on their list of qualities they think of being honest as not lying. The kind of honesty that I am referring to is the ability to be real about anything and everything. NO SECRETS. Tripp set this example early on in our relationship when he was honest with me about something that I know wasn’t easy. That honesty set a trajectory for our relationship to just never have secrets and I can’t tell you how much peace and freedom that has brought to us. I plan to protect this part of our relationship for the rest of my life. Brutal honesty can hurt but secrets will destroy you.
Apologetic: How many times have you been the first one to apologize? I’m embarrassed to admit this percentage for myself. Tripp has shown enormous amounts of humility through stepping up and apologizing even when I know he knew he wasn’t wrong, just to make things right in the relationship. I find myself wondering where we would be or if we would even still be if I wasn’t married to someone who is willing to apologize first. It makes the relationship the priority over the need to be right.
Empathetic: As a teenager you think you want someone who is sweet and caring but I think what we really all want is someone who can empathize with us and other people around them. It’s one of the most important traits a human can have. Empathy is what communicates to us that we aren’t alone and what is the purpose of being in a relationship if you feel alone? I have watched Tripp’s heart break for his friends and family when they go through something hard. He isn’t scared to jump in and get sad and cry with them. He will take on what they are feeling. I know it isn’t what our culture has portrayed as “manly” but I believe it is the sexiest thing a man can do.
Service Minded: It’s easy to talk about things you care about but it’s such a beautiful thing to witness when someone sacrifices their time, money, and emotions to help people who are in need. Tripp is always looking for ways to give back. He would open up our door for anyone. He strategically plans out our money so that we can give back. He genuinely cares about helping people and wants it to be a priority for our family. This is one of my favorite things about him.
So, Tripp, thank you. Seven years of life with you couldn’t have been spent better. I’m so glad I got much much more than that list I made when I was 15.