I have married someone who is a lot like my father. I never planned on it (in fact, I always thought I’d marry someone who was completely opposite of my dad). I dated hippie boys, mountain bike racers, guys with lots of tattoos and piercings. I didn’t want to date anyone “normal”. He’d be too much like my father.
As I navigated through dating and eventually met and married Eric, I realized that he and my dad were more alike than I thought. All the qualities I love about my dad are ones that I love about my husband. So yes, my I married a man who is a lot like my father (in a lot of good ways). Here’s what I value about both of them:
Don’t dwell on unimportant things.
Often as a tween, I remember letting mean or hurtful things that others said stick with me. If I got yelled at at home for leaving my room a mess, if my teacher corrected me at school, or if a friend ignored me, I’d be upset for days. One evening, my father sat me down in the kitchen and told me, “People will say things that upset you. You need to let it go in one ear, think about it, and then let it go out the other ear.” What he meant? Don’t sweat the small stuff. Hear it, acknowledge it if you need to, and move on. My husband has a similar philosophy in life. He reminds me often when I grumble that people will say and do things that are mean. You can’t hold a grudge because it gets your nowhere. Move along and don’t get “stuck” on an issue that isn’t important.
Work hard, no matter how big or small the job is.
Both Eric and my dad are hard workers. My father started with his company when he was 18. He moved up through the ranks, and at the end of his career was one of the top level managers at his company. He worked hard to get there. He spent long hours at the factory, he traveled if he needed to, and he didn’t brag about his accomplishments. He just did his job, respected his supervisors, and he made sure he always did his best. He always gave more than 100%. His hard-working philosophy taught me a lot growing up, and I learned that even in school or in the smallest job (whether it’s a volunteer position or a paid position), you need to give it your all and work hard and work well. Eric’s work ethic is so similar. He works hard, he is willing to take on extra work if necessary, he takes time to learn new things, and he admits when he makes a mistake.
Be kind and respectful to others.
My father taught me that I don’t have to agree with everyone, but I do need to respect others and their opinions. And there is no reason to be anything but kind to others. My husband follows the same rule–do the right thing by showing kindness and respect. Doing the opposite gets you nowhere.
Find what you enjoy doing and find time to do it.
My father loves to go hunting. He also enjoys golfing. Almost every year, he makes time to get away with some friends during hunting season. When the weather is nice, he enjoys golfing with his buddies. While my husband is no hunter, he does love to watch sports, chill on the couch when there’s time to, and head out to concerts. He makes time to enjoy his hobbies as well so that he has some balance in his life. Working is important, but they’ve taught me that having some down-time and having a hobby is just as important.
Thank you, dad, for teaching me that marrying someone who is a lot like you really isn’t a bad thing afterall. It’s one of the best things. Eric is helping me teach our girls the values that I learned from you while I was growing up. I love you both.