Well this week I planned on using all the wonderful powerhouse mom stories I have received to celebrate mothers day. But when this came to me today I had to share it. I am humbled by all the amazing stories that have been shared and feel the strength from each of you who have been willing to be a light in this dark world. Keep shining. And Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing woman who make a difference in the lives of children all over the world.
But I deserve butterflies
by: an anonymous husband
It started out how these things always do. At first it really was just a coincidence that we just kept running into each other. And like the storybooks say . . . she gave me an excitement each time my eye caught hers. Butterflies.
Soon I started to get dressed for her. My workouts at the gym began to be motivated by the next time I would see her. I looked for her. I purposefully went out of my way to make sure we would just happen to run into each other—but I always acted surprised.
I knew it was wrong—but I didn’t want it to stop. It really was just innocent . . . at first.
Temptation was on my doorstep . . . but all I could see was the excitement I felt. All I could feel was the butterflies. Selfishness centered me around myself. I knew what I wanted and nothing was going to stop me until I got it.
I have four kids—sweet wonderful kids. I am not always the best dad, but I try. But it even began to be hard spending time with them. My wife and I were struggling. Who isn’t right? I had always loved her, but started to even question that. We always had some huge struggle we were fighting about, and I began to dread going home.
So it felt natural to look around. Each day it went a little further, and this girl made it easy. Our conversations became longer, and the happenstance running into each other began to be planned. We had so much in common, especially in our failing marriages.
The first time she text me my heart skipped a beat. Butterflies.
I felt new when I saw her, like I was young again. She validated everything my wife had grown to ignore. She encouraged me. It felt like she saw the real me—someone I had long forgotten.
Soon we decided we would meet up somewhere more private. It was getting hard really getting to know each other with so many other people around. That morning she text me the Hotel name and the room number. I couldn’t focus on anything else.
My wife text me at lunch, angry that I had forgotten to give our son his lunch money when I dropped them off at the school. Her text was the last validation I needed to get in my car and head to the hotel. I was done being alone in my marriage. I was done being yelled at and treated badly. I deserved to be loved—and that night I would be.
I felt no remorse as I text her back my excuse of why I would be home late. She would have no clue. I usually got home way later than planned. But tonight I was finally going to do something for me. Not for my office, or my kids, or my baseball buddies, not for my ungrateful wife. Finally I didn’t have to ask her permission. I was just going to do what I wanted to do and what felt good for me.
My car felt cold as I buckled up my seatbelt. I looked out all the windows to make sure no one was watching. I looked in the back seat. My son’s lunch money sat alone on the cushion. See I was a good dad. I did give him the money, he just forgot . . . she just wanted something to be angry with me about, because that is what she does. She doesn’t care about me or need me. She doesn’t even care about my happiness. I am worthless to her. I deserve to have butterflies and someone who wants me around.
That surge of anger fueled my drive. I got to the hotel and parked around the back. I looked around again as I retrieved my workout bag out of the trunk. I was alone in the parking lot; no one to suspect anything.
As I walked in the hotel I felt proud that I was finally free. I didn’t have to feel guilty either, because I deserved this.
The elevator seemed to take forever as I stared up at the numbers on the wall. Soon it opened and I stepped inside. The minute the door shut I finally felt safe that no one I knew would see me and stop me from my freedom.
Then it happened.
A new song came on. One I knew too well. “Butterfly kisses”. I had sung it many times to my daughter when she couldn’t sleep in the night. She had even asked me, just a year ago, if I would dance with her—to it—at her wedding some day. To which I had promised I would.
Each verse that played was a memory. Every floor I passed—every second—as the elevator took me up higher . . . my heart sunk lower.
Then the song started singing about the little girl’s wedding day. I closed my eyes as tears fell down my cheeks. I pictured my own little girl walking arm-in-arm with me towards her dream man.
Who would I want that man to be? Like me? Lost and alone? Broken and searching for someone else to love him? Just ten years later standing in an elevator about to destroy his family?
I fell to the ground as I pictured someone hurting my little girl. And that is when I saw her—my bride. On our wedding day. I could see her perfect curls falling in her eyes. I could see—like it was yesterday—that look she had when she couldn’t take them off me. I could see our smiles and feel our hands held so tight as we promised to be true forever.
The elevator door opened.
I pried myself off the ground and stood up. A sign pointed the way for our room. The arrow seemed to jump out, begging me to follow. Time stopped. Everything seemed to be going in slow motion. For that moment I could see so clearly. Every choice I was making, every moment I had spent that got me here . . . and every moment that would inevitably follow.
This was it. That moment. Would I follow the arrow to those butterflies I thought I deserved? Would I choose me? Or would I be the man I would want my daughter to walk down the isle to? Because if I was him . . . then my wife was her.
I was frozen.
Soon the elevator door began to close. I reached out my hand to stop it and like someone was in there with me I could hear a shout, “Let it close”.
The door closed. All the strength I had, seemed to be sucked out of me as I silently battled.
But I won.
I didn’t go into that hotel room that night. Instead I pushed a button that took me back down to my car. I buckled my seatbelt and I cried the whole way home.
To say it was an easy road—walking into a house full of beauty I didn’t feel worthy of—would be a lie. It took a long time to find myself again. The battle didn’t end in that elevator that night, but it was the moment when I took my stand.
Men—if we want them to find a man worthy of them . . . we have to show them what they deserve. We have to love their mothers. Even when it is hard. We have to take care of them, and cherish them. We have to understand their struggles, not for ourselves . . . but for them.
To my future son in law,
Treat her like the queen she deserves to be. Fight. It won’t always come as natural as the day you fell in love, but with a lot patience and faith and a little bit of sacrifice, you can be the man of her dreams. You just have to choose it over and over again.
Woman. Wives. Mothers. We might not always see you, we might get kind of dumb sometimes or blinded. But please don’t give up on us.
When I took a stand in that elevator that night I made a promise that I would overcome. And I will stand—broken, and imperfect, and sometimes very stupid—but I will not fall.
Sunday is Mother’s Day, almost one year exactly from the moment I chose the mother of my children on a night when I almost forgot her. And I pray every day that I can be the man she always wanted—for the rest of her life. I will fight to give her the butterflies she deserves.
Not only for her . . . but for my daughter.
For the first time in my life I can see that love is watching someone else receive all I have. The real butterflies worth fighting for—the ones we all deserve—are the ones we give.
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