No greater gift? My ass.
Ladies, there will come a time when you partner walks through the door and you do not turn around. You will be preoccupied with the steaks you are cooking for him. You will shout over the pouring wine, "Join me in the living room, stud." It will mean what it has always meant. It will be full of anticipation of the time you will spend together.
It will be full of expectations of friendship, renewal, and joy. "Glad you are home" will translate into "Thank God you are home safe" and "I love spending time with you alone."
Ladies, there will come days when you want to spend every minute on yourself. The demands of work and friendship will seem like a priority. What little time you have left at the end of the day might be used to crawl into bed. The thought of doing anything else after the commute and chores will sound impossible. Your partner's happy smile had better mean they are willing to be your body pillow and nothing more.
Sometimes the partner that completed your heart might seem like one more person who needs you. The charming things that you fell for will go unnoticed. The daily grind will become expected.
Sirs, there will come a time when that beautiful soul sitting next to you will want to take a shower alone. He will be at his wit's end, worn down by other people. She will want to hear she is still beautiful, even though she never gave you children. She will need to know that she is still lovable, even when the world presses down on her and calls her a failed womb, an empty person. When you arrive home after the demands of life, you need to meet the needs of your partner. You might be exhausted, but sometimes a long kiss on a cold night is what keeps the fire alive.
Sirs, you will call home with a quick question and anticipate a twenty-minute conversation. Half of it might be listening to your wife make plans for the weekend. Maybe she is yelling at the dog to get off the couch. Maybe she just needs moment to tell you about her day and how harsh her mother is being. Maybe she just wants to hear you tell her about the mundane things, so she feels more connected.
But Ladies, when Wife, Partner, Friend, becomes more than a title, remember the people who were there for you. Remember how much you love these people, and appreciate them in the moment. Remember how people talked, about the second bedroom office, the 'selfish vacations', the unnatural order of your life. Remember who stood by you. Remember his declaration that family is more than kids, more than pets. Remember his love and devotion to your lives together. And then, when the days are long and you need a break, fall into his arms.
Sirs, remember your partners (male or female.) Remember the care you were given. Remember her love for you will evolve and change with time, with ever messy memory. Give him the grace to understand the expectations of the world will not always be kind. Remember your days are long, so are hers. Remember him. Remember her. Fall in love again, often.
You are a team. Every single day.