[Editor’s note: This story is a letter from a woman to her husband. While this is one example of one type of relationship, we understand, appreciate and celebrate that relationships come in all forms and configurations.]

My love,

If I haven’t thanked you enough already for everything, I’d like to say it again—thank you.

As I sit here, sipping my tea on a quiet, peaceful morning, I can barely contain the waves of happiness I have for where we are right now. If I were to dip my toes in the art of being cheesy (I mean, why not?), I would say that I’m trying to tame a tsunami tide of gratitude and love for you.

When I see you put my favorite one-toothed smile on our daughter’s face, I can’t help but be reminded about how fortunate we are to have you in our lives.

Our daughter is so lucky to have you as her dad, a fact she will grow to understand one day. In moments like these, when just the three of us are laughing and loving like there is no tomorrow, I couldn’t ask for anything more in this world.

Thank you for bringing so much positive energy into our little family, especially when I couldn’t. As you might recall, I was not the easiest person to live with during the initial stages of my pregnancy, and then for quite a while afterward.

I was so scared to tell you because—one, we did not plan for our pregnancy to happen… and two, it’s a baby! As exciting as it was to take the big step into uncharted territory with you, it scared the living daylights out of me. But your eyes lit up—bright, like the yellow tinted light above our kitchen counter. Your overjoyed response to my nervous confession was not what I expected, but oh so appreciated. Thank you for your earnest enthusiasm.

Thank you for never missing any of the appointments with the doctor. When you talked about how scared and excited you were too, I was so relieved because I thought that I was going to be a bad mother. I knew I was not ready, but you opened up and said that we were in the same boat. That made me feel secure knowing you were committed to this ride we were on.

Thank you for taking all the extra weight off of me. You carried my bag everywhere, you accompanied me while I went shopping and hauled all the bags after. Thank you for waiting patiently while I picked up the many, many baby outfits (“Honey, blue or turquoise? Mustard or yellow?” “Um, they’re not the same?”). Thank you for sitting me down and massaging my feet afterward, even though you wanted to relax too. Thank you for pampering me and making me feel so special.

Thank you for being so patient and understanding with me. Yes, my pregnancy was a wondrous experience, but it wouldn’t have been without your support. No one loves to be at the receiving end of mood swings—whether it is a side effect of pregnancy or not.

When I lost control over my emotions and got angry at you for the littlest things, you were always kind. When things got hard, and I resorted to crying, you held me close and made me feel loved. You wiped my tears and held my hand when I felt like I was hitting rock bottom, and you shared my happiness when I felt like I was at the top of the world.

Thank you for making me feel beautiful when I felt far from it. I was so excited to witness our baby growing inside me, but at the same time, I saw my body changing. I did not feel confident about how I looked, but you made me feel so adored and cherished. You helped me get through the tiniest struggles I had.

Thank you for being the best source of strength that our daughter and I could ever have. You have been an angel since our daughter’s birth. You have been so dedicated to building this incredible family dynamic, and I am so proud of you. Thank you for taking over whenever I was exhausted, for letting me sleep a little longer, regardless of how much you needed to rest, too.

Thank you for being my best friend and confidant. You are our rock, and we don’t know what we would do without you. Thank you for putting us—your girls—first.

I know that this journey has added some stress to our lives. I know that there have been times when you’ve felt like giving up. Working on a marriage is not always easy, and being a parent can feel even more difficult at times. But your commitment has not wavered one bit.

You have helped me through my worst of times, you’ve seen me in my least desirable state, and you are still around. Because of you, now I get to experience the best time of my life. You did (and still do) handle our problems very well, more than I could ever hope for. You deserve everything you want and more.

I can never say it enough—thank you.

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