Dear husband,

I think you’re hot.

Still. After all these years.

When we first started dating way back when, clearly I was wildly attracted to you. I was an eager moth, just trying to get as close as I could to your heat. You had a fire that consumed me.

It wasn’t just that I thought you were hot (but trust me, you were).

You had a spirit of adventure that never dulled. No day spent with you was the same. I never knew what I was in for.

It could’ve been an afternoon content in the sun and getting a little sunburned at the local swimming hole, having Mich Lights with friends in someone’s garage, going sky-diving, wringing sweat in a claustrophic tent for the weekend and having our air mattress constantly deflate, staying up all night watching bad horror movies, or running out of gas on a 4-wheeler in the middle of nowhere.

Also, you were brilliant and street smart. You could fix anything, figure out any problem, see people for who they were, and spot a lie a football field away.

Your pale blue eyes were captivating and your touch electrifying. We could not stay away from each other. We didn’t want to.

Then came marriage. Kids. Hardships. Life.

Gone was our carefree lifestyle and the passion that spontaneity brought. In the process of raising two kids, our connection frayed. We spent more time apart, more time arguing, more time pointing out each other’s flaws instead of building each other up and fortifying our marriage with God.

But we survived.

Husband, even though things were difficult with littles running around sucking every ounce of energy from our souls, even though we were fighting about financial struggles and you were battling your own inner demons, even then I was attracted to you.

It was your perseverance I loved. You just didn’t have any quit in you. It’s one of the things that attracted me the most.

There never stopped being a magnetism between us—an undercurrent of energy.

Now we have an introverted, computer-loving, intelligent, kind son that will soon be 18 and a sassy, sarcastic, sensitive, creative daughter turning 15. I know it seems cliche and redundant to ask, but I have to: Where did all those years go?

I have loved watching our kids grow up with you. Witnessing them go from being moldable clay in our shaky, terrified hands to teens unearthing their individuality and polishing their passions.

Walking through this life with you, holding hands, working through the pain and worries and victories and struggles in our own time and way, has made me want you more.

I still find you irresistible.

Your face has filled out a bit and softened. The muscular frame of your 20s has also smoothed. Gray hairs started sprouting years ago. Places there was never hair before, there is hair now. When you smile, wrinkles are silent fireworks around your eyes. Your hands have more callouses and your body more scars.

And I have attended it all.

I am honored to watch the beauty of life unfolding on your body.

You carry inner wisdom and self-awareness that translates to your physical self. The urgency and false bravado of youth are gone. In its place is the calm assurance of being loved unconditionally in all your forms.

Today, I think you are hot. Hotter than when we met. Hotter than when your muscles bulged under your t-shirt and your stomach was washboard flat. Hotter now than in your glory days.

Husband, don’t you know by now that hotness to me is about way more than looks?

Your looks, no matter how good they are, are just the facade.

The confidence, compassion, kindness, generosity, and spirituality that you have nurtured and grown in the last two decades is what makes you the most attractive man on the planet to me.

You have become the man God meant you to be all along.

And that, dear husband, is hot.

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Melissa Neeb

I'm a Minnesota native and lover of nature, WW2 memoirs, rescue dogs, photography, and thrifting. My husband and two teenagers are the great loves of my life. I am passionate about advocating for addiction recovery, writing about parenting, life, faith, and everything in between.