Each of the husbands nominated were truly amazing men who proved my point that they do exist! This contest is a celebration of men who have lived up to the promises, delivered on the hopes and stood by us every step of the way. Thank you to each of you, all of your stories touched my heart.
And so, in no particular order . . .
Jim Browning: Nominated by Karlene Browning
Jim was a "pretend" date for company parties that I was expected to attend, with a partner. I had asked a friend to find me some gay guy who would be happy with free food and pleasant conversation. She assured me that though Jim was not gay, he was as adamant as I was about never wanting a relationship again.
We became friends and because neither of us cared what the other thought of us, we could be very honest about our thoughts and opinions. As time passed, we realized that we felt the same about the important things in life, including politics and religion. In fact, the only things we differed on were his taste in music and my love of movies.
Eventually we realized we had feelings for each other and although he was not yet a member of my faith (he was baptized soon after we were married), he was by far the kindest, gentlest, most generous soul I had ever met and I genuinely felt that he was an unearned gift that God had decided to give to me. Jim loved my children. He believed in me. When we finally decided to marry, he took on all my baggage with a smile--four children, an ex-husband, financial debt, depression, and all 300 pounds of me.
Jim is devoted to me and to my children and to preserving us as a family. He took a second job so that I could work from home and be available to my children when they need me. He is committed to seeing that they are able to expand their talents and skills in every way-- piano, lacrosse, and other activities. When they need money for something, he works extra hours. When I wanted to start a publishing company, he was right there behind me 100% and always has been. When I fail, he is the first one to point out the extenuating circumstances and bolsters me up until I'm ready to try again.
Jim treats me like I am the queen of the universe. He opens doors, he washes dishes. He never complains when I forget to cook (and I forget a lot). If I'm hungry, he goes and fetches it for me. When I'm tired, he stays up for the kids. If I want anything he figures out a way to get it for me. He regularly brings me flowers and candy. He remembers our anniversary every MONTH. He tells me he loves me about 45,000 times a day. He never raises his voice, never calls me names or belittles me in any way. In fact, it's a little unnerving the amount of faith he has in my abilities.
But the thing that really convinced me that he was the best husband in the world happened when we'd been married a couple of years. My life was happy now and I wanted to enjoy it, but I still weighed 300 pounds. I approached him with a weight loss plan that would require a lot of support from him. He said these words to me, which will be etched in my mind forever, even if I live to be 1,000 years old and have Alzheimer's I will never forget this, "Karlene, if you want to lose weight so that you will feel better about yourself and be healthier, I will support you whatever it takes. But don't think you have to lose weight for me. I couldn't love you any more when you are skinny than I do now." And I believed him.
And that one thing, above and beyond all the other reasons, is why Jim Browning should win the best husband contest.