I remember a conversation that me and my husband had on the telephone after we had only been married for a little over a month. He had gone back home to D.C. for work, and I was still in Alaska serving in the military. We had just had our first official argument, and to be honest, I was caught off guard about it. I mean, in my mind he was this perfect person that I had married who had no flaws, no imperfections and was amazing in every way. So to see that the reality was that he was just a man just like I was just a woman was a new concept to me.
I remember telling him these exact words when we made up over the telephone. I remember saying, “I just had you up on this pedestal in my mind. Because in my mind, I wasn’t expecting for you to disappoint me. In my mind you are this superman that can do no wrong that is standing on this rooftop.” And with the most convicted voice – my husband responded, “Well please Crystal…take me off of that rooftop. I’m just a person just like you. I’m not perfect. I’m going to disappoint you. I will try my best to make you happy, but sometimes I’ll fail because I’m just a person.”
At that moment, the biggest ‘Aha’ moment went off in my head, and if I’m honest, I have been getting more and more comfortable with that ‘aha’ moment throughout the duration of our marriage.
Since that day, I have learned that my husband is not perfect just like I’m not. And instead of asking him to be – or expecting him to be – I make sure that everyday I work toward leaving room for grace in our marriage. I make sure that I let him know verbally and non verbally that he has a home and a space here with our children where even if he fails he is welcome and loved and celebrated.
To me that’s what love is – and family is. And while I believe that it is both of our responsibilities to strive to please the other while working together as a team to evolve to the highest versions of ourselves, I always make room for us both to be human.
I am so thankful that my husband taught me that gift. I am so grateful that my husband taught me how to love. To me, that is the most beautiful thing about marriage – that if you let it, it will be the best teacher that you can have in life. I thank my husband for teaching me, and I thank my children for teaching me – that love is a choice – and that love is grace. Love is freedom – and love is making room. It is knowing that your partner knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that even when they are unpleasant, or inferior, lost, or 50 shades of wrong, annoying, appalling, a sinner, or imperfect, or human that I will still love them.
And I may show that love in my honesty, my forgiveness, or by challenging them to be greater better and wiser – or with kindness and grace, but it will always be with love nonetheless. It is my job to let my husband know that he is safe with me – to be him – and Troy Michael Little Sr., you are. Happy Anniversary from your boo thang ❤
P.S. I will always choose to love you.