An Open Love Letter: You are not the Perfect Man

It has been a while since I have written anything. I have been busy being a mom, a graduate student, plumb sick and setting my mother up into a new home. I have missed writing and kept wishing that the feeling of motivation would hit me and I would take to the computer keys and write a perfect ode to something...anything. Alas, I know better that if you do not switch your mind on to work, it likely won't switch on for you and so, here I am now.

A few weeks ago, our church gave us the option to share (congregation watching) what we were thankful for. Since I am rarely afraid to speak in front of anyone anymore, I decided to tell my husband how thankful I was for him. I spoke on how wonderful it was for him to welcome my mother into our home three years earlier, knowing that our journey wasn't going to get easier, but more difficult. To top that all, we already had four children with only 2 bedrooms between them, so very little space to fit everyone yet he welcomed her into our home. So this is the time where we insert the "awe you have such a sweet, wonderful husband". I do. I do have a wonderful husband and I know that he loves me very much, the love that now says "I would die if you were not here with me." I did not always know this. It took 12 years to finally welcome this truth into our marriage.

See my husband and I have the most romantic love story I have ever heard. I was a young married girl when he came back into my life, a mom already with a little boy. He professed his love and came back into my life, saying all the right words "you complete me" and all that other jazz. He swept me off my feet, apologizing about his terrible behavior as a teenage boy years earlier. He was in the Army, a strikingly handsome man with a shaved face and broad shoulders. His blue eyes hypnotized you in mere seconds. We married in Kansas after her returned from an overseas tour, but I was going to learn what type of man I had married. If you ever get a chance to read Veteran: When it's Not PTSD I recommend you do. It explains a lot about life after we separated from the military and many true feelings I had towards my husband: my knight in shining armor, my leading man, my soldier...swoon...my hero.

When I say that my husband is "not the perfect man", I mean this with the utmost respect. I have seen God work in him and have finally met the man that I fell in love with. For this reason, I stayed when things were at their worst, when my husband came home drunk and belittled me mere days after giving birth to our daughter. I stayed when he made a fool of himself shortly after we rekindled our romance. I stayed when he was angry for no real reason. I did not know when my husband would allow God to work in his life, but I held on to hope and stayed because I knew he was not a perfect man. We yelled at each other, we called each other names, we fought into the wee hours of the night, we disagreed, he parented one way and I wanted to parent another way. This is what a real marriage looks like, what a real love story looks like. It took 10 years to finally share a painful and sick secret from my childhood because years before, I did not trust myself let alone trust him with a fragile secret.

Truth is, I have changed too. I gave my husband room to be a fool, standing up for myself when I needed to and believe me, I did. I gave forgiveness and finally meant it. I began to set boundaries.  I began to trust God. I made a promise to myself that I would not leave him and so I allowed God to work in me to make this truth a reality. I love my husband, my imperfect partner who sits next to me in church, who parents our children with me, who holds me as I cry when life's circumstances leave me feeling angry and sad. My love who has supported me in my graduate studies.

Marriage means that you have to believe is something greater than yourself, greater than you two as a couple. Truth is, there will be a lot of screw ups, hang ups, hurts, passion, love and every other emotion and disagreement in between. We are humans, not perfect humans, just humans. Make yourself a promise, work with God (please) and your spouse to make this a reality.

I love you Michael. My heart is so happy to belong to you. Over 12 years of marriage has brought us a lot of adventure, some good and some not so good, but we are far from done. I respect you and you have certainly learned what it means to love me.

Your Sara (Forever)


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