My husband is pretty much a regular guy. He works, helps take care of the little people, enjoys the outdoors and loves a good hot plate. His sense of humor can run the gambit of a Family Guy episode but he can be just as serious when the situation calls for it. He has a unique world perspective because of his background as a military kid having lived all over the world and as a person of mixed race. I will say he has some pretty good qualities about him. So much so, I once looked at him as someone far superior than anyone I had ever dated and kind of even myself in some ways. But over time, particularly over the last year, I've come to realize, he's not so extraordinary. Let me explain.
When I met him years ago at freshman orientation, I thought he was just the cute friend to one of the people who would become one of my best friends. Sure he wore sweater vests with no shirt underneath but who am I to judge? I wore tiny clips in my hair to separate strands into the those thin twists that stuck out from your head. You remember that horrendous hairstyle! Anywho, our paths would cross from time to time around campus and we would chat it up but nothing serious. I was involved with someone and so was he and anything beyond a friendship never crossed my mind. But through our interactions, I knew something was different about him compared to the guys I knew and even the guy I was currently dating. I still remember being in the satellite lounge, one of the many places to hang out around campus in between classes, and him showing me an issue of Fortune magazine. I flipped through it casually and quickly returned it to him. I had no interest whatsoever in what was between the covers of the mag. He, on the other hand, was using it to research companies that could be potential prospects for his post grad employment. This was maybe a freshman or sophomore year. I on the other hand was still trying to decide a dang major! Our paths would continue to cross like this until he graduated a year before me. He left to start his life with a Fortune 500 company in Dallas and I was still trying to get my life together for the last year of school.
When he returned a little over a year later when his company transferred him back to Houston, it wasn’t soon after before we struck up a dating relationship. But first he had to tie up some loose ends of a previous one (he was making it clear to ole girl that she needed to let it burn like Usher). He was a straight shooter and I appreciated that about him. That combined with him being Christian, ambitious (he wanted to eventually get to an overseas position with his company), knew how to command a room or situation without force, didn’t sweat the small stuff and a list of other things had him a standout among men. Plus, my parents loved him which made it even better! He was the “perfect” man by all means until he wasn’t.
The man who once had lofty goals, prefers to play it a little more safe now that there are little people involved. Although our mutual goals are still the same for our family, his route of getting there has been pared down. Sure, he still wants to do things for himself versus having an employer. It’s not quite as much as a priority as making sure you’re able to provide for your family today. As a parent, if you provide for no one else, your number one will always be to make sure that your kids have a roof over their heads, food in their bellies and the opportunity to live where they feel safe and the schools are above average. He believes our house is a home for our little people and looks forward to watching them grow up here over the next few years. For that I thank him.
He is no longer Christian or any religion for that matter. He deconverted a few years ago after we moved back to Houston. He explained his reasons and I accepted who he now was. Sure it would be great that he still practiced Christianity and led our household accordingly but that is something he must take up with God one day. Not me. My place isn’t to judge, beg, plead or even guilt him back to Christianity because once again, I can’t force him into a relationship with God. It is one he must choose to cultivate for himself while I continue on my path and never cease praying that one day he will return to it. That’s it.
Excuses get the best of him too. For the past couple of years, he has had a few goals that he has wanted to accomplish and as of today, they are still on his to do list. Why? Because, excuses. To himself and to me, he has provided one reason or another as to why they have yet to be achieved. Sometimes a reason will fall at my feet and I’m quick to say naw bruh. That’s all you. It’s frustrating to say the least. But then I take a step back and think of all the times I’ve “started a business” over the years only to pull back because of my fear of rejection and not being totally sure if this was a passing phase or something I was truly meant to do. Then I think, what are his fears? What’s truly keeping him from going after what he wants? I think there is a little bit or a whole lot of fear in all of us when it comes to where do we want our life to end up next. What is that we wish to see and look back over when our time here on earth is coming to a close? As I’m slowly walking beyond some of my own fears I’m going to make it a point to help him when needed, celebrate his wins and listen when he chooses to speak. Everything else is on him.
Over the years he and I have both changed. We’re not the same young and naive 20 somethings who were married a mere 6 months after dating. Today, we are two people in our mid-thirties who have weathered a few things over our nearly 12 years of marriage from a separation, the birth of two children, a few dips in the entrepreneurial pool, career related moves, a change in religion or lack thereof along with the normal highs and lows of just life. Through each of these experiences, we’ve watched each other bend, break, mend and come back a little different from where we started. Sometimes we’re left better people but occasionally there are some aspects of each of us that other would rather just not have to deal with it at all. But you keep choosing each other each day because hopefully those not say great aspects are just small pieces of who they are. That’s marriage. Hell, that’s any relationship really.
While my husband may not be absolute perfection, this man has given me the freedom to try to make my mark on the world, is a dad our son adores and I’m sure our daughter will too, is a pretty damn good cook and works to make sure that we are provided for in every way. All of these are him plus more. I’m continuously learning to accept who he is where he is in whatever stage of life. It's not always easy, but it's a choice I'm willing to make until our time here on earth comes to an end.