I try to compliment T-Daddy a lot – both privately and publicly. I know that it’s a love language for both of us, and it’s so easy to nag or complain, but not always as easy to appreciate the good. And if I’m being honest, there’s a lot of good to appreciate. And most of it, I take for granted. T-Daddy does a lot of small things for me and the girls and it’s been that way since Day 1. One of my favorite memories to recall is how he single-handedly unpacked my apartment when I first moved to Decatur. We weren’t officially dating when he came to visit me. I got off work and every dish in my kitchen had been unpacked, washed and put into an appropriate cabinet. I never asked him to do that and he was so humble about it when I thanked him. That’s a quality that I want TD1 and TD2 to look for in the man they marry. And it’s usually acts like this that I don’t give him enough credit for until I’m reflecting on our relationship.

When I go to sing him praises, I feel this unnecessary need to offer a disclaimer. Something like “You do a lot of things that irk me, but…” “T-Daddy isn’t perfect, but…” “In the midst of all of the bad times and trials and tribulations…” Pretty much something that ensures that he and whoever I’m talking to (or FB) know that he’s not perfect. Somehow without this declaration of imperfection, the compliment seems less sincere or fake. Like I’m putting on airs. Pretending that our life is perfect.

But, why do I feel this way? Why do I feel the need to be so negative? To qualify his compliment by calling out his flaws. I recently caught myself doing this a few days ago when I went to post about us getting baptized. I was writing my Facebook post in my head, and one version went something like, “T-Daddy and I have had a lot of issues and he does things that make me question the validity of our relationship, but it’s moments like this that make me glad he’s on my team.” That’s a true statement. But just because it’s true, does it need to be said? Couldn’t I have just posted about how happy I was that we took this step together? I think anyone that has spent any amount of time around T-Daddy and I are privy to the ways in which we work each other’s nerves. I don’t always need to bring it up. In fact, it’s not for everyone to always know or see. Furthermore, how deflating it is to get a backhanded compliment that has to point out your failures and flaws. I know for me if T-Daddy said, “Babe you look good in that dress, but you can stand to do a few sit-ups,” I’d be crushed. I wouldn’t feel as good as I would if he simply said, “Babe, that dress looks good on you.”

I want my marriage to not only last, but to be one that lifts up God, teaches my daughters how to love others, and, quite frankly, one that is just healthy and fun and enjoyable. It’ll never be these things if I’m constantly tearing my husband down, even when I’m “lifting him up.” I need to be more cognizant of my words. They, after all, have the ability to breathe life or death into a situation. And, for my marriage, I choose life.