By Ilex Bien-Aime
What is gratitude? Merriam-Webster defines gratitude as the state of being grateful. The Macmillion dictionary defines it as a feeling of being grateful because someone has given you something or done something for you. No matter the specific definition of the word, we can all find a reason to be grateful. I am grateful for life because many people never reached my age. I am grateful for family and friends because many people have no support. I am grateful for my job because unemployment is extremely high right now. I am grateful to God for loving me even though I don’t deserve it and for giving me my wife even though I don’t deserve such a wonderful blessing.
My marriage is in no way perfect but as I always say to my friends, “I will take my marriage over being single any day.” I think back to my dating days and I realize that a great woman is not as easy to find as people assume. People always say that a good man is hard to find but trust me when I tell you, a good woman is equally as hard to find – and not every woman is marriage material. Like some women, I have been lied to and cheated on. I have been led to believe one thing and the reality was something totally different. There was a time, like most people, I wanted to give up – but I am glad that I didn’t.
I am so grateful to have found a woman who is willing to show the same love and respect for me that I show her. When she goes somewhere, I trust that she has my best interests at heart. I am so happy that we have the ability to work things out because most people would rather throw relationships away when they have issues. I am so lucky to have found a woman who does not need me to make her life. She already had a life and she chose to allow me in it. My wife knows how to handle her business and yet still makes me feel that I am needed.
If you knew me, you would know that I love to give gifts. And nothing makes me happier than to see the woman that I love happy. In the past I felt as if people mistook my kindness for weakness. At one point I started to see myself shut down but I am glad that I found a woman who is just like me when it comes to showing how important we are to each other. I never wanted to change as a person because some people did evil deeds against me. My wife helped me regain my trust and ability to give. She brings me home clothes just because she thinks I would look good in them and though I may not always like what she picks up for me, I am thrilled that she thought about me!
I am grateful that someone could see past my imperfections and still decide to stay with me. I know that my wife is a hot commodity because she is beautiful, educated, financially savvy, and just plain sexy. She could have had any man in the world and yet she chose me. I don’t think poorly about myself, but no matter what you think about yourself, it is still an honor when someone voluntarily chooses to spend the rest of their days with you and only you.
Lastly I am grateful for the struggles of the past because they let me know how wonderful a real relationship can be. I am also grateful for some of the struggles in my marriage because they help me grow as a person. I see what I have as a gift from God, so I am grateful for every minute I have these blessings!
Ilex Bien-Aime is an integral part of the BlackLoveAndMarriage.com team. He lives in Washington, DC with his lovely wife. He writes as a man who has seen women mistreat themselves and who have allowed themselves to be mistreated. He writes as a man who wants to give his future daughters a guideline on how to deal with men. Lastly he writes what he writes because his female friends are always asking his opinion about these situations. Connect with Ilex at Iamsayingit.blogspot.com or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.