I came into the kitchen early this morning and discovered a mess. Crumbs on the countertop that were not there when I left this room, tidy and freshly Windexed, late last evening. To be honest, any other morning I probably would have overlooked that small pile. I would have recognized just how trivial and insignificant it was in the big picture.
This, however, was not that kind of morning.
I knew exactly who left those crumbs, and I hunkered down to type out a strongly worded text message to the offender, my husband. I explained that this was not how I intended to leave my kitchen last night, and it was certainly not what I wanted to see first thing this morning. I told him I considered his careless crumb pile to be disrespectful and inconsiderate.
I read over the text, deemed it simple, straightforward and honest.
And then I erased the entire thing.
After 22 years of marriage, I can finally say I’ve grown weary of the skirmishes, the attacks and counterattacks. They advance no cause. There are no winners.
My husband and I have raised two children together. He’s been by my side through years of chronic illness punctuated by hospitalizations, surgeries and more pills than either of us could count. We are watching our parents grow older and more frail. Friends we’ve known for decades as couples are separating.
So I’m waving the proverbial white flag and calling for a ceasefire. I’m never going to be able to change this man, and I’m not sure I’d want to if I could. I’ve learned to appreciate what he is, and forgive what he isn’t. He might not see the crumbs, but he sees to it that his family is loved and well taken care of. He sees my flaws and loves me anyway. For 22 years I have done the same for him.
There are no more battles to fight. I am war weary, and no longer wish to take my opponent down.
This does not make me weak.
It makes us strong.