1) He wants me to be safe.
It was late one night, just after we started dating. We were curled up in bed. He turns to me and in his most serious sweet tone says "Kyra, can I ask you something?" I was already half asleep (his arms are like a sedative for me). I mumbled some thing like, "Yeah, what babe?" "Do you feel safe?" he asked. I woke up a bit and looked at him (or looked at him as best I could in the dark). "Yeah babe, of course, why?" "Just wanted to make sure." The reason he asked was rather obvious: I had just gotten out of a controlling and rather abusive relationship. The guy I was with convinced me that nothing I did was right, from the clothes I wore to the things I said. And every mistake I made was evidence of my crucial character flaws. By the end when it escalated to physical violence, I was terrified not only of him but of myself, terrified of how "wrong" I was.
When I started dating Chris, I apologized for everything: spilling food on the counter, dropping books, misusing a word, convinced that like my ex he would explode at every little thing. It took some time for me to accept that he didn't see me like that, that he saw more of what was right with me that what was wrong, and could forgive my occasional klutziness or lack of eloquence. He wanted me to know that I was safe to be myself around him, and that it was me, as I was, that he was in love with, would always be in love with. And though I have regained much of my confidence, he still asks me from time to time, in those moments when I feel most unsure of myself. And I do feel safe with him, safe to make mistakes, safe to be myself, safe to love and be loved.
2) He supports me.
One day while randomly searching on craigslist, shortly after finding out I was pregnant, Chris found a post that read, "Lead teacher wanted for bilingual Chinese/English preschool in Madison." I was elated when I read the post and inquired immediately. Finally, something in my field to get me out of the mindless desk job I had been working to pay the bills since graduation. I got a response and an interview almost immediately, after which I was offered the position. There was a catch, several actually: 1) for the first three months this job would be a pay cut from the already abysmal salary at my current job, and 2) there was no health care. When I told Chris, as my future husband, he had every right to say, "What? Are you nuts? You have a college degree and you want to take a job with pay like that? And no health care? You're pregnant! What on earth are you thinking? No way!" But he didn't. He took my hand, looked me straight in the eye and said, "I know this is really what you want to do. It's important to you. We'll find a way to make it work."
Can't help lovin' that man o' mine.
These are only two of a long long list, but as I said, I felt inspired. Chris has that effect on me. What can I say, I love him.