Ervin just loved Ashley for Ashley, and Graham couldn't have been happier to find the man of her dreams.
However, not everyone in Graham's family supported her newfound love.
Graham revealed that her family didn't accept her relationship with Ervin at first simply because he is Black.
Graham detailed the first time she introduced Ervin to her family in her forthcoming memoir, "A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like."
“I never told my grandparents that the man I was bringing home was Black,” the Nebraska native recalled.
“I naively hoped everyone would be color-blind — which is not what happened."
"When my grandparents met Justin, my grandmother was cordial but cold. She greeted him and immediately walked away. When it came time for them to leave, my grandparents didn’t even acknowledge him."
It broke Graham's heart to watch her family reject the love of her life just because he has a different skintone.
"I had never seen my loving, hardworking, and wonderful grandma be so hurtful and so racist," Graham wrote. "I was in shock.”
It didn't matter that Ervin treats Graham like queen — her family couldn't see past color.
“All I wanted to do was keep talking to Justin,” Graham confessed. “My romance with Justin was innocent and sweet. We went rollerblading and biking; we did karaoke, went to the movies, took an improv class together. Because we weren’t sleeping together — for Justin, abstinence was a firm commitment to his faith — we never tempted ourselves by going over to each other’s apartments late at night.”
But Ervin never stopped trying to win over Graham's family.
He finally changed their minds with a phone call.
“He’s not a texter or an emailer; he’s a pick-up-the-phone-and-call-you person, and anniversaries are a big deal to him,” Graham shared.
Graham is thrilled that her family finally sees what she sees.
Ervin treats Graham with patience and respect, and the model couldn't be happier.
“I envisioned a marriage that was more than just two people loving each other,” Graham concluded. “And now we have that marriage: a partnership dedicated to building something bigger than ourselves.”