Allow me to tell you a story about my husband and me, but before I do I have to give you a little more insight into my dating history and my ex-husband too. Settle in, grab some coffee or tea, this may take a bit for you to read.
There are so many things in life that are fleeting, but even though love can seem like one of those things to many people, I chose who I truly love with delicate precision. I do not give my love to just anyone, I have been called many names over the years because of it. I suppose it is a self-preservation tactic to an extent… The thing is, I have lost a lot of people in my life from my Dad at an early age, to all of my grandparents, an uncle, my best friend, and I have had one marriage end in total flames.
I had very few friends that stayed with me over these years in Middle School and High School, very few people found me “friendly”, I suppose it was due to having seen my mother in a bad relationship and losing my Dad at the age of 8.
I suppose that my guarded heart began when I was in middle school, someplace around age 12, is when my views on love really started to change and the walls began to form. I watched my mother have a relationship with a man, after my father and she became divorced, and shortly before he passed away. This new man who gave her so much hope and sparkle, also caused her so much pain and torment. In the beginning, it seemed like it would work out, that she would be happy, that he could make her happy… I was happy for her until the tides began to change, the sparkle in her eyes began to dim, and the air around our home began to thicken with lies, and sometimes violence. I watched a woman who was so full of life become drained of it, just by waiting and wondering what was going to happen with this man of hers… sadly this went on for 14 years. This began to shape me not to trust everyone, not to let a lot of people close to me, to push those walls up and keep them there.
The few friends that I did make over the years, they were very close to me, almost like family for a long time. We shared everything together, secrets, stories, tears, laughter, hopes, fears, dreams, and everything one should with people they are close with. Until I met who I thought was going to be the love of my life, that is when things shifted, our relationships as friends seemed to be strained at times, but we kept holding on to one another and our friendships despite the teenage drama. We graduated from High School, I got married, and we shipped off to another state for his duty station. This is where I started to lose those friends even more, and it wasn’t till after I had my first child that they all but swept away into the distance.
Fast forward to two kids and one more on the way… The tides once again changed and the light dimmed, but this time it was for me…
My relationship with my first husband, I felt I was giving it my all in every way, I was away from my hometown, away from my family, and away from those I thought to still call friends. I was surrounded by the love of my children but still so alone in my own marriage. He, at this point, could have cared less what I did, he spent his days when not at work, either locked away in our room to avoid me or glued to the computer. The computer became his first of many mistresses in our relationship, and it was not the last… There were ones that eventually became flesh and not just pixels on the screen. The vices he felt so “captivated” with and the people he used became our undoing as husband and wife.
Though my light never fully dimmed, and my tides never fully drowned me. It would be years before I let anyone into our lives again in that capacity. [I will tell you more about that in a different story]
I worked on healing myself, I built my walls up higher, and I formed a better insight as to who I was as a person and what I wanted out of a partner. I waited for three years before I decided that I was truly ready to look for someone else again, and at this time… I was Mom. I became the guiding light and the whole world to three little people who needed me more than anything else in this world. I did not seek a whole lot of new people to come into our lives; I went back to my hometown and decided that family needed to come first before anything else. In this waiting time, in this pause, I grew as did the walls around me. I thought for sure that I would never really love again; I thought I would try this casual dating thing out and see how it went.
Did I mention before that I was PICKY?
I went on a total of 6 dates… Yes, 6 dates, with 6 different men… pause your thoughts there a min… NOTHING happened with any of these men, save maybe one kiss with one. However, even with that one kiss out of 6, there was nothing, no spark, no magic, no earth moving or tides crashing up against the shorelines. I wondered if I had made my walls too high, I wondered if I was too damaged, too picky, or just too numb. I paused dating for a while and thought about giving it up again, I didn’t really need anyone other than family… I had my kids, I had a job, I was in school, I had a car and a place to live for us all… What else did I really need?
Well, one day I was sitting in a college class with this girl I knew, I noticed she was on this website, she casually told me I should check it out, that it was a fun way of meeting new people, flirting and just a different way of approaching the dating scene as a whole. Skeptical, I decided I would check it out but be cautious at the same time. I made an account, I logged in from time to time and it was fun. They had this flirt feature, where you could send messages either randomized or personal to the people that you were interested in. So I sent some flirts to a few people, and one day I saw a picture of this guy, it was a close up of his face, taken from a slightly upward angle and the two things that really stood out to me about him were his eyes and his lips. So on a whim; I decided to send him a flirt too. I said” Nice lips!” That was all my flirt said, short… sweet… simple. To be honest, I never even thought he would message me back, I thought I was not anywhere near his league. BUT, to my surprise he did!!!
My heart raced and I got that giddy school girl feeling, the feeling of when your first crush talks to you, yeah that one. I looked at my computer screen and let out a little squeal, did this mean he was interested in me too? All be it his response at first was ” You have nice lips too.” was very short and to the point like mine, but I figured why not, let’s start up an actual conversation… We began to talk, what started off as an every other day thing soon began to become a daily conversation, then that daily conversation became multiple times a day. We decided to exchange phone numbers, a BIG step in online dating. I was sooooo nervous, on our first phone call. I felt giddy and nauseous at the same time; it had me wondering what was so different with this fellow than the others I had been dating in the past year. And then it clicked… He didn’t want what the others did; he actually, really and truly wanted to get to know me for me! Talk about a game changer.
After talking on the phone for a month or two we finally decided to meet, first, we met casually, then we hung out a few times with some of my acquaintances, and then we decided it was time to hang out alone. Now in all this time, we were hanging out I really liked what I saw, both in him physically and emotionally.
However, I was not fully ready to let him meet my kids in any other capacity than just a friend, I kept that guard up, I guarded my children. Which, in my opinion, all mothers who are dating need to do! We as mothers need to protect them from our casual relationships because children love without conditions, they will love who you love. Now, with that being said, back to the story. [I will touch more on this topic later on]
The first time we decided to hang out alone, he came over to my house, and we watched movies. He sat on the couch beside me, and I noticed something about him, his leg was twitching, HE WAS NERVOUS! I gently put my hand on his knee and smiled, I asked: “Are you nervous?” He smiled back at me and said quietly” A bit.” I took his hand in mine and there we sat, watching movies and talking for a good portion of the evening. When he left my house that night, I wondered if he would come back, I wondered where this was going, I wondered, is this the one, so many things crossed my mind as I thought about him that night.
We picked up talking again on the phone and online, he came back over about a week later and that is when we first kissed. He looked at me as he was getting ready to leave for the evening and he asked… “Can I kiss you?” I did not respond with words, I took action and kissed him. It wasn’t that leg popping Hollywood kiss you see in movies or that deep throat porn type of kiss, it was a very sweet, very gentle type of kiss and it took my breath away. I was over the moon, the stars shone brighter than I have ever seen them shine, the waves of emotions came crashing back into me and tore all my walls down, and over what? Over a simple, gentle, yet passionate kiss that made me breathless and my knees weak. Just when I had given up all hope again, just when I was beginning to settle that I was going to be a single mom, this man pops into my life and makes me fall slowly yet surely in love with him.
Now, let us jump forward about two more weeks after the kiss, we were hanging out and decided to sit in his truck at the time… I will try to keep this PG
We were very into one another, the chemistry was there, it was very apparent in many ways, we sat there talking and looking up at the stars, we kissed and got a little more involved, and then… this man did something that floored me. He stopped in mid motion and looked me in the eyes and said “No.” I pulled back and looked at him for a moment, a bit stunned and asked: “What do you mean no?” He smiled and placed his hand gently on mine and said in response “I really feel like there is something here, I don’t want to mess it up, I don’t want to rush it. I want to do this right.”
BE STILL MY HEART! I respected his wishes that night and let me tell you it took every ounce of my willpower to do so! Never in my then 25 years had anyone ever been like that with me, up until then it was rushing hands and pawing, which don’t get me wrong, with the right person can be wonderfully intense. But this… this was truly amazing in a totally different way… and let me tell you in that moment, I KNEW this was the one, I was going to make a go for it. The following day we were on the phone and as lame as it sounds I point blank asked him with my heart pounding in my throat… ” Will you go out with me, like seriously, like boyfriend and girlfriend..” The words were so awkward coming out of my mouth, I was so nervous I could hardly stand it. He was silent.
I thought to myself… ‘CRAP’ I have ruined it and then he spoke with a bit of laughter hinging on his words. “Wow, I have never had anyone ask me out before, this is new for me.” I laughed nervously and said as smoothly as I could muster… ” Hey, when I see what I want, I go for it. So … Uh… About that question, Will you?” There was a brief pause again and I thought my heart was going to leap out of my throat waiting to know the answer was torture. Then he cleared his throat and said “Yes, I will. Sorry, I think it will just take some getting used to, you know, you being so forward and aggressive.” [Or something like that LOL]
Now let us jump ahead and through some of the complications like my ex not wanting to grant a divorce because he wanted to hang on to one last little bit of control, other than that our relationship, mine, and my new beau, that is was without a doubt the most effortless relationship I have ever been in, loving him was like breathing it came so natural. We had very few hiccups; the biggest one not even being my ex with the control issues, but that there was this man, in a relationship with a woman that had three kids… He did not have kids of his own and was now faced with the possibility of being a father figure to children that were not his. It is a HUGE daunting task for any man who enters into a relationship with a woman who is a mother. And, it made him pause, not for long, but it did take him back for a bit. He said to me” I am not sure I can be a father, I am not sure I was ever meant to be one.” I told him this as simply and as gently as I could even though I knew it could be the end of a wonderful thing. ” I understand. I am not forcing you to be that for them, it is your choice and your decision, however, we are a package deal. You cannot have me without them. If you decide that you cannot do it, I fully understand.” and I left it at that. The next 4-5 days were torture for me as I waited to hear back from him and hear his decision; I tried to be patient and gave him space because that is what he needed. The phone rang and my heart felt like it stopped beating when I saw it was him calling. I prepared myself for the worst but still hoped for the best. I answered the phone and waited in a very awkward silence as he gathered his words and then he said” I’m in; I am all in, for you and the kids. These last couple of days have made me realize I want to be in your life, and I want to share mine with you all.” I was so happy I cried!
Oh my goodness! He wants me and every ounce of baggage, scars, and everything. He wants to be there for me through all my little ups and downs, he wants to be there for my children, he wants to be the man I have been looking for all my life. You know what… I fell hopelessly, unmistakably, totally, and completely in love with this man. He came over that night and we talked and talked and talked, I looked into his big hazel eyes and I fought to hold back tears of joy. I softly and sweetly said as I looked at him without thinking” I love you.” He smiled and kissed my forehead ever so gently and said:” I love you too.”
Now, the next step, he moved in with us permanently after he had a bought with appendicitis.. but before I tell you about that, let me tell you what happened before he fully moved in. He was so ill, I spent three days in the hospital with him, through the surgery and all. On the day of his release from the hospital, I brought him back to my house, to get showered up and changed. He rested at my house for a few days then we went out to his apartment to get more stuff for him, clothing and other personal items. The kids and I were waiting in the car while he was gathering up the last few things he needed and was locking up the apartment. He came down the stairs and I got back out of the car to help him pack them into the trunk. But before I could do so he looked at me trying so hard not to smile or drop anything in his hands and said: ” There is something in my pocket, can you get it out for me.” I patted one side and there was nothing in it, I patted the other side and felt something square, something box-shaped and I pulled my hand back and looked at him for a moment. ” Come on, go ahead and get it for me will you.” I slowly reached into his pocket and pulled out a black velvet box. I smiled and looked at it for a moment, then said in a half-joking manner “Are you trying to ask me something?” He put the items he was holding into the car and looked at me without missing a beat and replied:” Yes, I am asking you to be my wife.” I opened the box and inside was a simple gold band inside. He looked at me looking at this ring and said very quickly” I know it’s not much…” I pulled the ring out of the box and interrupted him with” Yes, I will be your wife if you will have me, and it is perfect. ” We get back to my house and I haven’t been able to get rid of him since then. [Just joking honey ]
We got married July 14, 2017, after we had been dating 9 years. I said I do to the most loving, thoughtful, funny, sarcastic, witty, goofy, and passionate person I have ever known. He is my best friend, my companion, my soul mate in so many ways, my lover and my husband. He makes those stars shine brightly for me even in the darkest of nights and we have both seen our share of darkness. He makes the waves crash against my shores and feel the breath of life when he is near me and even after 10 years together and 1 year married, he still makes my heart skip a beat when he kisses me. I am hopelessly, unconditionally, undeniably, fully in love with my husband and him with me, and for that, I am truly thankful.
I would be lost without you
“Together forever, through all time and space.”