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I love my husband for thousands of reasons including thousands of happy memories we share that would not be without him and the unconditional love that we share. I would have given our chances of becoming married couple a big zero due to the circumstances surrounding our individual situations when we met, however, those circumstances must have been surmounted due to the hand of God who I believe created us for each other.
When I met Jason I was vulnerable. Mother had suffered a life altering stroke (and the first relationship I'd had in years ended that same day), had endured a life threatening illness, I had endured 4+ years of being stalked, and it was just a few years since the death of my boyfriend.
The first time I saw Jason he was moving boxes into the office down the hall from my office. The girls in the office and I were peering out the window at the new guy. He was handsome, tall, thin, long brown hair, a mustache, permanent 5 o'clock shadow kind of beard and no wedding ring in sight! Hopes dashed....... saw a beautiful blond lady meeting him at his office and leaving for lunch several times and she was wearing a ring.
Formally met Jason in the parking lot and learned the blond lady is his step-Mother, yippee. He looked so handsome that day, dark jeans and a black silk shirt. A few days later a lady from his office and I were talking and she interrogated me with tons of personal questions. I didn't connect that he had put her up to this and thought that perhaps she thought I am homosexual or that she is inappropriately inquisitive. A day or so later Jason asked me out. I was going to the hospital every night after work and sitting with Mother and having dinner in the hospital cafeteria with Dad. I told Jason I couldn't (dunce hat for me) and hinted that we could meet at the hospital cafeteria. Apparently that hint was misunderstood and he thought I was "blowing him off" and he soon began dating the girl across the hall. They didn't hit it off and he asked me out again. Mom was out of ICU and back at home. Evenings and weekends, I was helping Dad care for her, however, I said yes, left work early, bought a ridiculously expensive little dress (tiny dress and cowboy boots) and went to a concert with Jason that evening.
We immediately hit it off, making out during the concert. After the concert, in the car waiting in line to get out of parking lot, wait for it, no, no don't do it, I blurted it out (details regarding my needy Mother, dead boyfriend, 4+ year stalker situation, on and on). My way of either pushing him away or protecting my heart so he could run for the hills before I became attached? He didn't react as though red lights were flashing and prison bars were coming down around him and called for another date and many thereafter.
Months went by and all is well, definitely in love and looked forward to every date and many nights spent picking out and watching two or three Blockbuster movies and nearly every word that came out of his mouth was bliss. Jason was ideal! However, his "party" friends didn't accept me and as he didn't take me to meet his family I feel they were dubious.
Jason is an adult child of divorce, his parents divorced when he was two. His Dad moved from New York to Nashville. Jason was reared in New York and spent rotating holidays and a percentage of his summer break time with his Dad. After college he moved to Nashville, largely to be near to his Dad. Jason and his brother (also apparently moved to Nashville to be near Dad and became roommates with Jason) bowled against his Dad and step-Mother every week and the loser cooked dinner. He never invited me and when I suggested casually showing up to watch some night, it was discouraged.
At this point, two nights out of the week Jason spent with his Dad and step-Mother, and he partied with his friends at least one weekend night and a night or so during the week. Over time, his friends merely tolerated me but discouraged our relationship (they were super liberal carefree partiers and I was reared to be a proper old fashioned southern girl/caretaker -- bad mix?), Jason refused to take me to meet his family and we spent every holiday apart (he was either with one parent or the other) thus our relationship suffered. Eventually Jason decided that he wanted me to meet his Dad and step-Mother first, then apparently if I met his approval, his Mom and step-Dad, before we could take our relationship to the next level, however, he said that "his Dad had broken up nearly every relationship, including an engagement and a marriage that he and his siblings had" which is why I hoped to meet his Mom first. By this time he had out grown his party friends, but he felt I bore a great deal of fault in their estrangement, and between this and the situation with his parents our relationship could have fizzled. I had gone back to school working during the day and attending college nights and Saturdays so he had plenty of free time. The turning point was a weekend night when he called and said he was very sick and wanted to come over. Our relationship was obviously rocky and I wasn't even sure that he loved me anymore. I let him come over and took care of him. He had a high fever and was kind of pitiful. I realized then that how much I love him and that I couldn't imagine life without him. That weekend sealed our relationship.
%#*@ or get off the pot time. After dating for nearly 6 years and a bumpy ride Jason for the first time since I met him chose his own happiness over first meeting others approval and we made plans to elope. We spent 3 months working out in the mornings like demons and making our wedding plans in the evenings. We had a beautiful small wedding and honeymoon but when he called to tell his parents his Dad was not pleased with the elopement and they were estranged for years. His Mom took it a bit better and she and Jason's grandmother gave us a wedding shower in NY.
Four months into our marriage Mother had a bad fall and since that time I've been her caretaker. I was the last to get married, the only girl, had no children and being a good, "proper" southern girl I had the responsibility of caring for her. I never imagined being in this role more than a few months but over time and fall after fall (she refuses to obey MD's safety orders) her condition deteriorated and now more than a decade later she still lives with us and her care takes up much of my day as she is at full assist. Over time as her needs escalated, and abilities decreased, her care ended my career, ended plans for graduate school and our plans for having a family. I so wish we had not delayed marriage and had a family while we were both young and/or I had found a way to afford full time assistance for Mother as I could not carry a pregnancy while transferring Mother several times a day, I needed bed rest.
I was overwhelmed when my Mother became totally disabled and did not know about respite care nor many other services I could have utilized and perhaps had a baby, maintained my career and finished graduate school. Now, I'm filling out paperwork to get help and time off to spend ALONE with my husband and for other services to free up my time. We also went through three failed adoptions together. We are hoping that in the future we may get into foster care and give a child a forever home.
I've mentioned most of the negatives to make the point that our love for each other has kept us together through good and bad times and that would not come through if I wrote a bunch of meaningless fluff. We have had many good times traveling to Florida, Las Vegas, New York and New Mexico, having dinner parties and dinners and movies out when we can get help caring for Mother. Now we are looking into respite care so we can have more freedom and time together. We also enjoy simple things like doing projects around the house together, shopping or just getting an ice cream so we can grab a bit of alone time.
I love my husband so much because no matter how tough the going has gotten he has been there for me, loved me unconditionally and even though it didn't start this way we worked though and are still working through our people pleasing codependence together. Now we have richer relationship with each other, a better relationship with family and a greater appreciation for the unconditional love God's union has given us that becomes better every day. I love that we have mutual respect for the importance of family, country, mentoring, sharing, gratitude, and charity. I love that many times my husband has showed up with flowers and/or candy and/or fudge when I've had a bad day, picnics in bed, and marathon runs of watching an entire season of a show in a weekend. I love that he enjoys cuddling in bed with me and the kitties. I love that he enjoys feeding the neighborhood kitties. I love that he enjoys helping others, charity and caring for innocent creatures. I love that he volunteers to sit with Mother, giving me a break now and then to get a massage, shop for a couple of hours or peacefully get a mani/pedi. I love the many shopping trips we have taken purchasing items to make our nest unique and comfortable. I love that my husband has the humility to respect and accept God's hand in our creation and daily life.
In closing, I love my husband because we have grown together for nearly two decades and I can't imagine life would have been better with anyone else because God made us for each other.
Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. They say the book is like “Eat, Pray, Love meets The 5 Love Languages.” I say the book is inspiring. You can grab a copy HERE.