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Saturday, March 31, 2007

When You're Not Looking...

In September of 1996 I met my soul mate and life partner. At that time, I was a divorced single mother of nearly 3 years. I had had my bout with the world and a little of the dating scene. I can tell you that at this point I was not at all interested in men or in dating any men.

Let me back up a few years to help you to understand. In the year of 1986 I met my first husband and was very enamored by him. He was all that I had been looking for in a man and a friend. We hit it off and one year and one month later we were married. I was very young and very naive to the ways of the human race and men in general.

Come to find out, my ex-husband was a fake. He was not all that he showed himself to be. He is one of those people that take on the personality of another person or persons with whom he is around. So, upon my parents move from the area we were in he began to show more of his true colors.

Some years later, I realized I had married a pathological liar, cheat and lazy man. He was also abusive mentally and physically. However, I spent the next several years thinking that he would change and would get better. Much to my dismay he never did and that left me with only one option, which was to leave with my 2 small children and dog.

We left together the 4 of us in a very big moving truck and pulling a car behind us. This was a very emotional trip for us all but one, by the grace of God, we made together.

We moved into a small 2-bedroom house and I went back to college full time. My children went to daycare for the first time in their lives and we survived. At times it felt as if we barely made it. My son entered into therapy which consequently meant so did myself and my daughter. This therapy continued for the next 3 years, through a move and job changes. The effect of this marriage on my son was major and required in all, 3 1/2 years of counseling to help him through.

After having one boyfriend that was more of a stalker, I swore off men. I wanted nothing more than to be alone with my children and get on with my life alone. To me, men were nothing but trouble and I did not want one in my life. I had found peace in my solitude and was content to remain that way.

Wouldn't you know it, the Lord had something in mind for me?!? I had one friend that had a cousin getting ready to go through a divorce. The strange part about this is that this woman was more concerned over the husband of her cousin. I was intrigued by this chain of events and felt for this man but, I told her in no uncertain terms that I was not interested in meeting or dating a man much less a married one.

However, this did not impede my friend and she gave my telephone number to this person anyhow. This upset me but I also felt very bad for him. You see, he called me the day he left his soon-to-be ex-wife. I knew the pain he must be feeling and in the spur of the moment decided that this man needed a friend. I invited him over for some coffee and company.

The first night we met we hit it off like fire to a match. We had so much in common. Not only with our deceased marriages but, also with our views and opinions in life. We became fast friends. He needed the company and I found out that I did also.

Then everything changed one night. He asks me where I saw our relationship headed. I can tell you that this scared the sweat right out of me. I did not want to be hurt again and I knew that there was no way that any man was what he appeared to be. Of course, my answer to him was I don't know. I was too afraid to let him in my heart. So afraid that I could not even tell him how I was feeling. Or let myself know for that matter.

It was right at this time that there were a lot of problems beginning with his ex. She would not allow him to see his child with me around. She would not allow him to call her from my house and blocked all the numbers to all the payphones around my house. I felt so bad for him and I felt as if this separation from his child was my fault. I agonized over the decision I needed to make for days and days. Then, to my surprise, one day as I was throwing away a piece of trash and thinking of turning away from our friendship for the sake of his relationship with his child, it hit me. I felt this pang of complete fear. I was afraid to let him go out of my life. I could not imagine him not being there in my life. I realized I was more deeply involved than I first thought. I didn't turn him away.

At that point, I was still too afraid to even allow myself to realize that I had fallen in love with him. I made myself believe that it was our special friendship that I needed. But, wouldn't you know it! God had different plans. It was this very night that my new friend would ask me again where I saw this relationship going. This time all I could do was hide under a blanket on the couch and say, "I am not sure but, somewhere." We talked that night about where we might be headed and my fears and my old marriage.

This man was so gentle and kind during this conversation. I had never in my life known a man to be this way. He didn't push me more than I could go and he accepted my vague answers to his questions of how I was feeling about him. He gave me my space and my time to deal with these things.

A few weeks after this, he kissed me for the first time. I knew then that I was hooked. His touch was the softest I had ever experienced in my whole life. It was gentle in fact that I was not sure I even liked it at first. I was not sure that men were supposed to touch like this. But, I did learn to relax with it with his help and understanding.

We consummated the relationship that night in an explosion of passion that I never knew existed. However, I still could not commit my heart completely to this man. I could not tell him I loved him for I was sure he would change.

A few weeks into this part of our relationship he told me he loved me. I wanted to cry from happiness but, also from helplessness. I could not say the words he wanted to hear. He again was gentle kind and compassionate. He waited for me to tell him that I loved him and he never pressured me. He continued to tell me that he loved me and that he would not change. That he, in fact was showing me his true colors, that he would wait for me to trust that.

He did wait. In about a month from the time he revealed his feelings to me I told him I loved him. He cried tears of joy and I cried tears of relief, joy and fear. Even though I had told him I was still afraid.

He continued his patience and understanding with me. He never pressed harder than I could take when he felt that I needed to talk. He also never gave up on me when I said I couldn't talk right then. He would always come back and ask again until I was ready to tell him how I was feeling about whatever I was feeling at the time.

Within 9 months of our first meeting we were married. We have been married now for over a year and we are happy. He is not perfect but, for me, he is perfect the way he is. He never has changed. He is still the most loving man I know. Our lives were truly sculpted by God and I wouldn't have it any other way. I am thankful to God and to my husband.

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