In 1980, when I was 13 years old and in 8th grade, I met and fell in love with my soul mate. We were married August 18, 2003, and will celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary this summer. As for the 22 years between meeting him and getting married, it’s quite a story.
We met and fell in “love” in junior high school. His was my first true love, and when you are only 13 years old, that is some serious stuff! Unfortunately, before we made it to high school, he was forced to move away with his parents. Luckily, he only moved about 15 miles away and was still able to get rides or take the city bus to visit me. Oftentimes, he would come visit me for the weekend. My parents like him enough to let him sleep in our upstairs rumpus room on the couch. Unfortunately, as time went on, we grew apart, his weekend visits turning into monthly visits, and eventually, the visits stopped. As we entered separate high schools 15 miles apart, we met new friends and took on new hobbies. I joined the marching band and was very busy most of the time. Eventually we just stopped all contact.
Just as I turned 16 years old, I met my new love. We fell fast and hard for each other. We spent all our time together and I was sure he was the one. Our engagement was a total shock, he surprised me by pulling a ring out of his sock at Black Angus Steak house and asked me to marry him! Of course I said yes, and we were married the summer of 1984 when I was 18 years old. He had a good job, and we lived in a nice apartment; however, when 1985 came around, I found out I was pregnant, so we bought our first house. Our first son was born November 1985. Our second son was born August 9, 1988, and our third son was born September 11, 1989. Life was good.
April 2, 1991, my husband called me on the phone and said he would not be coming home from work. I asked if he had to work late, and his reply was, “No, I mean I want a divorce and I am not coming home anymore.” Instantly my world came to a crashing halt. How could this be happening? We were not having marital problems. We didn’t fight any more than the usual spousal bicker over trivial matters. I won’t go into the details or say anything negative, but the reason was another woman. He left me for another woman! I begged him to try marriage counseling and at the suggestion of the counselor he came home for one week in May and we (I) tried my best to make him love me and not her. It didn’t work. He still left me for the other woman, and he left me pregnant with our fourth son who was born on Valentine’s Day 1992.
The marital home was sold, and I moved closer to my mom so she could help with the kids. My father passed of Lung Cancer in 1991, so we needed to be near each other. I moved into a new mobile home and started building my new life.
It was around June of 1992 when I realized I now lived just a stone’s throw away from my first love, the boyfriend who moved away during junior high school! I pulled out my old address book, and I thought it would be a long shot, but I called his parents’ house and asked if he was there. He was. He was still living at home, and he just happened to be there when I called. Within 15 minutes he drove over to see me.
We fell back in love almost instantly. He not only accepted my kids, but he was good to them. Later that year, his parents moved to Tennessee and rather than lose him a second time, I asked him to move in with me, which he did. We lived together until my mother passed of heart failure in 1999, then we moved into her house.
We never really saw a reason to rush into marriage, but eventually we decided to get married just because it made sense. We were sure we were going to be together forever, and it made sense financially and for health insurance purposes. He didn’t propose or do anything romantic; we just decided to get married, planned a small wedding in Las Vegas and got hitched. We have only been married 11 years, but we have been together 22 years, but we have been in love 33 years and hopefully for many more.