Flashback

I originally posted this (a few days late) last year. It really does say it all in a way that I probably couldn’t top this year. Another year has passed and we’re still here… and I still love you, Honey… more than ever.

Soul Mate

A milestone went by and I forgot to mention it, or if I mentioned it I didn’t give it enough credit. Earlier this month Hubby and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. That’s the ‘official’ anniversary, although we actually consider a year earlier when we got together to be our ‘real’ anniversary.

It wasn’t a storybook romance. It was a strange sort of an affair. I was married, and although we (the ex and I) were sharing an apartment, two children, and a mountain of bills, we were not sharing the marital bed. We’d decided we couldn’t afford to live on our own, neither of us wanted to live with our parents, and we still considered ourselves friends, so we’d just share the space and all that was in it and lead our own lives.

The ex worked days. I worked nights. After work I would sometimes go out with single girlfriends. We would go to a college town a little ways from where we lived and hit the local bars. My girlfriends had already spent way more time in these places than I had and knew some people, so that made it easier. I found out about a year after I’d first started going to this local bar that my now-husband had seen me there with my friends and had asked around about me and found out that I was still married with two kids – so even though I didn’t know him, he knew somethings about me.

I’ve told the story of how we met before, and won’t go into all that again… but suffice it to say when I met him it was comfortable. Safe. He made me feel a way I’d never felt before – that it was all going to be okay. He’d wrap his arms around me and give me what I called a ‘bear hug’ and it would bring tears to my eyes it was so perfect. He was so strong, but could be so gentle with me. He listened to me – his deep brown eyes totally focused on me. He was shy, but was brave enough to try and bring me out of my shell. He was smart and funny and warm and all the good stuff… I wasn’t looking for another attachment. I’d told myself – and actually told him that I wasn’t going to get involved with anyone again. I’d had enough. Men were okay as friends, but marriage was out. Good thing he didn’t listen to me!

He made me feel so good about myself… something that was sorely lacking in my life. He didn’t just love me for my body or my looks or what I could do for him, he loved me for me. I’d already been through some pretty rough times and my trust was pretty thin. I was cynical, always looking for the downside – waiting for the other shoe to drop. I kept thinking he was too good to be true. I spent a lot of time with him, as much as I could. Finally we decided I would move to his town and see how it went. I was reluctant to take my children since I had no means of support yet in this place, so I spoke to my ex and we decided the kids would stay with him for a short time while I got a job and got settled. He didn’t know about the new man in my life, and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings by bringing it up. I just let him believe I was doing this myself.

I moved, and my ex ended up moving back home with his parents, with our children. I got a job, got settled, and tried to see my children. His parents wouldn’t let me. They hit me with a lawsuit – they were suing for full custody. I was crushed. They would answer the phone and wouldn’t even let me talk to my ex, guessing rightly that he still had feelings for me and wouldn’t put me through this – let alone our children. My guy stuck through it all. The rants and raves and crushing tears. He was there for me. Finally, after several months of back and forth, and finally at least some visitation, we went to court where my ex met me at the door and said he and his lawyer had come up with an idea. Joint custody. This was very, very new at the time and you had to talk the judge into it. You had to convince the judge that you got along well enough with your ex to have joint custody, so you weren’t pitting the kids against each other. We did that. I was to have the kids during the week, he was to see them on the weekends. We rejoiced.

My guy now not only had a wife, but two children under 5 – the confirmed bachelor was a family man. He jumped in with both feet. As much as he loved me, he loved my children and treated them like his own. He never treated them differently… if anything he was heartbroken when they had to go to “their dad’s” – because he felt like that was him. Through the years, and a couple more kids, and a lot more critters, we’ve been through heaven and hell. Several years ago all the bad things that I thought I’d successfully put behind me, hidden in boxes of my mind came tumbling down and out jumped the demons I’d tried to vanquish. They took me by surprise and my husband by bigger surprise. It was a few months of hell on earth – nervous breakdowns aren’t fun – but I’m so much better now. I give all the credit to him. He saved me.

He loves me. He really does. To some he may not be the best looking man – He’s no Brad Pitt or Ewin McGregor. He’s more Tom Hanks and Harrison Ford. Not perfect, but he’s so beautiful inside it makes up for any flaws. He’s funny. He’s smart. He’s sexy. (He doesn’t think so.) He has no confidence in himself. He’s beautiful to me. He makes terrific babies. He really is my soul mate. 25 years is only a blink… I hope we get a lifetime more. It’s been quite the ride. Happy Anniversary, Honey…