On September 2nd I will celebrate 20 years of marriage with the love of my life! As we prepare to celebrate this day, I reflect back on how I got here and wanted to share it with you.
After 13 years of marriage to my Junior High/High School sweetheart, I began to realize that I was headed down the same path as my parents, his parents and so many other married couples. Little joy, no outward demonstration of love and little interest in each other. Just a comfortable convenience and each person going their own way with little intersection or shared interests.
Obviously, I can't know if that is what they felt in their relationships, but that is what it looked like to me from the outside. I knew deep in my heart that I didn't want that for my life. My ex and i had tried the usual things to get to a better place, but we were just in two very different places. Kenny Loggins had a new album out at that time that was called Leap of Faith. There was a song called The Real Thing that really spoke to me. It was a song to his daughter Amanda explaining why he had left her Mom. He said "I did it for you and the boys, because love should teach you joy and not the imitation that your Mama and Daddy tried to show you. I did it for you and for me and because I still believe there is only one thing that you can never give up and ever compromise on, and that is the real thing you need in love."
This was the sound of truth to me. I didn't know if what I wanted was out there, but I knew I was not going to settle for anything else. If I had to live the rest of my life alone, that was OK, I could make a life for my son, Mikey and I and be happy in it. I was going to take a leap of faith that what I wanted was out there. Kenny's song went on to say"everybody's got a boat upon the ocean, not everybody's sailing out to sea, but is there someone there for me? I am ready to believe." It really spoke to how I was feeling.
Eventually, I made the leap! My family and friends thought I was crazy. My ex thought I was overly influenced by a new friend in my life, but I knew it was right for me and for my son. Seeing the tears well up in Mikey’s eyes when we told him was heartbreaking for me and is forever burned into my memory, but I had to trust what my heart was telling me. Looking back on it now, I honestly don't know where the courage came from.
For two years following that decision I lived and healed. A dear friend suggested that I get quiet and still and make a list of what I was looking for in the man that I wanted to invite into my life. I did it in a journal that I was keeping at the time and quite honestly, just put it away and didn't think about it. I moved shortly after that and many things were in boxes and life moved on. In the two years after my divorce, friendships developed and strengthened with several people at work. One of them was Doug.
One night when we all went to happy hour (as we often did), Doug and I both noticed that something had shifted, we felt a different connection, we were more than friends. That was the beginning of the relationship with the love of my life. We have been married for 20 years now and our relationship is everything I ever dreamed of having - pure joy.
Oh, and a few years after we got together, I was unpacking from one of our moves (whole other story about our adventures around the country) and I came across the journal. I had to laugh, because aside from the fact that Doug doesn't play the guitar, he matches everything on the list. Maybe I can talk him into taking some lessons! : )
Check out Kenny’s song. I still love it!