I recently decided it was time to blog the story of me & my husband. If you haven't read the first part, you should do that first!! Pics of us from 12 years ago are included!!
As I was saying...
We broke up. There were many issues I mentioned that led to our breakup, but a big part of it that i didn't mention was the issue of communication. Communication is a huge thing for us - we talk about EVERYTHING & i would advise any married couple to do the same - it is crucial! But we didn't do it back then. I was too scared or shy to ask him what he thought about certain things (that were important to me). He would get upset or mad at something i did, but never tell me. So, i would continue doing or saying whatever-it-was thinking everything was just peachy. And then he'd explode in anger one day & i had NO CLUE why he was acting that way. Neither of these things are good! We were not on the same page. It wasn't working. It was over.
12.09.96 to 01.04.98 (our relationship)
01.04.98 to 02.16.08 (our breakup - 10 years!!)
This blog - Part 2 of our story - will be about the time in between. Those long lonely 10 years! If i thought about it enough, i could probably break those 10 years down into four categories:
1- (age 19-23) loving Brad & confident that he was still the one.
2- (age 23-24) hating Brad & confident that he is definitely NOT the one.
3- (age 24-27) no longer hating brad but realizing he was just not the right guy for me; also, deciding single life is where it's at, being totally content in my singleness. growing in my relationship with God, most of all.
4- (age 28-29) deciding singleness is for the birds, all my friends are married, it is so hard to support yourself alone, & DEAR GOD, WHERE IS MY HUSBAND?!
HA! This isn't exact, of course, i'm not sure exactly when i went through what. But these were definite seasons i went through during this time of my life.
First, i was convinced he was still "the one". After all, we had great chemistry, we were best friends, & we KNEW we were right for each other. I loved him & missed him tremendously. I remember one time, 2 of my girlfriends & i were the only ones that showed up to a college & career group. Usually there were 15 or so of us, but that night it was just us three. Instead of doing the intended lesson, our youth pastor said, "hey how about y'all write down any questions you may have on a sheet of paper & i'll pick one & read it & answer it". So we did it. I remember all of our questions were about LOVE. These were 2 of my best friends & they both had recent breakups also. And i remember my question went something like this: "People say that when you meet "the one", you will "just know". But what if you already KNEW that you KNEW that you KNEW - & you were wrong? Will you still "just know" when it's someone else?"
This is a question that had been gnawing at me for months. I don't remember how my youth pastor answered that question. But i know he was answering it with the idea in mind that i would NOT be getting back together with an ex. That wasn't even a concept (because that doesn't usually happen!). It had already been a year or two since our breakup & we were completely out of contact. My youth pastor comforted me & gave me some answers meant to give my troubled heart some peace. But how could he truly answer that question? He assumed that i didn't REALLY know with Brad - he just thought that i THOUGHT i knew! SO he tried to comfort me in that way. i always remember that & how the reason i KNEW THAT I KNEW was NOT because i was wrong. It was because i was RIGHT! He really WAS THE ONE! It is just that the timing was all off.
Time went on & i was a bridesmaid, oh, quite a few times! All my friends were getting married. Some were having babies. I was still single. Not a guy in sight. I was no longer pining away for Brad. I had become convinced that (1) he was not the one for me & (2) he was kind of a jerk. HA! He really wasn't of course, but i tried to convince myself of that & i kept reminding myself of how TERRIBLE he was. But he wasn't really. And i knew that. I know at times, during girl talk, i'd say some of the negative things that went on during our relationship...& i'd always feel bad afterwards. Because, really, he was not a BAD GUY. He was one of those rare good guys! But it's just that (i thought) he was not the right guy FOR ME. But he would be great for someone else.
A pic from back in the day! Me & Jessica & Amanda, two great girl friends from church.
Through my middle 20's i began to LOVE single life & become convinced that it was the life to have! I felt sorry for my friends who were bogged down with husbands & kids. I was having a blast. I was still a good little christian girl, but i had tons of fun. I loved having roommates, i enjoyed getting together with the girls - TRUE friends - & i even had several good guy friends. Good times. I did not have a problem being single. I was LOVING it! And i had come to realize that being single was the way to be! It was my soapbox! I had a list of qualities i wanted in a man & i wouldn't settle for less. I didn't want to date, i just wanted to hang out & i knew God would bless me with a husband when the time was right. I didn't date anyone during this time, i grew in my relationship with God & my friends from church. Also, Brad was out of my mind, completely. I had no desire to marry him & i knew it would never happen anyway. Sure, i wondered about him time to time, wondered if he had married, but it was just a fleeting thought. I was happy, man or no man. I was complete on my own. I didn't need a man!
Girlfriends - love em! Jenn, Amanda, Ali & Me!
But honestly? That gets quite old after awhile. It's fun while none of your friends are married. And it's fun while half of your friends are married. But when ALL of them are? And when kids 4, 5, 7, 8 years younger than you are getting married?! You hate to whine to God, but gosh- it just doesn't seem FAIR! You have fun for awhile. And you can pretend that it's not so bad. But it begins to eat at you. It's not FAIR. Where is MY husband? I had a wonderful roomie named Aimie. And i thank GOD for her! Because she was the ONLY person who TRULY could understand. Other friends had found their Prince years ago & they really had no idea where mine was! Older church ladies felt sorry for you. Do you know some even wondered what was wrong with you? What would make you less desirable? "There must be SOME reason she's still single?" They would say, "So when are you getting married?" I always thought that was the DUMBEST question to ask a single girl with no prospects! I hated that question! Younger single friends THOUGHT they understood, because they were wanting to be married so bad, but they couldn't possibly REALLY understand! It just was awful. Aimie understood. We could talk about it. We could cry or scream or vent to each other about it. And we did. It was a hard time. We loved being roomies & we had a great time together, but at the same time, it was a very dark lonely time. For one thing, it is HARD to be single. It's different when all your best friends are married. Because, yes, you still have a best friend, but she has her husband, her kids, her own life.
Me & Aimie - headed to the beach!
I began to just LONG FOR a husband. I had wanted one before, but now i felt i NEEDED one. It wasn't just the fact that i was 29 & STILL a virgin!! HA! (As a christian girl, i was waiting for marriage to experience sex...it's just that i didn't think God would make me wait so long!) It was just the fact that i had no one. You know? It's a lonely time. I realized that people who are married - their spouse is their NUMBER 1. And i realized that i was nobody's #1. My best friend had her husband. My other good friends had their husbands. My parents had each other. Everyone had someone. Except me. If i was depressed, i cried alone. If i needed prayer, i prayed alone. If i was hurting, i suffered alone. I didn't have someone i could tell something any time day or night. And yes, i had some AWESOME friends. But you get what i'm saying? I was nobody's number 1. & i felt that. It hurt.
Theatre friends - Kelli, Brittany & Me!
Some of my best theatre friends: Rachel, Tim & Jordan
I didn't understand. I didn't understand WHY. And then, the darkest time was in October of 2007. I had been heavily involved in theatre for a little over a year at this time. And it was getting hard to continue to be as strong of a Christian as i had been. It's a different world, the theatre - a world that i LOVE. A world that i STILL love & am still very much a part of. But at the time, i was involved in one show after another, was hardly in church at all (because of so many rehearsals) & I was SO LONELY. I had never experimented with drugs or alcohol or sex - & i wouldn't. But I had never been so lonely before either. Now i was tempted to do ANYTHING to forget all about it. I struggled a lot during those times. I was tempted more intensely than i had ever been before. I didn't give in to these temptations. But i'm just saying...i remember October 2007 as being the lonliest days. I was 29. Single. Nobody was my #1. Nobody would drop everything for me (or at least that's how i felt). I was depressed. I didn't understand why God had thought of a husband or wife for EVERYONE but me.
I began to pray for my husband & i remember telling God really honestly, "I am not just pining away for some type of relationship. I NEED someone. I need someone that gets me & loves me anyway. i need someone that can help me through times of temptation. I need someone that loves me MORE THAN anyone else in this world. It's not a want anymore, God. I NEED my husband!"
I meant business. Serious business. But I had no idea God was about to answer my prayer really quickly! After all - this was October 2007. In just 13 months, i would be a married lady! I had no idea!
"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."
To be continued...