Saturday, June 16, 2007

True love, and why that means conflict

Last updated April, 2009

I didn't find my soul mate until I was almost 29 years old, and it was a long wait… I often wondered if I’d ever find true love, or even if there was such a thing as true love. It certainly didn’t come in the package I expected! I knew B. for about a year before he asked me out, and I never considered him as a "possibility"- after all, he was divorced, and he had a little girl. We were also complete opposites. I'm an introvert, a writer and voracious book reader. He is outgoing, a gear-head, and not interested in reading anything except headlines. We had only two things in common: we were both followers of Jesus, and we both loved horses.

We’d only been dating four weeks by the time I knew without a doubt I was falling in love. I’d fallen in love with his daughter too (for more about my stepdaughter, see this blog about my daughters.)

These are the things I love about him: He makes me laugh all the time. He’s a wonderful father (I got to see that part of him ahead of time: one bonus with marrying a guy that already has a kid). He writes wonderful love notes and occasionally, even spontaneously, he will buy me chocolates and flowers. He’s a cowboy (not professionally, but he does own cows, and he does regularly chase them with his horse). He can twirl his Colt into his holster like a pro. He can fix anything. He cries at the sappy parts of movies. He’s a great story-teller (one of my favorites is the one about the b-b gun he had when he was a kid and what he did to the bulls on the neighbor’s ranch. Or maybe it's the one about he and his brother peeing on the ants). We agree on everything important: faith, how to raise kids, even things like how much money to give to church, and what kind of dream home we both want. He was also really honest and open about his previous marriage and why it failed. He didn’t try to shift all the blame to his ex-wife: he admitted his failings, too.

Okay, there’s a few things I don’t like about him, I admit. I’m sure he can say the same thing about me… like, I’m really, really grumpy in the morning. And when I’m not grumpy, I’m moody. And if I’m not moody, I have my nose stuck in a book or in my laptop. Sometimes he has to tackle me and hold me down on the floor to get me to talk to him!

We’d been dating six weeks when he asked me to marry him. I didn't hesitate to say yes (in fact, I think I said “yes” three times). A few people gave us hard time about getting engaged so soon - and then setting a wedding date so soon - we were married within 6 months (July 4th, 1999. It’s great always having fireworks on our anniversary).

I certainly wouldn't recommend such a fast process for most people – it takes time to get to know someone. It takes time to get to know yourself well enough to be able to fit in with someone else. I think it worked for us because we were both older, we both knew exactly what we wanted, but most importantly we both have a very strong faith. We believed that when we faced conflict in our marriage, that we could turn to the Lord to help us work through it.

And we have had conflict, oh boy! (Someday I may blog about the Saleen Mustang incident, or the snowmobile and ketchup incident). But who doesn’t have conflicts, I ask? That’s just the nature of putting two human beings together and making them share everything! I believe that conflicts in marriage can either force you apart, or drive you closer together. The question is, how do you work through it so you end up closer? I’ve shared a few of my (our) trials and errors here in my blog.

Love & Respect (April, 2008)

Encouragement from the strangest place (April, 2009)