I received a lovely email from a complete stranger last week that has been rolling through my mind since I first read it. When I first started this blog, I posted about having gotten a divorce and the reader who reached out to me wanted to say that she really enjoyed my candor and honesty about it. She also said that she (and she assumed others) might want to know more about how I jumped back into the dating pool and what led me to my darling husband.
First off, dating after divorce is BEYOND scary. Seriously, you get married expecting that you will never have to go through that torture again, and then WHAM! You’re back to worrying about what you’re going to wear and if you’re safe to just shave your legs to the knee or if you need to go for the whole mother. Serious stuff here folks.
I dated some nice guys, went on a few first and never again dates, and made a couple friends through the dating process (I also met someone I adored and completely screwed it up. Painfully. Brutally. and the guilt of it still bothers me) – I also met some complete losers. I tried to stay positive about dating, I wanted to believe that I would find someone that would be “right”, but it wasn’t always easy to keep that mindset when you find yourself having to explain to a grown ass man why you are going to pass on smoking pot out of an aluminum foil pipe (or doing drugs, period). But, dating in general is like taking a giant leap into the unknown. Putting your heart on the line. Being willing to make an idiot of yourself on occasion.
Then, I met Joe.
You know all the infamous lines from movies? The “you complete me”, “nobody puts Baby in a corner”, “I’ll never let go, Jack”, “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird” ‘s that melt our hearts and make us dream of love like that. Yeah. It’s like that. And has been from the very beginning. My baby sister always rolls her eyes and makes gagging noises when I start to talk like this – but it’s completely genuine and heartfelt.
Why is he different? Because he makes me want to be a better person, because I believe he deserves the best. I strive to be the best wife I can be, because I want to be that for him – and he in turn, tries to be the best husband to me, because he believes that’s what I deserve. And this was something that came naturally to us, from the first time we met. We had a weird circumstance in that Joe deployed soon after we met and for much of the time we spent getting to know each other we had to do it at a distance – and we spent countless hours communicating through email and instant messages, phone calls and Skype. By the time he came home, I knew that I wanted him to be in my life forever.
I did my best to try and convince him that he could do better than me – lord knows why I’m such a glutton for punishment. I would have been devastated if he had one time said, “Okay. You’re right. See Ya!” But obviously that never happened. Joe taught me how to love myself, showed me all the ways that I was better than I thought, and pushed me to challenge myself and take chances.
Is it always perfect? Of course not. But every day we choose to love each other, to put our relationship as the priority, and to get through everything as partners.
Also – we laugh. A lot. About dumb things. Silly things. We have inside jokes, and looks that make us crack up. No matter how mad I am, Joe can usually get me to smile, and this is an amazing feat.
Oh, and he takes care of the trash. I have an disproportionate loathing for taking out the garbage, it’s just one of my quirks.
The truth of the matter is I got ridiculously lucky. The stars aligned and for some crazy reason, things just worked out for us. Which works because he’s my favorite everything (except the facial hair. I don’t like the post-military facial hair).