Sunday, February 1, 2015

In the beginning: The start of the start, the good, the bad, and the nasty

Just in time for Valentine's Day, a love story.   Okay, truth be told, when I was single, I hated these things.  I hated Valentine's Day too.  It seemed to me like it was just a reminder that I was a failure in the relationship department.   To be honest, now that I am married, I realize so much more about why I am better for having been single forever. Not to mention, if my husband and I had met in our 20's we would not have fallen in love with one another.  We just wouldn't have.  He was not my 20-something self's cup of tea. So before I give you all the  beautiful, wonderful, amazing,  totally mushy details of my love story, let me start with the ugly truth.


My love life, when I met my husband was on life support.  Actually, to say that I even cared would be giving way too much credit to the place I was mentally at the time we met.   I had given up on love.

You see, I had just come out of a terrible experience.  I won't call it a relationship because what it actually was is a toxic friendship trying to be a relationship.   I met the guy before my husband on Twitter.   I know, I know, don't date guys you meet on Twitter. (I met my husband on Twitter too so I didn't learn!).   The guy before, GB for short, was everything I thought I wanted and nothing I needed.  He was a huge Rangers fan, sort of technically inclined, had a smart a@@ sense of humor, which I find attractive for some stupid reason, and best of all he liked me.   I wasn't very fond of myself at the time so it seemed like a perfect situation.  He and I didn't meet until we had been communicating for months and months and months.   We finally met at a baseball game and I was smitten.  It helped that he seemed to like me because this made it much easier to make excuses for his bad behavior.  There was a LOT of bad behavior.

We will start with the fact that after he and I had been together a few times, he finally confessed, admitted,  told me the truth,  that he may not actually be divorced.  This admission only came after I actually asked, by the way.   Not divorced when all over the internet he was saying his "ex-wife"?  This completely confused me.  Apparently, he didn't know if he was or wasn't.....divorced.   Um, okay.   Somehow, I made excuses for that.  I should have run.  I would have run if I had more self confidence but...I didn't.  Then came the night he got mad at me in a bar and left me without saying goodbye because "I was ignoring him". (I had come with my friend Trish so at LEAST he didn't leave me stranded!)  Next came the fact that he stood me up, not once, but twice, at the ballpark.  Once when I had a free ticket for him (his B-day present) and once when he asked to be invited to a tailgate and then didn't show up. He was at the tailgate game, he just couldn't be bothered to come say hi.   At this point, I was pretty much done.   I barely talked to him on Twitter and was so confused about how a man who stood in my house complaining about his wife/ex-wife and how she was begging him to get back together with him...but he didn't want to and was afraid to tell her.... but when he saw himself married in the future, he saw himself married to me, (yes, I fell for that line of BS) could treat me like last nights left overs.   Oh but that wasn't the end.   Next came him sending me messages asking to meet up with my friends and myself to mountain bike together.   I wasn't rushing in to that because I figured, he had played me pretty well at that point and I wasn't really too trusting.  Good choice.   Eventually he got kind of quiet and wasn't sending me text message and there was a good reason.  It seems, he 'accidentally' got someone else pregnant.

I was crushed.  I cried.  I died a little. I lost all trust of men.  I lost all faith in love and relationships.  I lost all faith in myself to know a good man when I saw one. I became depressed.  I wanted to die.  I wanted to stop feeling. I went to a therapist.  I put my friends through hell.  I would burst into tears for nothing, I complained, I was self involved, I wasn't a very good friend because I was so wrapped up in my broken heart.  I shut down for basically 8 months...right up until the moment the kid was born.  When the baby came I sent GB a message congratulating him.  (We were still friends on Facebook and Twitter at that time and I was trying to be nice)  He sent me a message back telling me how afraid he was and how this isn't what he wanted but he was trying to do the right thing and blah, blah, blah.  I just didn't care.

My Hubs:

While all of that was going on with me, my husband was ending a very complicated 19 year relationship and marriage.   Complicated doesn't even begin to explain it.  His now ex had asked him for a divorce a year and a half before, they tried counseling, they failed.   They had agreed to file for divorce but due to his ex-wife's medical issues, they agreed to wait until she was released from the hospital.   To say they didn't like each other by that point, would be the understatement of the century.  He was actually dealing with a ton of guilt for leaving a disabled wife even though she is the one who wanted the divorce. He was also worried about his child.  He needed a friend.

The meeting:

I met my future husband, J, on Aug. 8, 2013.  We had talked on the phone for about a week before we met.  We had tweeted back and forth with some other friends for a few weeks prior to that.   My birthday was August 5th and when I met my mom for lunch that day she asked me if there was anyone new in my life.   My exact response to her was "There is this guy who I am talking to but he is just now divorcing so he is just a friend. He is funny but  I don't need that complication."   Famous. Last. Words.  

Our first meeting was lunch at Chik-fil-a.   You know that whole "Have your marriage at the first place you met" thing?  Yep, my marriage would have been full of cows and chicken mini's.   We talked, We laughed, We made goo-goo eyes at the adorable baby sitting next to us.  I liked him.  He made me smile.  I hadn't smiled in months.  He had a good heart.  He was kind.  He was honest and told me exactly everything that was going on in his life.  He was funny in that...He is so goofy you can't help but laugh at him sort of way.  (No really! He has this litany of stupid jokes he tells everyone about 5 minutes after meeting them and he won't stop no matter how much I beg him!)  He wasn't what I wanted.  I didn't want a hunter, gun owner, fisherman.  That was exactly my brother.  He was a Cowboys fan not a Rangers fan.  I mean, that is insane.  I had season tickets for crying out the Texas Rangers.   He wasn't at all right for me. Right? Maybe not. He was kind of cute and sweet.  He held my door.  He was almost a gentleman.

And then I freaked out.  He called me that night or the next, I don't remember, and told me we really need to be friends.  I told him fine because I wasn't over GB.  This annoyed him.  I was already annoyed because I felt like he was ditching me and I didn't even want a relationship with him...because he wasn't divorced yet.

The next day he called and asked me to meet him for dinner, to talk, at a biker bar.   How charming he is.  I did.  From that point on, we kind of just clicked.   We became friends.  Then he took me to see his recreational land.  It was hot, dirty, and while he was talking about how much he loved that place and how he didn't want to lose it in his divorce, I was thinking to myself, "Oh my GOD, I could fall for this guy.  He reminds me of my grandfathers".   He says that is when I fell in love with him.  I tell him it is more like when I realized I had a mad crush on him.  After that, we were just there for each other.   Okay, he was going through way more than I was but he did things for me on the rare occasion when we got a chance to see each other....(NO! I don't mean those kind of things.)  I mean he fixed things at my house.   If cooking is the way to a man's heart then fixing things is a really good start on hooking a woman!

Friends, Divorce, and Family:

Because I had put my friends through so much with GB, I decided to not share with them the things going on with J and myself.   This turned out to be a mistake with some of them.   See, I was on thin ice with them relationship wise because they pretty much hated that I let GB walk all over me, they hated GB for pulling the crap he did, and they lost all faith in my ability to make any decisions where men were concerned.   To them, there was very little difference between GB and J.

In the meantime, J and I were going through some craziness.  You think dating is hard?  Date someone who is going through a divorce and custody fight.  At different points in our getting-to-know each other, I was sure his ex was actually going to murder him.  I didn't have any guilt in our relationship because I knew that I had nothing to do with his marriage breaking up and because that marriage seemed pretty darn toxic, to me. People grow apart. It happens.

And then, when the divorce was almost final, he needed a place to stay.   I offered my house.   Yep, there is nothing about moving slow that I ever actually believed in.   When I told my friends our plan, three of them let me know in very clear terms they did not approve.   Two were diplomatic about it.  One told me I was going to hell for, well for a lot of things: Dating a married man, not waiting until the divorce was final, living with someone.  I don't really know what all I am going to hell for, exactly.  The way to get me to see your point  is not to start telling me that you know God is sending me to hell.  I didn't take that well.  I said a BUNCH of nasty things and then told this friend we were not friends anymore.   The thing is, in the process, I lost the other two friends too.   I cried, a lot.  I beat myself up for everything, even though deep down, I felt like my friends were wrong for casting judgement on J, who they had never met,  wrong for trying to make me choose between J and them and just plain wrong about our relationship, which they didn't know much about. I loved these people and I felt betrayed.  (I still love them, I don't feel betrayed anymore, I just try not to feel anything where they are concerned. The hurt is still there but it is what it is.  The friendships were never repaired.)

Next came meeting the families and the friends who stood by me.   Mom loved J.   My friend Trish and her (now) husband loved him. My brother and sister-in-law loved him.  My nephews and nieces loved him.  My friend Alaina loved him. My friend Jan loved him.  Actually, almost everyone who knows J, loves his grumpy, silly, goofy self.   I met his daughter on Thanksgiving.  My step-daughter was the big challenge for me.  He had it in his head that she had to like me or we had to break up.  No pressure there.  Luckily for me, my step-daughter loved me from the start and after knowing me a month, she started asking when her dad and I were getting married.  LOL!  He had been divorce about 2 months and we hadn't even told her we were dating.   She is a smart cookie.

(Next week....the proposal, AW!)

How did you meet your boyfriend, best friend, or spouse?   Was it totally romantic or like me, just a total fluke?


Ana Valentin said...

I loved this nontraditional love story. As someone just entering her 20s and luckily still with her high school sweetheart I know that not all love stories follow the same tune. I'm so sorry about that jerk that hurt you but hopefully you grew stronger and wiser from that experience. Who knows maybe he truly set you up to be ready for your husband in a way you might not have been if you had not gone through that rough patch. The point is I'm glad you're with a kind and caring man despite the unorthodox beginning because at the end of the day its your life and if you're happy and with a clear conscious what anyone else thinks doesnt matter

Laura @Simply Me, The way I see it said...

Thank you so much! This may be the sweetest comment I have ever gotten. :)

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