Whew! Sorry ya’ll! I have been on an unexpected hiatus because my busy-ness went up from about a level 8 to a level 18 on a scale of one to ten. I have plenty of things to catch up on with you guys, but today is a special day: my third anniversary with my sweetie! As it is a Tuesday and raining cats and dogs outside with terrifying lightening strikes seemingly in our yard, we are waiting until the weekend to do anything special, so I will take a little sec to tell you our little story.
My husband is always telling me “It is us against the world, baby!”
And, I tell ya, that isn’t far from the truth. We have dealt with family feuds on both sides, tackling and nearly eliminating a mountain of debt, the continuing pain of infertility, and major remodeling projects with a house that fights back. But our marriage has a not-so-secret weapon: a Christ-centered relationship.
I met my husband in November 2010. I met him online and I am not ashamed of that. For some reason, people think that is weird sometimes. It’s not. You and I are meeting online right now.
I had to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince. A lot. I AM ashamed of that.
I had a high-school relationship that spilled over into college and beyond. This man is the father of my son and is a very good man and a wonderful father. He will even be a very good husband…for someone else. We were too young and dumb and immature, with problems and obstacles way too big for us to overcome. We did not have a God-centered relationship, though we both came from good, God-fearing stock. Anyway, about three weeks before our wedding, this relationship imploded. Badly. I am talking we had third degree burns. And I was MAD. I went on some stupid rampage trying to prove a point—that I was desirable and I could have any man I wanted. Of course, he didn’t care what I did or didn’t do, so I hurt no one but myself and worse, I hurt my son. My son never really saw the men in and out of my life, but he felt the repercussions from them because I was sad, mad, or just honestly not as good as I could have been as a mom. I never neglected him and I took very good care of him, but instead of trusting in God to find us someone, if we were indeed to have someone, I went hunting. And continually got my heart broken, or broke someone else’s heart, and in either case, lost a little more of the person God intended me to be for the person that was out there waiting for me.
After about 5 years of my nonsense, God brought me to my knees. My heart needed HIM, not a mortal man. I joined the Catholic Church and fell in love with Him all over again and my heart healed up slowly. I then prayed for a husband if that was God’s will for me…a real man that would love Him, me and my child. A man that would challenge me and guide me and nurture me, although I had my Savior, and I didn’t need another.
I made a list of criteria…of course the above mentioned was numero uno. Because my faith was new and so important to me, Mr. Right had to be Catholic. I am not against people marrying outside their faith—that is up to them. For me to be “equally yoked”, I needed a man that was of the same faith. Besides, there are plenty of other things to debate about in marriage, and that was one thing I didn’t want to debate about. Other than that, I had no real specifics other than there be no weird criminal history and preferably he be educated or talented in something. I liked short, tall, fat, thin, quiet, loud. I trusted that if God wanted to call me to married life, he would work out the specifics that were best suited for me. In the meantime, I just kept my prayer request in my heart and worked on being the best mom I could be and providing for my son. I had a good career, bought a house with a big back yard and started my own little home improvements.
Eventually, I went on a free dating website because I was house poor. It was the best mistake I ever made. I was on the website a grand total of 48 hours. I am not bragging, but seriously, after 24 hours, I had 57 emails from men—most of them disgusting creatures. Rather than weeding through the slough of perverts and douche-bags in my in-box, I did a quick scan of guys in my area and saw a photo of a tall, thin Latino leaning against a rail with a big boat in the background. I thought to myself: he has traveled somewhere, so that is cool; he appears pretty handsome; and I sure do like Spanish accents. His religious views said he was Catholic and better and better, he lived within about 30 minutes of me. So I emailed him a monologue and said I was shutting down my account and he would need to contact me ASAP if he was interested. He will tell you that the email he received sounded like it was from a neurotic, demanding person…and if that is so, why on earth he responded to it is beyond me. My version is, I knew what I wanted and what I did not, and all others need not apply, and this was a limited-time offer, baby.
He emailed me back the next day and then we exchanged numbers. He called and to my dismay he did NOT have a Spanish accent…but a perfectly normal American one. But he was ever so nice…we chatted a while and a few days later agreed to meet up at a Chinese restaurant. He actually was on his way home from visiting his parents’ farm and smelled…so he stopped at Wal-Mart to freshen up and buy a new shirt. I was in Target in my holey jeans and Chuck Taylors and not at all my normal dressed-to-the-nines first date self. I quickly bought cheap make-up and fixed my face in the car. He showed up just as I finished applying my lipstick. I took one look at him and knew…I was going to break his heart and ruin his life. I was sure of it. I could see that he was a genuine person, an honest person, a simple person….and I was a hot mess, practiced in the conniving and deceitful ways of women. I prayed a quick prayer that either God would give me the grace to a woman worthy of such a man or make him turn tail and run without me having to chase him off.
So, we had our first date and talked and talked. I learned he was born in Mexico and immigrated at the age of 3 so that his older brother could attend a school for the blind here. He had such a fascinating story and spoke so humbly and he was just so damn sweet that I just had to see him again, but I let him take the reins. For once, I really tried to behave like a lady; and he was always a true gentleman. He actually courted me, and interestingly, refused to kiss me until our third date. I lingered while he helped me with my coat and made my lips available like Scarlett O’Hara throwing herself at Rhett, but he didn’t take the bait.
By and by, after we had been dating about a year, he decided he would move closer and he got a job at the same company I worked for. It had been pretty much never since I had someone around so often and someone that I actually had to answer to, so I, of course, freaked out and had to break the whole thing off…on his first day at his new job…which was at MY job. I was at first relieved, for about 3 hours, but I just knew in my heart it wasn’t right. God had given me exactly what I asked for…which doesn’t always happen. God answers all prayers, but they don’t always happen to be exactly what you ask for because what you ask for isn’t always the right thing. Hubby was devastated because this really was an out of the blue thing.
I don’t remember who called who at this point, but it righted itself in the span of about 3 days and we were suddenly on fast-track because we both knew that we wanted to be with only each other forever. He proposed on Valentine’s day 2012 and we were married just 4 months later in June. We had a giant Mexican wedding and were married through the Church.
The night before our wedding, we thought we had a bad omen: we LOST our marriage license. After my Narc Cop BFF tore apart my husband’s car and took out his dash looking for it, my sister in law sent up feverish prayers to Saint Anthony. Our priest solemnly told us there would be no wedding without that paper and my heart nearly exploded. I went home in tears to ransack the house. Since there were boxes everywhere in preparation for his move in, I felt so dismal and overwhelmed. My husband stayed with me to tear apart the house and eventually we found the fated piece of paper in one of his boxes of junk to THROW AWAY in the wee sma’s if the morn. Exhausted, we sheepishly we curled up and slept on the couch, waking up to each other on our wedding morning to a knock on the door from Father Charles. His eyebrows raised, he flicked his cigarette and inquired if he should perform a wedding that afternoon. Still in my pajamas with my husband cowering in the shadows, I told him all was well and we would be there at five-thirty.
Father Charles actually said something on our wedding day that I will never forget. He looked each of us in the eyes and told us it was our job to make sure the other got to Heaven, and that did not mean for us to kill each other to meet that goal. I cannot say I am an expert on marriage, by any stretch of the imagination, but I can tell you that we both take that statement to heart, though we do our lapses in judgment and downfalls and have come close to trying to kill the other to send them to Heaven prematurely. Despite the double-whammy of nearly throwing our marriage away, quite literally, and seeing each other prior to the wedding, we have been doing just fine.
I can tell you that the first year was SO hard…learning to live with another person when you are both independent people is very tough. When you come from very different cultures, it is even tougher. We both had to learn that you are still YOU, when you become one as man and wife. We finally hit a stride and we have learned how to communicate much better and we have really become one. There is no one I would rather be with and I cannot even picture my life without him. I have no advice at all to give because we are still “newlyweds” in a sense, except that if you ever hope to make it to a place and a time where you are entitled to give advice to others, you have to have God in the marriage. Bottom line is, I have never been happier, more at peace, and more content, and while we know that the future is scary with unknowns and obstacles are in our path now, if we keep Christ in our relationship and continue to use the example of His love for us and the Church as the center of our marriage, we can at least be assured that at the end of this journey, we will have got each other to Heaven.
Te amo mucho mucho, mi amor. Para siempre!