So, I'm getting married (for the 2ND time) in about 181 days. That doesn't sound like a long time, and it isn't. It took me forever to get here. At least it feels that way. Let's start at the beginning...
When I was a little girl I knew that the only thing I really wanted to be when I grew up was a wife and a mother. I wanted to meet prince Charming and have him sweep me off my feet and ride off into the sunset. I think I wanted it so badly that i looked for him everywhere, at every opportunity. I thought I had met him so many times that when I finally really met him, I almost overlooked him.
The first time I met Mr. Right I was 17 and still living at home. He was sweet, had a great laugh and serious brown eyes. His name was Mike, and he would prove to be nothing short of a womanizer. We spent almost two years together before I discovered that he had cheated on me so many times it made me want to throw up. I was scarred. I swore to not ever allow a man to treat me that way again, and so begun my "wild" dating phase. I dated so many guys in such a small space of time that I'm not even sure I remember what order they went in. By the way, "dated", in no way means slept with. Uh, no. Remember, I was not about to get hurt, sex led to hurt feelings by one or both parties.
It was during this "wild" dating phase that I met Mr. Not-Even-Close-To-Right. His name was Rob, he was tall, dark and handsome. He looked like he had a permanent tan. I'm not sure of his nationality, but he was beautiful. He swept me off my feet at a nightclub. Literally. My girlfriends swooned when he came up to me and without saying a word, led me to the dance floor for a slow song. It was only once i caught my breath that he introduced himself. So smooth. He and I dated for two months, he met my family, I met his, he introduced me as his girlfriend to everyone. It was perfect, I had found Mr. Right without looking. Except he had another girlfriend. And this one? Was about to have his baby. Yeah. My heart sank.
Then I met Mike number 2. (Really, he was about the 5Th Mike I had met and dated in my life. Weird.) He was not tall, dark, or very handsome. But he was sweet. And he said all the right things, all at the right times. And he lived far enough away that we could take things slow and we both dated other people. I think me more than him, but remember, he was not very handsome. Then he moved closer, and wanted to get more serious. We began dating exclusively, then we moved in with two other couples. It was good. We were happy. His mom was a little overbearing, but I could take it, after all, she only had one boy and one girl and he was a mommas boy. Who could you trust if not a mommas boy?? We would spend the next five years together. It was such a toxic relationship. There was lying, cheating, verbal abuse, throwing things, negative addictions, screaming, you name it, other than actually hitting each other, it was there.
And that was all before the wedding. Yup, I married him.
Our relationship came to breaking point 12 days before our wedding date. I was set to call the whole thing off, but then I was sad and embarrassed. Sad that my parents had spent so much of the money they didn't have to give me a fairytale wedding. And embarrassed that I had let things go so far. I knew they were bad so long before the invitations went out, but I was so afraid of never finding Mr. Right, that I was willing to settle for Mr. He'll do. Five months after the wedding, a day before my UNPROFESSIONAL photographer (in her defense, this was her first wedding and she was way out of her league) showed up with our wedding pictures, I kicked him out. I had begun counseling a month after our honeymoon, alone. He refused to go with me but I knew I needed to talk to someone. I wanted him to go, i thought we could work through our issues and have a happy marriage. In my mind, Divorce was not an option. Until it became one.
I was willing to wait. Wait for him to be ready for counseling, wait for him to be willing to try to make it work. Wait for him to love me like i loved him. But he moved to the next state over, and the only contact we would have is when he would call me crying about how much he loved me. Those conversations would always start and end the same way. He would cry about how much he loved me and wanted to come home, i would cry and tell him that's what I wanted as well, he would then ask if he could come home and I would tell him, as soon as he was ready to go to counseling with me. And then he would get angry and end the call. I still held out hope. Then one night we made plans to see each other at a comedy club close to where I lived, one of our friends would be performing and we would just see each other and say hello. Except he came with a girl, a girl I walked out of the bathroom and saw him making out with. The following Monday morning I filed divorce papers.
When I first met my Keith I was at such a crossroads in my life. I didn't want to define our relationship because I didn't trust that I would be able to maintain it if it had a name. We started out just being together, without a definition. I'm so thankful that he was able to do that with me, for me. I almost ended it once when he "accidentally" told me he loved me, instead I just pretended I didn't hear him. I was still legally married. My heart was still kept behind a force field that i would not allow to be penetrated. Keith was everything I had ever wanted in my life, everything I needed, but I was scared. He knew what he wanted and wasn't afraid to tell me every chance he got. The people closest to me in my life knew he was "The One", they knew he was for real. I needed a lot of convincing. I really liked him a lot, he was so darn cute, and he was sweet about the whole married thing. His family was/is amazing. He told them I was married but getting divorced, they didn't care. I was so afraid that his mom would think less of me, she was married for so many years to the same man, they had five kids together before his death about a year prior to my meeting Keith. I thought she might think that because he had just lost his dad that he was not thinking clearly, getting involved with a married woman, really, what mother wants that for her son? But all my fears were irrational, she was wonderful, welcomed me with open arms. And when nine months after we began dating i got pregnant*, all she asked was, "when's the wedding?" So now, 8 years, and two kids later we are finally answering her question and having the wedding.
The road was long, and at times I thought I had hit a dead end, but I'm so glad I chose the road I did because I think if I had taken any other path it may not have led me to Keith. I'd take all the pain and all the heartache 10 times over if I get to see his smiling face waiting for me at the end of the Journey.
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