True Love Grows

When I met my husband of 36 years in 1973 (on the rebound), I was very lonely and hurt over a recent breakup with my prior boyfriend. I had been rejected so many times after dating a series of guys for around four months each. I had no problem getting a boyfriend, but I couldn't seem to keep them (when they couldn't get in my pants). ~blush~

I'll not go into detail of how we met, but three and a half months later I was walking down the isle. Back in those days, some people, including myself believed that you were an "old maid" if you weren't married before age 21. I was 20. I was raised in an adoptive home by loving, caring people who took me to church and taught me Biblical and moral values. On my husband's side, he was raised by a tyrant of a father, abusive to the "nth" degree, he and his siblings beaten until they couldn't go to school for a week. His Dad would come home at night and beat them as they were sleeping, and my husband would hold onto his bed, shaking and trying to keep the bed from squeaking.
He was beaten with chains, the heels of shoes, branches, electric cords...the list is endless. As he told me these things when we were dating my heart went out to him. I could picture "the child within", especially when I looked at the old black and white pictures of this little boy who looked so sad.

I needed to love and be loved, and so did he. The relationship was not the "heart-pounding" love at first sight type of thing. Just a side note. My Mom had watched me suffer from a broken heart so many times, and she told me that true love is not like a fairy tale, that it grows over time. I wasn't sure I believed her way back then, but always kept it in the back of my mind. R and I jokingly said that we took each other because no one else would have us, so we took each other. So, three and a half months later we were married.

Again, without TMI, sexually we were so very compatible; but before long I found that he had a temper and I was shell shocked. I, too had envisioned a life of perfection, and though he didn't "beat" me, he frightened me and I found myself walking on egg shells, trying to keep him calm. He could be very gentle and kind, but then I'd feel the tension or something building, I'd sense the change in him, and then he'd lose his temper, break something, or be rough with me. We broke up briefly a couple of times, but then he started going to church with me. When the Minister gave the altar call, he said it felt like something was pulling him out into the isle to go foward, and something else was trying to keep pull him the other way. Finally he stepped into the altar, went forward and gave his heart to the Lord.

He began changing for the better. He wasn't perfect, but he was trying. After we were married almost 9 years, I became pregnant with my first son. Nineteen months and 10 days later, our younger son was born. I had fears that he'd be like his dad, and I talked to my Pastor and an aunt about it, and long story short, he was a WONDERFUL parents. My love for him was growing as I watched him mature and be a gentle caring father who could playfully roughhouse with the boys, be able to be their friend, but be respected as a father. He also became so much more tender with me. Our kids grew, and time flew by.

There have been problems like with any family, but we've learned to work *together* to get through them. To the outside world, our family may seem idyllic; but there have been times of abundance, and times of lack, bad times and good times, sickness and health, but we meant our vows, so when life would not be kind to us, we clung to each other. When I personally had bad times, I've leaned on him (and still do), and he's had more than his share of health problems at a relatively young age, and I've been there for him. Our kids are there to help when they can be. I look at our life together as a journey, and as time goes by I realize how much he means to me, and I know without a doubt that he loved me, even when I was un-loveable. We re-newed our vows on our 25th anniversary, and I want to do it again on our 50th Anniversary, but if it looks like that physically we might not make it that far...well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

So, to the poster who wrote about disillusionment in love and marriage, one must just realize that not all things will be perfect at all times, but it takes work, respect, and commitment, but true love grows and bears all things. My largest fear now is that I don't know who will "go" first, and how the other will go on alone...but, as Scarlett says, "I'll think about that tomorrow (or another day). I don't want to borrow the future's troubles. I choose to live one day at a time while true love grows.
nightangel53 nightangel53
1 Response Jul 27, 2010

This is a great story!:) But can I ask how you two met?