I experienced my first love at 15. He was a year older than me, and new at school. He didn’t have the history that the rest of us had together. Growing up in a small town where everyone knows everyone else, and your parents went to school with each other has it’s disadvantages.
I was not a popular kid. I was the poor kid. I loved in a small cinderblock house. I wore clothes from the second hand store. No one noticed me unless it was to give me grief about something. Then came Shawn. He was attractive, and suave, and everyone loved him, and he turned his charm on me. I was immediately smitten. We were both young and stupid and to think anything would ever evolve from our relationship was naive to say the least, but, he showed me that I was worth something to someone. I was more than the poor kid. I had value and could be loved.
Our break-up(s) was bad and bitter and turmultuous, but I learned a lot during that time.

My next love was probably my first real true love. His name was Ray. He was a sweet, kind, patient guy who wanted nothing more than to love me. We were together my entire senior year and then some after graduating. It was the first, true, unconditional love I can remember feeling. I was able to open up to him and trust him with some of my deepest, darkest secrets and that scared me. I didn’t know how to handle that so I shut down. I turned into a bitch in an attempt to push him away, but he never left. He was always there no matter what I threw at him. I finally broke it off, much like ripping out stitches, raw and painful.

The guy I dated after that gave me my first born. I said I was in love with him and at the time I truly believed it, but looking back I can see that it wasn’t. It was more about obsession than love. It was about needing to be wanted. It was about filling a void. It wasn’t about love. Admitting that doesn’t mean that I love my son any less. Nothing will ever replace the love I feel for my children.

This brings me to my husband. I met my husband when my son was 5 mths old. From the very first date, he accepted my child as part of the package. It was rarely an time when we went out without my child. When he planned our dates, he planned something that the three of us could do together. The more involved we got and the more serious it became, the more he took on the role of father to my son. He has never been a step-father. He has never treated my son like anything less than his own. That alone made me fall in love with him.
We’ve been together 11 years now, married 9. Our love gets deeper and stronger with every passing day. We’ve had our share of bad times and we always manage to get through them. It seems no matter what life throws at us, we get through it together and in the end are more committed to each other.
Our love is a love like no other I’ve ever felt. It’s a comfortable love. It’s a constant love even if we aren’t always together. It’s a love that gets through my compulsive spending, and his need for order and control. It’s a love that understand that we are not perfect, but we are perfect for each other. I have trouble sometimes remembering my life with out him in it. It’s like he’s always been there, somewhere. I can’t picture my life without him in it. He truly is my other half.

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