Found: Love.

This post has been weighing on me, wanting to be written, writing itself in my head.
So I am finally sitting down to write it.

When my first husband and I separated, my self-esteem was not good. It was a bad marriage, a bad ending, and my life was turned upside-down. I was an overweight single mom with three young children.
My own mother told me I'd never find someone willing to take on me and my three children. That was not exactly encouraging.

I didn't want to immediately bring another man into my kids' life, but I did know that eventually, I hoped to get married again. And I knew it would be a lot harder this time around. I was older and wiser and had higher standards, but most importantly, I had three children to think about. I was not bringing just anyone into their lives.
So for about a year, I casually dated, but never introduced anyone to my children, except one male friend who was just that, a friend.

At that time, I was cleaning houses, and I had a client who wrote a book. She gave me a copy of her book for Christmas. It's called Why the Bright Side is Always the Right Side.
It's all about positive thinking, and how your attitude affects your life and the reactions you get from other people. And one section is specifically about finding the right person for you. She mentioned that, before she met her husband, she would pray specifically for HIM. Not to meet him, but she would tell God that she knew he had someone for her, and she would pray that God was getting him ready for her.
So I thought, what have I got to lose? Lord knows, the man who would eventually be with me would need lots of preparation! I prayed very specifically. I had in my head that I wanted to meet a single father with one son. It just seemed like that would fit perfectly. I would pray that this man was having a good day, and that God was getting him ready for me and my children, and the craziness that is our life. I also asked God to prepare me to be a good wife to him.

And one day, I got an email from a single dad with one son. He had seen my AOL profile and just wondered if I wanted to talk. I had already met a couple of guys online and it hadn't went well, but something told me to talk to this man. Give it one more try. So I did.
Now, before I met John, I didn't really think that men like him existed. I mean, I read about guys like him, mostly in fiction books. I saw guys like him, mostly on TV or in movies. Fiction. Not real life; not anything I had experienced, anyway.
And so I waited for the other shoe to drop; for his bad side to come roaring out; for some huge flaw to rear its head. I was convinced that he was married, a drug dealer, or a serial killer. Because it was just too good to be true. We had the same values, beliefs, and sense of humor (VERY important to me). He absolutely cracked me up. He wanted a family, he wasn't just looking for a hookup. He wanted the white picket fence, the whole deal.

And we didn't scare him, not at all. He didn't even blink at the fact that I had three kids. In fact, shortly after he met the kids, we took all four kids (my three and his one) to WalMart. They were ages 3, 4, 8 and 11. It was insanity. And as we were leaving, he said "I can really see us all together as a family". And I laughed and told him he was crazy!

Even when my ex-husband tried to fight him, and assaulted me in the process, he still didn't bail on us. ('nother post, 'nother time.)

But before long, we moved in together (which is yet another post that I will write one day. This caused major drama in my family!). And while I waited for him to lose his temper and scream at me, and curse at me, and do what seemed to be the normal thing for a man to do to a woman....it never happened.
John and I do not fight. And I know fighting. For me, fighting equals yelling, name-calling, and sometimes escalating to physical violence. Frequently someone leaves, slamming doors and shouting obscenities.
This has absolutely never happened between John and I. It's just not how we operate. We rarely argue, and when we do, we resolve our issues by compromising or apologizing or whatever the situation calls for. I don't give myself much credit for this; John is a very even-tempered person and he's also easy-going. And he's a smart man and knows that when I am happy, his life is very good.
We disagree, of course. We're human. But rarely does it become an argument and never a fight.
He has never treated my children any differently than his son. He doesn't try to be their father, but he is an excellent step-father. He does more than most Dads I know. John is four years younger than me, and I had my first son at a young age. So they are only 15 years apart in age. They are like close friends. They have a lot of common interests and I love to hear them talk like a couple of buddies.
And for my girls, he is their taxi driver, homework helper, money giver, everything else any other Dad would do. And he loves us, all of us.

He's not perfect. He leaves his clothes lying around and leaves his shoes lying around. He rarely does dishes. He shaves and leaves his hair all over the sink.
But when you have endured the treatment that I have endured....it is SO easy to overlook those things.
As much as I wish I'd met him many years earlier, I know that I wouldn't have appreciated him back then. It took a really bad marriage to make me realize how precious a really good marriage is. We are good together, and we're good for each other.

The main thing that prompted this loooong post is that I seem to be reading a lot of single mom blogs lately, and I know how frustrating that life is, and how you wonder if you'll ever find someone worthy to be in your kids' life, worthy of your love, and willing to put up with the crazy. And I'm here to tell you, it's possible. It's possible that you will find someone even more amazing than your wildest dreams. That you will look back on that old life and barely remember life without him.

Pray for him. Pray for him to be ready for you, and for you to be ready for him. Pray that he can handle the role he will be taking on. You may end up getting all you hope for, and more!

Visit Shell @ Things I Can't Say for more PYHO posts.


Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Change John to Mr B and you'd have my story. I'm so happy you've found someone this great. You and he deserve it!

Shell said...

Such a great story of hope!

Missy said...

Great post & so touching!

LceeL said...

This post makes me happy. This post also pisses me off - I HATE contemplating relationships where people abuse each other - or one person in the relationship is abusive - especially when the abuser is the man. If you can call him that.

There is no excuse - none whatsoever - never - EVER - for a man to be abusive. There may be reasons, but there's never an excuse for allowing those reasons to become the reality of punches and curses and verbally demeaning interactions. This could become a really long comment - so I'll cut it off here.

But I'm so glad you found John. And he, you.

Brandy@YDK said...

this is a fantastic post. it's really great that you can share so much of you life with us. and you deserve a good man.

Midwestern Mama Holly said...

My second time around is a Jon too.
It really does happen, and even though my dh is the butt of many of my jokes and posts.. he is my bestie.. as yours sounds like he is to you.

Melinda said...

That was so well written..Good for you!! And proof positive about the power of prayer.


Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Neat happy-ending story.

How well did your client's book sell?

Pain SUX said...

GREAT BLOG so far, from what I've seen! I'll be back.

I'm hoping you'll stop by and follow me back.


Sandra said...

Awwww, I love this...I'm looking at your picture "LIke Peas and Carrots"...and how funny is it that I just made a Forest Gump comment to someone earlier tonight...and you two do look fantastic together.
This is a truly touching post, and what an anger are you to be reaching out to those out there who are in need of a friendly hug. ...I'm all warm and fuzzy right now...except for the part about nasty ex assauling...but other than that, this was lovely.

Kat said...

Aww. I love, love, love this post. It reminds me of my dad. All my growing up years my dad would remark about how he had always prayed for a good wife. I thought that was so amazing that a young man would think to do that, and I thought that if it worked for him it could work for me too. I started praying for a good husband at a young age too. And at that same time Todd was praying to find a good wife. God wants to give us our hearts' desire. He wants to help us. But we need to pray that our eyes are open to what God has in store for us so that we don't miss it when it comes. :)
Beautiful post! I love it! :)

- And one more thing. I always tell my single friends that if you want to have a quality person in your life than you have to BE a quality person as well. It kind of goes along with that book your friend wrote on positive thinking. It is so true. :)

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Great post and a beautiful love story. I think I need to send this link to my niece. She has three children, is divorced and just broke up with a guy that was living with her. I think she needs to say these prayers. Thank you for sharing.

diane rene said...

I love this Cyndy, and I think you hit the nail on the head when you said if this had been your first marriage, you wouldn't have appreciated him. I tell hubby that all the time (usually after telling him HE had to wait til I was of legal age to date - his being 8 years older than me), I wasn't ready for him. I needed to know how NOT to live in order to appreciate the marriage we have.

Renegades said...

What a great story to share to give others hope.

The Lovely One said...

Love this. Wish I had prayed before meeting my husband-- maybe I would have met him sooner!

Ramblin' Red said...

Love this.

Erin said...

That is so true! I didn't have any kids, but it took me a horrific, abusive, nasty, crazy marriage for me to find and appreciate the one I Have now, and he is not perfect, but he is perfect for me!

Heather said...

OMG...I am totally crying reading this! How beautiful...how amazing that you found each other like that. Amazing. I just can't believe it!

Thank you for your comment on my post...see, this is one more miracle that happens when you decide to sit down and talk with God.

I'm very encouraged! :) Now I have to start praying for a man to take on ME. Bless his heart. :P

cat said...

Lovely post! Should encourage a lot of girls.

Emily said...

Only when you realize you are worthy of such love can you find it. Your story is beautiful. Visiting from Saturday Sampling.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful post! My story is in there, too. I knew my current DH in high school...he was my first love...but we were young and it BLEW UP. But a quick view of my Classmates page by him caused a little email note of what have you been doing from me to him. That was Feb. 2009. We were married in Oct. 2010. There is hope. I love that you shared your story with others!

Myya said...

What a great post! How awesome that you all found each other. My mom met my dad when I was 3. She had us three girls. My dad wad young (22) and yet he still took it on. My mom & dad ended up having my brother together & even though he had his own us girls never once felt like he wasn't OUR dad just the same. Good guys are out there, thank God because of that I have a great dad! My hubby is pretty great too :)