Have you ever been in love? The feeling when you have butterflies in your tummy just thinking about this person. Have you ever felt it? Do you believe in ‘till death do us part’ and fairy-tale endings? I never did. But I had to change my mind for good in order to find a relationship and, actually, find myself.
My parents had a troubled relationship to say the least, and as a result, I had a troubled childhood. The time they spent together was the time my sister and me found them arguing and bickering over petty things. There were never any financial issues, unlike what most couples fight over. It was more to do with getting on each other’s nerves. My dad had a strong personality; my mom was quite submissive. But my dad liked to test her limits of patience, and even an ant is going to bite back if constantly poked.
I learned many things from my past. Primarily, how not to be in a relationship. I learned that I should not be like my mom. I should know my rights. I should know how to stand up and voice my opinion, and if my future partner has a problem with it, I would gladly let him go. For me, verbal and physical abuse was something that haunted me often. That could well be the reason I never wanted to have a relationship. I wanted to have a family, kids, a good future but the moment I thought about the relationship between my parents, I knew I would screw everything up. I believed that my parents were a perfect example of how not to be in a relationship.
I frequently left the house looking for a partner. However, I would never go out on dates. Even when a guy started flirting with me, I would give a rude response to make him go away and never look back. Still I was looking back at my past, holding onto it, and not letting it go.
There are things that we plan for ourselves, and there are some plans that God has for us — eventually, God’s plans are the ones taking place. I met Nick at a friend’s wedding. He was sitting at my table, right next to me. To make the time a little bit easier to pass (the wedding was quite boring) we started talking. The conversation started with how the weather was changing due to global warming and led to how over-cooked the food was, and then eventually to our personal details. Both of us were single, but not quite ready to mingle.
Nick was funny. He had just moved to our town and opened a shop so it was quite okay for me to meet him the next day to give him a tour. But how could you finish up an entire tour in a few hours? So we decided to meet again, as friends only, of course. He loved dining out and I knew a couple of really good places. A few more meetings (I was extra cautious not to call them dates), and I found out he knew how to play the piano, which I always wanted to learn myself. So a free piano lesson couldn’t really harm me. And before we knew it, I learned how to play golf from him, and he learned how to play chess from me. He also wanted to learn how to cook so I taught him and in return, he taught me how to drive! Before we knew it, a year had passed.
The thought that he could be a good partner started coming to my mind. I compared him to my dad — the things he and my dad had in common, like both were lefties, and both liked spicy food. But no matter how hard I tried to convince myself that all men, after marriage, eventually will turnout like my dad, Nick was someone I couldn’t stop thinking about. He changed the way I looked at men. He was kind and polite. He knew how to make me smile and was quick to apologize. My dad was nothing like that with my mom.
They say time is the best healer. With Nick, it sure was. Soon the sights and sounds of my dad were replaced with that of Nick. He proposed and I couldn’t say no. Nor did I want to.
It’s been eight years now since we got married. We have three beautiful girls. Nick was the same person that he used to be before we got married. Sure, we have our share of arguments, but things always go back to normal five minutes later, often with a joke that Nick manages to crack to cool down my temper.
I feel I had lived my share of bad days in the past, and now I am living the days I never thought I could. I am glad my daughters have an amazing dad, who they would think about with smiles all their lives. Nick had so much love in himself that he changed my way of thinking. He changed my life. He showed me how to love and let go of things in the past. He showed me how to judge less, and love more. He was a stranger who did more good for me than my own father ever could.
No matter how hard I tried to run away from it, love’s power changed me.