I met my husband, Andy, at work. He wasn't a client, but a partner of a client. And, truthfully, it was an unremarkable first encounter. I had been divorced for about a year, and I guess I wasn't really paying attention. But, thankfully, Andy was.
After that day, he continued to plan business dinners with our firm so that he could get to know me, but nearly every time, I sent my team in my place. It's not that I wasn't into him. I just didn't notice that he was into me. Plus, I had blinders on for two other boys: my little boys.
One terrible byproduct of divorce is that you miss out on precious time with your kids. Every other weekend and one night during the week, you lose them. And that's what it feels like: loss. It's tough to get used to. At first, it feels like your heart has been ripped out of your chest. I was adamant (still am) about not giving up any more time with my boys. So it didn't matter who was asking: if it meant losing a night with my kids, I wasn't going.
But my now-husband is a persistent man. Months after our first meeting, he came into the office again, and afterward, we all went for drinks. When my boss went home to make dinner for his own family, Andy and I made out like 16-year-olds at the bar. Gross, I know. But we've been inseparable ever since.
It wasn't long after we started dating that people started saying things like, "You two are totally getting married." But I'd already failed miserably in this department, and I had no plans to try again. In fact, I swore I wouldn't. But the truth was, Andy was bringing hope back into my life.
For several months, we spent every other weekend together while the kids were with their dad. Andy showed me kindnesses no one ever had. He'd open my door and call me "dahling." He'd make me soup or a curry and leave it in my refrigerator. When I sold my house, he helped me find a new home. He took care of my animals while I vacationed with my kids. He was a true gentleman.
But when Andy started talking about buying a house in my neighborhood a few months into our relationship, I started to panic. I'd failed at too many relationships, and I was convinced I was better alone. I tried to slow down and stall: "Let's do this the right way. Let's date. Then maybe get engaged. Then get married. Then buy a house." I guess I'd given him the road map because two months later, persistent as ever, Andy proposed. Two months after that, we bought our home. And three months later we got married on our back porch. I couldn't believe it, but love and hope were here to stay.
I don't know why I got this chance at love with Andy. I probably don't deserve it. But I am grateful every single minute of every single day.
Andy is smart and really funny. He loves my boys. And they love him back. He cooks. He gardens. He brings me a cup of coffee every single morning. He lets me be cranky or sad or happy or mad without judgment. He's been my rock through health challenges and fears and career changes.
Make no mistake. He isn't perfect. He can be arrogant, opinionated, bitchy (yes, bitchy) and he loves to stir the pot. Sometimes he really pisses me off. Like over this pool issue. I want one. He doesn't. Or when Donald Trump was running for the Republican nomination and Andy thought it was hilarious - I did not. Or when he said that the kids and I are messy, and he is neat. (Nevermind that he's never washed a towel or made the bed and he leaves wine glasses in the sink all the time.) And he snores - a lot. The point is, we argue just like everyone else. But when I complain about something he's doing, Andy tells me, "Aww, you're a lucky lady," and gives me a big, silly grin. And, you know what, he's absolutely right.
We're still technically newlyweds. After all, we've only been married for four years. It makes me nuts when people suggest it will come to a screeching halt when we've been married ... oh, I don't know ... longer. But I know better. Sure, there are days we have to put in more work than others. And maybe some years there will be more of those days than there are now. But the kids and I can count on Andy. And he can count on us.
So what's the point of me sharing all of this? People need to know there is always hope for love in your life. You have to do the work. Acknowledge your shortcomings. Stop taking yourself too seriously (at least I needed to). And be open to being vulnerable. But, in the end, you might just find that the destination was worth the journey. If I can find love again, you sure as hell can, too!