Sunday, August 17, 2014

His Side of the Story

Since our story could not be complete without both perspectives, the following is an attempt to summarize how I married a woman who is 11.5 years younger than me. The short version is that she is absolutely amazing, and if I had not married her, it would have been the biggest mistake of my life. The long version is somewhat comparable to Annie’s with some additional commentary.

As Annie mentioned, we first met at her parent’s house during the fall of 2011. I was immediately impressed with her and had the distinct thought that whoever married her would be a very lucky man. At that time, I never would have guessed that it would someday be me. Following our first 
meeting, I occasionally saw her at various events, and we somehow always ended up talking for awhile. I was consistently impressed with how refined she was and how well she treated everyone around her. I wanted to get to know her better but wasn’t quite sure I was ready for an official date. When things worked out for her to pick me up from knee surgery, I figured that was a perfect opportunity—even if I said something really dumb, I could blame it on the drugs.

Although I liked her and wanted to continue getting to know her, I was initially reluctant to get involved. My attitude was that we could be casual friends over the summer and then maybe if we were both interested when she came home from school, we could see what happened at that point. It seemed like a good strategy. A few days after the surgery, I figured I owed Annie for taking such good care of me, so I took her out for ice cream. As soon as I saw her when I picked her up, I knew I was in trouble.  She looked absolutely stunning, which got me thinking and caused a few questions to arise in my mind.


First, what would her parents think?  Her parents are probably two of the most impressive people I have ever met, so I knew that if I did not have their support, there was probably a good reason. Still, approaching her parents with, “Hey, I am 30 and I am into your 19-year-old daughter” did not seem like the best way to find out. She invited me in to hang out with her and her folks after we finished having ice cream, so I decided it would be a good time to get an initial read on them. If I walked in and her Dad was polishing his rifle, or if her mom sent signals that I needed to find someone my own age, it would be a pretty clear message. Fortunately for us, her parents made me feel very welcome in their home, and I felt like I had enough support for the time being.

The next question that I initially struggled with but ultimately disregarded was what everyone else might think. Was I going to be featured on the next episode of the TV show, To Catch A Predator or something? We had some critics, but I quickly realized how little any of their opinions mattered. The people closest to us who knew us both the best were those whose opinions mattered most, and we had their support, which was good enough for me.

It was sometime in the middle of July when our relationship really started to progress. I loved spending time with her. She was fun, beautiful, charming, trustworthy, mature, intelligent, and laughed at most of my jokes—even the really lame ones. She was also a great communicator. I was pretty open about what I was looking for at that stage of my life, which caused a few discussions about whether or not we could have a long-term future together. Whenever we had a serious conversation, she was always well-spoken and articulate. Her ability to communicate her feelings effectively gave me a lot of confidence. I felt like we could talk comfortably about anything, and the more we talked, the more I wanted to keep listening, which was a good sign.


Although things were going great, and my feelings for her continued to grow, I still had a few “freak-out” moments. I went through this phase where I was really apprehensive, and I analyzed every last detail of the relationship. A few key experiences helped me through my apprehension. First, a good friend suggested that I needed to think less and allow myself to feel more, which resonated with me because I tend to allow my analytical side to dominate my decision-making processes. Once I focused on how I felt about her both spiritually and emotionally, all other concerns I had seemed insignificant. Second, the support of Annie’s parents gave me a great deal of confidence. I always felt amazing while I was in their home, and I felt like I really wanted to be a part of the family. Third, I was falling in love with her, and it was the best I had felt in a long time.















































As the summer wound down, there was some uncertainty of what might happen when Annie went off to school. Long-distance relationships do not always work, and I knew there would be several guys who would be interested in taking her out. I still had my guard up, but I tried to keep an open mind and take it one day at a time. A day or two before she was scheduled to leave, I had an epiphany of sorts. It was one of those moments when you have a moment of self-actualization. It was in that moment when I came to realize how happy she made me, and how happy I could be with her long-term. I knew that if things were going to progress, I needed to let my guard down. Doing so was not the easiest thing I have ever done, but I knew that it was necessary. On the evening before she left, I was very open with her about how I felt and where I saw our relationship going. I think we both knew at that point that we had something special that we needed to continue pursuing.


Two months after she left, I flew out west for a week to see her and introduce her to my family. I was dying to tell her that I loved her in-person (something I did not feel like I could do via skype), but I was not sure when was the right time or how I should do it. In addition, even though the long-distance approach seemed to be working, I still was not sure if our relationship dynamics had changed. Once I saw her, however, we picked up right where we left off. It felt great to finally tell her I loved her, and it felt great to know she felt the same way.





































I do not have much to add to the rest of the story in addition to what Annie already mentioned in prior her blog post. I proposed in front of the Love statute at the IMA, and she fortunately said yes without reservation. We then suffered through the long-distance relationship, which proved to be a challenge and a blessing. It was a blessing because we were able to talk a lot more than we would have otherwise, and a challenge because we wanted to be together.

























The wedding was the best day of my life. She looked amazing, and everything went perfectly. In addition, we were able to share the day with so many people we loved as well, which made it that much more special. Annie mentioned that I SOBBED at the wedding (thanks wifey). It’s true. I do not deny it. Marrying Annie was such an incredible and meaningful experience for me. I think one thing worth mentioning is that I had been in the game a long time. I had been through some really difficult experiences with relationships, and I went through a period of time when I thought I was incapable of maintaining anything meaningful. Moreover, I had been through so many relationships where I never felt like they were right for me—there was always something that left me unsettled. After many years of those types of relationships, I started to believe that I would never feel completely comfortable with whom I married and that I just needed to get it done as if it were something on a weekly to-do list. Marrying Annie completely dispelled both of those notions, so yeah, it was an emotional experience for me. Marrying her made all of the difficult experiences worthwhile.


Thankfully, the great story did not end with the wedding, but that is a different story for a different day.

 




2 comments :

  1. It was fun to hear your story! I always like to know how people meet. And interesting that Chris felt like whoever married Annie would be lucky. That's exactly what I felt about my husband once upon a time. He was dating someone else, who was also a friend of mine, but I saw some of his amazing qualities, and while I wasn't interested in him like that at the time, I did have the distinct thought that whoever married him would be a really lucky girl. Who knew it would be me?? Love your story!

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    1. I didn't know that about you and your husband! I'm glad you could relate :) Thank you so much for reading!

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