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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Little Bit Broken

It's true that our life has not taken us where we expected to be. Mark and I started our relationship fast and furious, young and deeply in love. I saw our future as very bright, Mark seemed to be all I had ever hoped for in a lifetime partner. As we aged I knew I had a very special person along side me and our love deepened with time. We were happy in our life, working together in our in home daycare, eventually raising our own son. Our marriage and our working together was unique. We were a team and enjoyed our job, we enjoyed life. As daycare providers there were many children in our care and their joy made everyday fun and a new adventure. Adding our own son to the mix after six years of marriage was just icing on the cake. We had a bigger purpose in life and we both loved that our own children would know both their Mother and their Father so well. Working together was never a challenge for us, it was easy and the days flowed well. We were a great team, doing things for the kids and the business end of things that kept the daycare running smoothly. Our intuition was a big plus, Mark did things I would not think to do and visa versa. Our love made our daycare feel more like a home than a daycare. I always felt it was especially nice for children who came from divorce to have the experience of a loving couple caring for them. Our relationship is easy and respectful, we are still very affectionate toward each other even after twenty four years of being married, so the kids in our care were exposed to something neither Mark or I had growing up. Mark's Dad died when he was just two years old, his Mother not even dating after his death. My Mom and Dad were divorced while I was in elementary school, my Mother also never dated. I had no clue what it was like for families where the parent's marriage was intact and thriving. I did know that since I was a little girl and my parents split, all I ever wanted was a decent man as my husband and life partner. I had observed marriages of my friend's parents and other couples I saw, analyzing them and discovering what I liked and what I did not like. Those qualities stored in my head, I knew I wanted my marriage to be faith filled, strong, fun, loving and respectful. I had seen my own sister beaten by her husband and then going back to him, only to end up hurt again. Eventually they split, but the scars from that experience were deep and her two young daughters would grow up in turmoil too. I would not marry a man who was violent or who showed any signs of becoming so. I had no desire to be with a man who had an extensive past either. I didn't date divorced men or men who had children. I wanted a fresh slate when I married. I wanted faith and a belief in God in my marriage. I saw God as the third partner in a good marriage and I wanted to welcome my God into our lives. There were many checklists in my head, no drug or alcohol addictions, I had grown up seeing much too much of that. I didn't even want a man that was so driven by their career that family would come second. A money driven man did not appeal to me, but I wanted a hard worker, someone with a good work ethic. I had seen men who hardly knew their children, who just lived cohesively with their spouses, but there was no real connection or love. These were all personal qualities that I believed and wanted. They may not be your beliefs, but for me, I knew what I wanted and I believed knowing was half the battle. Mark met much of my criteria. There were compromises and there was growing we both needed to do, but the man Mark was when we started dating was a man I knew was worth getting to know better. Our dreams were similar and we wanted family to be a priority. I believe in God first, Mark and I second and the kids third. Without God I would not be able to sustain a strong relationship with Mark. Without Mark and I being strong, our family would fail. Putting Mark and my relationship above the children has been key in our life. Children can enhance marriage or they can drain it. I've seen both and experienced times of both. When we get in those 'ruts" where the kids are all we are concentrating on, I pull us back and plan a date or time together. I try to keep us connected in a real sense, not just through the everyday monotony of life. So life was good in the old days, we plugged along and enjoyed our job together. We raised our son and took time to have fun too. I felt like we were on track, we had job security and even more importantly we enjoyed our job. Mark played his sax and sang in local bands for fun and extra income, we still dreamed of him making it big someday, but we were content in our simple life. We had started attending Mark's family church and felt embraced by the love of God, teaching Beau in a faith we both felt comfortable in. But then we decided to expand our family and have another child... 

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