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Challenge: Romance After Kids

How did I almost lose my best friend?

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It was June 27, 2009, the happiest day of my life. The sun was shining bright, but my heart felt even warmer than that perfect summer day. I was about to say "I do!" to the love of my life, who just so happened to be my best friend.

Instead of giving each other a material object for a wedding gift, we decided the best, most long-lasting gift we could give each other was our words, so we made a promise to write a letter to each other and have someone deliver them to us at the church the morning of our wedding ceremony...

...You have been my companion, my best friend and my true love since the day we met. I will love you more and more as time goes on. You are the love of my life, and I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life together with you...

My heart skipped a beat and tears streamed down my face as I read those words from my husband-to-be. His words were so genuine, so heart-felt and sincere that I couldn't imagine someone loving me more than he did. This was a man who knew me better than anyone else in the world, yet had a love for me that could not be measured. With my best friend by my side, I knew we could easily conquer the world, one step at a time!

...When I look at you, I see my future - my life partner, my children (our children). I never thought I would find someone who loved every part of me and would be so loyal and supportive, but then you walked into my life. I thank God for you. I promise you that I will be the best wife that I can be...720592dab777511985cd956a6bbeee144e52be82.jpg

Somewhere between our wedding day and baby #2 we lost each other. What can I say? Life happened! Like everyone else, life circumstances have brought us plenty of highs and plenty of lows. We've lost loved ones and brought two precious little lives into this world. There have been career changes, job losses, financial ups and downs and just about everything else you can imagine.

We thought we were committed to each other. After all, we were still saying "I love you" and we were living in the same house. But the truth of the matter is while we were occupying the same space, we were worlds apart. Unfortunately, we didn't come to this realization until it was too late. One day, my husband is kissing me goodbye as he goes to work, and the next thing we know the D word (divorce) was being thrown around our bedroom twelve hours later. How did we go from being best friends, lovers, inseparable to being two machines - one making everything happen (i.e. house cleaned, children bathed), the other going to work, bringing money home, fixing things and assisting in other ways when necessary?

My husband is a very private person, and I'm um...well...I'm a blogger. What I'm about to share with you is very personal, but universal, definitely not exclusive to me and my husband, so here it goes...

We separated. I looked around the house, and my best friend wasn't there. We hadn't been more than 3 days apart in nine years. I was in a complete state of shock. I think it's safe to say we both were. What the heck happened? What was so awful that we couldn't even share the same space anymore? It may sound cliche or like a lyric from a love song, but I literally couldn't breathe. I walked around gasping for air in between uncontrollable sobs and countless questions and theories.

Over the course of nearly two weeks, our feelings for each other came full circle, bringing us back to how it all began. It took nearly losing each other to find each other. You see, love is easy when life is easy. Once you add children and, your love gets put to the test. I would never credit children for marital bliss nor would I blame them for marital woes. Marriage is WORK. On top of parenting, working and everything else, your marriage has to remain TOP priority. Once your life gets out of alignment, your best friend can become a stranger. That feeling is beyond scary. It's more than a nightmare. It's downright surreal.

We addressed the issue head-on and came to the realization that we would much rather go through life together than apart. We are better as a team. We are, after all best friends. No one knows me like my husband. No one gets me like he does and vice versa. Nothing was that awful that it called for us to go our separate ways. So how did I almost lose my best friend? And how did I get him back, with us being closer than ever?

Marriage Takes Three: When we got married, my now late grandmother gave us a plaque with the poem "Marriage Takes Three." God has to be at the center of your relationship and your family in order to weather any and every storm. It's funny how couples take those vows that are based upon Biblical principles, then practically leave God at the altar. He is our Creator, the best Moderator and Resource for what a marriage is about and how to make it thrive. I think that's what I was trying to say on our wedding day...

...Our future together is bright as long as we put God first in our lives and our home. Let's never lose the passion, compassion and loyalty we have for each other...

Date Each Other Again: No excuses on this one! So you can't get a babysitter? Then light some candles and have a romantic dinner after the kids go to sleep! Don't just look at each other, look into each other. Try to actually see your partner the way you saw him or her on your wedding day. I read these words my husband wrote to me on our wedding day, and I can say with confidence that he feels the same way today as he did on June 27, 2009...

...You are a beautiful person. Not just physically, but in your mind and heart as well. I feel that your loving personality has helped to make me a better person. You give me a joy that I never felt before, which keeps me in love with you...

Think of your life partner as more than your spouse, think of him or her as your best friend: I love how my husband and I immediately became best friends when we met. That has always been the foundation upon which our romantic relationship stands, and unfortunately, we lost that along the way. The definition of friend is "a person whom one knows, likes, and trusts; person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade." Sometimes we become so defensive around our spouse as if that person is out to get you. Don't forget you are on the same team! Friends trust each other, they confide in each other. It's crazy because you can become so "protective" of your spouse that you start to hide certain things from him or her, like how tight money is or how bad your day was. But your spouse is your best friend; that's exactly who you should be sharing everything with! Your spouse is much stronger than you think. He or she can handle some bad news, but what your spouse cannot handle is secrets.

I am not coming at this topic as an expert. Quite the contrary! I am just a spouse, like you, who NEVER wants to lose her best friend. So, are my husband and I free from troubles? Of course not! It's inevitable that life will place before us some serious mountains to climb, yet again. BUT it is my strong belief and prayer that we will climb those mountains together. I believe and pray the same for you and your best friend. ;)

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