Post # 1
I feel like I’ve been shown the man behind the curtain and now I see the beginning of my relationship with my Darling Husband in a whole new light.
Here’s the background. My Darling Husband and I met at the dog park and ended up going on our first date that night. We had an instant connection and were inseparable after that first date. We fell in love within weeks and by the end of our first month together we were already discussing spending the rest of our lives together. A month later he moved into my house. I am a very left-brained person – logical to a fault. I used to hate watching romantic comedies because the relationships in those movies formed so fast that I didn’t think it was remotely realistic. I was just not the type of person to meet someone and fall in love so fast. But with Darling Husband, despite all of the rational parts of my brain telling me to slow down, I fell in love hard and fast. To me that just reinforced that we were ment to be together and I started to believe the whole line “when you find the right person, you will just know”. Cue the love birds and romantic music.
We were engaged after 18 months together and married a year after that, this past July
Fast forward to the present. My Darling Husband and I have now been married a few months. Shortly after our wedding my Darling Husband started to see a therapist to work through some things he wanted to change in his life (he had to wait to get on my insurance plan before we could afford therapy). Anyway within 2 sessions, the therapist told Darling Husband that he had a lot of signs of adult child of an alcoholic (ACOA). Both DH’s father and step-father were alcoholics. Psychologists have identified patterns of issues in people who grew up in homes with alcoholic parents. I’d never heard of ACOA before, but OMG, my husband is pretty much a textbook case. Of 13 common characteristics of ACOA, I think he strongly identified with 11. He has a long road of therapy ahead of him, but I’m so proud of him for fighting for himself and doing what it takes to get better.
Fortunately for us he’s managed to avoid most of the common behaviors of ACOAs that are most damaging to relationships. However, one relationship-related ACOA behaviors he does have is a tendency to rush into relationships. DH’s homework from last week’s therapy session was to try to make friends without disclosing his life story within the first hour of meeting someone J He needs to learn how to build relationships more slowly in order to make them more stable and sustainable.
So wait a minute… that means that our warp-speed courtship wasn’t some magical romantic destiny. The truth is, our love story started because his dysfunction meshed perfectly with my dysfunction. I’m extremely shy with new people, and hate to talk about myself until I feel comfortable with them. I joke around that it takes at least 3 times for me to meet someone before I begin to feel at ease. Darling Husband and I had an instant connection because his habit of disclosing about himself put me at ease. It let me learn about him without feeling on the spot to talk about myself. Eventually I knew enough about him that I felt comfortable enough to open up about myself. So there you have it. The fairytale story of the beginning of our relationship is actually pretty pathetic.
This whole realization has been a bit unsettling. I know that our relationship is much more than just its beginning. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be married to my Darling Husband. I love him to pieces and we are committed to our life together. But the story of our beginning was part of how I defined “us”. I just need some time to work through our new reality.
Post # 3
Your situation sounds pretty difficult. I’m sure I’d feel the same way in your shoes – its hard to feel special if he rushes into relationships with everybody.
But – if it wasn’t meant to be the it probably wouldn’t have worked out. The “rational” you would probably have run away if your Darling Husband wasn’t such a wonderful person. And just because your dysfunctions (if you want to call it that…) led to your relationship – that doesn’t mean it isn’t magical! Shy girl meets fast-moving guy sounds like the plot of a romantic comedy to me!!
Its great that he’s getting some therapy. Good luck to you and your Darling Husband making it through this.
Post # 4
I met my perfect guy while I was still with someone else. Horrible. Terrible. The absolute wrong way to start (or end, for that matter) a romance. It’s not romantic – its the exact opposite, actually. It’s for sure a dysfunctional ‘how we met and fell in love’ story, much like you feel yours now is.
But you know what? It’s how we found each other and why we found each other and I refuse to regret it or let it define us. It’s been 7 glorious years since then so I know that my horrible faux pas turned into something beautiful. Don’t let your ‘how we met’ story define you. Let your continuing romance define you 🙂
Post # 5
Wow, that must be hard to deal with. I would just remind yourself that the two of you love each other and you’re partners for life, whatever it was that brought you together in the first place doesn’t matter.
Not that it’s comparable to your situation, but there are lots of people who have met their future wives/husbands in less-than-perfect circumstances. One-night-stands or maybe even through affairs; but that doesn’t make their relationship or love any less-legitimate than people who met in more a traditional fashion.
I hope this is coming across the right way, now that I’m re-reading my post, I’m not sure if it sounds right, but hopefully you can understand what I’m saying. Good luck to your husband and to you, I wish you the best.
Post # 6
If he didn’t have the dysfunction that made you comfortable around him; and you didn’t have the dysfunction that made him feel understood and that he could talk to you; you two would not have discovered each other for who you are and would not have been able to build the life that you now have together.
There’s a reason for everything; and everyone has issues – finding someone to spend your life with means finding someone who can handle these issues and you can handle his.
I too, had a whirlwind romance at the beginning and we were inseparable since day one… but it’s never a happy story to tell because like another PP I was in a serious relationship when I met my Darling Husband… No matter if the relationship was doomed, there’s no way to make this sound good.
But it’s our story and I love it. If things had been different, we might not have made it. And the same applies to you. And, at least you don’t have to tell the story like this, you can stick to the whirlwind romance when talking about it! 😉
Post # 7
“The truth is, our love story started because his dysfunction meshed perfectly with my dysfunction.”
But every good relationship works because the two people’s dysfunctions mesh – that’s not a bad thing. It is still a whirlwind romance between the two of you. Had he not been so open, from what you’ve said about yourself, its unlikely you would have gone out later that same night – and made the connection you did. Plus, you’ve built a strong foundation where you support each other, and are building your life together – and in the long run, that’s a much more romantic story than any “how we met” story.
Post # 8
@gettnmarried: Don’t beat yourself up, or feel bad about your love. You could look “scientifically” at why EVERY 2 people are together. “Her OCD matches perfectly with his need for approval” blah blah blah. At the end of the day it doesn’t mean much. All that matters is you two are in love. And great together. And whatever your issues are, they brought you together to find the love of your life. And you know? Sure his issues might’ve propelled your relationship in the beginning – but it sure as hell didn’t keep you together for 18 months before engagement. That was true love. And these issues didn’t walk you down the aisle and make you commit to “happily ever after”. If anything, you should thank these issues for getting you together in the first place, but they certainly aren’t what your relationship is founded on, and you both are much much more than just issues. Cut yourself some slack 🙂
You have a great love story.
Post # 9
Aww, sweetie, try not to worry about it too much. Even if your husband didn’t have the issues that he does, you two might have still had a whirlwind relationship. And, regardless of anything, you still did fall in love with him and the two of you are committed to each other. The fairytale was the beginning for you, and that’s ok. It wasn’t destructive, you know? Maybe it’s not healthy for him to continue in that pattern, but that’s where he was then and it’s ok.
Post # 10
Don’t be sad and don’t let anyone destroy your picture of the beauty of your relationship! I think you should look at it… this way… You both have had some life struggles, but in the midst of the struggle, you have become refined and polished to be the perfect fit for each other!
Post # 11
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
Even without the alcoholic father figures, this story could be many couples’ story. Mr. S was a great match for me because he was so open and so curious, when I tend to be closed-off and slow to reveal anything about myself with most people. I agree with @gabrielleelise1981: people are flawed, and there isn’t anything wrong with finding a person whose strengths AND weaknesses complement your own.
Post # 12
One thing I have come to realize about relationships is that the majority ofpeople do not have that ‘romantic’ story to go along with the beginning of their relationship. Although the rushing could be a part of the disorder, it shouldn’t take away from the fact that you two truly love each other, and compliment each other in every way.
A lot of times people with this issue, and who rush into relationships, are also found to have relationships that fizzle out quickly because everything progresses so quickly that it is over before it has began. That is obviously not the case with the two of you. Your relationship has lasted, and progressed to marriage.
At the end of the day, you both love each other for exactly who you are, and that is so much more important than the beginning circumstances.
Post # 13
What matters is that you love each other now. Everything else is just a lead up to that. Fiance and I met under less than perfect circumstances too, but we don’t care. Neither of us would change a thing because everything that happened helped to bring us together.
And like other bees have pointed out, by turning so-called flaws into something good, you two actually brought out the best in each other . His so-called dysfunction put you at ease and let you open up. Maybe he did move things a bit fast, but it turns out that you’re great together! In the end, the stability and love that grew in your relationship is healthy for both of you. I for one think that’s very romantic.
Post # 14
Thank you so much ladies. I really appreciate all of the encouraging words. I guess I needed the perspective of outsiders to snap me back to appreciating what I have.
Post # 15
@gettnmarried: As one other person said:
“The truth is, our love story started because his dysfunction meshed perfectly with my dysfunction.”
This is true for everyone, whether or not they figure it out!! 🙂 I was just talking about this on another thread.
Think about it: the girl who seeks affirmation because of her critical dad ends up with a critical or controlling husband. Or the guy who is a total pushover because of his controlling mom ends up with a ‘bitchy’ wife. Usually people are drawn to each other based on their meshing dysfunction and then end up hating each other for the same reason they originally were drawn to each other.
You guys are doing the exact thing that is the antedote to that pattern. You’re in therapy, figuring out how your patterns mesh, and developing your relationship independent of that. It’s a beautiful thing you should be proud of.
“getting the love you want” by harville hendrix talks a lot about this phenomenon.. check it out. But your romance was NOT a sham. On the contrary, you’re way ahead of the curve. 🙂
Post # 16
The first year my bf and I were together was HORRIBLE and the only reason I put up with it is because I was on major rebound after breaking up with an ex of 5 years. But boy am I so glad that we stuck it out because the last 3 years have been blissful and we both joke that we ‘fought it all out’ in the beginning because we never fight anymore. That tumultuous year taught us so much about eachother and our relationship and ended up making us better people and partners.
Bottom line: tons of successful relationships started out in less than perfect ways. What matters is how you learn and grow with eachother while working through your issues.