18 September 2013

How I Met My Husband

I met Matt in the high school cafeteria of a teeny-tiny farming community called Stockbridge almost 12 years ago. It was Matt's hometown, but I had just moved (surprise, surprise!) part-way through the school year. I was a sophomore and Matt was a senior and I had been living in Stockbridge for about a month when a girl in one of my classes invited me to sit with her, her boyfriend, and his friend, Matt, at lunch. I had moved from a large suburban city with a giant campus on which two high schools were situated. The trends in my new school were about 6 months behind where I'd come from, but instead of looking like a trend-setter, I was just this new kid with weird clothes. Anyway, my new friend willingly looked past my odd style and offered a space at her lunch table. When the fated day arrived, she remembered that she had a prior commitment. After a quick introduction to her boyfriend and his friend, she took off.

Those of you who know us in real life know that I'm a serious introvert and Matt is a total extrovert. So you can imagine he attracts friends of the same sort. There the two of them sat, chatting away the entire lunch hour. They had a system down where they'd ask me a question, I'd answer, and then they'd be back and forth making commentary, jokes, and indulging in tangents. I was amused enough by the conversation and grateful enough for my new friends that I continued to sit with them at lunch. Matt was a friendly, social enough guy and as the months ticked by, I started to fall for him. But he was interested in another girl, so I pursued another guy. Two years ticked as "just friends," before finally, in the summer before my senior year, he finally asked me to be his girlfriend.

I would characterize three of our four dating years as unhealthy. A lack of commitment on the part of my future husband haunted our relationship and we constantly found ourselves going back and forth between girlfriend/boyfriend and friends-who-only-hang-out-but-just-with-each-other. We did formally break up at one point, during which I did date two other guys, but we got back together after a few months. If someone approached me now with the same relationship I had, I'd totally be like, "dump him!" But for lots of reasons, including low self-esteem, I didn't.

During my last year of college, Matt grew more serious, I started becoming a person I liked, and our relationship bloomed. We were both fully committed, we had more respect for one another, and things became more stable. Three days before I graduated from college, Matt proposed. One year later, on April 25th of 2008, we were married.

Even though we did have some unhealthy, immature dating years, pre-marital counseling (the standard Catholic wedding stuff) did some amazing things for our interactions. Even though we balked at the silliness of some of the classes we had to attend, I would actually say that we now have one of the healthiest, strongest marriages of all our friends. Marriage takes work, but so far we've made it through law school, seven different addresses, a special needs child, and a miscarriage. And each time we've come out stronger.

Since we met so young (I was just 15), we've really spent a lot of our lives together. Matt and I have never kissed anyone but each other, and I am the only girl he's ever dated. He's the reason I found salvation (ie, became Catholic), and I'm the reason he finally fulfilled his dream of going to law school.

And they lived happily ever after : )


Amelia said...

Great love story! I didn't know you all met so young..wow!

Anonymous said...

Awesome. Reminds me of my 92 yr old grandma, who met my grandpa in kindergarten, and she has a photo album with pictures and stories, hopes, and dreams, which covers their life together through the arrival of their five children. They were married 65 years before my grandfather keeled over from a heart attack when the GB Packers won a playoff game 7 or 8 years ago.

And when I say your story reminds me of my 92 yr old grandma, I mean it in the best possible way.