In Part 4, I let you know that from the moment TJ and I began to get to know each other again, he was very straightforward about his feelings for me. Me? Not so much. I wasn’t about to put myself out there. In the 20+ years since we had been apart, I had met my share of liars and players, and had gotten my heart broken a few times. Love wasn’t really my forte. I never really learned how to play the game. If I loved someone, I loved them. I didn’t know how to play hard to get, and I didn’t want to learn. I always believed that if people were in love, they would be upfront, direct, HONEST with one another. For me, it never quite worked out that way. My relationships almost always ended because the male was dishonest or trying to play with my emotions.
Reconnecting with TJ was hard for me because of this. After going through the things I’d gone through, I wasn’t even sure I had the capacity to love anybody. I could like them a whole lot, but really, truly LOVE them? I just didn’t feel like it was in me. I knew how he felt about me, and I knew that his feelings ran deep. I didn’t want to “fall in love” because I knew it would be safe. I didn’t want to say “I love you” back to him just so I could have a relationship. I didn’t want to fall back into very old, yet very comfortable patterns of behavior just because it was available to me. TJ had always wanted to be married and to have a family, so I knew what entering into a relationship with him meant. It would be a serious commitment. Not something I should enter into lightly. I didn’t want to play with his emotions, only to realize later that I had gotten with him out of convenience. Because, you know, when you’re pushing 40 and you’re still single, it would be quite easy to just accept the first nice guy that comes your way.
So I was very cautious. I let him pursue me. I let him take the lead. I didn’t offer up much of anything at first. I didn’t call him; he called me. He initiated contact. He spoke about his feelings. He came to visit me. For the first time in my life, I didn’t do the work. I just sat back and let him prove that what he said was true. And he did.
He spent as much time with me as he could. Whether it was the phone, text, or in person, he made sure I knew that I was his priority. He showed me that he really is the same guy who had been my first love. He may have gotten older and matured, but he was still that nice guy. It wasn’t long before I stopped questioning what I felt, because I knew that I loved who he had become and not my memories. I couldn’t wait to talk to him every day. I couldn’t wait to see him. I wanted to spend every moment with him. I could see myself spending the rest of my life with him.
We started talking about marriage. We didn’t want to date forever, when we knew what we wanted. At first it was going to be May 2010…but I knew I’d be totally stressed out if I tried to make it happen that quick. Beside that, I’m my mother’s only daughter, and if I tried to do anything other than a church wedding, I’d never hear the end of it. So we decided on September 4, 2010. We started making plans……and then, in February, TJ was hit with a big financial setback. He had to pack up his kids and move. I was the only person he could move in with. There was literally no other alternative. I made it clear to him that although I was fine with him moving in, I was not fine with living that way until September. No shacking up for me. I told him that we had to get married as soon as possible. He agreed with me. We agreed that we’d still have our church wedding on September 4. About a month later, we went to the district magistrate. My mom and dad, brother, nephew, best friend, Thing #1 and Sweet Pea were there. March 30, 2010. We became husband and wife. It’s been almost two months, and I think it’s just now sinking in. I never thought I’d be married, and I certainly didn’t ever think TJ would be my husband! However, I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe God has a plan for each His children..and a big ole sense of humor.
Married life has been great. It could be just because we’re newlyweds, but as of now, we have not had one bad day. My husband loves and cherishes me. He does everything he can think of to bring a smile to my face, and I do my best to treat him the same way. I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and he says he’s just as happy.
I told my best friend once that TJ was the perfect first boyfriend for any girl to have. I stand by that. But he’s also the perfect husband…for me.