i have been married twice. The first was in college and I knew that was mistake even before I married. I think I thought graduating and getting married was how you become middle class. I grew up poor and the first female to actually graduate from college back in the sixties. He was “controlling, physically and mentally abusive”and I tried to keep it together for five years. I left many time after each physical altercation but after planning his murder, I finally left for the last time.
I divorced and moved back home with my family and my son. I taught school and prayed for a good man for two years. I met him in February of 1970. He was in the Army and I had never dated a soldier, because they was notorious for having women all the world. He said he fell in love with me when he saw me walking across the college campus where I was in pursuit of my Masters in the summers. I didn’t see him but he swears he saw me. We met later at a dance with all my family accompanying me. He was a really handsome guy and I saw him across the room. We danced and the next day he took me to church. He took me to dinner and the movies every week for 14 month and asked me to marry me before he was deployed to Germany. That was 48 years ago, another son and two grandsons ago. He adopted my son from my previous marriage and told his dad to get lost.
Yep he loves me unconditionally and with all my craziness, he has always been the “wind beneath my wings” as I finished my Master and continued with classes for the next 25 years. We lived in Europe while he served in the military, while I traveled to East Berlin, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and throughout Germany. We were stationed in Alabama and Colorado before he retired and lived in Kansas while one son graduated and another completed gradeschool. He was always there for me and our sons.
He supported me going to teach in Africa twice and traveling an teaching throughout the country while teaching at a University. He supported my being involved in every type of community activity, winning numerous awards, while he worked in corrections and with juveniles. He helped my family and his family whenever they needed help. Seven years ago after I retired and decided to spend winters in Florida for my arthritis, he had a heart attack. He had a couple of stents put in and recovered well. I began to think about what would I do without him.
I think we have planned for me to be ok financially, but emotionally what will I do without him. He is the love of my life, he is my friend, my companion, my advisor and my guy, like the song. He is always there for me and recently when he was having some heart issues and had to be hospitalized, it hit me like a hammer. I would not be the same person. I would not be able to have his constant support so I would not be as confident as I am today. He has changed me into the woman I am because of his unconditional love. That is what a “Good man” does. I tell all of my former unmarried female students to find a man who empowers you to be all you can be. It is also true a good woman does the same for a man, she empowers him to be the best he can be.
Marriage should be “empowering” and “enabling” and we should be stronger because of what our partner enables us to do. We should not be weaker. I decided that whatever happens, I will be able to go on to wherever God leads me and the same is true for him, if I precede him in passing. I had never allowed myself to go down that path, but I know my guy would never expect me to do otherwise, except be the outstanding woman he empowered me to be after being married forty six years. Thanks Rob for being my guy and teaching me to be all I can be. Whatever happens we will do what we have to do, survive and thrive. He taught me well. He is the strong one, the veteran, the one who jumped out a planes in the 101st Airbourne unit during the Korean War. He still sings to me and chases me around the house. He still cleans and makes the bed better than I ever could. He has never been “intimidated” by my education because he helped me to earn them. He is never “threatened” by all the awards I have received because made it possible for me to be involved in programs helping others. He may not have a college degree, but he is in every aspect the most intelligent, brave guy I have met. That is why I am so glad I prayed and married a “good man” forever.