Why I’m Qualified to Give Relationship Advice

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I always love telling the story of  how my husband and I met.

It was August 2003, about 5 days into our freshman year at the University of Notre Dame.  We were both auditioning for the marching band and I noticed how cute he was from across the field.  At some point I decided that if I ever had the chance to introduce myself to him, I would.

A few months later, walking thru the empty halls of the Coleman-Morse center, I saw him coming from the opposite direction, walking toward me.  It’s now or never, I told myself.  Somehow I mustered up the courage to stop and say hello, and my very first conversation with him ended up lasting an hour and a half.

We became friends, started spending a lot of time together, and discovered that, despite our completely different backgrounds, we had more in common than we could have imagined.  We also started becoming very attracted to each others’ hearts… the traits that made up the core of who we were.

After months and months of spending every waking minute together, we eventually became addicted to our happiness and the way we made each other feel.  College transformed into this bubble of going to class and over-indulging in our relationship.

Fast forward a few years later, we were out of school and in the workforce, raising our girls, and working full time to pay rent, bills and student loans.  That’s when things started to fall apart.  The false sense of security created during our Puppy Love years in college began to crumble under the weight of the real world.  We turned on each other, blamed each other, and lived in a silo of misery and regret.

This dark period of our relationship lasted for years.  We did and said some things that would have shattered the overwhelming majority of normal relationships.  But our girls trumped our happiness, and we were so emotionally dependent on each other that we were too afraid to be apart.

Then there was a shift.  I don’t remember when it happened.  I can’t point to a specific event that sparked it.  But at some point we both looked at each other, after spending years seeing all of the good, the bad, and the terrible in each other, and we chose, individually in our own hearts and minds, to love each other anyway.  When we got married, the theme for our wedding was Love is a Decision.  And it was on this statement that we began to build a new foundation.

Over the next couple years I started spending more time being self-reflective and mindful, and I began discovering how my Crazy contributed to the misery of our marriage.  When my husband and I would get into major arguments over the state of our relationship, he would always sigh and say, “Lynee’, I’m here.”  This would make me even angrier because I never knew what he meant.  Until one night I was sitting in my car venting to God about my marriage when I figured it out.

When he would say, “I’m here,” he was telling me he was committed.  Committed to me, our relationship, our family, and there was nothing I could do or say to drive him away.  When I realized this, I walked into our home, sat next to him on the couch, and proceeded to apologize for years and years selfishness, for choosing to never ever see anything from his perspective, for never expressing any gratitude for how hard he worked to provide for us.  I told him I finally understood what “I’m here”meant, and that I appreciated everything he sacrificed and endured to be here.

And then he started to apologize for where he thought he fell short and promised he’d do better.  This conversation was a game-changer.  The words we exchanged that night sparked a beauty in our marriage that has blossomed into authentic love.  This is not to say we don’t argue or disagree anymore.  We still fight and make each other mad, but it’s not the same.  There is a peace and confidence that no matter what happens between us, love is a decision, and we have decided to love each other forever.

And this is why I feel qualified and inspired to give relationship advice.  A large percentage of relationships don’t survive what we’ve endured.  But it was our survival that allowed us to discover the real meaning of true love.  I can look back now and see where we were wrong, where most people get it wrong, and why so many relationships today are doomed to fail.  But I believe that everyone deserves love and happiness, and so I’m compelled to share my story with the world.

Follow me as I document my journey toward loving my husband forever, and I hope my words help you find success in love.

Until next time,

Love & Happiness from Your Best Girlfriend

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