Before I met Olivia, sexual conquest was at the top of my list of things to do when I returned home from a deployment in Kosovo.
It was December 2000. I was in the U.S. Army, single, young, and ready to live up to the Maxim lifestyle. My mind worked out a list women in the United States I would call while I was on two weeks of leave.
The bus from the airport pulled into Anderson Barracks in Dexheim, Germany. Families greeted us at our homecoming ceremony. I didn't really care about the homecoming. There was no one to greet me in Germany, and most of my friends had been with me for the past seven months in Kosovo.
That's when I was introduced to one of our unit's newest soldiers. Her name was Morales, and I later learned that her first name was Olivia. We talked, of all things, about how we were wearing the same unisex glasses from Lenscrafters.
I was amazed. We had a conversation that wasn't about sex or getting drunk!
Her voice was pleasant.
She had class, and was genuinely nice.
It was practically love at first sight. My conquest was over before it ever began, but I was not going to admit this. I just met her!
Whenever I went out with friends, I'd find a way to ask whether she would be there, too. Three months later, I finally worked up the nerve to invite her myself. When I told Olivia how I felt, her response was, "What took you so long?!"
"I've been dropping hints for months to let you know that I like you!"
"What hints?" I began to realize that my conquest would not have been very successful anyway. I have no "game".
SO WHEN DID I KNOW-KNOW?
One night, I received a call from an ex-girlfriend from college. I had been crazy about this girl for years before meeting Olivia.
My ex- shared her desire to meet up with me when I returned from Germany in a few months. She wanted to see if we could have a relationship. It was the relationship I had wanted for years.
When she asked what I thought, the only hesitation I expressed was in figuring out how to gently tell this girl, no.
This wasn't a choice out of convenience.
I knew in my heart that I wanted a family with Olivia, and I wanted to have that conversation with her. Lining this other girl up as a back up was not even an option in my mind and heart.
We can't expect to succeed in a relationship if we are leave life lines open for "back-up relationships."
|Photo taken by Rosalyn Charles Photography|
A STAKE IN THE GROUND
That was the specific moment I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Olivia. It was actually the specific moment I put a stake in the ground and said this is the commitment I want to make.
After twelve years of marriage, I never doubt that choice or that moment. I get to share my dreams with Olivia and not worry about freaking her out!
When was the moment when you knew your spouse was the one you wanted to spend the rest of your life with?
I think it's important for us as married couples to think about that moment when we knew our spouse was the one for life. That's what will carry us through the hard times, and help us appreciate all of our times together. Remembering that moment helps us fight off the regret the world places on us, that expectation that we are missing out of romances with other people. The truth is that chasing romances with other people causes us to miss out on building a great relationship and legacy with our spouse.
Sign up for my e-mail list and get a list of free (and mostly free) resources that I use.
Listen to Olivia and I in Episode #3 of Family Time Q&A Podcast.
(Disclaimer: At no time will I ever advocate that someone stay in an abusive relationship. We have an obligation to honor and cherish each other. Marriage is a two-way street. Imagine the greatness you'd get from that relationship when both spouses are all-in, 100% sacrificially loving each other. You don't have that in abusive relationships, and you don't deserve abuse.)