I met my husband Darcy a few months into my 32nd year, and with over eight years of sobriety. I had let go of forcing the issue of finding a mate, not that I had been searching all that hard.
I had my first boyfriend when I was a freshman in high school, a nice young man named Scott. Of course, dating at that age was more about seeing each other at school events or talking on the phone. Mind you, that phone was connected to the wall and shared with other family members. We had to wait our turn.
I thought I was off to a good start with this girl-boy stuff, but the next years included very little dating and far too much drinking. I must have been exuding the self-loathing I was feeling, or they lost interest when they witnessed a blubbering drunk.
When I got sober at age 24, I had quite limited experience in romantic relationships and absolutely no self-confidence in pursuing men. By my late 20’s, I was doing some dating and when I was 30 I had my first serious relationship. His name was Jim. Our relationship brought me hope and more self-assurance. He ended it after several months. I initially took it quite hard, but it truly was for the best.
It took time to get over him, but it was really more the idea of a healthy relationship and finding a true partner that I was longing for.
I let go of outcomes and developed more faith in what could happen in my life. I still had tough days in a couple-oriented world. Most of my friends and colleagues were married. In my 20’s, I hadn’t been sure I wanted children. By my early thirties, I felt more strongly that I wanted to be a mom as well as a spouse, and I feared I wouldn’t get the opportunities.
A year went by. I recall a breakfast out with my friend Elli, a married mom and a kind friend. Some of our conversation centered around my own hopes and dreams in this area. She was considerate and encouraging. Then, as we went to pay and walk out, a quote on a small calendar caught her eye and she pointed it out to me. The quote was “God’s delays aren’t necessarily God’s denials.”
By now, I had better contact with God, or a Higher Power, but I was getting impatient and discouraged. We smiled. I remembered the quote, and found a little peace.
I didn’t go to bars and meet guys. I wasn’t involved in a church. I knew others in recovery, but that was a place to tread lightly in terms of new relationships. So when a friend brought up the idea of going to a singles dance a few weeks down the road, I fought off my fear and thoughts of “you have to be pretty desperate to do that.”
Ironically, that friend didn’t end up going to the dance. She had gotten back together with her boyfriend. My friend Diane, married and only going to support me, was my moral support and cheerleader.
I saw Darcy for the first time early in the evening. He caught my eye in more ways than one. Little did I know then, he would quickly catch my heart too. We got married nine months later and are still going strong.
There is more to this story and that evening, including help from Diane and fate. For now, suffice it to say that I am a believer in the words “God’s delays aren’t necessarily God’s denials.