My long suffering other half really is a wonderful man. I count my blessings everyday that I got to marry my best friend. Especially when I look back at our history. I guess some things are just meant to be, and us being together is one of those things. But the path to here and now did not run smoothly.
This is our Love Story....
I have known Ian since we started secondary school in 1981. I don't remember the moment we met, but we had friends in common and our social circles merged. Soon, he was the one I fancied. He was tall, slim, cute, with blue eyes. Looking back at photos he had really bad hair (his mum still cut it) and pretty poor dress sense (again I blame his mother in hindsight!) It took him three years to slip me a piece of paper during English class that said "Will you go out with me?" He had a way with words, the smooth talker!
We were both pretty shy and our relationship didn't get much further than hand holding and going for rides on his tandem bike while drinking from 2 litre bottles of cheap cider from the off licence...but the seeds were sown. Ian left school at 16 whereas I continued on to the sixth form. I ended things with him and broke his heart.
We never lost touch. I would do my own thing but my thoughts would always return to Ian. He was always the person I turned to when things weren't going well. Without fail he was there for me. If I got into trouble he was there to rescue me. When I found myself pregnant and single at 19 it was Ian that I phoned up from a phone box near where I lived. He came round. He continued coming round every day to sit with me and chat and give me support. After I gave birth he came and visited me. He was my support when my baby had his heel prick at six days old. He was my rock. Then I had the opportunity to go and live with my sister. I went and I let Ian drift out of my life again.
If we'd had the internet, Facebook, mobile phones or Twitter during this time, we wouldn't have kept losing touch. But contact required a lot of physical effort and I always let it slide.
In 1989, I ended up in a really toxic relationship with a man that I worked with. He was a salesman with his own flat and the gift of the gab. My sister's house was on the market as her family was relocating because of her husband's job. I was a soon-to-be-homeless single parent. I was vulnerable. He promised us the world. I was able to move out of my sister's house and in with him, but that is when it all started going wrong. We should never have been together in the first place. I did try to make it work, but it soon became clear that it was never going to happen. He started drinking. Things spiralled downwards rapidly from there. Somehow I got pregnant...whether it was a subconscious decision to try to make things work, or whether I needed something to give me purpose, I don't know. Our relationship worsened and I felt that my son and my unborn child were at risk. I became stronger, more determined and I found the courage to leave.
Again, I phoned Ian. He was by my side again. He took me out. He took care of me. He held me and comforted me and made everything all right. I gave birth to my daughter. He brought me flowers. We carried on seeing each other off and on. He was a great friend. The very best.
The more I saw of him, the more I realised that we were destined to be together. He had been in love with me for ever, but has subsequently told me that he thought I was totally out of his league and he wasn't good enough for me, so he was content with the friendship and he was happy just making sure I was happy. We had started seeing more of each other in the evenings and we had moments when he'd hold my hand under the table in the pub, or let his friendly goodnight kiss linger a little.
It was a real dilemma. He was my best friend. If we took our relationship to the next level, we could never go back to being friends if it went wrong. That would be a huge loss.
I took the chance.
In 1993 we became a couple. I have to admit it was a little weird at times ("But you're Ian!!!" is a real passion killer!)
Being together soon became the most natural thing in the world. We got married in 1997. Ian is my soul mate, my best friend, my first love and my last love. He is the best daddy to all five of our children and they all adore him. I count my blessings everyday that he was so patient. He never judged me and he waited for as long as he had to. The road that lead us to here and now has shaped us and made us appreciate each other and what we have. We make each other better people. Being together was our fate!