Anyone who has been around Mike and me for longer than five minutes knows that we are deeply committed to each other and share a fierce transparent love. We have been this way for twenty-three years. We didn’t marry young, but the marriage was the first for both of us—new territory at thirty something. Navigating through the tempest created by our differences, our conflicting needs, and our expectations was like getting caught in a rip tide of tsunami strength. The first year, a few people took bets whether we would make it. Well we made it, though many of those who bet on our defeat, unfortunately did not make it in their own marriages. Yes, the sparks flew, but something beautiful, strong, and enduring was the result of getting it all out on the table, so to speak.
Mike had a background in drug addiction, a recently receding background when I first met him. We were both lay counselors at a drug and alcohol rehab center when we met. He was there, trying to break a thirteen year cross addiction to heroin and alcohol. I was there, trying to stabilize myself before entering the ‘real world,’ after almost thirty years of mental and emotional entrapment by the man I called my father. And so... we met. I don’t know what to think about ‘love at first sight,’ it is a rarity to be sure. But I do know, almost 25 years later, that Mike and I both experienced something at first sight. Something that made my iron clad heart race. Something that got his attention for, as he later told me, he knew right then that he wanted to date me.
Can an ex-addict and an abuse survivor make a go of it? Can they blend two wounded hearts in a marriage covenant that will stand the test of time? What are the challenges they face—the giants in their land? They were many. Most of them we have slain in battles long gone by. Some still raise their ugly head and dare us to defy them. We will take the dare—join hands against the enemy—and raise our puny little slingshots as David did. We know there are giants still out there—but we will not fear them. Let come what may as the wise man said, “There is more strength with two than with one, and a threefold cord is not easily broken.” (my paraphrase of Eccl.4:12) The third strand in the cord that binds our hearts together is Jesus Christ, the Lord of Savior of us both, the One who brought us together in the first place.
But that is another story. I hope you return to my den to read the rest of the story.