Welcome to my new blog, Success Stories. As I spend a lot of time reading, writing and talking about sad stories, terrible break ups and narcissistic exes, I felt like I needed to spend more time listening to positive stories. So Success Stories was born. Here, you can share your stories of happy, successful and loving relationships to uplift everyone who needs a bit of hope and positivity in their day.
Here is our second Success Story.
My name is Leigh Skarin. I’m 34 years old and we live in Texas.
Tell us your story. How did you meet? How did you fall in love? What happened between you and your partner?
My husband and I met on eHarmony, a dating website, on November 10, 2008. We started talking on there. He immediately asked for my phone number as soon as we got to the open communication portion. We were a five hour drive from each other at the time, so we talked on the phone every night.
We met for the first time on February 13, 2009. We met in the middle, and my mom came with me, so he met her when he met me. He stayed with his grandparents and I stayed with my mom at the hotel. I was 22 years old when we met, and I’d never had a boyfriend, held hands with anyone, etc. We held hands for the first time the next day, Valentine’s Day, while taking a walk.
He told me he loved me the first time when we were talking over the phone in either February or March. We talked on the phone every day for an hour or more. Sometimes he would read to me if we didn’t have a lot to share that day. He asked my mom for permission to marry me in May, and then proposed on June 26th. We saw each other for about three days every month, except for three months when we got to spend a whole week with each other.
We got married in April 2010, and many of our family and friends thought that we moved too quickly. The first time we kissed was on our wedding day when we were pronounced husband and wife. I’d always wanted to save my first kiss for my wedding day. Yes, I’m crazy, but I wanted it to be special. My husband had slept with about 10 other women. When we met, we agreed to save sex for marriage, and he was okay with waiting to kiss me, too. My top love language is physical touch, so it was very difficult to not do those things for a year and a half, but we wanted to honor each other, God and also build our relationship on communication, trust and respect. We both knew we could have a tendency to just focus on the physical aspect of a relationship. Before we introduced sexual intimacy, we wanted to get to know each other on a deeper level.
What was he like in the beginning and what is he like now?
He was very bold and passionate in the beginning, of course. We are all more that way during the first stages of a relationship. Our love is deeper now, even if it isn’t so passionate, we are still in love with each other. After over 10 years together, I feel like we know we’ll have seasons when we’re more passionate about each other and seasons where we’re more passionate about other things. But through it all, we know that we’re here for each other and we’ll always be together.
When did you realise that you had fallen in love?
This is a hard question to answer. A lot of our beliefs about life line up, and we have similar convictions. I’m attracted to him. I didn’t fall in love with him, per se. It was more a gradual realization that he is an amazing man and my best friend.
How have you overcome difficulties in your relationship?
The beginning of our marriage was really difficult. I grew up without a dad, and feeling deserving of love was a huge challenge for me. No matter what, my husband would tell me he believed in me and loved me.
We also moved four times in the first year and a half of our marriage, and it was hard adjusting to new places, new jobs and a new marriage all at the same time. We feel like we grew closer together through that though, because we had to rely on each other for consistency instead of our surroundings.
What do you like to do together for fun?
We love riding bikes, hiking and taking walks together. Traveling and exploring new places is also something we really enjoy doing.
What is your favourite thing about each other?
My husband says his favourite things about me are that I’m sweet, thoughtful and mature. My favourite things about him are that he is loyal and believes in me.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
We have a 3 year old son.
What advice would you like to give to other women trying to build successful, long lasting relationships?
o Communicate: Make sure you and your partner are both willing to be open and communicate with each other. Especially when you have conflict, you need to be able to communicate and process with each other. Remember that you can’t read each other’s minds. You can’t know each other’s needs unless you share them. Ask your partner what his needs are, and be assertive in telling him what your needs are. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want in the relationship.
o Forgive: Give grace to each other. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. Be willing to forgive your partner when he messes up, and find someone who is gracious and forgiving with you as well. (Note, if there is abuse, don’t live with that. Get as far away from that as you can.)
o Serve: Find a partner who will not only look out for his own interests, but yours as well. And be willing to look out for your partner too. It’s not all about you, and it’s not all about him. You have to be willing to serve each other.
o Accept: Find a partner who accepts you and who you accept. Instead of focusing on finding the perfect person, focus on finding the person whose flaws you don’t mind living with every day.
o Show Kindness: Everyday, find a way to show kindness to your partner.
Thank you for sharing your story Leigh.
Leigh Skarin is an author. Her debut novel Finding Kacie, a sweet sports romance, is available on Amazon.