Welcome to the Marriage Rocks Blog Hop! If you made your way over from Nicole at She Does a Bunch then welcome! I’m so excited to share my love story along with such a beautiful group of women! Their stories and their lives are so inspiring and I hope you get a chance to read about each one! So since you’re here, I’m so happy to share with you our story, our perfect date night and the best piece of marital advice we could give.
It was my first week at college and I remember the day like it was yesterday. I pulled up in front of my dorm with my girlfriends after coming back from a trip to Walmart. When I got out of the car, he was sitting with a group of his friends in front of the dorm and his smile caught my eye from a couple feet away. It was like love at first sight….. Barf! I’m kidding girl! Our love story is far from a fairytale and definitely wasn’t love at first sight!
It was September 2003. I was a freshman and in my first few days of being away from home. He was a junior and had experienced so much more then I had. My girlfriends and I did in fact pull up to our dorm that night but one of my girls had caught the eye of one of his friends. I don’t even think Jerome and I had exchanged a look let alone a hello. My friend and his friend, however, had exchanged numbers a few nights before and that night they had planned to meet up and hang out. Lucky for us they did. It turns out Jerome and I were both apart of a college preparedness program, which he was a mentor for. I had had a few questions about where my classes were located so his friend whom was getting close with my friend suggested I give Jerome a call for some guidance.
At first I was a little hesitant because I was just really shy like that. But, I put my big girl panties on and gave him a call. We met up in front of my dorm where he walked me to the building where my classes were. I really didn’t know what to expect but to my surprise, he was really easy going and fun to talk to. After that particular day, we met up and hung out a few times. But still there weren’t any sparks flying. The turning point came when there was a hurricane headed directly towards campus. The university cancelled classes and evacuated the dorms. I was unable to make it back home so my girlfriend and I had no choice but to stay with Jerome and his roomies who lived in apartment style housing near campus.
If you’re thinking those few days were magical and filled with all the things that make for a good love story, you’re wrong. But we did stay up late, watch lots of movies and had good conversation. The more time I spent with him, the more comfortable I became and the stronger our friendship grew. And that’s where all of our magic happened. We developed a friendship and got to know each other. After a few months of spending all of our time together, it was around April 2004 that we FINALLY made it official.
We were solid… so I thought. Somewhere in my junior year I started to question who I was and what exactly I wanted out of life. It was like a adolescent pre-midlife crisis. And in my questioning I thought Jerome didn’t fit into that picture. So I broke up with him. We went a few days without speaking to each other but eventually we made our way back to speaking. And then back together.
Fast forward to post graduation. Jerome had accepted an internship that landed him in Miami and I was back home in Maryland. The distance was awful and our relationship was on life support. Everyday became much of the same. We rarely were able to see each other and our relationship was lacking the passion and desire to keep a long distance relationship going. But, we somehow continued on. After his internship ended in 2010, he accepted a position in Hampton, VA. I was excited because I thought being closer could help save our relationship but unknowingly, it tore us even further apart.
We made small efforts to see each other which ended in our relationship completely flatlining. We were living two separate lives and the friendship that we once had seemed like it totally disappeared. After driving to visit him in Virginia one weekend, we had a tumultuous break up which I thought was the end of us. No more friendship. Nothing.
A few months had passed and we slowly began communicating again which led to speaking everyday and then led us right back into a relationship . Over the years, I developed a loving relationship with his mom so during our breakup we remained on speaking terms. She invited me to her wedding but I had no idea what Jerome had planned. The day before she was to get married, he picked me up from my hotel and drove me to a beautiful event venue where his mom was getting married. The outdoor patio contained a waterfall. He walked me up the pathway and stopped in front of the waterfall wall where he got down on one knee. I’m pretty sure you guys know how this ends. Seven years later and happily married to my best friend.
The best marriage advice I’ve ever received came from a couple that were regulars at the hair salon I worked at prior to getting married.
I was standing at the shampoo bowl prepping Mrs. V for her set with the salon owner. Mrs. V was pretty particular but that day I prepped and shampooed her before sitting in Tamara’s chair. Her husband sat across from her as he always did at her appointments. As I began her shampoo, the three of us laughed and talked about life and my upcoming wedding that was just a few short weeks away. I didn’t know much about Mrs. V but for some reason I always admired her. She had a quiet spirit but she seemed so wise. And her husband was cute as a button. He was always there joining her at her appointments. But not in a smothering kind of way. I got the sense that they really enjoyed spending time together and the salon was just one of many places I’m sure they accompanied each other.
As I finished up her shampoo we began talking about marriage. Not the wedding that most people get so wrapped up in. I’m talking about that thing after. You know… Where you vow to spend the rest of your life with someone through thick and thin. Yup, that part. She and her husband tag teamed as they gave me the best marriage advice I had received…. Marriage is not and will never be 50/50. Yeah, it sounds pretty simple but I swear it is a very tough reality. Up until that moment I believed and heard so many times that marriage is 50/50. I’ve heard that your partner should complete you. But the past 8 years of marriage has taught me the real truth about marriage. And the truth is, it is never and will never be 50/50.
It’s a constant give and take relationship. There will be times where your partner will give more then you and vice versa. The challenge is, you have to be flexible and you have to be willing to give when it seems you’re not getting.
Date night?!?! What’s that??? Before moving to New Jersey, a perfect date night for us was staying up late to work on a DIY project around the house. But since the move, I’ve shared with you that Jerome and I don’t get out often due to his work schedule and our lack of having a village near by. So in order for us to make sure we’re getting time alone, we have to make the effort at home.
The perfect date night for us involves putting the kids to bed early, grabbing dinner that doesn’t involve chicken nuggets, a glass of wine or mixed drink and cuddling in front of the t.v. or, in our years before kids, playing a game together. And that’s it. We’re pretty simple but just being in each other’s presence is priceless.
Thanks so much for stopping by and reading about our love story! If this is your first stop on the blog hop, please visit the other ladies sites as well! And don’t forget to visit my page on Instagram @homeonpoplarcreek to learn how you can win a $100 Ruth Chris Steakhouse gift card!
Until next time,
Nicole at Home on Poplar Creek
February 5, 2019
Hey girl hey!! From home to family to real talk and everything in between... never miss a thing! I’ll keep you posted on giveaways and freebies, and more.