The Husband That Got Away

I believe, to this day, that my first love brought my husband and me together.

pompano pier and young married couple typhoonski, BARBARA RIBEIRO | Canva

I adore my husband. I think you should know that first.

We met nearly ten years ago because my first teenage love died, and there was a memorial service at his wife’s house. My husband was my teenage love's best friend for practically his whole life. Upon talking to him, we discovered that our years living in Pompano Beach were on the periphery of each other the whole time, yet we had never met before.


I felt a spark between us the minute I shook his hand. I didn’t ask if he felt it, too, because I was suddenly shy around him. When it was time to go, he asked me to add him as a Facebook friend. I spent the next two days wondering if it meant something and hoping that it did.

Sure enough, we started chatting through Messenger. We talked about the people and places we both knew and how bizarre it was that our paths never crossed. This happens even now. One of us will name someone or something from back in the day, and the other always knows the person or the setting. It felt like fate.


I believe to this day that my first love brought us together, knowing that our lives were miserable by ourselves.

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The next time I saw him in person, I gave him a great big hug and got a good look at him. He had the most amazing green eyes and dark curly hair. He looked so familiar even though we’d never met, like the face that was supposed to be in my life all along.

He treated me like no one else ever had. He looked at me like I was the most beautiful creature on Earth. He also spoiled me rotten, taking me to places I couldn’t afford on my own and bringing me little gifts. I could have told him he didn’t have to because I was already fully hooked.


Since that first day, we’ve only been apart a few times. We were married in Key West on the beach with the Atlantic Ocean in the background. I’d been married twice before and things didn’t work out. I believed the third time was definitely the charm. Even after two failed marriages, I still deeply believed in love, and I felt blessed to have found it.

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It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when spouses start to take each other for granted in their marriages. The "honeymoon" period can last for any length of time, but every marriage is comprised of highs and lows. Couples start finding things that annoy them about each other. Sometimes they even forget to be kind. I’ve been guilty of it, too.

Nine years into our marriage, I sometimes feel like my husband loves me — but doesn’t like me anymore, and I start to wonder what changed between us. This doesn’t happen all the time; it ebbs and flows.


If my husband was asked if he loves me, I’m sure he would say yes. Liking me is a different story. I used to get really upset during these lows and agonize over what I did wrong and how I could change. Now, it’s become such a pattern in our marriage that I don’t take it personally anymore.

After all, my husband has stress just like I do. He gets upset about his job, money, or any number of things. Once I realized his stress may not have anything to do with me, I was able to relax.

These days, when we’re in one of these lows, I focus on being kinder to him in addition to giving him a little space. Marriage is not always 50/50. Sometimes one of us has to carry the load until the other one catches up. I love him and don’t want to see him unhappy, and I try to remember that when we aren’t getting along.

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It would be a different story if he became mean or threatened me with divorce or worse. That was the truth of my second marriage. My husband is nothing like my ex, and I know he’s not out to hurt me. We don’t ever use expletives with each other, and even when we’re mad, we try to be respectful.

My advice for anyone going through the highs and lows of marriage would be to enjoy the good times and pause during the tough times because they don’t last forever. As long as there are good times, it’s worth sticking it out. However, if the bad primarily outweighs the good, you likely have a more serious problem.

Of course, it’s never okay for somebody to abuse their spouse verbally, mentally, or physically. Ignoring those red flags can lead to real danger if it doesn’t stop. If you’re in one of these situations, it’s time to think about re-evaluating things.


Otherwise, it’s important to take care of ourselves because no one person can really complete another. Bringing our best selves into a relationship is a good way to keep a marriage healthy. We need to make sure that even if things don’t work out in our marriages, we still have ourselves — this took me a long time to learn.

I will always believe I have the greatest husband in the world, though, and that counts for a lot because something that special is always worth keeping.

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Glenna Gill is a writer and blogger from Charlotte, North Carolina. Her articles have been featured in Scary Mommy and P.S. I Love You. When I Was Lost is her first full-length book, a memoir of love, loss, and hope.