Friday, August 17, 2018

Thank heaven he's stubborn - #gratitude #marriage #stubbornness

Holding hands

I have been blessed in uncounted ways in my life. I have enjoyed the benefits of a loving and supportive family, an excellent education funded mostly by scholarships, generally good health, and work that is challenging, worthwhile and fun. I'm grateful for having had the opportunity to travel to a wide range of exotic places. I'm humbly thankful for whatever writing talent I have and for the persistence required to turn that talent into a semi-career.

When I think about it, though, what I am most thankful for is the fact that my husband didn't give up when I tried to brush him off.

Let me explain...

Romance is the realm of love at first sight, but when I met K., I tried to discourage his obvious interest. The last thing I needed was another man in my life. To start with, we lived 3000 miles away from each other. He lived on the east coast, where he was studying towards a PhD. Meanwhile, on the west coast, where I was working at my first job out of graduate school, I was juggling three different lovers.

I know that this may sound a bit shocking to some readers, but at the time I was exploring my sexual self and trying to figure out what I needed in a romantic relationship. I wasn't lying to anyone; each of the men I was seeing knew about the others. I was just having some difficulty deciding which if any of them was Mr. Right. In fact, I wasn't sure that I subscribed to the concept of one perfect mate.

Anyway, K. came up to me at a scientific conference on the east coast, where I had just made a presentation describing my research. He asked me some intelligent questions about my paper, but I could tell he was more interested in me as a woman than as a colleague. I liked him, but I was already reeling from the complications in my love life. I definitely didn't think I could handle yet another lover. I was polite but distant. K. joined me at the welcome cocktail party that evening. I pointedly ignored him, flirting instead with the cute British guy who was also part of the crowd.

K. did not give up. He invited me to lunch the following day. I accepted (hey, I had to eat!) and found him to be articulate and unpretentious. He was quite a bit older than I and had led a fascinating, unconventional life. As I recall, we talked about relationships. What was most remarkable about our interactions was the level of comfort. I barely knew him, yet it seemed as though we had been friends a long time.

Still, I held back. He took the offensive. He was driving up to Worcester (my home town) from the conference that afternoon. Would I like a ride? Certainly it was better than going by bus as I had planned. The three hour trip was filled with sexual tension. He was beginning to win me over.

He dropped me at my parents' house and asked if I wanted to have dinner that evening. Of course I agreed. We dined at a Japanese restaurant where he regaled me with tales of his travels in Europe and Asia. I urged him on, eager to hear more. Near the end of the meal, he looked me in the eye and said,

You know, I'm looking for someone to travel with.” I was more or less hooked.

I flew back to California the next day. For the next six months we wrote and called each other. The other men in my life transformed themselves from lovers to friends. When I came home to Massachusetts for Christmas, it seemed completely natural that K. would return with me to the west coast to share my apartment. After the holidays, we set out together on a three week cross-country odyssey. We were still relative strangers, yet traveled together as if we had known each other for years.

On that trip, in a motel in Taos, New Mexico, K. proposed to me. I told him to wait a year and then ask me again.

That was thirty eight years ago. I'm grateful every day for his love, his support, his companionship, even his criticism. We are not only lovers but also partners and collaborators. We work together as well as play together. I am amazed by the strength and longevity of our connection.

When we met, I thought that it was unlikely that I would ever marry. I couldn't imagine that there existed one man who could keep me interested over the long term, and I didn't want a string of divorces like my aunts.

I was wrong. And now I'm eternally grateful.


apky said...

What an interesting insight into your life, Lisabet. Your (love) story definitely sounds more amazing than I'd imagined till now. And - for some strange reason - I'd assumed that your husband came from somewhere in Asia! I guess that dropped in and took root in my head when I read my favourite book from you a couple of years ago - Rajasthani Moon - the book that made me start thinking of writing something erotic myself.

Thanks for sharing this.

Fiona McGier said...

I used to tell everyone that I was never going to get married, because with all of the men in the world who were hetero, how could I ever choose just one? And kids? Let myself be tied down and dependent on a man? NEVER!

Then I met my husband at a party, and even though I was drunk and he thought I was married to the guy he worked with (my brother), he was interested enough to come to a party at our house the next week. We've been together since then, for almost 37 years, and have raised 4 kids to adulthood.

People come into your life when they will, and it's up to you to decide when you're ready, and if they supply what you need, as you supply what they need. Only 1 of our 4 is married, but the other 3 say they'll never settle for less than what they've seen every day of their lives, between their parents. I feel so lucky!

And apparently you do also. That allows you to write all of the hot books that I enjoy reading so much. Win-win for all of us!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Akinyi, so lovely to see you here! No, he's from New York LOL.

Fiona, I definitely felt the same way. Plus I had so many divorces in my family, I'd come to think that getting married wasn't worth the effort.

I was very wrong ;^)

Iris B said...

What a lovely post about you and your husband. And congratulations on. The 38 years of marriage. It obviously was meant to be.

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