Instead of adding to all the noise in the world right now about COVID-19 I thought I would share the story about how I met my husband Dave. I’m a sucker for a good romance and whilst ours is no Jane Austin novel, it’s a little quirky and I am sure it will connect with a few Mum’s who have a similar story.
Believe it or not, Dave and I have both been married previously. I am not going to go into the gory details about my previous marriage because it honestly is not worthy of that level of attention; I was young (so so young), it was ridiculously unhealthy and we brought out the worst version of each other. In saying this, hand on heart, I do not regret it. Now my mother would reverently disagree with this and at almost 10 years down the track I truly believe if she came across my ex-husband in a dark alley she would still kick him in the balls. Now that I am a Mum, I understand. He broke my heart and I retreated back home where she helped put me back together. Seeing your child hurt, no matter how old they are unleashes a protectiveness in you that only a mother can understand. However I can’t regret something that brought me to Dave, which leads me to the punch line of my story…
Dave and I met because our spouses were shagging each other. I know, it is like a story line from Day’s of Our Lives. I feel like dot points are the easiest way to describe our circumstances:
1) A friend at the time who cannot be named told me about the relationship between then husband, lets call him Mr T, had with Dave’s then wife, we will call her Mrs T. I confronted Mr T, pretended I knew everything which then led to him in fact confessing about his infidelity when in reality I didn’t know anything (sucker).
2) I felt a rage that I had never experienced and contacted Mrs T to tell her that I was going to contact her husband. She of course denied everything and pulled the “why can’t guys and girls be friends card?” but she knew I knew and for some reason that made me feel better. I never contacted Dave, for some reason I felt like it made me no better than her if I tried to ruin their relationship, I knew the Universe would sort everything out eventually.
3) A few weeks later Dave reached out to me, we meet in person to talk (he already knew everything), I think he just needed an outside person to confirm everything. We formed a friendship based on the fact that no one else in the universe could understand what we were going through.
4) We had been friends for a few months when I started to get an inkling that Dave was attracted to me; I liked the attention but I wasn’t “there” if you get my drift. However one night he invited me over for dinner and we kissed. Ready for the real cheesy bit? I fell in love with him… instantly.
The early days of our relationship were tough. Family court between him and Mrs T turned really nasty (I’m happy to report things are fine now and we all co-parenting like adults). He had a two year old daughter and we received A LOT of criticism and comments like “you’re just doing this out of spite” and “you’re going to ruin his daughter” or my favourite “you guys just did a wife swap.” When you live in a small town with a story this juicy you have to expect some blow back. It probably took me close to three years to comfortably tell strangers how we met, prior to that I would tell the partial truth and say we were introduced through mutual friends (I know, the irony).
The fact that I can now write on a public blog about our story is testament to how much I have grown as a person. I love this man. I am in love with this man and I know he is in love with me because I am worthy of this type of love. It’s taken me a lot of work to get this point and its invigorating.
I was really torn about getting married again. It felt “wrong” for wanting do it again as marriage is for life, I had had my shot however at the same time I wanted to tie myself to Dave in every way possible. In the end I couldn’t imagine having children that we BOTH didn’t share a last name with (yes I know you can hyphenate) and we decided to take the plunge. It was the most perfect wedding. We had 12 members of our families come to Thailand with us and we were married in an intimate and gorgeous ceremony.
It took close to 2 years for us to conceive our Maggie Moo, who is now five. We both worked away a lot and had high stress jobs. I should also mention the fact that we were both very overweight, enjoyed a bottle of wine almost every night and were full-time smokers. We were footloose and fancy free! Like any relationship, becoming full-time parents changed us. Sure we had Izabelle but not full time. We quickly realised that we needed to find new ways to communicate which is something we still work on every day.
When Maggie was eight months old I took myself to the doctor, I was convinced I had diabetes as I was SO tired, thirsty and had a metallic taste in my mouth. Nope, I was pregnant. It was the last thing I expected because
a) it took us 2 years to conceive Maggie
b) I was on the pill
c) I HAD AN 8 MONTH OLD.
Aria has been hard work from the day she was conceived. I was sick until 30ish weeks, her birth was intense and we have referred to her as the poster child for contraception since she was 6 months old. Dave and I had different opinions on going for number 3 (for him 4). In early 2018 I got him over the line and we decided to start trying at the end of the year. Pippa had other ideas and was BORN in November 2018. She was the final piece of our puzzle and I can now understand the “done” feeling people talk about.
When Pippa was born, we had a 10 year old, 3 year old, 2 year old and a newborn which would test any relationship. Throw in a failure to thrive baby (you can read about Pippa’s story here) which led to 12 months of hell which started in March 2019 and your relationship very quickly moves to the bottom of your “to do list”. But somehow, we are stronger than ever. He is the calm to my stormy head and knows me better than I know myself. I can spend weeks away with Pippa and know that our big girls are more than ok back home with their Daddy. Dave has packed more bags for me in the past 12 months than himself due to unexpected hospital admissions and as far as I am concerned, nothing says true love more than a man who packs your granny undies and crop tops instead of G-strings and push up bras.
Love Hayley xx
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