This time of year always makes me feel a little giddy. It’s not because of Christmas (let’s face it, Christmas is stressful) and it’s not because of New Years (as a parent NYE is just another night and NYD is just another day); no, it is because it is this time of year I fell in love with my wife… and for some crazy reason, she fell in love with me. It was unexpected, it was beautiful, it was amazing. And our relationship (marriage!) still is.
August 2010 – my youngest was about two months old and I decided to seek out some online single parenting support. I managed to track down a message board based in New Zealand and finally started to connect with other single mums. One of those mums is the woman who became my bestfriend, soulmate, and wife.
February 2011 – the city I live(d) in was struck by a devastating earthquake which killed 185 people. The suburb I lived in was a write-off and my children and I had to live with my parents for three months. Immediately after the quake one of the women on my parenting forum sent me a text message. I thought it was incredibly sweet of her.
June 2011 – we experienced two big aftershocks (yes, months after that second large quake), I had officially had enough so packed up the car and escaped down south. I dropped a friend off in her hometown, stayed the night with her, then we drove to my Grandma’s house in Central Otago. It was during this time that I began texting back and forward with the woman who – unbeknownst to either of us – would go on to be my wonderful wife. Each day we text each other more and more and very quickly she became someone I considered one of my best friends… even though we’d never met in ‘real life’.
November 2011 – we had started texting non-stop everyday and spent hours IM’ing each other on Skype and Facebook. When she told me her kids were going with their father for three weeks after Christmas I jokingly suggested she could come and stay with me and my kiddos. It wasn’t long after she had flights booked.
December 28 2011 – ‘I will wait for you under the big flag,’ came the text from my future wife as I got to the airport to pick her up. Looking up I laughed, there were about 20 big flags. Eventually I found her. We hugged. It felt as if we had been friends for years, not mere months.
January 1 2012 – in the very early hours of the morning my then 18 month old decided it would be a great idea to wake up and refuse to go back to sleep. I got very frustrated and upset (I’m not much of a middle-of-the-night person!), I believe she had been teething and I had reached the end of my tether, so to speak. A friend had come over for NYE and stayed the night, she insisted I go back to bed and she would look after the little one for me… I refused but she insisted, so back to bed I went. My future wife opened her arms to me and gave me the hug I so badly needed. I think I cried. I probably did, I cry a lot.
It was then that things changed. As I lay with my head against her chest I began imagining things… namely me kissing her, me touching her and exploring the boobs I hadn’t been able to stop looking at since she arrived. The only thing that stopped me was the time. And not knowing how she would react. We had spoken about sexuality a lot and while I had been in a relationship with a woman and loosely considered myself bisexual, I knew that she hadn’t and didn’t really have any inclination to. There was no way I wanted to ruin our friendship because I had no self-control… we went to sleep eventually.
January 4 2012 – we were lying in bed cuddling… neither of us remember why or how we started cuddling each morning, but we did. We were those sort of friends I guess. I had been feeling a bit conflicted since New Years, I was starting to develop feelings for her and it was hard not to act on them, but like on New Years, I didn’t want to ruin our friendship or make things awkward by making unwanted advances toward her.
So we were in bed cuddling like normal… and then my hand started to move. I tried to stop it, but I just couldn’t. I knew if she wanted me to stop she would say so, so when my fingers brushed over her nipple that very first time I felt all sorts of excitement and shock. I started to rub her nipple and when she began to quietly moan I realised she wasn’t going to ask me to stop. Somehow I went from rubbing her nipple to sucking it through the fabric of her tank top… she was responding very positively and I got the shock of my life (a very good shock!) when she pulled her tank top down so her boobs were revealed. When my tongue touched her nipple there was no way I could stop and my hand very quickly travelled south. I couldn’t believe I was sucking on her nipple while rubbing her clit through her panties… I couldn’t believe just how strongly she was reacting to my touch. She came and the next thing I knew I was rubbing against her leg and quickly orgasmed myself. It was then that we kissed for the first time and I knew we were going to be together forever. Sounds stupid, sounds cliché, but I knew she was my soulmate.
That first day was a little… not awkward, but we were both nervous, I guess… when we got into bed that night that nervousness soon disappeared and we spent a lot of time kissing and touching. It’s all a bit of a blur now, but there were orgasms. Plenty of them.
January 7 2012 – both of my children left to spend the weekend with their father’s. Future wifey and I were lying on my bed together, naked, happy, blissed out. My head was a jumble. I was trying to get out those three little words that mean so much. They would get to the tip of my tongue and wouldn’t go any further. What if she didn’t feel the same way? What if it was just a little fling for her? What if she was just experimenting? In my heart I knew none of those were the case and that she felt the same way about me as I felt about her, but the fear of rejection has always been strong with me. I knew I had to say it, I had to get it out before I lost the chance… she was going home four days later, and I didn’t want that to be the end of us. As it was, it was her who said those three little words first. Not that I actually heard them! Stupid fluid on the ears has left me with hearing difficulties… and I missed those damn words! I told her I loved her, she told me she loved me – and then informed me she had been worried when she said them and I didn’t reply. We got there eventually 😉
January 11 2012 – she left to go home… 650km away. I won’t go into detail because even now the memory makes me cry.
April 2012 – she came to stay for a week in the school holidays
June 2012 – she came down for a weekend so we could go to a rugby game together
July 2012 – she came to stay for a week in the school holidays… we became officially engaged (though we had known since before she left in January that we would get married eventually!)
September 2012 – my kiddos and I went to stay with her and her kiddos for 18 days
December 19 2012 – she and her kiddos came down to spend Christmas with me and my family
January 2 2013 – her kiddos flew back up north for their three weeks with their dad
January 4 2013 – we celebrated our one year anniversary together with a fancy meal and a night in a motel
January 6 2013 – future wife went home… and me and my kiddos went with her! Yeap, a year of long distance was more than enough for us and it was time to start our life together!
April 13 2013 – we had a civil union… four days later politicians voted to same-sex marriage legal in New Zealand; it became legal on August 19th that year
September 20 2013 – we had a little ceremony to upgrade from civil union to marriage. We were officially as married as we could be!
I haven’t included the trials and tribulations of our 12 months apart because there is enough in that for a whole blog post (or four); but people often ask me how we got together so I thought I would post our story! If anyone reading this is in a long distance relationship I hope it gives you some faith that long distance relationships can work out… because they can! While I wouldn’t want to go through another 12 months of living apart, looking back, it was so worth it… and I think it made us appreciate each other a lot more.