They were engaged within three weeks of talking on the phone. Their marriage almost ended in the beginning, but this is how they made it through.
Sometimes in life, things unexpectedly work out. My wife and I have been Married 7 ½ years, and it was like most marriages in the beginning–it was tough. The story of how we met and got engaged is short and fast.
We met at the Charleston International Airport. I was a customer service agent with Continental Airlines, and Abbie was a flight attendant for Continental. I would be at the boarding gate B3 when she was commuting to and from work. She was based in Houston, Tx, but she lived in Charleston, SC.
Over time, small talk got longer when she was flying out, and I was working the gate. One night the runway lights when out and delayed the flight she was flying out on. The delay kept getting longer until it was determined that the issue was more extensive than the airport thought and her flight along with other flights were canceled. During the delay, we got to talk, and she gave me her number.
After holding onto it for about a week or so. I finally called, and we talked for about four hours. It was mostly me talking and her listening to my life story–at least twice. Somewhere in the conversation, I asked her to dinner. We had a nice dinner and then went to see a movie. Two weeks after that, we went shopping for engagement ring. The week after that, I asked her dad if I could marry her, and with his blessing, we got engaged. Nine months later we were married.
The honeymoon phase was short lived. After we had gotten married, we left Charleston, I left my job at the airport and went back to the restaurant industry. We lived with my parents in Memphis for three months while my lease on my apartment in Charleston ran out, and we found a new place in Memphis.
Abbie transferred bases before we got married and was based out of Newark Airport, and commuting was a nightmare. She looked to me for guidance, but my communication skills were lacking, and I was so consumed with stuff that I had going on. I was no help. Just months after our young marriage, it was in real trouble. We would have fights where she would leave, or go in the bedroom for long periods of time.
It got to point where her commute to work was impossible, and I wouldn’t help her make a decision about transferring back to Houston. Our marriage wasn’t getting any better. So, she left flying, a job she truly loved, she chose me. Why? That was the million dollar question. We still had issues that we worked through. Honestly, looking back, I am amazed that we made it through. I believe that there were three things that kept us married.
The first is faith. I surely don’t go to church like I should, but I know for a fact that our marriage didn’t happen alone. I know that we were put together, and we have lasted because of our faith, and the faith God has in us. The way we met, got engaged, and got married isn’t normal, and us still being together I feel is defying the odds.
The second is our parents. My parents at that time had been married for 20 years, and Abbie’s parents had been married for 29 years when Abbie and I got married. Marriage isn’t all rainbows and sunshine all the time. If our parents can be married for that long, then that was hope for us. It showed me that marriage was a team sport and no matter how hard life got you were never alone.
The third is our finances. During our honeymoon, Abbie and I took Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. It was very eye-opening and gave us tools to help with our finances. We both brought debt into the marriage but taking this class helped us get on a plan. This class also helped us open the lines of communication about our money and finances. We had fights about a lot of things, but money was never one of them.
We have been married now for almost eight years; We have moved ten times, lived in three different states, and have had three kids. Our marriage is much stronger than it was in the beginning. We still have ups and downs but because of the strength and the longevity of our parents marriage, our faith, and being on the same page with our finances. We have grown closer together, and our marriage has gotten stronger.
Photo: Flickr/ Nathan Congleton