My husband and I met in late October or early November 2003. We were both dating other people at the time, and he was getting ready to leave for basic training. I honestly didn't give him another thought for several months. At this point we weren't even really friends after all.
Then in August he came home from tech school and asked me to hang out with him, literally the day after my boyfriend and I broke up. I agreed to go out with Carl, just to get out of my house. We ended up going out three times that week. I still didn't think it would develop into anything. I had just gotten out of a relationship that was long distance most of the time. But my husband was persistent, and called me frequently after getting to North Dakota. Within a month of our first date, we were on the phone every day, often for several hours at a time. I lived with my parents, and they had unlimited nationwide long distance on the house phone, and I used that most of the time. I still managed to burn through all my roll over minutes on my cell phone within a few months, and then all the ones on my sister's cell before we got married as well.
Carl came home for Christmas in 2004, and we met each other's families. We spent Christmas morning with my parents and siblings, and then had lunch with my extended family, before heading to his Grandma's house for a surprise appearance at their Christmas gathering (his sister was the only one in his family that he had told he was coming home). By the time he went back to North Dakota, we were engaged.
In February I visited North Dakota for the first time, on a long weekend (President's Day), and got to know the base that would be my future home. The next time we saw each other was when he came home in May for our wedding.
When we got married I was 22 and he was 20. People thought we were crazy and rushing. But we both knew that we belonged together, so why wait?
We've been married for 8 years today, and while it hasn't always been easy, we're still happy together and in love. We've both grown up a lot over the last 8 years, but we've done it together, instead of apart.
We've made it through a lot of things over these eight years, too. I immediately moved 1100 miles to my husband's first (and still current) duty station. We've been through a deployment, extensive training elsewhere, many weeks where he works so many hours that he literally goes straight to bed when he gets home, and only gets up with enough time to get ready to do it all again. We got pregnant right away with our wonderful little boy, and have dealt with secondary infertility in the years since. My husband has lot his last two living grandparents, and we've dealt with several crises in his family. We've dealt with health issues, both in ourselves and our families. We've said goodbye to pets that were family members.
But the good definitely outweighs the bad. Our only child is the best that we could have asked for. We've added pets to make our family complete, and they are wonderful as well (my Trixie was actually the first present that my husband gave me after we got married). We bought a house in 2007. I've watched my husband become a confident leader, and push himself to go above and beyond, instead of just doing what is expected. I've cheered him on as he received his CCAF (associate's degree), and started toward his bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering. He volunteers in our community, both as an EMT and a firefighter. He's a wonderful husband and a good dad. He would actually rather go to the zoo with Elliott and me, than out with his friends. He enjoys lazy weekends at home with us, or at the park, or where ever we happen to be. I couldn't ask for a better person to have in my life. I'm his biggest fan, and I thank God every day for bringing us together, even though our dating relationship was far from conventional.