Do you know what I realized, we’ve been doing this one year now! Wow! And we have the nicest readers, and people who share so many great dates and happy stories with us- it truly makes those days when you know you should do dishes but blog instead really worth it!
Do you know what else I realized? We don’t really say that much about ourselves. I’m sure if you've read some posts you've pick that Jacob is an Engineer, and I’m an English teacher hoping to bust into the world of business whenever the economy rebounds and someone offers. But I have to admit, sometimes I feel like there is a story to us that I’m always afraid to put out there in the blogosphere. Tonight I ran across an amazing blog, with amazing tips everyone married should read: http://www.ablogaboutlove.com/2011/10/best-tips-i-can-give-you-for-really.html
I was so touched to hear they both have been married, divorced, and have found happiness in remarried life in ways they never knew. And I started to cry thinking how inspirational their stories are. And then the guilt set in, and I realized maybe it’s time I quit hiding behind my past pains and share my story and why the world loves Jacob Whiting. And also why at this time when we celebrate our first anniversary I keep welling up in grateful tears, and why he is the key ingredient to why we are such a happily married couple!
Why I Love Jacob Whiting With All My Heart
When I was 22 I was married in the most beautiful building in San Diego to a young man I met in college during my senior year student teaching. To say he was always awful would be a lie. He was so romantic, kind, and had so much potential to be anything he wanted. I thought myself lucky to be with someone who was a great communicator and who always served and looked out for me. That was the beginning, and sadly I watched him evolve through choices he made. After a few months of marriage I noticed some things change. He started raising his voice at me when he didn’t like what I said or did. He made some really mean comments from time to time, and I noticed we weren’t dating or having an intimate relationship. Despite some issues, I knew we were young and I believed 100% in marriage and that any two committed people can make things work! When I found out he had a serious addiction to pornography, I stood by him and tried to help him even though my heart was broken and I realized the reasons for no intimacy in marriage. When I found out he’d been lying about going to school, withdrawing, and pocketing the money I worked overtime tutoring and teaching extra classes to earn, I forgave him, and decided to support other goals and professions. I came home to find him with a gun in hand, and after that moment I became afraid for my own life. When I had my first inkling that he was out late with other women, I told him if that were the case we could go to therapy and I would be willing to work things out in the name of an eternal marriage. I know to many people this seems crazy, but I am actually very proud of myself for sticking by someone who did so much to damage me. I really am a committer- and I really will do anything to save a marriage!
What I should not have stayed for is the abuse I experienced. The emotional and mental abuse grew slowly but surely. I could hardly see my self confidence being replaced by so many abusive messages and so much isolation. The sexual abuse was never okay, even in the name of trying to make a marriage work. The negative comments are never okay- even if it seems like they are “kidding” or trying to tell you that you caused it or deserved it. No one should have to know those experiences. I am so angry at my early 20-something self for letting those happen so much- more than once was too much. And the first time I was pushed I should have followed the prompting to head to my brother’s house and leave. Fortunately this only happened 2 more times- but 3 times too many.
I will never forget the night I went to have dinner with my parents while my husband “studied.” My father, a loving and trusting man, who was friends with my ex, told me he felt that there was an affair and my husband was cheating on me each night out late with other girls. In my heart I knew this was true, but never really allowed my brain to go there. I was in denial, but even denial can’t shut the thoughts that my family and friends who had no idea what I was going through were voicing in concern in loving manners.
One fateful night he returned home very late, and I confronted the issue after having called police and hospitals looking for him. When I asked, he pushed me, locked me out of the room, and the next morning packed up and left without any explanation. I cried for a literal 48 hours straight completely devastated and confused what was happening. It didn’t take long for strong spiritual promptings to come that lead me to feel I was going to face my biggest fear, getting divorced.
It was amazing the tender mercies of God that came to my life. First of all, he abandoned me, and I know deep down I never had the strength to leave. I was free from fear and abuse. I also had the girl he was having an affair with in the last few months before abandonment contact me and give me all the details, seeking answers for herself as he never disclosed he was married at this time to her. I felt blessed to have some closure, some never experience that. Others reached out to me asking if I was indeed married to him at certain times. I also learned the pornography addiction was far worse than I had ever known, and it had truly changed him from the person I knew at our wedding.
I felt broken, used, and like no one would ever love me again. I decided to go with plan B in life- get an advanced degree, make more money, work all the time, and find happiness in my ability to buy some really killer shoes! I was lucky that after only 3 months of studying and my decision, I was admitted to a great business school. I had given dating a chance, but it had proved a negative experience and I put myself on a "dating sabbatical" while I took the GMAT, refusing to date at all. One night I had the strongest spiritual prompting telling me my sabbatical was over when I prayed about where to go to school. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but I decided if an easy opportunity arose, I would try. A text message arrived minutes later informing me of a dance and speed dating activity, followed by a friend asking me to go.
That fateful night I was the 3rd wheel to my friend and a boy with a big crush on her when out of the blue a tall, thin, bright-eyed man with the cutest smile I had ever seen came up and replied with a witty comment to a joke I had cracked to my friend. When I turned around I was shocked to see this normal man with such a sense of humor. Did funny, cute, witty men exit? Indeed! We talked all night and laughed and laughed at one another. I can honestly say I have never felt more myself or comfortable around anyone in my entire life. It wasn’t love at first sight, but it was respect and admiration for new friend at first conversation for sure! When I told my best friend about it she replied, “Is he cute?” I said, “Well, yeah, I guess he is. I think he’s more of a friend I really want to hang out with.” She said, “Well Camille, those are the type of boys you end up marrying!” We laugh to this day she said that about the boy I would indeed marry.
I could not believe this boy the more I got to know him. He is kind to EVERYONE! He loves and serves all he meets. There is not a judgmental bone in his body! He works hard, he saved and became a home owner 4 months after he graduated from college. And he was so spiritual and pure in a way I didn’t believe men could be after all my life experiences.
It took 7 months of friendship for us to finally start dating. It took us 5 to even go on a date. But we both grew in respect and admiration for the other person, even though there was definitely some competition!
Perhaps the best reason to love Jacob Whiting can be summed up the night he asked me to exclusively date him. It was late, after a class I got out of at 10:00 p.m. but he was persistent and really wanted to get frozen yogurt together. I expected him to freak out about the hand holding for the first time the night before. It was quite the opposite.
He formally asked me, saying, “Speaking of dating, I was wondering if you want to date me?” It was pretty cute in his awkward engineer way, we weren't speaking about dating. But I had never mentioned that I was regularly seeing a therapist discussing ways to cope with night terrors I was having reliving abuse and one traumatic night in particular. And I knew he needed to know that I wasn’t sure if I believed in marriage anymore, and I had a lot of issues that weren’t fair for him to deal with. He now refers to this as “the 2 hours you tried to convince me not to date you.” It’s kind of true, I felt he deserved someone that wouldn’t come with such a broken heart and a lot of emotional pain/trust issues. I burst out crying and told him more than I had told anyone aside from my parents, best friend, and therapist. He just sat and listened and put his arm around me and rubbed my back. When I was done and told him “That’s why you probably don’t want to do this.” Jacob smiled and said to me, “Camille, you didn’t answer my question, do you want to date me?” He has always loved and accepted me, even when I was broken, which he never viewed me as being. It was his way of saying “Okay yeah that’s awful, let’s talk about us being us!”
And that started a year of amazing memories, a boy who picked up the pieces of a broken heart, and taught an abuse victim what love really is. He has never cared about any of my baggage and has always supported and loved me unconditionally. He encourages me to take every phone call I receive from both strangers and friends sharing stories of pain, abuse, addiction, abandonment, and divorce. He stood by me when I was asked to speak on how religion and education coincide with the ASU University President in front of thousands of people, and spoke of the horror story I lived and how my religion and my education were the very things that saved me.
Anyone who has ever met Jacob lets me know that I am the luckiest girl in the entire world. Believe me, no one knows this more than I! I say a prayer of thanks every day that he found me, and that he loves me, and that I get to have him for eternity. When I really stop to think of how great he is I always well up in tears. He is better than anything I could have hoped for in my greatest prayers and wildest hopes and dreams! One day I found the list I made of important qualities I wanted in a future spouse I had drafted as a teenager, which I thought I "threw out" thinking no one would have all these 50 things and it’s unrealistic, I was dating Jacob, and we had just started discussing marriage. I broke down in tears that night when I realized that this boy had every single check mark (even the shallow teenage things) on my list. And I could add several really awesome qualities I missed on the list! The night I asked him if he was thinking of anything long term, and should I be interviewing for jobs out of state he remarked, "Phew, I've been ready to talk about marriage for a long time. But I didn't want to freak you out or push you, so have been patiently waiting for the time when you were ready, and would bring it up." He just waited, loved me, and supported me to heal and to truly love him and decide I believe in love and marriage again. And oh boy do I ever! I would go through everything I went through again to be worthy of a man like Jacob Whiting.
So if you didn’t already love this smiley, tall, thin man before, I hope you will! Because he is the reason that every woman should believe in love (even the abuse victims who feel shattered) and that marriage is the greatest thing that can ever happen- it can and it does because men like him exist in this world!