When I took the vows for better or worse, I meant them. Then I started to wonder if there was a limit as to how much worse I was supposed to endure.
Am I supposed to stay if worse means that me and my daughter are in danger? What if the worse was because of a mental illness? When is enough simply too much?
This is a different kind of love story. Read Nina’s journals for a tale of hope, strength of spirit, and unconditional love.
I remember when I met Shane. He was several years younger than I was, but he seemed much more together, and so much more mature than my almost ex-husband. Here was a man who had a career. Shane had been in the same field for ten years, employed by the same company that entire time. He owned his home and drove a nice new truck. As a neighbor, I had watched him maintain his lawn, service his vehicle, do all those things that men were supposed to do. Even the interior of the residence was neat, despite having two really lazy roommates.
We dated for a while growing closer and closer. Finally, he made some admissions that touched my cold, brittle heart…
Shane: No one knows me as well as you do. No one has ever been allowed to get this close.
It was such an honor, and soon I was so crazy in love that I knew...I knewnothing could tear us apart. For a while, it seemed that we were destined to be together, forever. He made me feel safe and loved. Every moment spent together was incredibly special. That’s why I vividly recall one night when we were alone in the house and Shane was walking around without a shirt on. He loved showing off his muscular physique. Honestly, I loved seeing it, loved touching his bare skin. In that moment, he leaned his back against the counter and faced me. Without thinking, I walked into his open arms, inhaled his scent to imprint it upon my soul, and kissed the broken heart tribal tattoo on his chest.
Shane: Are you trying to heal my broken heart?
Shaking my head, I responded.
me: Nope. Just loving you.
Shane: Good. It can’t be fixed.
He looked down and instead of wrapping me up in those muscular arms and pulling me closer to his washboard abs and ample pecs, he stiffened and stood straight.
Shane: Sometimes, I think you are only attracted to me because you want to fix me.
His demeanor had me tensing up. Somehow, I knew what I said next was going to be really important. Shaking my head, I found the words I sought.
me: Baby, until I got to know you, I didn’t even know you were broken.
That softened him. My words worked. They were magic. He admired my ability to communicate, to speak eloquently, and to make an impact through simple speech. Words did not come easily for him.
He held me close. Bending his head, his chin in my hair, he finally spoke what was clearly bothering him.
Shane: You make me want to be a better man, but I don’t want to change. What are we going to do about that?
With my chin on his chest, staring up into his pained eyes, I told him the truth. There was only one way I knew to make this work.
me: I’m going to love you through it. No matter what, I promise I’ll love you the best I can with all that I am.
I meant it, too.
Must be he liked my response because within seconds, his lips closed the distance to mine. That kiss. That love.
That was five years ago.
Her journey of elf-discovery and recovery has barely begun and she faces it with her head held high, her shoulders back, a smile on her face, and hope in her heart. Every day of her life seems to bring new adventures, some bigger, better, shinier and prettier than others.
In May, Nicki started the blog Stories and Swag to promote authors. Several months later, she started Stories and Swag Tours, a blog tour company offering cover reveals, release blitzes, release parties on Facebook, and blog tours. In addition, she started Dominatrix Publishing, a boutique publishing company, to help other authors achieve publishing success.
Her writing can also be found on Shine, where she is a Shine Parenting Guru and an award winning Yahoo! Contributor on YourWisdom as the relationship and dating expert. In addition, she has been published by McClatchy News in their syndicated papers.
Her books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, and Smashwords in ebook, paperback, and even some audiobooks.