Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 23, 2008
Our Marriage is Great
Couple grew from terror to working as a team
By KELLY DUSSAULT
My wife Barbara and I started dating in Grade 11. As with most teenage relationships we spent tons of time together talking and getting to know each other. It was less than a year into our relationship that we learned that Barbara was pregnant.
We were terrified! Barbara moved away to live with her aunt until the child was born. With us being apart, our relationship drifted.
It wasn't long before the fear of being a teenage father influenced me to run from Barbara and all the adult responsibilities.
Barbara was devastated and I cried on more than one occasion as I knew I had hurt a dear friend who I loved very much. I still had to be in contact with Barbara as decisions around what to do with the soon-to-be child loomed.
In February 1984 Barbara gave birth to a baby girl named Elizabeth. After a couple of days in hospital Barbara made the choice to keep her.
I felt that I needed to be at least a small part of Elizabeth's life. For the next couple of years I would babysit or visit Elizabeth. Of course, I had to be in contact with Barbara and even though we both dated others during this period we still loved the soul of the other.
Even though I had hurt Barbara, we started to date again. Shortly after Elizabeth's third birthday, I moved in with Barbara and Elizabeth.
At this time I think we both expected everything to go great since we loved each other. We soon found out that even though many of our principles were the same, our execution of them was very different.
Many arguments ensued. Barbara has a strong personality and at the time expressed it with a fiery temper. I was docile and retreated from many conflicts into solitude.
Often in the heat of a fight one of us spoke the words "We should break-up." Through all of this we knew how much we loved each other, but "stuff" just seemed to get in the way.
Barbara's desire to be a good couple/family drove her to research ideas on how to communicate and be in a better relationship. Always during this time, our faith in God inspired us to be a better couple.
Made the commitment
Soon, through a lot of hard work and time, the solution to the problems came easier. We chose to make the commitment to marry.
On the day we married we knew we could no longer speak the words "We should break-up." We made the commitment to remove those words from our vocabulary.
We knew that although we may have disagreements, we were a team and we would work together to solve those problems. After all, if you own a company and have a problem, you work with the other employees to solve it - you don't dissolve the company.
That attitude helped to solidify our relationship.
We had a second child, Alexander in 1992 and our journey has only improved as the years have passed. We never realized that we could love each other more as the years passed. But we have.
We have loved sharing the journey with young couples as we teach marriage preparation at our parish and at the Family Enrichment Centre.
After 26 years together, we are now at a place where our children are leaving home and we are looking forward to sharing our journey without the responsibilities of young children.