The year was 1993, and I was a senior in high school. I passed this good looking guy in the hallway.  He had jet black hair and piercing bright blue eyes. He was kind of shy around girls and a class clown. He was wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey, number 8, for quarterback Troy Aikman. Being a huge NFL fan myself, I politely told him that my favorite quarterback, Dan Marino, had thousands more passing yards than Troy Aikman. He smiled at me and said “hello” — my heart was hooked by that smile.

We began dating a few weeks later. Now, after more than 25 years together we are a happily-married couple — and my heart still melts at that smile.

What I Learned During Our 25 Years

How did we get to this point? My husband had no relationship experience at all. I was the second person he ever dated. He never had sex with anyone; he also didn’t drink or smoke or do drugs. I, on the other hand, had plenty of experience, at just 17 years old. I was pretty love-starved as a teenager; I thought sleeping with every boyfriend was how you kept a guy interested. I would prove that theory wrong over and over again, but would always think next time would be different. I even had an abortion two years before we met. My husband was different than any other guy I had dated. He didn’t pressure me for sex. We dated for months before we ever even kissed. I was honest with him from the start about my past relationships. We took it slow and became good friends first.

We had some rough times the first few years of our marriage. I didn’t fully understand how much my past sexual experience affected me. I naively thought that what was in the past stayed in the past; why bring it up and talk about it? It is done and gone, right? Wrong! Two words changed my perspective: soul ties.  There are connections (or “soul ties”) that happen between two people who have been intimate with each other. What helped me the most in dealing with my soul ties was writing down every sexual partner I had in my life on a piece of paper and then burning it, through this process, I experienced great healing and forgiveness toward myself.

I love that my husband and I have been able to grow and learn together. We have learned so much from each other. Even after 25 years we are still learning and growing. The most important part of any relationship is communication. I encourage you to have those tough conversations with each other. Ask the hard questions. Don’t be embarrassed to ask and don’t assume your partner understands the way you are feeling.

Tips for Your Healthy Relationship

Some questions to ask yourself if you are thinking about starting a relationship or getting married:

  1. Can you live with his faults?
  2. Are you trying to change him? What if he doesn’t change?
  3. Have you discussed your needs, what you want and need in a partner?
  4. Have you considered counseling? This is usually very beneficial prior to marriage.
  5. Have you talked about parenting?
  6. Are you getting married for the right reason?
  7. Do you know what to look for in a partner?
  8. Is there any secrets in this relationship?
  9. Are there things in your past you have not healed from or dealt with?

Here is a list of resources you might find helpful:

  • Feminine Genius: A six-session program at True Care designed to help you understand who you are as a woman (including your hopes and dreams, fertility cycle and sexual health); the program also looks at how to develop healthy relationships for your future. If interested, contact Rebecca, RNBSN, CLC, SRAS at 307-472-2810 ext. 12.
  • Abortion Recovery: Have you or someone you know had an abortion? Do you experience feelings of anger, guilt, or depression and wonder if there might be a connection? You are not alone. I traveled the healing journey after my abortion and I know the difference such a program can make in one’s life. There is a program in Casper; If interested, contact Judy Ellis 307-251-5644.
  • Healthy relationship tips can be found here: