The Ugly Truth About How I Met My Man (+ 10 keys to a happy love life)

by Amy on February 11, 2015

love

I slept with my husband the day I met him. I was 18 years old. It was my first week of college.

The next morning I tried to make conversation but he made his escape quickly. (He says it was because he had bad breath.)

I figured I was used goods. Everyone knows that sleeping with seniors (your first week of school) is a very (very very very very) bad idea.

But then he sent a messenger down to my dorm room to invite me on a date.  Our first date! (Chinese food.)

When I opened the fortune cookie it said, “Stop searching forever. Happiness is right next to you.”

I took it as a good sign.

The next time I hung out with him I got drunk. Supremely drunk. So drunk, in fact, that I ended up spending the entire night on the bathroom floor.

There I was straddling the toilet in the women’s dorm bathroom, my head lay on the lid. Each time I tried to lift it, I’d puke, burp or fart.

It must have been quite a sight to those unassuming gals visiting the bathroom in the middle of the night…

As I straddled the toilet, Ron sat behind me holding my hair each time I’d lurch.

There we were, the two of us spooning the toilet on the bathroom floor, wrapped up in a big ole blanket like a burrito.

Six months later we were engaged.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got two girls of my own now. I get that I was without question a mother’s worst nightmare.

Clearly Emily Post would not have approved either. But here’s what I’d tell the queen of modern day social conduct:

Manners are highly over-rated when it comes to love.

Be yourself.

Yeah I gave my future husband a lot of outs. Within a week of knowing me, he had seen (heard, smelled) it all.

But he stuck with me.

Today is our 20 year wedding anniversary.

Instead of writing what I thought I was going to write (the 10 keys to a happy love life), I want to say this:

Stop worrying about what you’re going to say…

Figure out how you like your eggs…

And if you want to do the nasty, do the nasty. If you don’t, don’t.

Never try to be someone you’re not. Let that person have it — YOU in all your glory. If he stays, you know it’s because he really does loves YOU.

If he doesn’t, well…

Don’t let the door hit you in the ass… as they say.

In honor of our 20th,  I asked Ron to write some advice about love from his perspective. And he did. For me. And for you. (See how great he is?)

10 Keys to a Happy Love Life by Ron Albano

  1. Remember to look at your partner and see those same things that caused the spark in the first place.
  2. When under daily pressure, remember that you and your partner are doing the best you can.
  3. Forgive quickly. Holding a grudge is a waste of time.
  4. Discuss your life vision together and work together to make each other’s dreams come true.
  5. Value each other’s individual dreams. Let your partner be themselves and not what you want them to be.
  6. Make time to be together alone (without kids, friends and family).
  7. Continue to grow and better your relationship. Even when you feel like you’re too busy.
  8. Let go. Be generous and spontaneous as you were when you first met. Long relationships can get too practical.
  9. Keep some mystery. Respect the dignity in your relationship.
  10. Don’t take things so seriously. You have each other. That’s what matters.

Now it’s your turn. What do you think is key to a happy love life! Post a comment below!

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Sean Carroll July 24, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Beautiful post. My opening line to my wife in college was “So…I heard you like to have sex” So Amy, apparently we are more and more similar every day.. 😉 16 years later, she is still with me!

The key for me is to just have the courage to talk and say what’s on my mind in a loving way. The more we talk, the stronger the relationship gets. When I try to shut down to protect my pride, it makes it so much harder. Happy Anniversary!!!

Sean

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Amy August 7, 2013 at 11:31 pm

LOL Sean. You are my lost twin brother. Thank you for sharing your tip. Courage to say it out loud is everything I think. So excited to be in your bootcamp!

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Alexis Robin July 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm

When you start to get angry or annoyed about a behavior you don’t like, list 10 things that he or she does that you do like.
When you start to feel like life might be easier without them, take a few minutes to imagine that life without him (not like he moved down the street, like he doesn’t exist anymore). If you are truly in love, this is very powerful, and if you are ready for a divorce, then I guess its powerful too.

Research shows that we over estimate the amount we contribute and under estimate the amount others contribute. So keep that in mind when you’re thinking about “how much you do”.

Send love letters, send text messages that tell him/her how grateful you are to have them as a partner

Have fun together. To your husband’s point, relationships get so practical. Especially with kids.

And lastly, if you ever hear yourself saying, “We can focus on us after the kids are out of the house”, stop what you are doing and plan a vacation for the two of you alone immediately, or find a coach, therapist, or a good bottle of whiskey because that’s just bullshit. 🙂 Happy Anniversary. You guys are awesome.

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Amy August 7, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Wow! Good stuff Alexis. I love the one about imagining them not there. I have actually had the experience of traveling alone for a month while I was married (this was before the kids!). Twice. The second time I became crystal clear that I needed him in my life.

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Katie July 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Great post! Wonderful advice. Congrats on your anniversary and have a great time at your workshop and on your lovey retreat! 🙂

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Amy August 7, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Thank you Katie!!

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Kristen July 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I think you hit the nail on the head Amy! I always tell people that I am the most “me” when I am around my husband. The goofy, crude, no-make-up wearing, loves reality TV – me, and we have so much fun together. I couldn’t imagine having to monitor myself around the one person I spend the most time with, it would be exhausting…Thank you so much for your honesty!

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Amy August 7, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Yes how exhausting. I’m so glad I didn’t start off that way. He was the very first true member of my tribe.

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Kanesha July 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Congratulations Amy and Ron!

We just celebrated 15 years of marriage this month and I have known my husband since 1993. He knew me as an assertive, semi-loud, direct talking college senior and that impressed him. I knew him as an overly quiet, got too much sleep, scientific geek freshman and that impressed me. And that was that (and, yes, I robbed the cradle a bit).

I love what Ron and you have written. Some of the things my husband and I focus on are:
-Don’t get caught up in the noise of how OTHER marriages look. Focus on your own.
-Create your own life based on what’s important to the two of you.
-Court each other, often.
-Get away from your kids (take an over-nighter) at least 3 times a year.
-Remind yourself that your in-laws helped to raise this wonderful life partner for you – especially when the in-laws are all up in your kool-aid and don’t know the flavor.

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Amy August 7, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Woo hoo to cradle robbing! OMG I laughed so hard at the last one. Great advice and a new phrase I’m going to steal esp when people are all up in my kool-aid and they don’t know the flavor. Thank you so much for sharing your tips Kanesha!

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marilyn bamford July 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm

When I was actively working as a marriage and family therapist, I would always take a history of a couples’ up to that time life together. The first question would be.” And how did you two meet?”. If the two of them laughed and twinkled when they told that story I knew , chances were, all would work out for them.

Stories of meeting always amaze me , as does my own with my husband of nearly 48 years. We saw each other during three short periods before we were engaged, and the then a summer of perhaps three months before we married. The rest of our “courtship” consisted of letters and phone calls. (Our children were rather appalled when they found this out as college students!)

Others’ advice so far has been excellent. The only thing I would add is to either have date nights or plan something special for yourselves after the kids have gone to bed, so you actually have the time to enjoy one another. Remember that lovely spark that attracted you in the first place. Your relationship’s good health is the best gift you can give your children. And don’t be afraid to go to a good marriage and family therapist or a weekend couples’ retreat like those that are offered at Esalen, a Big Sur center.

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Amy August 7, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Thank you Marilyn! I have heard that about those “how did you meet” stories! So interesting. Love your advice. I definitely need to be better about date night. And we have never tried a couples retreat. Yet.

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Laine July 25, 2013 at 5:22 pm

I loved this story! The 10 keys to a happy love life from your husband are just perfect! Trust is the most important thing in a relationship…like the trust that they will accept you for being yourself, trust that they will support you through all life’s ups and downs, and trust that when they say they’re sorry, they mean it!

Happy Anniversary! Here’s to another 20!

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Amy August 7, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Thank you Laine. My husband is a pretty smart guy. And I agree with you about trust. The trust that your person accepts you for you is everything. xoxo

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Pastor Marilyn Fenderson July 26, 2013 at 4:38 am

I love your brazen honesty…it is exactly what couples need to hear…I also have a marriage site that I created to strengthen marriges through the word of God. I hope you will take a look at it and sign my guest book. God Bless

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Amy August 7, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Hey Marilyn! I will definitely check it out! Thank you for your post and for approving of my brazen honestly. It’s true, I still LOVE approval. xxoo

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Alejandra February 11, 2015 at 10:07 pm

What a great post! I loved reading it. I’ve been married for just under two years and I love reading about and learning from long-lasting marriages.

I also met my husband my first semester in college, but our similarities end there. We worked in the same office for a semester and I declined his invitation for a date, so we became friend and that’s all we were until 6 years later.

Congratulations on your anniversary!

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Laura Miller Soderberg February 12, 2015 at 1:46 pm

1. King size bed.
2. Never eat the last cookie.
3. Keep your own interests, friends and social engagements. Independence is sexy as hell.
4. Accept your own shortcomings and applaud your partner for filling in those gaps (They do, you know. You wouldn’t have married them if they didn’t).
5. Be bold in the bedroom. Ask for what you want, try new things. This is where you build the bond that transcends the bedroom. Look around you. The couples that sneak a kiss in public are the one’s rocking the bedroom.
6. Never begrudge a nap.

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Laura Miller Soderberg February 12, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Oh, 15 years this past February 10th. Forgot to add that part.

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Sara K Cothren February 12, 2015 at 6:09 pm

Amy,
Happy Anniversary! This message from you feels like a door has been thrown open in my heart to let the light in. Since your Be Brazen course, I have grown from a sad, betrayed princess into a queen. AND here’s why this message is so timely…on Valentine’s Day, I am going on a first date with a man I don’t want to hide from. In only 2 phone calls and 2 video chats in 2 weeks (he lives 2 hours away)…it is exciting and scarily obvious we are already falling for each other. I had been debating whether to give him my full story about “being one breath from death” a little over a year ago (still healing)…but now, thanks to your story, I know I need to tell him and let the chips fall where they may. Wish me love! And lots of love to you and Ron for being great role models,
Sara

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Virginia February 12, 2015 at 8:02 pm

Tom and I met in 1968, he went into the Navy, I married someone else for a brief time, we lived together for 2 years before marrying in 1975 (to buy a house!). Never have I regretted our choice, as different as we are. I was so lucky – both of our extended families accepted the other one completely. We both say that when it’s time to go – please let it be together.

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Peggy February 12, 2015 at 11:12 pm

Married 34 years. Through addiction, and through with it, through love and loving it. There are no rules but yours. Other relationships don’t matter. Just yours. It doesn’t matter what Dr Phil says. It only matters what the two of you say. It’s US. No one else lives OUR lives. Whatever works works. I suppose the only real rule is respect everyone else and their lives too. Go for it. You live once.

As we grow older together, we always say we hope we leave this world together because neither of us wants to be left behind without the other. We love being ourselves with each other. No bullshit with each other and when it comes down to it, we call each other on it, and it’s all worth it. We grow from it. Please give it your all.
Life is short. Happy Anniversary, Amy!

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Bryan February 14, 2018 at 4:42 pm

ah, this confessional-post is a good example of how men can benefit from Live Brazen as well. This was a great read, and a wonderful reminder.

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Colleen February 14, 2018 at 7:33 pm

WOW! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story! Happy Anniversary, Amy.

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Lisa February 15, 2019 at 4:38 am

Amy , love your honesty! And Ron, love your advice- right on!

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