Our Fairy Tale

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So you want to know more about us, do you? 

Chapter One

Well, our story begins way back in April of 2008 when Brandon and I first met. We were both living  in College Station, Texas going to school at Texas A&M. I was dating someone else when we met. Doesn't it always seem to work out that way? Nothing's ever easy. It was a relationship that had it's fair share of ups and downs. We were both good people and genuinely loved each other, but I don't think that was ever enough.  

We dated for three years, owned a dog together, and minus our leasing agreements, practically lived together. We fought quite a bit. I would end up in tears after every fight. Always feeling defeated. My ex really knew how to manipulate a situation -- a real smoother.

In the middle of a fight, where I was clearly in the right, he always turned it around and made me look like the bad guy. I felt powerless. So many nights ended in tears where I considered breaking up with him. But he'd always waltz back in, put on his charm, and apologize. He'd say he never wanted to fight again, and he would never do anything to intentionally hurt me.

I loved him, so I believe that. But two days later we'd be back to fighting about the same things. And didn't get better.

He was, simply put, toxic. And I hated it. 

If your instincts say leave and your heart says stay, which do you listen to? It can be an all-out raging war if your heart and instincts aren't in sync. I've tried to rationalize it, think of following my heart as following my emotional response, and following my instincts as letting womanly intuition tug me in one direction. But that doesn't make it much easier to grapple with, because sometimes your gut instinct is far more dominant and usually correct in retrospect, though, we choose to ignore it for reasons only our heart knows. I've ignored my instincts too many times to count, especially in my dating experiences.

Later in the relationship, rumors started surfacing in our circle of friends about him and other girls. Details were always left out, but things slowly started to come into focus for me: later-than-usual nights working, unanswered phone calls, phone calls and texts from other women. Something was wrong, but as ridiculous as it seems, I wouldn't believe it. It's too awful to be true, I thought. He wouldn't do that to me. He couldn't. My heart was too tangled up in the relationship, so I shut out that tiny whisper of truth from deep inside my gut.


I stayed.

Oh, I threatened to leave him—in fits of anger. But I always came to the same conclusion: I was being rash. My heart really wanted me to believe that. So, I second guessed myself. There was something about the way he said he needed me, that he couldn't live without me, that brought me right back to him. Stuck. Deep down, I knew I was settling if I stayed with him, which went against everything I believe about love. But I was comfortable. It didn't matter if I was happy or not, there was safety in having someone, no matter what he'd done. I was scared of being single. 


I am an emotional girl, so naturally I followed my heart and ignored my instincts. I stayed because it was easy, because it would have been another failed relationship. 

I thought if I prayed hard enough, everything would be OK. God would get me through it, keep me in that state of comfort. But God speaks through your gut, that buried instinct He gave you. We nearly-always ignore it, but never seems to fail us when we take a moment to listen. My instinct knew it was game over. It was a slow, subtle feeling of uneasiness, but pretty soon it overcame me enough to hear it. And when it did, it all snapped into place. My heart's call was strong and loud, but my instinct's voice was clear and unavoidable.

I drew the line between my heart and my instincts; my line, the one I was willing to live with. I ended things completely with my ex.

During those three years, I learned all about what a real relationship isn't. A real relationship isn't making the other person feel inferior so you feel powerful. It isn't yelling to get your point across. And it definitely isn't selfishness or self-centeredness.

Sorry for rambling, but I feel it's important to know where I was before Brandon. 

Looking back things are always clearer, but that's the beauty of hindsight. You never see the bigger picture in the midst your battles, and maybe that's the way God intends for it to be.  Maybe that's how God chooses to help us learn and grow, distinguish between our heart and our gut, teach us what we need in a relationship. Maybe that's how our pain, whether spiritual, emotional, mental, or physical, is healed by God's unconditional love.


Chapter Two 

When I met my Brandon, I had a new approach to love and dating. I drew that line ahead of time. I wasn't going to allow my heart to control this relationship too quickly. I told myself I wasn't going to get attached and fall for this guy right away. I wanted to find out exactly who he was before I made any big decisions. I wanted to find out if he was a Christian and believed as I do.

I made the effort that was needed to create a healthy friendship, and then that friendship blossomed into a wonderful relationship. My faith grew, and ours together. I found out what genuine love is from my husband. He helped me see that God is love, and we can never know true love apart from Him. One of our favorite verses is from 1 John: "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." (4:12, NIV). As my faith grew, and as my love for my future husband grew, I knew that warm, tingly feeling I felt inside was the real deal.


Today, I can't believe I even considered marrying my ex, because it never would have worked out. I know now that marriage is hard. Period. It can sometimes get boring and lose its feeling of specialness. You have to fight through those spells with your partner and not allow emotions to instantly blind you. If I had married my ex, the marriage would have eventually collapsed. Our differences would have created more work than we would have been able to invest, and the d-word would have been lurking around every corner.

So back to April in College Station, Brandon was meeting my ex and I at the dog park to give us money for Chilifest. Of course, I introduced myself, said hello and may or may not have checked him out. But what I couldn't take my eyes off was his dog in the back of his truck. He had the most beautiful golden retriever who rode on the toolbox. She stayed and didn't even budge when she saw the other dogs. He left shortly after giving us the money, but I couldn't stop thinking about him and his beautiful dog.


One month later I started waiting tables at a local Mexican food restaurant, and you'll never guess who was working there. Well, if you said Brandon then you're just so darn smart. Yes, Brandon waited tables, and he was actually really good at it. 

We worked together quit a bit during that summer and on into that fall semester. We became quick friends, and if I ever had a problem with my relationship and needed advice, he was my go-to guy. I called him multiple times after some awful fights with my ex, and somehow he always came to my rescue.  

After finally breaking things off with my ex, a group of us were in traveling to Austin, Texas to celebrate our friend's birthday. Brandon and I swapped numbers before the road trip and texted the whole drive there and the whole drive back. Those first time jitters and butterflies were so overwhelming. It was so new, so exciting, and so fun to be happy again with someone in a new relationship.  

The fall semester finished up great and soon came my 21st birthday in December. All of my friends showed up at a local bar in College Station to celebrate. He was so great that night. I had a little too much to drink, but he was there to take care of me. Such a gentleman. Kinda gets a little hazy looking back. I vaguely remember singing karaoke...

We decided to make our relationship official December 14, 2008. After being apart over the Christmas break and with the start of a new semester in January, we spent so much time together it almost became unhealthy. Things were moving quite fast. But I kept telling myself I wasn't going to get too attached and right away. I knew I was starting to fall for him, and I new the minute I said I love you it'd be all over after that. 

But the love was real, and we were so happy. I said "I love you" a few weeks later. And he said it back. Complete bliss. Am I making you sick yet?! 


Chapter Three

A year later from our initial meeting, Chilifest was back around in May of 2009. This time we were together as a couple. We had so much fun with all of our friends cooking bbq, drinking, playing games and jamming out to Texas country bands.

Then a few weeks later I took him to his first family reunion to meet my mom's side of family. I had no idea what to expect from him or my family. I knew I loved him and that was enough for me. Looking back now, I don't know what I was worried about. He fit in so well. Everyone loved him! We spent time with cousins I had not seen in years.

Summer came and went so fast. 

We had gone to a three mutual friends' weddings that summer, and inadvertently started talking about our future together. Could we really see ourselves with each other forever? We talked about how we were raised. Did we want kids? How would we raise them?  

Not too long after Brandon took me to look at engagement rings. He said pick one. I felt like a kid in a candy store. I wanted them all. Four hours and three stores later I finally settled on one that was perfectly me.  

Ring day in Aggieland came around in September. I was getting my Aggie ring, a time honored tradition at Texas A&M, on September 18, 2009, and Brandon had completely surprised everyone by placing the engagement ringinside the ring box ahead of time. What a romantic! ;)

And before I knew it, Brandon took the box and got down on one knee. "Alisha, I love you, and in front of everyone I want to show you how much I love you. Will you marry me?"


I can't tell you how much I cried before I could put any words together. Finally, I answered a muffled yes into Brandon's chest. My parents were thrilled! They always had a special place for Brandon in their hearts. Everyone else in the room cheered! 

I guess you could say that fall semester started off with a bang!!

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Chapter Four

Coming soon...

...And they will live happily ever after!

2 comments:

  1. Your story is so similar to mine. I had 3 unhealthy years with my ex boyfriend and towards the end, my future husband came and saved me too :)

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  2. Hi Alisha my name is Emily! I just came across your blog through Erin at Living in Yellow and was so surprised to find out that you're an Aggie too! My husband is class of '10 and I'm class of '11. Small world! I'm new to this whole blogging thing but I just wanted to drop in and say hi. I blog over at http://justthestewofus.blogspot.com/. Anyway, your love story is so relatable and of course has such a good ending! Loved reading it :)

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