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“On our first date, we laid it all on the table — we talked about what we’d been through, what we were working through, and how we were doing that. A few weeks later, he did something that triggered me. It took everything in me not to revert to my old behaviors, but I did let him know it upset me. After he was done with his previous engagement, he shot me a message, picked me up at midnight, and we grabbed a coffee and drove around talking about it. He told me that my PTSD from previous abuse in relationships did not mean that I was not worthy of love or a healthy relationship and that it didn’t change how he felt about me. I pretty much knew then.”

“A few weeks after that, my stepfather had an aneurysm and died. He got out of bed after working a 12-hour night shift, drove with me and my kids the three hours to my mother’s, stayed with the kids while she and I were at the hospital, then drove the kids home a couple of days later while I stayed with my mother to make funeral arrangements. 

The whole time, I’m sobbing because I lost a man I considered my father and he was so helpful, compassionate, and available. I told him I was going to marry him. He laughed and said, ‘Aren’t you supposed to ask?’ I told him it wasn’t a question. We were engaged six months into our relationship and it has been the most emotionally stable, rewarding, and the best thing I have ever done. The third time’s a charm, I suppose!”



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