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My husband was brought to me as a gift from the Universe.

You see, after ending a broken 19-year marriage, I decided that I wanted to try again. I was still young enough (40-something) to experience all the joys of a really great relationship, and it was important for me to show my four children what one looked like.

So, I started dating.

Yuck.

Dating in my 40s was a completely different experience than in my 20s. There was emotional baggage, physical distance, children, and ex-spouses. It took only two dates for me to realize that I needed to develop a strategy for finding “Mr. Right”.

For the next two years, I took a dating time-out and learned to truly love myself. I bought myself flowers every week, invited my friends over for lunches and potluck dinners, learned to meditate, and took lots of long, hot baths.

Then, I wrote “The List”.

With some guidance from Katherine Woodward Thomas (Author of “Calling in ‘The One’: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life”), I wrote down the qualities that I was looking for in a life partner.

Entrepreneur. Very athletic and fit. Spiritual. Creative. A good cook. Plays tennis, golf, and skis. Likes boating. Friendly. Self-motivated. Young at heart. Can enjoy the simple things. Loves their job.

I added the most important qualities and marked them with a star: Affectionate. Grateful. Lives in the moment. Respectful. Emotionally evolved. Capable of BIG, ENDURING LOVE.

I spent the next few months ruminating over the list. I asked myself what I would feel like if I had a man in my life that met all of those qualities. What type of person would I be with him? How would I make room for a person like him in my life? What actions would be needed to sustain a great long-term relationship with him?

When I didn’t know the answers, I looked for them. You see, I had already been divorced once, and I really didn’t want to go through it again. I searched for words of relationship wisdom through a variety of sources, including poetry, books, blogs, and art.

I was becoming an expert at relationships–and I wasn’t even in one yet.

After many weeks of researching, I was ready to try dating again. I signed on to Match.com to start, and decided that I would set up three dates for the week.

Bachelor #1 wrote a regular column in one of the local newspapers. He was very funny and energetic in the paper. When we met in person, I was very surprised that he was actually very meek. After a night at the symphony together, we shook hands and never saw each other again.

Bachelor #2 was a young doctor. He was very good looking and loved the outdoors. When we met at a fun, local restaurant, he looked tired and spent an hour telling me how depressed he was that he couldn’t find love, and thought he needed anti-depressents. I ended up giving him some therapeutic advice and never saw him again.

Bachelor #3 was an outdoors guy. I really couldn’t tell what he looked like when I set up the date because he only had a photo of him on the top of a mountain covered with ice and snow. Why I even said yes was a mystery to me–it must have been something he wrote in his profile. When he pulled up in his truck with a canoe on top, all I noticed was his big smile and fit physique. We spent the next few hours talking and talking and talking, while canoeing on a beautiful lake until sunset. The night ended with a hug.

The next day, I assessed the week and decided that Bachelor #3 was good enough for another date. We decided to have a picnic near the river.

Date #2 was very revealing. After hours of talking again, Bachelor #3 was looking like he had every quality on my “list”! He even matched some of my desires that were not on my list. For instance, I had wanted to learn to rock climb, and he was a professional rock climber. I had wanted to start waterskiing again, and he was a competitive waterskier. I had thought that I would like to live in Seattle one day, and so did he. I had decided that I wanted a deep relationship similar to the one portrayed in the movie, “The Notebook,” and he stated the identical desire without me even mentioning it.

I was shocked and surprised.

I then took a good look at him. He was shorter than I, and had a crooked nose. We grew up in very different environments and pursued completely different types of careers. He had red hair and I had blond.

He also didn’t look like my dream guy…but then, I looked at him again. Deep in his blue eyes, I could see the most loving heart I have ever seen. I touched him, and felt the most incredible loving energy radiating from him. I felt like I was connected to him right down to his soul.

I find it fascinating how words are invented. Words like LOVE come from a feeling we radiate that is physical. The word SOULMATE must have been created by someone who had the same feeling I felt that day.

Bachelor #3 and I immediately recognized the uniqueness of our connection, and embraced a mutual gratitude for our serendipity. As we spent the next few weeks uncovering layers and layers of more uncanny coincidences, it became very clear that we were brought together for a reason–to show the planet what a DEEP, ENDURING LOVE looks like.

In the many years since we’ve been together, I have experienced some of the most beautiful moments of my life. We have laughed hysterically together, cried together, worked together, and played together. To our six children, we have tried to model what good love looks like, and have sought out support for the times when our relationship skills failed us. We show each other generous amounts of respect, and give each other an abundance of affection on a daily basis.

Not a day has gone by where I haven’t thanked the Universe for bringing me Bachelor #3. On our wedding day, I could feel our love fill the room and embrace our friends and family with the most beautiful, radiating loving energy possible. I know it created a ripple effect beyond our circle, and in some small way, you may have felt it, too; maybe through a stranger’s smile, or a wild flower that survived because someone decided to skip a happy step that day.

Through our vows, we are committed to radiating our love on a daily basis for all to enjoy. It’s an almost effortless task and well worth the effort. <3

Jim and Kathleen Frati

Me and Bachelor #3, posing for our Moving Company.

Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. They say the book is like “Eat, Pray, Love meets The 5 Love Languages.” I say the book is inspiring. You can grab a copy HERE.
Q: How did you “know” you were meant to be with your husband?

 

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