We met in 2002. The course of our lives had already been set. We knew we loved each other from the moment we met. However, our relationship was filled with challenges that we were ill equipped to deal with.
My relationships with women began when I was 21 when my first child was born.. I proceeded to have six children with three other women. I would keep thinking I was making the right choice. They were not the women who were right for me. The differences between us were so great and we were horribly unskilled. Each one of these relationships created great pain for all of us.
When I met Alisha she already had a three year old and was two months pregnant with another man’s child.I knew she was the right woman for me. We have had three children together for a total of eleven children. You may wonder how we got into this mess. We wonder also. The answer comes from our families.
My parents never married. They were never with anyone for long. My mother raised eight children with seven different dads. She raised them all by herself. To have this many kids with this many men means that there were always men coming and going in my life and family. Once a week my dad would pick me up and drop me off at my Grannie’s house. I never had any time with him. After my Grannie died when I was 13, my dad picked me up once a year on my birthday and took me around to the clubs where he played. He would feed me drinks and drugs. No wonder I did not have a clue on how to form a family. I never felt like I belonged to anyone.
Alisha did not fare much better. Her mom was in love with alcohol and men. When Alisha would ask about her father, her mother said, “I don’t know who your father is. It could be one of two men.” Alisha never learned who her father was. In this situation she felt absolutely unlovable.
We now know that we knew very little about how to form a family. We both believed we were right and we were out to prove it. This system made us and our children very unhappy. We ended up yelling at each other nightly.
Through the Relationship Skills Center we heard about the Flourishing Families Program from Birth and Beyond. Alisha was very excited about the program and we both decided to go. I had no idea what a difference a class like this would have on me, our relationship and our family. We have stopped arguing and can now talk about our differences. We learned how to create a dialogue. We can communicate and take the time to see each other’s point of view. The best part of all is what is happening with our children. They are doing better in school and getting into less trouble. We are breaking the cycle of abandonment and neglect in our family. We are getting married and we will be together forever!