Posted On March 10, 2010 by Print This Post

Wayne Wednesday: My History with My Woman

Today, Wayne Levine shares with us some of his personal relationship history with his wife. I found it fascinating and motivating. Maybe I should take the time to jog my memory and write something about the start of my relationship with my husband, assuming my memory will cooperate!

Here’s Wayne!

Since March is Women’s History Month, I thought I would honor my woman and the history we’ve shared together.

Ria and I met in 1980, when I was 19, with long hair and torn jeans. I transferred into her class on the second week of school. She watched as I spoke with the professor. Having learned to appreciate the pleasures of having a “project” from her creative and adventurous mother, Ria thought to herself, “I can do something with that.”

Besides cute and petite, I could tell she was smart. That’s why I would glance over, from time to time, to see what she had written…on her tests. You see, I was pretty smart, too. We began to talk a bit, the two of us, and a few others in class. We became friendly classmates. Naturally, I thought she’d like to go out with me. So I asked. She said “no.”

What Ria didn’t know at the time was that I had learned to never take “no” for an answer. Having been somewhat unsupervised for most of my childhood, I learned “on the streets” that there was always an angle, always a way to “yes.”

I tried again. She said I was “too young for her, not worldly enough.” She must have really enjoyed playing with me, like a cat with a trapped mouse. I was younger, that was true. But “unworldly?” Ha! Eventually, I wore her down.

I had two tickets to Benny Goodman and His Classical Trio. She had a car. She came to pick me up at my apartment. She was early. I was half-dressed, ironing my shirt. She liked that, a lot. I’m referring to the ironing. Turns out, she was quite the domestic. You never know what excites a woman. That’s why we men have to pay attention. They’re not all alike!

Her car was a ‘62 Fiat 1100 with suicide doors. Awesome. We laughed. I mean we laughed all evening. What a night. She drove me home. After I kissed her goodnight, she patted my shoulder as I exited the car. (Now, she claims she was actually pushing me out of the car. Revisionist history, as far as I’m concerned.) That pat sealed the deal. I knew I would marry this girl. I wrote a letter to myself that night stating just that. Three years later, to the day, we opened that letter on our wedding night.

I was a boy when we met. She stood by my side as I clumsily made my way toward adulthood. Despite the curve balls I’ve thrown at her (though at the time they always felt like the curve balls life was throwing at me), she never wavered. I mean NEVER.

Through raising two kids, changing careers, starting businesses, caring for aging parents, having money, not having money, growing up, getting older, foolish schemes, hospital visits, old pain, doubt and fear, and a lot of rescued animals, my wife has taught me the meaning of unconditional love.

She’s always cared about me, always wanted me to be happy, always believed in me (though I often doubted myself), always made me feel like I was better than I knew I really was. She taught me what a strong, loving marriage looks like. She had the patience and faith that I would become the husband and father she had imagined I could be, as I walked into that classroom and became…her biggest “project.”

Twenty-nine years later, my history with Ria has taught me much of what I know and teach about long-term committed relationships. Now, as I guide men through their relationships, help them to understand themselves and their women, and inspire them to believe that there’re better than they think they are, it’s my history with my woman that guides me.

Ladies, I hope you do for your man what mine has done for me. And men, I recommend you make an effort to honor your history with your woman this month…and every month.

RU Crew, tell us a little about your history with your significant other. Who was the instigator in your relationship and how has your relationship changed since you first met?

Be sure to join us Friday when author Kristan Higgins chats with us about the author/editor relationship after a book sale.

Wayne’s Bio:

Wayne M. Levine, M.A. is the director of the West Coast Men’s Center in Agoura Hills, CA, where he coaches and mentors men, and facilitates men’s groups. He also created the BetterMen Retreats for men, and for fathers and sons. In addition, Wayne is the founder of BetterMen.org, a life coaching and mentoring resource for men.

Wayne’s interest in men’s issues began in the early ‘90s with his participation in men’s work activities. His experiences with men’s groups, as a participant, leader and program developer, taught Wayne to “father” men and to support them in making difficult and important changes in their lives.

He earned his Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University/Los Angeles. Wayne also received his BA in journalism and graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Southern California.

Wayne’s been married to his first and only wife, Ria, for over 25 years and is the proud daddy of Emma, Austin and the family’s menagerie of animals.  Wayne strives to be a better man, husband and father each day in Oak Park, CA.

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18 Responses to “Wayne Wednesday: My History with My Woman”

  1. Wayne –

    As always, thanks for the great post. As I read this, I was curious about how Ria “changed” you through the years. As women, we’re so often told that we shouldn’t believe we can change men to our liking.

    Thanks!
    Kelsey

    PS – When I first met my husband, he was dating one of my best friends (who was subsequently one of my bridesmaids :)).

    Posted by KelseyBrowning | March 10, 2010, 6:15 am
    • Well, she was patient. She was grounded in her family origin experiences. She had a very clear sense of of what her job was and what mine was. So that vision kept her centered while I flailed around trying to figure things out.

      Posted by Wayne Levine | March 10, 2010, 1:27 pm
  2. Wayne,

    Thanks for sharing your story! As romance writers, I’m sure you know we love a good love story. What a great tale to wake up to!

    My husband likes to tell people he had no choice but to marry me, since I told everyone he was my boyfriend before he even knew he was, but really, when a guy calls you every night and hangs up with “‘Night, Sweetie. Miss you, can’t wait to see you again,” what else are you supposed to call it? 🙂

    Jamie

    Posted by Jamie Farrell | March 10, 2010, 8:49 am
  3. Yours is a beautiful love story.

    I met my husband after college. He worked with two of my roommates who decided we’d be perfect together, even though he had a girlfriend. One of my roommates invited him to a party at our condo so we could meet for the first time. He brought his girlfriend. I had been playing a drinking game and was in the bathroom throwing up when he arrived. I had no memory of meeting him or his girlfriend, but two days later he asked me out. I don’t know what he saw in me at our first meeting (maybe he thought I was an easy drunk chick), but we’ve been together ever since.

    Posted by Wendy Marcus | March 10, 2010, 9:05 am
  4. That is a sweet romantic story!

    When I met my husbad I was a lost sole. Struggling with two very young children. Trying to put myself through school and going through a nasty divoce. All this at the age of 20! He was my night in shining armor.
    He has dubbed me his princess for years and when he is frustrated or mad, he says I am spoiled. I always smile and say “Honey you created it, you have to live with it.” It makes him laugh.

    We have been married 24 years and It has been like everyone one else, ups and downs, kids, school, deaths and taxes but he is and will always be my forever!

    My best friend asked the question yesterday ,” after so many years, why do you still love him?” That was easy! I said, “because he makes me laugh everyday.”

    Posted by Jane L | March 10, 2010, 10:12 am
  5. morning wayne, great post!

    I met my husband when I applied for a job with him. =) I told everyone that was the man I was going to marry, and 9 months later, I did.

    =)

    carrie

    Posted by carrie | March 10, 2010, 10:14 am
  6. Thank you for a great post, Wayne. A lovely gift for your wife. I met my husband at work. I knew I loved him when, at the age of 28, I got a nasty dose of chicken pox and he bought me a VCR (dating myself here!) and my favorite movies because I was holed up in my apartment all by myself for five days.

    There’s a keeper! LOL.

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | March 10, 2010, 12:25 pm
  7. I shouldn’t be surprised to hear so many romantic tales from RU writers. Nice to hear. In our groups we spend a lot of time working on what it means to run the sex and romance departments. Romance is easy for some men, not so easy for others. Some men need a lot of encouragement because they fell so ill-equipped. Having a patient and loving woman CERTAINLY makes it easier.

    Posted by Wayne Levine | March 10, 2010, 1:30 pm
  8. Great stories from Wayne and the commenters! I love to hear how other people met. Wayne, your shirtless/ironing bit got me smiling. You totally set us up there. 😉

    I met my husband in college and had no idea he was interested in me until he asked me out. Within five days I knew he was “the one”. We’re coming up on our 15th anniversary in a week, and he’s still the one for me.

    Posted by Gwen Hernandez | March 10, 2010, 2:36 pm
    • Gwen –

      I think that’s a great future topic. How and when you know a person is “the one.” And playing devil’s advocate, maybe what happens when your “one” turns out not to be the “one.”

      I’m with you in time frame – met in college and married 16 1/2 years!

      K-

      Posted by KelseyBrowning | March 10, 2010, 11:35 pm
      • Kelsey, I love that idea. For me, I think it helped that I’d already spent several years dating a guy who wasn’t “the one”. I had a much clearer picture of what I did and didn’t want by then. I didn’t go around comparing potential dates to a list of criteria, but I think my subconscious knew after the first few days that my husband was a match.

        Posted by Gwen Hernandez | March 10, 2010, 11:53 pm
  9. Thanks for sharing your story, Wayne! Give Ria a big hug from the folks at RU.

    Like Adrienne, I met my husband at work and we became friends. A couple years later, we both started having relationship problems, which eventually led to divorce for both of us. He was my rock then and, sixteen years later, he’s still my rock and so much more. Why he puts up with me I’ll never know, but I thank my lucky stars every day that he does. :mrgreen:

    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | March 10, 2010, 2:37 pm

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