If you are just joining me now for the first time…welcome! Before you continue on, refer to my first blog post The Beginning Pt.1 and start my story from “The Beginning”.
I called Jacob back and the phone rang a few times before he answered. “Hello” he said in a shaky voice. I could tell he had been crying, so immediately I panicked. “What’s wrong?” I said. I knew something was seriously wrong because Jacob doesn’t cry very often.
He said that he was having a bad day and decided to go to one of the LDS temples in California. He was in his car in the parking lot of the temple and said he had been praying. Praying wanting to know what was right for us and when we should get married. He told me he wasn’t getting any immediate answers from God so he started to feel frustrated.
Then he had the thought, “how can you take care of a family if you can’t even take care of yourself.” That’s when Jacob had a breakdown. He thought that God was telling him that he needed to go on a mission now because he needed to learn how to take care of himself. He said all of this to me over the phone.
I sat on the steps outside my sister’s house in tears. I was so confused… why was Jacob having a mental breakdown like this? After talking for a while and not getting anywhere in our conversation, Jacob said we shouldn’t talk for a few days so he could clear his head and figure everything out.
This was so unusual for Jacob, he was always the stable one when it comes to his emotions and keeping his mind clear from outside influences. I was absolutely shocked. “Did that really just happen?” I thought.
I came inside, in tears and told my family what had just happened. At this point, I was absolutely beside myself. I was so mad. I trusted him, I gave him my whole heart and let him into my son’s life for this? This is the exact reason why I didn’t want to date him in the first place because I was afraid this was going to happen.
My family was pretty upset as well. We knew the pressure of going on a mission would always be in the back of Jacob’s mind. When you grow up in the LDS church, LDS men are expected to go on missions. If they don’t go, a lot of them get judged for it. I know a lot of girls who won’t date guys after they find out the guy didn’t go on a mission, or that they came home early from a mission.
This always bothered me growing up. I never cared whether or not a guy I was dating had gone on a mission, as long as they were a good guy with good character, it didn’t matter to me. There are a lot of men who don’t go on missions that experience depression and anxiety because of the judgment they face.
Two Days of Silence
That night, I sent Jacob a long text. I told him how much I loved and cared about him and that he needed to see the bigger picture here. Raising a child is a lot bigger and harder mission than a two year LDS mission. I got nothing in return. Left on read. This was the first time in our relationship where I felt like absolute crap.
That night I laid in bed and I could not sleep. Not even for a minute. I couldn’t stop thinking. How is this happening when everything had been so perfect? How do I get him to see that what he needs is right in front of him? I was completely torn up inside. My heart physically started to ache like it did when Arik died. This made me realize how much I loved Jacob.
The next day my family and I did all sorts of activities, but I was in my head the whole time. When I talked to my mom or anyone else about the situation, I cried. I couldn’t even eat. I went over 24 hours without a bite of food. I was physically and mentally sick. I dropped five pounds in two days from the stress, that’s how much this affected me.
After two days he finally said he would FaceTime me. I woke up early and went outside to sit in my niece’s playhouse. I didn’t want anyone in my family to hear what was going on because it was super personal to me. My sister Lauren was probably the most mad at Jacob. When she found out what had happened she said, “good riddance.” She is very protective of me and my heart because she was there for all my heartbreak and trials.
During FaceTime I started crying, and so did he. You could tell he didn’t want things to be over between us, but now he felt like he needed to go on a mission before we could truly be together. I was so mad inside. I felt like what he thought was an answer from God was really just the fear in his subconscious. We decided on the phone that we would meet up in a couple of days when I got home from Utah.
In general, I don’t feel like I have ever been the type of girl to be clingy or needy, I’m pretty independent. If a guy starts acting weird or things get complicated, I typically see it as a way out of the relationship. So for me to care so much about Jacob was very different for me. I remember laying in bed thinking, “why do I care SO much?”
That night I laid in my bed and prayed, hoping God would give me some answers that would help make sense of all of this. I thought that if I could get the same answer as Jacob, then maybe this wasn’t meant to be for us. I prayed and I kept getting this thought in the back of my mind saying, “fight for him!”
“Fight for him, fight for him!” over and over again. Is this my answer? Am I supposed to fight for him and show him that this is all meant to be? The words kept ringing over and over again to the point where I couldn’t fall asleep again.
I flew back to California later the next day, and Jacob and I decided we would meet up the next morning. I remember I was so nervous, but I definitely felt confident knowing that he was the one who instigated our whole relationship. I knew that if we could just see each other in person and talk that we could figure this all out.
I picked him up at his grandma’s house who lives only 20 minutes away from me. My whole way over there I listened to the song, “Don’t Leave” by Snakeships on repeat. That song has been one of our songs since before we were official because is resonated with Jacob maybe leaving on a mission and us not wanting to be apart. We drove to this random park about 10 minutes from her house and put the car in park. It was so surreal that the week before we were talking about when we would get married and now we were talking about potentially breaking up.
It was hard at first, I almost felt like I was talking to someone I had just met. Jacob had already talked to his dad, brother, grandma and everyone else to help him sort through his emotions, but he never talked to me during that time, and it honestly hurt me. In my head, I wanted to know why he talked to everyone, BUT me.
What bothered me, even more, is that he was already talking to a bishop about getting his mission papers ready to be sent in, without even mentioning it to me. It almost seemed like he was going to do whatever he wanted without even thinking twice about me or Hudson.
Talking with him went back and forth, it was obvious that he had been talking to people who were trying to convince him that a mission was the best thing for him, and he needed to prepare and leave. Then I showed him something I wrote on my phone earlier in the summer…
“We just landed back in LA after the most amazing trip in Europe together and now I’m on an airplane to Salt Lake to pick up Hudson. I can’t get you out of my head. On our flight from Rome to Amsterdam, I looked across the aisle at you while you were on your phone and I couldn’t help but get giddy because you’re mine. I feel like the luckiest girl in the entire world. When I had Hudson I remember wondering how it was possible to love someone so insanely much, and now I have that same feeling again.”
“Jacob Neeley, I am so incredibly in love with you. Every moment apart from you feels like a lifetime, maybe it’s because my love language tells me I need the time, but I think it’s just you. You are all I have ever needed. Thanks for being the sweetest guy in the world. The most kind and caring person I have ever met. Never quick to judge or point out the faults in others, but instead seeing the good in them just like you have with me. I feel like I have learned so much from you already and you have helped me grow tremendously. We timed everything just right babe, and I can’t wait for our future together.”
Jacob read this and started crying. He knows I have a really hard time expressing my love and emotions so I think seeing this made him realize how much I loved him. At the end of the conversation, we kissed and hugged and things were looking up.
We got lunch, even though I still didn’t eat much because I still felt sick inside. He kept saying, “I just don’t know why I am so confused about all of this.” He knew he still had to go back to his grandma’s house where she and his dad were waiting to talk to him.
I dropped him back off at his grandma’s and I told him to follow his heart and not do what everyone else expects. I didn’t want him to go back and be convinced otherwise, but in the back of my mind, I had a feeling that was going to happen.
The 10 Hour Breakup
Later that same evening, Jacob texted me saying he was going to come over because we needed to talk again. I had the nervous butterflies fluttering through my stomach. I knew that this couldn’t be good.
He came over and I got in his car to talk. He said that after we talked earlier in the day, he went back to his grandma’s and talked with her and his dad. He said that now he thinks he still needs to go on a mission. I KNEW IT. I knew he would be convinced otherwise… Jacob is a people pleaser and he does what others want, not what he necessarily wants.
I was so mad. I kept telling him that he was letting other people influence his thoughts and actions. I was even more so mad because of Hudson. “I let my son love you and trust you, he even calls you daddy,” I said. “Now I am going to have to tell my son that you were just a random friend and that you are not his dad,” I said. Then I started getting more furious.
My anger put me in tears. At that moment, I knew I could not convince him otherwise. He was set on going on a mission now. So in my mind, we were going to break-up and never talk again, or stay together and move forward. No in-between.
Since he was set on going on a mission we basically thought we wouldn’t talk again. He walked me to my door, and we both cried. We held each other in a long hug and just cried on each other’s shoulders. “If a mission is right for him, how come it feels SO wrong?” I thought. It was honestly tragic. Then, reluctantly, we said goodbye.
I went inside and ran into my parent’s room. I crawled into the middle of their bed, right between them and cried my eyes out. I was crying so hard that I couldn’t even talk. I really felt like I just lost my future husband. My parents consoled me until I walked myself into my room for the night. Why is this happening to me? Why can’t I ever just be happy? Everything always seemed too good to be true. I was crushed. I was so mad I went on Instagram and deleted 90% of the photos we took together.
The Heart Wants What it Wants
The next morning I was talking to my dad. He told me just because Jacob was going on a mission now didn’t mean we couldn’t see each other. I thought about it for a while. Would it make everything harder if we see each other and he leaves? Either way, I felt like it was dumb to just cut off communication… so I called Jacob.
Jacob said he felt the same way, he wanted to keep dating until he left. The only reason we were thinking about completely cutting off communication is because I originally thought it was best. So Jacob came over. He skipped work and hung out with me all day. There was a moment during that day when Hudson was said, “Hi dada” Jacob looked into his eyes and started crying as he was holding him. Jacob then said, “this feels so right” as he held Hudson in his arms.
I knew the whole time that it was right and that us being together was for the best. Jacob was just so confused with so many opinions influencing him. Once again, that voice in the back of my head rang clear, “fight for him.”
The next couple weeks went back and forth. Jacob and I saw each other usually 3-4 times a week while he was working. But when we talked, it was always about our situation. This usually ended in some kind of back and forth argument. I don’t know why I was so persistent, but I just knew that I needed to fight for him.
I think the turning point came down to one night on the phone when we were talking about everything. At this point, I was starting to get fed up with everything again. The basis for him going on a mission was the fact that he didn’t think he would be a great father if he didn’t go… which is total BS. Like I said earlier, there is a lot of judgment towards men who don’t serve missions to the point where they feel inadequate. They feel like they will never be the “best” or as good as they can be if they don’t go.
I finally told him exactly how I was feeling. I told him I felt like he was being extremely selfish. Everything he was doing was for HIM and him only. I said he never thought about me or Hudson in this situation and the whole time I have only thought about US, and what was best for US.
This must have hit him hard, because he responded with, “you’re right”. From that moment on for the rest of the summer, which at this point only had a couple of weeks left … it seemed like his mindset was starting to change. He finally started listening to me and agreeing with me. Then the last week of August Jacob said he was enrolling in school and that he was going to come back up to Utah with me.
I was so relieved, but at the same time, I was nervous. What if he changes his mind again? I don’t want to go through it again. My family was also skeptical, they didn’t want him to break my heart again.
I never told him to his face, but I had an ultimatum for him. If he didn’t propose in the next 4 months then I was going to start dating other guys again. I didn’t want to waste my time if he was just going to leave on a mission, and now I didn’t trust him when he told me he wasn’t going to go. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait too long before he popped the question…
NEXT WEEK: The Proposal of My Dreams