Before I Said I Do: I Spent Time Soul-Searching

Laurie K. Ebo and husband Darien Ebo prove that there is no time limit on true love. Starting out as high school sweethearts, the two eventually went their separate ways years later, married other people and ultimately divorced. Now with life making things full circle, fate has brought Laurie and Darien back together again. At 50, Mrs. Ebo says spending the last 10 years as a single woman gave her the freedom to explore and delve into a better understanding of herself. When she and her husband decided to give things another try a few years ago, Laurie says she felt a newfound sense of wholeness and self-awareness and the renewed couple tied-the-knot in October of 2013. Learn how she used her single years wisely and how she's been adjusting to this new phase in life. Laurie K. Ebo's story is a testament to the power of digging deep spiritually and emotionally prior to entering into marriage.

Briefly describe yourself.
I work full-time for Verizon communications in Philadelphia, and I am a part-time student who currently attends Temple University. I have 3 grown children, ages 29, 28 and 24. I enjoy travelling, experiencing other cultures, learning different languages and spending time with my husband.

When did you get married? If you had a ceremony, briefly describe your big day.
I got married on Saturday, October 12, 2013 we had a small, intimate ceremony with our families and close friends. The ceremony was held at the house of a friend who also catered the event.

What are some things you did to prepare for marriage? How was it helpful?
I was married previously and had been single for 10 years. After my divorce, I decided that it was time for me to do some soul searching to find out what it was, exactly, that made me tick. I spent some time in therapy and spent a lot of time asking myself some very hard questions. Those were the best, hardest 10 years of my life. I went back to school and earned a 2 year degree and I did a lot of travelling on my own. It was time well spent.

What books would you recommend for a bride-to-be?
The Holy Qur'an, Holy Bible, "Real Love" by Ava Muhammad, and "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou. Read books that are positive and paint relationships in a positive light.

What was one of the biggest challenging when transitioning into married life? Did you receive any helpful advice?
My biggest challenge was/is going from being single for 10 years to being married. When I was single, I had no else to think of but my self. When I got ready to go, I went, wherever. As a married woman, I have to remember that it's not "all about me" any longer. I had to get used to someone sleeping in the bed with me. I had grown accustom to sleeping in the middle of the bed. I, now have to sleep on one side. I got used to doing everything on my own and, believe it or not, I'm still getting used to having someone with me to help me and who WANTS to help me. My husband is very attentive to my needs. I'd gotten used to taking care of all of my needs for myself. It may sound a little crazy but it's very real.

What attracted you to your husband? How did you know he was 'The One'?
I have known my husband for 30+ years. we were in (a relationship) in the past and have a son together. However, things didn't go as we hoped and we went our separate ways. Every so often we entertained the idea of being together, however, we just couldn't get it together. I married someone else; he married someone else. Neither of the marriages worked out  To make a long story short, he reached out to me one day, vie text, and asked me to have dinner with him. The rest, as they say, is history.

What advice, tips, or suggestions would you give to brides-to-be or women seeking to be married one day?
Be patient (with yourself). take your time. Get to know yourself: your likes, dislikes, things that make you happy. Be able to spend time along with YOU and enjoy it. Read, learn a new language, take a yoga class or martial arts class, travel. Learn to make yourself happy. Understand that, ultimately, you are responsible for your own happiness. Don't look to be with someone to fill a void or to CURE loneliness. That never works anyway. Learn to truly love and enjoy being with you.

Feel free to add any additional thoughts.
Marriage is a two way street. You MUST be ready to put in some serious work to make the relationship work. Never settle for mediocrity in yourself or in anyone else. the road is long and, sometimes, hard but it's worth it.

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