DEAR ABBY: My husband and I "had" to get married because I got pregnant. We scraped together $70 and bought a set of wedding bands, and one very small engagement ring with a little diamond dust on it. Our early days were difficult, as we had no money and a baby on the way.
Over the years, through a lot of hard work, we formed a strong, loving union. I am proud of my husband, who works two jobs six days a week so I can stay home and raise our son.
Last year, we celebrated our 10th anniversary, and my husband took me out for a rare restaurant meal. After we had eaten, he put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a small black box. He slid it across the table and said, "This time, I mean it. Will you spend the rest of your life with me?" Inside was a gorgeous ring with a beautiful stone. He then went on to tell me that the first ring was for where we started, but this ring signified where we are going. I was deeply touched.
My ring may not be the biggest or most beautiful, but it is my dearest treasure, for it signifies the love of my husband -- and for that, I am truly blessed! -- JAMIE IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR JAMIE: You are both blessed in many ways. Your marriage succeeded where many do not. The reason is you and your husband put all your efforts into building your relationship and making it strong.
I wish you happiness and success in your future together. You have earned both.