Allan and Stephanie are a featured couple in How Love Lasts – The Play. See their story live in Los Angeles this fall!
Allan (53) and Stephanie (47) Herpin are meant to be. They believe in fate, and they believe they were destined for each other.
They felt a spark immediately at their chance meeting at a night club in Houston, TX on May 21st, 1980. Stephanie says, “He asked me to marry him the very first night, [laughing] which scared me. That’s why he didn’t get my information that night!”
Convinced of their compatibility and cosmic connection, Allan continued to ask Stephanie to marry him – almost every date for three months. Then, one night, out of the blue, Stephanie leaned into Allan and said four words: “by the way, yes.”
3 years of long distance dating later, (Stephanie had to finish college) they were married. That was over 30 years ago.
Faith and fate do not a marriage make, at least not on their own. Allan and Stephanie have faced their share of challenges together, and come out stronger. The greatest of these challenges was the stroke Allan had several years ago. Here’s Allan:
I was paying too much attention to my volunteer services … it was the volunteering that lead to my stroke … it led to some very stressful situations … [and] became more important than my relationship with my wife and my family …
We were drifting apart a little bit – but it was [the stroke] that showed us: as a unit we work well together and the backbone of our relationship is the true love we have for each other and no matter what’s going to happen we’re going to be there for each other …
The things I saw my wife do for me definitely showed me she was going to be here for the rest of my life taking care of me when I couldn’t take care of myself. It was truly a loving moment – my heart just melts knowing that my wife is going to be here no matter what.
Stephanie, on the same subject:
The stroke was the hardest time. I saw my husband lose confidence and I didn’t know how to help him gain confidence. I saw him feeling he was less of a man and not wanting people to help – and the despair – I didn’t know how to encourage him – to get to where he needed to be. I did a lot of praying, I did a lot of crying. I had people to talk to but no one could truly give me that guidance. So I did go to therapy – and that was huge for me – because if nothing else it was my time and it gave me the tools. I think that if you don’t know the answer, there is always someone else that can give you options…
I’ll never forget, we got to the point where … he was going through the therapy … and I was hard on him, but he told me he needed me to be hard on him. There were times when I brought the children into it, where he was quitting, and I told him, you can’t, and said ‘look at these kids’ – in his mind he thought ‘I will never be able to throw a baseball to my kids again.’
Because of everything he’s gone through, he’s mentored three males who have gone through strokes. One wife came to me and said, ‘Stephanie, I know Allan went through a stroke, can you have him talk to my husband?’ That man met Allan [again] about 2 years ago and hugged him and said, ‘look at me walking!’…
He has made me very proud. He showed to me what a man and a husband and a provider is. Someone who’s going to face their fears. Someone who is going to overcome a huge obstacle and come out on the other side – and then pay it forward. that’s the beauty in him. He’s a good man. He’s a very good man.
“I’m lucky,” Stephanie said, “but he’s lucky, too!” she added with a laugh. When it comes down to it, Stephanie and Allan both say that knowing they are meant to be together helps them get through the challenges they face. Here’s Stephanie one last time:
I think that – at the end of the day, we know we’re supposed be together. We’ve had moments where we’re like, there is no way, we’re done. After our kids graduate that’s it. But then you’re like, no, we’re supposed to be together. We’ve gotten through so much and gotten so far and at the end of the day, we love each other. I don’t believe in staying together for the kids – because you can make a household terrible but at the end of the day that’s not why we stay together. It’s because of the bottom line: we love each other and we know we’re supposed to be together.
Do you believe that you and your partner are meant to be? How does this faith in fate, destiny, or God’s plan affect your relationship?
Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
Daniel is a founding author of How Love Lasts.