Tom (36) and Helena (33) live together with their 8-year-old son in Wells, Maine. We visited them during a serious snowstorm. Like most New Englanders they appear unfazed.

Although they had been aware of each other’s existence – having gone to the same high school and living in the same hometown – they really met in 2000 online via an Internet instant messaging system. Tom says, “We had a lot of mutual friends that we didn’t realize.”

Helena says, “it was like 3AM – so we were the only two online and so we started talking and we talked until like 7AM, and we decided that we wanted to meet, it was from then on out that we’ve been together pretty much since.”

Tom and Helena Ackerson in their home in Wells, Maine in 2015

It wasn’t until 2007 that they got married. Helena says, “We were so young – when I met Tom I had just turned 19 – I was extremely young – and he was too – we both had a lot of growing up to do – so I’m so grateful that we waited before we got married.”

Tom speaks fondly of their wedding: “It was much like today – only it was snowing harder – Valentines Day 2007. It was a blizzard that day – sideways snow. [Our friend] – he was our justice of the peace and we got married on Ogunquit beach near the rock where I first kissed her in the middle of a blizzard.”

Not long after marrying Tom and Helena found a stronger bond with each other through the birth of their child. Here’s Helena:

I fell even more in love with Tom when we had our son – I remember being in so much pain at the hospital – I had just had a c-section – I just wanted to sleep and (our son) was crying, and I remember Tom taking him to the waiting room,  and my doctor came in and said, ‘you have got the best husband, he is so in love with your son.; Hearing that made me cry and fall more in love with him – because they’ve got such a bond and I’ve got such a bond with [our son] and we’re so tight-knit – the three of us. [Our son] is the love of our life so it just made us fall more in love.


Tom says,

A year or two before that I was scared of babies – I wouldn’t hold other peoples babies, I wouldn’t want to drop it. Everything turned out fine, we had way too much stuff, we planned it well, everyone helped us out so much … After he was born the first month or two I was walking around with a clipboard counting the times he would poop and pee in a day just to make sure his bowels are moving the correct amount of times.


Tom concludes, “We celebrated every little milestone. Now he’s in second grade at the school we both grew up in.”

Do you see raising a child together bringing you closer to your partner?

Let us know what you think in a comment below.

Daniel is a founding author of How Love Lasts.

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