Reader Love Stories: Dennis & Andee

Destined By Fate

Written by Jonathan Westman    Photos by Grant L. Gursky

Fate: It sometimes has a way of connecting two people who were destined to be together no matter the circumstances. Enter Andee and Dennis Maloney. They met by chance on the dance floor in 2000; country line dancing at the Cancun Cantina in Hanover, Md. It was Andee’s 29th birthday — and she believed she’d just met the man of her dreams. She was right, and they married three years later.

“Dennis is the love of my life! You know, that once in a lifetime kind of love,” Andee wrote to Coastal Style. “But ours is not your typical love story, however.”

Dennis and Andee were united as one but trying to replicate that bond with their children from previous relationships was difficult. Years would pass ­— and the love they shared never permeated their blended family. It took a tremendous toll on their marriage, and sadly, the couple separated in 2010 and divorced in 2012.

“Love was never the issue; we always loved each other,” Andee wrote. “A little bit of stubborn pride and being too protective of our kids was our downfall.”

Nearly seven years later, in December 2018, as fate would have it, Andee and Dennis ran into each other once again — country line dancing at the Cancun Cantina. Dennis was living and working in Chestertown, and Andee’s home and job were in Salisbury. Yet, seeing each other in that moment of chance instantly reconnected two souls that had only been separated previously by circumstance.

“We never stopped loving each other, and we knew immediately that we wanted to be together again,” Andee said. “And all of our kids are grown now, so that dynamic isn’t an issue anymore.”

Dennis proposed to Andee on the Ocean City beach last June and the couple remarried on November 16, 2019, at the Atlantic Hotel in Berlin.

“Our wedding was the best day, just perfect,” Andee said. “We are so incredibly happy and looking forward to the rest of our lives together!”

What have been the key ingredients or secrets to your relationship’s success?
Andee: I think the key ingredient this time around has been communication — that was our downfall the first time around. It’s vital for any relationship to have open and honest communication. Being able to talk about anything with your spouse, even the difficult things. And on the other side of that, listening with an open heart and open mind. I always reflect on one of my favorite quotes by Stephen Covey, who says, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Dennis: Make it a point to express your feelings! Be sure to always kiss each other goodbye in the morning (even if she’s not quite awake, she knows!) and kiss and hold each other at the end of the day. When you say, ‘I love you,’ look into the other one’s eyes so they know you are there in that moment with them. Beyond that, just be supportive and listen to one another’s suggestions and point of view. You don’t ever want you leave your spouse wondering or questioning how you really feel about them.

What’s been the best part of being married to your partner?
Andee: Honestly, getting to wake up with him every day again and coming home to each other at the end of every day. It’s the little things that matter — just spending time together, where ever our day-to-day life takes us, really. Dennis is the love of my life, my true soulmate and best friend! I would be lost without him. I don’t know what forces in the universe brought us together again, but I sure am thankful they did!
Dennis: Just having someone to share life with. We both have different likes and dislikes, but we accept the differences in each other and give each other time to do what they want or need to do. We come from very different backgrounds, but somehow it just works with us (she will always be a city girl to me and, I’m just an “old farmer”). It’s give-and-take, really. She has a taste for the finer things in life, whereas I am rough around the edges — but I’m thankful for the way she gently opens my eyes to “her world.” And in return, she appreciates my rustic ways and my “farmer logic sense of humor.”

What advice would you give married couples to remain dedicated to their relationship?
Andee: The big one: Communicate with each other, even about the hard things! Never go to bed angry or at odds. Remember you’re in this together and listen with an open heart and mind. Regular date nights are a must, too!
Dennis: Understand that men and women are motivated by different things — what’s important to her may not seem that important to you and vice versa. Never let a day go by that you don’t tell the other how much they mean to you.

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