While she may be a “guest” blogger and not as visible as her husband, have no doubt that she was the driving force behind many of his accomplishments. We are happy to have Dottie DiBartolomeo as our guest this week.

I know that anyone who has married a racer is a special person. It takes a very strong individual to be married to any person who races, as you know what will always be first on your spouse’s agenda. There needs to be an understanding and frank discussion in the beginning of the relationship for it to work. A trust needs to be formed between the two of you.

I know of several people that have entered into relationships which they knew the other raced, but within a short period of time that relationship had ended. They went to the races in the beginning and then, when they got married, there was always something else to do. That support, which is so desperately needed for the person racing, is vital to a healthy union. There are obviously going to be times that you will not be able to be there for one reason or another, and that’s ok. But when it becomes a constant void in support, this could create a problem in the relationship.

Marriage is a solemn undertaking. Many people do not take it as serious as in generations past. For the words which I said at my wedding were “For better or worse, in sickness and in health until death do us part” are no longer part of the vows in most wedding today and it shows by the number of divorces. Marriage is a commitment which should not be taken lightly, as it’s not only the spouse that is affected when a marriage ends. All of the family members that have come to love you over the years will hurt. The two of you are taking a vow that what God has united, Man cannot break. Those words should be held in high esteem.

As for myself, I loved racing as much as my husband and can remember the night before we married, his father saying a toast “This is to John that now that he is getting married and settling down and giving up racing.” I said “Excuse me Dad, but we’re not giving up racing” and we continued doing what we loved. Needless to say, I was always the #2 daughter-in-law after that.

Our son Franklin was born on a Friday; I got out of the hospital on the following Monday; the Little Guy Nationals were the following weekend. The car was all ready and so was my husband. It was only a three-day event so I wasn’t concerned as much as our families were at the time. John won that event, so I knew then that it was the right decision. A week after that, we were to leave for the 5 day Moroso Event in Florida and our families were going nuts with us taking Franklin on a trip being so young. I had a doctor’s appointment to make sure all was well and ask about going on the trip. Explaining what the families were telling us and asking his advice. The doctor looked at me and said “You do not conform to the baby’s schedule; the baby will conform to yours. Go and have yourself a good trip.” We went on our way and never looked back.

While I know that most of you reading this are the racers and this all may seem obvious in your mind, but make sure you have these conversations with your significant other. A potentially distressing conversation early on can save you a lot of pain and suffering later. Whether that be from the dissolution of the relationship or the grief from them for going racing. Communication is the key to ensuring a happy and healthy relationship. It takes two to work toward one goal and that goal should be God, Family and Racing.

Now some of you might not agree with this thinking and that’s ok, but remember that racers are a breed of their own and they are not going to change. When you love someone, you love all of that person, even his or her racing. Remember too though that when they win, you do also as you are a team. -Dottie DiBartolomeo