This morning marks the twelfth anniversary of my married life with Gretchen. We’ve had an amazing dozen years together and I look forward eagerly to what is coming next.
I wake up every day, secure in the knowledge that I seem to be doing the right things to keep our relationship growing and happily observe that Gretchen is doing the same.
When the give and take of our relationship gets strained under the pressure of managing our lives in the midst of hectic business careers and running a household full of cats and various stray visitors, we are fortunate to have learned the skills to spot where our communication is failing and mend the breach quickly and permanently.
We have observed and have commented often on the fact that you find the right person when you are ready and not before. We had both spent many years looking for that special someone we could trust, but we had to separately discover that we had to become trustworthy ourselves before that magical moment would occur.
When I was young and cynical, I chose life partners who were were as far from rationality as I was. As I learned wisdom from running full-tilt into walls of my own making, I was forced to learn more about myself and my motivations. It became evident that I was creating my own problems and I had to abandon the pretext of blaming others or the world at large for my misfortunes. Along the way, I found that I could help others and, in the process, was able to help myself.
Unfortunately, growth brings change and that is a painful experience if you are not the one that is changing. Many years of continuous personal growth put enormous pressure on my relationships and the results were less than optimum for my unfortunate partners along the way.
By the time I met Gretchen, I had finally figured out an ideal scene for a relationship. It turned out that she was looking for the same things as I was. As a result, it became obvious during our first few hours together that we were on the same trajectory in life and we had objectives that were in alignment.
We have worked through financial and personal hardships together and have reinvented ourselves repeatedly to capitalize on employment and consulting opportunities. Through all of this, the magic of open and caring communication has bound us together more closely with every passing year.
I could go on at length about this, but I think you get the idea by now that living with Gretchen is the best present I have ever been given.
Here’s to another dozen of the same! Cheers!