My friend and I are talking about marriage, both of us in long term relationships.
This week my wife and I crossed 38 years since our first date – a day I stole a kiss from her while riding a glass elevator. The moment – we both felt the magical spark – changed the direction of our lives.
“While it feels like yesterday,” I said,” it also feels like so long ago.”
“I can’t believe I am with someone who still makes my heart skip when she walks into the room.”
My friend agreed, only her story is different. She’s on her second marriage, and if anything, she is probably in a better position to appreciate the value of true love.
“Today,” she said, “I can’t wait to get home.”
“In my first marriage, there were times I didn’t even want to go home at night.”
She’s in a different place now. To meet she and her husband, you might confuse them with newly dating teens. He is always at sending end of the brilliant smile radiating from her. I always picture the two of them laughing and smiling — kids with a few streaks of grey here and there.
I remember her once telling me one of the things she loved so much about her husband was how he could make her laugh. And to compliment this, she owns one of the most infectious laughs you will ever meet.
Being crazy in love is an odd feeling. From one point, you feel so blessed. From another, you ache for others to share in the excitement. It is as if you’ve found the ability to fly and want others to join you up in the clouds.
But I also understand, life does not work like that. Real relationships are forged over time, challenged by the pain and stress of everyday life. The good and bad are going to come. But it is there, in those moments, the relationship is tested.
You cannot fake a strong relationship – everyone must travel the bumpy road of life. After all, the strongest materials result from the highest levels of heat and pressure over time. Why would relationships be different?
My friend and I both are parents with dating age children.
“I hope one day they can experience this feeling,” I said. “I don’t want them to miss out on this.”
I don’t claim to be particularly unique in the relationship world. If anything, my wife deserves any credit for the good. I was jagged stone, to begin with, but she inspired me to want to be better.
One day, if you are lucky, you wake up and realize the true joy in life comes from making others happy. Society leads us to believe our happiness is in our possessions, or what others think of us.
Fortunately, because of a kiss 38 years ago, I’ve learned I’d give everything up without a whimper for one extra day with my wife at the end.