How Do You Do It?


My friend asked me, “How do you do it?” “Do what?” I replied. “Keep your marriage growing.” “Ah, well, its different for everyone. I can tell you what works for us, but it might not work for you.” She thought about it for a minute, “So tell me anyway. I want to know, maybe it will give me inspiration so we can make it as a couple for 47 years too.” I asked her to give me a few days to think about it. I am not a marriage counselor, I am certainly not a shrink. I’m just a quickly aging female who isn’t willing to sit down and shut up when others don’t want to hear my opinion. And, as my dear friend Bryan said, patience is not one of my attributes. He knows me far too well.

So, here we go. Stop here if you do not want unsolicited advice from a great grandmother.

I can tell you that there are hundreds of books for sale that will tell you their version of the truth. Most of them, however, will simply add to the confusion. At the end of the day, it is up to the couple, whatever that looks like, to find their own path. But they MUST find it together if they want marriage to work.

The first lesson is to Know Thy Self. No I am not quoting the scriptures to you, I am seriously saying, you have to know yourself before you can learn to love another. What you like, what you need, what you want in a lover, spouse, and the best friend you will ever have. And most of us poor saps haven’t a clue before the age of thirty. By then, of course, most of us are committed, and we love the person we chose to live our lives with. Sometimes deeply, sometimes conveniently, but we are committed.

Lesson Two, Keep your business between the two of you, and/or a professional counselor.

As you grow you change, sometimes in the most profound ways, sometimes superficially, but we all change. With change can come distance between us and the love of our lives. That leads to frustration, miscommunication, downright anger, and feelings of isolation. Now here is where most people, male and female, make a huge mistake. They take it to the gossip mill. Instead of going to their spouse or partner (I will use spouse to make typing easy) and talking things through, they go to their best pal, coworker, or family member if your a guy. A woman goes to her best friend, the ladies at the nail salon, or, heaven help all of them, their mother or sister for advice.

At this point, everything gets confused and every opinion will muddle things up even more. There is nothing that will strain an already difficult situation than for a woman to say to a man (or whomever), “Well My Mother Said…” The immediate response is generally, “You told your MOTHER?” It works the same from the other direction. There is a reason why “mother in law” is a dirty phrase in nearly every culture in the world. Because I can guarantee no one can stick their nose in and stir things up like a mother in law. Sure we all need someone to talk to. I suggest making it a professional who doesn’t have a personal interest in your life. Someone who isn’t going to take sides and pony up excuses instead of practical advice.

Lesson Three, Always put each other first. I can hear the shocked gasps from here.

Before children, before parents, before extended family, before friends, before jobs, before church, before Friday night poker games that have been ongoing since high school, your spouse comes first. Why? Well exactly who do you expect to spend the rest of your life with other than your spouse? One day the kids will grow up and leave home, hopefully. Your friends will drift away, your family will die and leave this mortal coil, and you two will be sitting across from one another, all alone, on your phones, ignoring each other. Okay, maybe not on the phone, but you will still have nothing to talk about if you don’t start building memories and adventures today.

Lesson Four, Kiss the Girl, or Guy. For no reason other than they still ring your bell. Go on, kiss her, in front of the kids, or anyone else standing there. Whisper loving words, or even silly words, in his ear. Make a promise for mind blowing love making, later. Make eye contact across the room, then smile, yes, that smile. Remember what made you want him or her in your arms and hang on to that memory as tight as you can for the times when it seems like one or both of you have lost interest. Take home flowers for her just because, or cook her a special meal, or give him a back rub while he complains about work. Do the little things that require physical contact. Fix his tie, smooth his jacket, hold her jacket for her, smooth a wayward lock of hair into place. Find any excuse to touch. Hold hands, Every. Where. You. Go. If that attraction fades away completely, you are in deep trouble and the further you drift, the harder it is to find each other again. Of course, there are couples that are destined to separate and divorce. It takes two in the endeavor, and if one is unwilling or unable to take part. The marriage will drift into the doldrums of the family court system.

Lesson Five, Dance in the Kitchen. My husband has two left feet, no sense of rhythm, and doesn’t understand the art of dance, At. All. But when I get upset or down, he puts on our favorite slow song, and we dance in the kitchen. Really, he just holds me and we sway to the music, but it is how we dance. I know this is his way of comforting me, he knows after I settle down, I will tell him what is hurting me. We are communicating love, comfort, and compassion without words. Maybe you won’t dance in the kitchen, maybe you will go out and shoot at tin cans, or make pizza together, or go for a walk, but each couple needs to find their comfort mechanism. That one thing they only do together that brings them close to one another, communicating without words. It’s a good thing.

Lesson Six, Take private time for romance. A weekend at the hotel down the road is good enough, if you don’t want to get too far from the kids. Why? Because every couple, admit it or not, need the excitement of a romantic get away. Give the hotel number to the sitter, turn off you phones, better yet, leave them in the car or at home. Spend the time alone, on a honeymoon, or if your having issues, as a marriage get away to talk things through. Romance is vital, VITAL to a lasting marriage. Once, my husband took me to Paris, France (We lived in London at the time.) and he kissed me in the rain, on top of the Eiffel Tower. It wasn’t an all out, I want to bed you right now, kind of kiss, it was a, soft, romantic, I love you, I’m glad I found you, kind of kiss. One that used to make ladies in a movie audience swoon. Now that is romantic. For me. For you, I have no idea what constitutes romantic, but make sure it stays alive between you all your lives.

Lesson Seven, Words Mean Things. Don’t say it unless you mean it. Even in the heat of a knock down drag out screaming argument, Don’t Say It unless you mean it. Because you can’t take back the hurt and shock of whatever it is, and once said, it has meaning that can resonate for years. Just don’t do it, words hurt more than a sharp sword. The damage can be fatal to a relationship. Dead and buried isn’t how most people want their marriage to end. Sometimes it is necessary, especially if there is infidelity or violence in the relationship. Being angry does not give a person the right to try to destroy another person with vicious words, lies, and gossip. Anger is not communication. Words mean things, good and bad. Be kind or Don’t say it.

Lesson Eight, Be gracious, be noble. When we first got married the Mr. and I would argue over stupid things. If I turned out right, I would gloat and rub it in that I was right. If I lost, I would pout and resent him. Talk about twisted. Be gracious in apologizing if you are wrong. Be noble in accepting that apology. Even if you insist you are right, be gracious and let it go, unless you love screaming at him or subjecting her to the silent treatment. Be noble, be willing to be wrong, be willing to apologize. Let go of the need to always control things, to always know everything. Men and women see things from a totally different point of view. I am five feet three inches tall. My husband is six feet one inch tall. I do not see the world from his perspective, nor does he see it from mine. Not unless we are willing to trade perspectives. I climb on a ladder, he sits in a chair, but come on, who always has that available? So we accept that each of us sees something differently, and we nobly, with grace, let it go. (Unless I get into a stubborn mode. You would think I would know better by now.)

Lesson Nine, It’s Okay To Cry. Nothing makes me cry faster than seeing a strong man cry. Because, ladies especially, for a strong man to cry, he has to break social expectations and give in to emotions. Men do NOT like that. They want to see a problem, analyze it, and fix it. If it is something they can’t fix, it confuses and frustrates them. It emasculates them in the deepest part of their foundation. We lost our son. It was horrific, sad, shocking to know a 21 year old was dead. Just gone. His life over. My beloved husband couldn’t fix it. He slid into shock, then into rage, then into a deep, long lasting depression. I got angry, got things done, buried our boy, and picked up the pieces of our life because that what a woman does, even while crying her eyes out. It wasn’t until my husband broke down and cried that I knew there would be a chance for our marriage to survive. He couldn’t fix it, he had to learn to accept the pain, the loss, the sorrow, and still go on living. It has made him a more tender, loving man. So, fellas, its okay to cry. The strongest of men are those who will allow themselves to cry in sorrow and in joy.

Lesson Ten, Nobody is perfect. No, you aren’t. Because if you were perfect, you wouldn’t need to be here struggling on earth. (Okay, there was a God pitch there, deal with it.) Both people in a relationship are flawed human beings. We say stupid things, do stupid things, hurt each other unknowingly and make mistakes. It isn’t a mistake to forsake your marriage vows, or try to maim one another, those are choices designed to end a marriage. Period. A mistake is making an inappropriate joke, telling your spouse something that will hurt them, and being so obtuse not to know. Imperfect means forgetting to say I love you when your spouse needs it. Imperfect is missing the cues she sends out that she is in need of a little tender loving care, and imperfect is to expect a man to catch those cues when they need explicit information to know how to act. (Note to females: Most guys only need to be told the parameters once, with an example, and careful instructions. From then on they will only need to be reminded with a code word.) Imperfect is to expect a man to understand female emotions, and imperfect is to expect a woman to understand that a man needs to FIX things instead of simply understanding and listening. But both come close to perfection when they try to see things as they really are and not through a cloud of emotion.

There is a lot more, small things, significant things that make a marriage work. Sometimes it requires judicial use of blinders, and a boat load of forgiveness. Sometimes it requires a huge sense of humor, and sometimes a hard line drawn in the sand. But, give it time, and most things can be sorted out. Two things are unforgivable: Physical or emotional violence, and infidelity. Either one is a deal breaker, and it can and will end a marriage.

To all my friends who are reaching the breaking point, breathe, look at your spouse, some where, deep inside both of you are the two people who fell in love once upon a time. Dig them out, dust them off, and let them rediscover each other in the older, wiser version of you.

And, that my friend, is how the Mr. and I manage to stay married after all these years.

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Listening To Him Sleep


I lay in bed listening to my husband sleep. I started thinking about the life we have shared over the nearly fifty years we’ve known each other. It hasn’t always been an easy partnership. Life has a way of making things difficult, painful, and sometimes, sad. We have loved long and hard, and sometimes, nearly hated each other just as much as we loved. We grew from young teenagers madly in lust with each other into adults who raised our boys, drifting along with, and sometimes away from, each other. But here we are, growing old together, still holding hands, still dancing in the kitchen to love songs, still laughing with and at each other, still loving each other. We still have dreams, ideas, and travels ahead of us, and we are all too aware that it could end in one last heartbeat of either of us.

Recently, my brother introduced me to a new singer, there are several songs on the album that I like, one, however, made me reach for the hand of the man I love. “More Of You” by Chris Stapleton. The words reached right into my heart and made me cry. In the past two years five of my long time friends and my mother have lost their partner or husband. Every one of them was a sudden, unexpected loss. All but one of these marriages was a long time relationship of between five and sixty years plus years. I have known these women for many, many years. One raised me, and the rest of us became close through friendship that led us together through good and bad, happy and sad events in our lives. Now, late at night they don’t have the blessing of lying next to the man they love listening to him sleep. It makes me hurt for them. And it makes me feel even more blessed than ever to know that the love of my life lies next to me.

I know as I look at him, sleeping and mumbling in his sleep, I hear the music and the words, “I fall more in love with you/ Than I’ve ever been….”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCcby6SVbJE

“More Of You”

When I think of you and the first time we met
And I heard the sound of your sweet gentle voice
My heart took me over and gave me no choice
And right then I knew

[Chorus:]
It makes me want more of you
Again and again
I fall more in love with you
Than I’ve ever been
From the moment you wake me up
Till you kiss me goodnight
Everything that you do
It makes me want more of you

When I look at you now that years have gone by
I think of the memories that time can’t erase
And all of the smiles that you’ve brought to my face
Your love’s been so true

[Chorus]

When I leave this earth you’ll be holding my hand
And it gives me comfort to know you’ll be there
And I’ll thank the Lord for the love that we share
You’re heaven to me

[Chorus]

Everything that you do
It makes me want more of you

Shopping With The Husband


Never take your husband shopping at the grocery store. Especially if he is hungry. One never knows what they will find when they get to the check out counter. It is even worse if we go to get groceries at Wal-Mart. Not only will odd types of food find their way into the trolley, but other things like tools, duct tape, smelly candles (that I can’t stand, but he likes), and the occasional packet of underpants will end up in the trolley too.

However, when we are in the grocery store together, I have a list, and send him off on explorations to find certain items. “OK,” he says, practically dancing, “what do I need to go find?” If he were a hunting dog, he would be salivating with excitement. “We need a loaf of French Bread. Not the kind in the regular bread aisle, but the Rustic French Bread from the bakery. Oh, and while there, check and see if they have any fresh hummus – the garlic kind – at the deli.”

“Rustic French Bread, bakery and hummus – garlic – deli next to bakery,” he repeats. Then heads off in the correct direction. I know that he will be gone a while, because he will get distracted before he ever gets to the bakery area, and once there, he will have forgotten what I sent him for in the first place. He will remember, bread, hummus – “Oh Look, CHEESE! Butterkasse, yummm.”  And when he gets back he will have the wrong bread, the wrong hummus, but he will have his favorite cheese.

Meanwhile, I will have finished with at least half my list, working methodically from one side of the store to the other. I take what he brought and send him off again. “Dish soap for the DISHWASHER, fabric softener, and I need some of those small paper plates.” “Dishwasher soap, Fabric softener, paper plates – small.” Off he goes.

I know, you see, that he will have to go past the automobile aisle, the office and craft aisle, and the miscellaneous household doodads aisle. He will get totally distracted the second he finds the light bulbs and he will spend ten minutes looking at stuff before he gets to the aisle that has all the cleaning products. Meanwhile, I keep on moving and filling my trolley. Eventually, he turns up, with Dawn soap, dryer sheets, and a huge container of paper plates, regular size – because they were cheaper that way. Along with light bulbs for our collection of about 50 packets already, super glue, some crayons for the grandkids, and a stapler – because it looks so cool!

The next things on the list will stump him for even longer. I am sending him after cookies, hot dogs, and a whole chicken for baking. Diabolical. Before he even gets out of sight, he is distracted by the magazine rack. He slows down and lets his body keep walking forward while his head turns as far as it can while he checks out the new computer mags. I know, of course, that it will take him forever to decide on hot dogs. He will end up with Hebrew National, but he won’t be able to stop himself from doing all sorts of computations to justify buying the most expensive hot dogs in the store. And he will end up with a few Lunchables for the grandkids. The cookie aisle will slow him down even more, because I know he likes Oreos more than any other store bought cookie, but there are so many more less expensive, and he will do the hem haw dance trying to talk himself into getting the Oreos. Then comes the chicken. A whole chicken. That means he has to decided how big, how much to spend, which brand, and by the time I am nearly through the store, he will come back with what I wanted. Sort of, anyway.

Then I send him off again for Ice Cream, get some for himself, and then find some difficult to find flavor for me. He will get Blue Bell chocolate chip for himself if they have it, and then end up with strawberry sundae for me from some off brand. (I actually feed this to the grandkids. Ice cream is ice cream to them.) While he is off doing that little chore, I put back the Dawn soap and get the right stuff for the dishwasher, I put back the dryer sheets and get the right fabric softener, and replace the paper plates with what I want. I keep his light bulbs, super glue, crayons, and stapler. I figure we can always us them some day. I end up getting the right French Bread, hummus, and replace on of his favorite cheese packets with one of my favorites. He never notices the different products when we check out, he is too distracted by the magazine rack.

Am I a horrid wife? Nah, just one who knows I have to keep him busy to keep him from putting odd things in my trolley when I am not looking. He is helping by staying out of my hair. It works. Really. Try it next time you have to take the husband with you. Just don’t forget about him and leave him in the magazine aisle, the store management really doesn’t like that at all!

60 years.


I was sitting in the doctor’s office this morning waiting , as usual, and filling out paperwork, when an elderly couple came in. She was a tiny, sprite of a woman, who moved with quick, birdlike starts and stops as she urged her husband across the floor to the sign in desk. He was a tall, heavy set man, with a manual laborer’s hands, and pure white hair that contrasted beautifully with his dark mahogany skin.

She was talking as fast as she could, and just kept on talking as the receptionist asked the man questions. He was, I understood, the patient. She was, however, his designated speaker. She answered every question, told him where to sit, told the receptionist that she didn’t want to wait long, and to hurry up the nurse and doctor so they could go have lunch. She fussed and fiddled until the elderly man reached up and took her elbow. And just like that, she stopped talking and sat down next to him.

While he filled out paperwork, she started telling him what to write down, he just kept on doing what he was doing, as if he didn’t hear a word she said. Soon she was carrying on a conversation with the woman next to her, and they set about solving the problems of the world. Well, she did, the other woman’s end of the conversation was pretty much, “mmhum” and “I hear ya on that one Sister.”

When the man got up to return his paperwork, he reached over and patted the old woman’s shoulder. She stopped spouting words, and sat still in her chair. When he got back and settled, she started talking again, and he reached over and patted her knee. He noticed the other woman and I exchanging a “can you believe that” look, he grinned at me and winked. Leaning toward me, he said, “It’s the signal we came up with years ago when she was talking too much or too loud. She can’t hear a thing, deaf as a post, but she surely does like to talk anyway. She reads lips real well, so you’d never know she can’t hear a word you say.”

I asked him how long they had been married. “Almost 60 years, now. And she is still the most beautiful woman I ever seen.” Then he turned and patted her arm, as she was talking a mile a minute to the woman next to her. He pointed at the door where the nurse had just called his name. The woman got up and started fussing and hurrying him along as if he were a toddler. He winked at me again. “Don’t tell her I said that though, cause I will never hear the end of it.”

When I left the doctor’s office, they were getting in their car. She was fussing and fretting as usual. I wondered if she was a backseat driver, or if she just prattled on until he reached over a patted her to remind her to let other’s get a word in edgewise.

The Waltz – A true story from my past.


It was a typical winters evening in Nottingham. The streets were glistening with rain, the air was cold and damp, and the walk up the hill to catch the bus seemed extraordinarily long since I had stayed late doing my daily shopping in the City Centre.
As I trudged slowly along, my ears caught the sound of someone playing old tunes on a piano. I glanced up and saw, through a large window, an elderly gentleman playing on an old upright piano in what seemed to be a recreation room in a pensioner’s home for the elderly. The walls were industrial gray green, the floors cracked brown linoleum, and the furniture the dismal Formica and plastic found in many such places.
As I stood listening to the piano player, he began to play a waltz. Suddenly, out of the shadowed corner of the room, a couple began the long sweeping steps of an old-fashioned ball-room waltz. The man was stooped with age, and the tiny, white haired woman seemed fragile in his arms. As the danced, they gazed into one another’s eyes with winsome smiles. They moved in perfect harmony, born, no doubt, of many years of dancing together.
The cold, wet evening seemed to disappear as I gazed at the dancing couple and in my mind’s eye, they were no longer elderly, but, instead, I saw a young, tall pilot in his RAF uniform dancing with a beautiful, dark haired girl with smiling eyes. A couple, obviously, in the first steps of love and passion waltzing in a crowded ballroom lit by crystal chandeliers and candle light. As he held her close in his arms, they began the steps that would lead them into a life together. One filled with love, pain, worry, and joy. As the waltz ended, he softly kissed her temple and swore he loved her.
The strains of the old piano faded and I was abruptly brought back to that rainy winter night, and the elderly couple stood in the middle of the floor as he softly kissed her temple. Hand in hand they slowly turned and walked back into the shadows of the room. The street was unexpectedly quiet without the music and the wind rushed around the corners of the buildings bringing freezing rain, but I felt warm in the glow of the light spilling from the window of the pensioner’s home and the small slice of life I had just witnessed in a waltz between a man and a woman who would love each other for eternity.

In Response to this post: http://lornamurphy.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/whatmarriagemeans/comment-page-1/#comment-19


Open marriage generally refers to both partners having multiple sexual partners while married to each other. That, I find, belittles the entire purpose of marriage. Why bother, after all, single people have loads of relationships (I use that term lightly) while searching about for the one person they can fall in love with for life.

Having been married since the age of 16, 41 years ago, I tend to see the word ‘open’ in a different light. Open means that you don’t smother each other, that you are honest with each other, that you support each other in good and bad times, and that you encorage one another to grow, learn, and become the person they are meant to be.

For instance, I didn’t go to university until I was 36 years old. But, due to my husband’s constant support, I managed to earn three degrees in five years, and was on a scholarship in Nottingham, England when our son died and I quit school to take care of his daughter. Without the encouragement, support, and outright cheerleading my husband gave me, there were times I would have simply given up. Instead, I graduated third in my class, Magna cum Laude, Mortar Board Society, and Alpha Chi Honors Society. That is an open marriage. Because, trust me, we didn’t spend all that much time together during those five years.

We have vastly different interests on many levels. An open marriage means that I don’t try to force him to change those interests because I want him to do things I like to do. Instead, I encourage him to do those things, and occasionally go along with him, and he does the same for me. We don’t have to live in each other’s pockets 24/7 to enjoy our lives together.

Most importantly, an open marriage means that we work as a team. No one is the boss, and we both work hard to keep things good between us. We talk it through, sometimes after a yelling match and a few slammed doors, but we talk it through. We also agree to disagree and some topics we avoid because we both know it will lead to endless debates and neither of us will budge in our opinion. But, we respectfully agree that as individuals, we should and can have differences of opinion, and still love each other.

The whole sex thing, well, trust me, sex isn’t the be all, end all of a good marriage. Important, yes, vital at some points in life, but the most important thing is love. Love, when he gives you a foot rub after a long day. Love, when you cook his comfort food (even if you hate it) when he is stressed out. Love, taking care of him when he gets sick, even if he is a bigger baby than your two year old. Love, when he sits through yet another three hanky girl movie even though it bores him to death. All those little things, that’s what makes a marriage work.

Marriage, An Occupational Hazard


1971

The occupational hazards of living with someone for years are many. Among them is the ability to know that they will wear the same shirt and trousers together at least sixty percent of the time, always listen to a certain kind of music, tell a certain kind of joke, read a particular author with great enjoyment, and another for edification.  They will almost always eat the same foods, drive the same way, enjoy the same people, and want to do the same things for relaxation.  They become,  predictable, comfortable, and taken for granted.  Like an old sweater, shoes, or a favourite pair of pajamas. The occupational hazard of predictability and taking someone for granted is one of the most dangerous hazards a couple can fall into.  All of the advice givers for marriage will tell you that.  They will list a long list of reasons why and then tell you how to avoid doing it.  All that is fine  and good, but it doesn’t always apply to every couple.
For instance, I like it that you remember that I like Dr. Pepper in a glass without ice and that I tend to want to sleep on the right hand side of the bed.  You know I hate it when the cupboard doors are left open and I always need the closet doors shut at night.  I like it that you know I will love certain movies, and hate others, that I am crazy about musicals and I don’t care for mystery novels.  You know that I am equally divided between the colours red and yellow, but that anything in hunter green will please me.  You remember that I am a collector of small boxes and anything with a fox on it.  I like it that you know what art I find wonderful, and that I would want to see a certain exhibit without question when it come around.  I like it that you know I want Onion Rings with my burger if possible, not fries, and that I am particular about what goes on my burger.
You know what music I like, most of the time, and that we can dance, listen, and sing along to the same favourite songs thrills me.  I love the old sweat shirts you wear and the jeans you just can’t part with, along with your Greek fisherman’s hat.  I like it that you tell me about your computer knowledge even thought you know I don’t understand half of what you are trying to tell me.  It makes me happy when you see something on the internet, or in a book, or magazine, or newspaper that you know will interest me and take the time to make sure I see it.  I am always pleased when you remember my interests in literature and try to understand as I prose on and on about things that you have absolutely no interest in, yet you go out of your way to understand.
I like the way I never know if your are going to start dancing or singing at any given moment, and yet, you are sensitive to my need to do the same thing.  I like the way we love to go to the same places on holiday, yet never get bored because we both like to discover new and interesting things.  We even go see things that would bore the other, and take turns doing it, so we both get to see what we want and still give a gift of understanding to the other. I know you will always find our way around in  a strange city, and you know that if I drive, we rarely get lost.  I love the way you read so intently, and you tolerate the fact that my mind wanders and sometimes I don’t hear you.
There are any multitude of mundane things you do for me.  I know you will always pick up empty glasses and do the dishes if I don’t get to them first.  Not because you are making a comment on my housekeeping, but because you don’t mind helping out.  I like the way you help make the beds, and help me move the living room furniture around for the third time when you thought it was fine the way it was in the first place.  I love the way you will go with me to the grocery even though you hate to, and then end up buying all kinds of things I would never have thought to get.  I know that if we go into a computer, hardware, electronics, or bookstore, you will spend a minimum of thirty minutes just looking around and not buy a thing, except what you went in to buy.
I know all these things about you and you know all these things about me, but does that mean we have fallen into the hazard of taking one another for granted?  Are we too predictable? Maybe, sometimes.
There are the times, however, when we surprise one another with something new about ourselves.  Try something new as a couple, like dancing.  Discover a new talent, thought process, idea, ability, desire to learn something different.  We are often amazed at how alike we are and how very different.  We have been together a very long time, and I still feel that there is so much I will never know about you.  Not because you hide it, but because you haven’t discovered it yourself yet.  I feel that there is so much more to me than you know as well, and in time we will make these discoveries together.
You make me feel alive, passionate, funny, and intelligent.  I know you are the most honest of men, you have integrity, and intelligence beyond my comprehension, and that you will do anything you must to protect your family from hurt, want, or need.  You are a dedicated husband, father, friend, son, and brother.  You love those who love you with an intensity that you don’t comprehend.  And you are loved in the same manner.   Everyone looks up to you, admires you, and tries to emulate you.  I know that in your career there are few who have the abilities you possess and that you can be or do anything you wish.  I know that you are loyal, determined, and strong willed and that you are a natural leader.  I know that your colleagues are amazed at your comprehension and knowledge of the work at hand and in the future.
You are, in short, funny, loving, passionate, intelligent, gentle, romantic, determined, honest, caring, devoted, strong willed, and the man that I have loved for fourty-one years.  Do we have the occupational hazard of predictability?  Maybe, sometimes.  However, I am blessed to have you in my life and that you know me so well.  I can only hope you feel the same way.