In the very early stages when Carolyn (my wife) and I began our journey to build a life together, I made her two promises:
You will never have a day when you question whether or not you are loved.
It would not be fair for me to say that someone before has not loved you as much as I do, but I can promise you that no one will have ever loved you more.
From this simple beginning, our journey together to create the relationship of our dreams began. In the sixteen years we have been together, I have never backed off on keeping my promises. Much of what I share in this series grew from these two promises. Still today, these promises remain an open topic of discussion. Even without knowing I was going to be inspired to write this blog today, just last night I asked Carolyn about her feelings today on these promises. In this case, asking is far better than guessing!
Everyone chooses the path that is right for them, and we are each responsible for what we personally create. What I commit to doing in this series is to share my personal journey. I acknowledge that not all of what I share will be right for everyone. If I share something you can use, please do so. If you read something that leads you to want to share something of your own, please do so. I love feedback!
Both Carolyn and I had experienced the dark side of divorce before, and we both knew we never wanted to go through that pain again. Going through such challenging times affects us all differently. For Carolyn, she was doing fine alone, and was in no hurry to get back in to another relationship. Actually, that’s not totally accurate, she had no desire to get back in another relationship! Me, I wanted to be in a relationship. Regardless of my past, I knew it was possible to create a happy relationship and I never gave up the faith. We weren’t exactly starting on the same page in that regard, however, once we came together we both were committed to consciously creating the relationship we dreamed of. We were also appreciative of our past and the lessons learned. We knew that all past experiences shape the person we are today.
Falling in love is easy, people do it all the time. If couples are in love, then why do so many relationships not last? How many times have you heard the expression “we just fell out of love?” I’m sorry, but what a bunch of crap! Love alone does not a relationship make. I have said many times, it is one thing to love another, but you never get the full benefit of the relationship until you learn to truly appreciate the other. How to go about consciously and consistency building this appreciation will be expanded on in Part 2 of this series.
It is a fact of life, people are going to grow, people are going to change. In your marriage, know that each of you are going to grow, through maturation, through different experiences, etc. Growth is a given, and in a relationship this growth will take one of two directions … you will either grow apart, or you will grow together. The former requires no effort, just keep going mindlessly forward and it will occur. The later, on the other hand, requires awareness and conscious choices, it requires effort. Know this going forward and consciously choose the path that will create the relationship you are after. It may not always be easy, but it’s really not that complicated. Now let’s begin our discussion on how we go about doing this…