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Why Be Married? For the Lows and the Highs

A friend's mother died last week. An only child, he would have been alone in sitting with her as she slipped away and in dealing with her death. But he wasn't. He's married to a wonderful woman who provided help and love during all of it. Being married softens the blow of our low points.

It also enhances our high points. Last week, my husband, Ed, celebrated his birthday by taking his first flying lesson. He's wanted to fly for 40 years or more. He'd crossed many obstacles to reach this starting point. I went along. Shot 75 pictures to capture every bit of it. Watched him learn to do the pre-flight check. Stood there with tears in my eyes as he started up the plane lights and then the propeller and began down the taxiway. Cheered as the wheels left the ground.

My eyes welled up again as he hopped out of the plane and posed by it, all grins, for my final snapshot. When I proposed a celebration at a local restaurant, he agreed in an instant. We smiled at each other through the last bit of dessert. Then we relived the experience with the photos. It had been an unforgettable high point for both of us.

Comments

Thanks for sharing the flying lesson and your mutual joy. I agree that the sharing moments support and nuture us. My husband and I sometime wonder how the survivors of couples who have spent a long time together manage to introduce old memories and shared experiences into new relationships. We have so many private jokes and shorthand links to past pleasures that it's hard to imagine not having that, but wonder if new partners would find it a gift or a threat. Maybe that's where the assume love part comes in...

If we assume love, it's not likely to be a threat. I believe it's bestowing a blessing on one's spouse to be open to hearing remembrances of an earlier relationship.

While I really enjoyed falling in love with someone new, I was reminded constantly of how much "thinner" a relationship feels without all that shared history. If I'd been denied the opportunity to relate my shared history, I would have also lost much of the richness of my personal history.

After 9 years together, Ed and I now have a nice collection of savored moments, and the first flying lesson will become one we enjoy again and again.

I guess that's where I was going--if it's love, it will honor the life before this relationship, so one should feel free (safe?) to bring old pleasures to the new loving relationship. I'm not planning on testing this concept, wanting to keep the husband I have, but we were reminded of the question this weekend when an old friend brought a new wife to visit at my sister's. New wife should have a copy of your book...

Congrats to Ed for starting towards a new goal! Wait till his first solo flight -- what a kick *that* will be.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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