Research Skills

I had to do a lot of research before I could say yes to this.

The other night, Lou and I went out for cocktails with one of our favorite couple-friends. When the subject turned to our parents, I realized that all of my dining companions have parents who are still married.

I always get very curious about long-lasting marriages. So I asked one of our friends a few questions.

“How long have your parents been married?”

“I don’t know, ” he said, “forever?”

“Are they happy? Like, is it a good marriage?” I asked.

“I guess so. I don’t know,” he answered with a shrug. Then he laughed.

I know I was being nosy but I couldn’t help it.

When it comes to marriages, I want to know everything. How did they meet? When and why did they decide to get married? How long were they married before they had children? Do they ever fight? Did they have a date night? Do they still flirt with each other? Do they still, you know…do it?

I’ve always been like this.

As a child, I was constantly spending time at friends’ houses. I distinctly remember the married parents. I listened in on their conversations. I noticed if they kissed when they first saw each other at the end of the day. And if they were affectionate, I probably stared.

When I was a teenager, I worked at a salon. While endless middle-aged clients hopped in and out of the chair, they openly talked about their spouses. A lot. I was sure to listen to every word.

But, in spite of all my research, I was far from an expert when I started dating. From age 17 to 27, I managed to royally fuck up a lot of romantic relationships. But, I eventually figured things out enough to land me a stellar guy.

And, lucky for me, Lou has a robust suite of marriage skills at his disposal. He had two amazing role models. His parents have been happily married for over 35 years and they’re still nuts about each other.

Every time we have dinner with Kummerers, I see his parents interact and I’m a little kid all over again. Fascinated.

Lou got to see that every day of his entire life. No wonder he’s such a pro.

Without having to think it over, he’s responsive, courteous, respectful, and a total blast to hang out with. Through him, I’ve learned how to be a better partner.

Last night, we had a big conversation about our marriage. We do this a lot. This time, we were talking about divorce. As we shared our fears, we also discussed some strategy.

“It’s an everyday thing,” he said. “Every day, I want you to know — beyond the shadow of a doubt — that I love you. That I think you’re wonderful, and that you’re beautiful, and that I’ll always, always be there for you. Every. Single. Day. And you have to promise me you’ll tell me if I’m not doing that.”

“Oh, I won’t be shy about that,” I said. “Trust me.”

One thought on “Research Skills

  1. Pingback: Four Years Ago Today | iguessiwriteforfree

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