Time, Love and Loyalty
Finding love, treasuring love and trying to stay present
I’ve been in love with the same woman for 21 years.
Despite love’s endurance, I still struggle to define what love is. But I’ll try.
I gaze at the woman I adore, listen to her breath, caress her hair, smell her clothes and cherish every moment with her. I’m awestruck at how blessed I am in life to know her. This love is mysterious. Somehow we are connected with purpose and fulfilment.
Is this invisible force more than a human creation?
People might consider 21 years an eternity, others, the blink of an eye. I’m in the latter camp, finding time speeding by as if I were astride H.G. Well’s Time Machine.
In 1987 I watched a TV documentary called “It Was 20 Years Ago Today”. It told the story of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Back then I considered 20 years a lifetime.
Twenty years was halfway back to World War II, TV sets had wooden casings and Sean Connery was James Bond.
In 2017 the media has celebrated 50 years of Sgt. Pepper.
I realise 20 is small.
In my corporate job, I use big numbers. 8000 patients need treatment, or the hospital needs £1.2 million for a new MRI scanner. In private life however, it’s back to modest numbers. £20 for coffees and lunches.
Our lives, in years, fall into the small number category.
20 years sounds good for marriage, but remember it’s only equal to 10 iPhone contract cycles.
Snap your fingers and it’s gone.
If the next 20 go as quickly I’ll be staring 70 years of age in the face and that scares the shit out of me.
You and I are time travelling, on auto-pilot, unaware how short life is.
The Day The Clock Stopped
Time stood still once.
I was chatting with my ex-boss (my future wife) about a recent trip to Edinburgh. She remarked how much she loved the city and longed to go back. Without hesitation, I asked, “Why don’t we go back together”?
The office noise faded from existence, the world stopped turning and we connected. Something in the universe clicked. A few months later we set off and on the last day of the holiday I confessed my attraction and we shared our first kiss.
Four weeks later with no planning, I proposed. She said yes, and we married on the 1st anniversary of that kiss.
That day in the office we saw something special happen and our relationship has never waned.
So here I am, still in love and apologising to my wife for infrequent sulky behaviour. From time to time I wake up wondering if it’s 2007, not 2017. I’d prefer life to be slower, not zipping by at the speed of light.
Is Love Spiritual, or a Hit and Miss Affair?
Was it fate that brought us together, or a connection at a supernatural level?
(Oh no, he’s going to mention God).
God is a possibility, guiding our two spirits since creation. Then in the maelstrom of life, we’re brought together.
Life could have been different. Five years before my wedding I had proposed to someone else. Believing we were right for each other, the relationship soon became a disaster, mistakes were made and life moved on. The relationship needed a lot of work and that’s a bad sign.
In earlier romantic relationships, I felt I was cheating on someone. I could never explain the guilt I sensed at the time and blamed being crap at relationships.
With my wife-to-be, the relationship was always different. I wasn’t in a state of betrayal. My outlook was one of calm. The inner critic was absent.
Is There a Secret Sauce for Long-term Love?
It’s said that successful relationships need give and take. Try sticking with giving and forget taking.
Here are 10 clues to help sustain your relationship.
- Keep one vital promise — be a faithful, loving and loyal partner. When I reach my deathbed, I want to look back and know I kept my word.
- Say “I Love You” every day and mean it. Say it to yourself every day too.
- Treasure the warmth and closeness of your partner’s friendship. Breathe in their presence like morning air. Holidays or big career moves can be exciting. But don’t ignore the uniqueness of waking up every morning beside the one you love. It has an end date, so revel in it.
- Don’t let your internal critic control your actions. By allowing your inner critic to dictate your emotions you can say hurtful things. Work on the basis that the one you love is always right and enjoy their company.
- Always put the person you love first. Offer to drive on a dinner date so they can enjoy a glass of wine. Buy them surprise presents for no reason. Let them have the largest slice of cake and you take the mug with the chip. Little things matter.
- Never ever take you partner for granted. Every single day you have together is special. Life is special, and it’s a privilege to spend it with someone.
- Never sleep on an argument, offer reconciliation with a big sloppy kiss.
- Listen to their life, their day and everything they tell you. My wife loves to explain the issues that affected her day. Sometimes I get to offer advice or ask questions but I’m happy to listen.
- Hold them in your arms and think how wonderful they are. Hug each other every day.
- If sickness strikes, nurse and support them.
Search for nothing and no-one else. It’s that simple, otherwise, you’ll end up becoming one of the many experts in divorce.
Since the Beginning
Our love always existed, from the beginning of time. It only needed pieces of life’s puzzle to align.
That belief generates an undying loyalty. I look at the amazing universe, the vastness of it and yet amongst the chaos, two souls found each other.
Love is a spiritual power.
Love is joining with another human heart.
But mostly, love is indefinable.
Love’s source an enigma.
Love enriches life, it shapes who I am and ever will be. Let’s keep the mystery.
Thanks for reading. I’d be over the moon if you give a little 💚. It will help a few others find me 🙂. Take care.