People have been asking me, “So how are book sales going?” And my response has been, “Very good, and the feedback has been encouraging.” But there has been one recurring comment that I did not see coming—though maybe I should have.
After reading Don’t Blink, several people have said (in so many words): “John—loved your book. But I have to tell you that you are crazy! And also, your wife is a saint!”
Why am I surprised by that feedback? Guess I shouldn’t be because I know that assessment of me and Debbie is true—especially that of Debbie. I am sure her prayers have saved my life on numerous occasions—along with those of my mother who knows all about my impulsive nature.
And yet, this also reveals how two very different people (Debbie and I could not be more different in personality and interests) have been able to have a happy marriage (for the most part) for the past 41 years. Debbie has given me complete freedom to be myself and compulsively pursue my life of adventure. And I have not pressured her to be anyone but herself. This means that we have an identity as a married couple, and an identity as separate individuals. This also means that we have separate sets of friends who share our separate sets of interests—and this huge toward having a successful marriage.
A recipe for disaster in a relationship is when couples think that they have to have everything in common, do things together all the time, and place unrealistic expectations on each other which is simply a disguise for being selfish. Debbie has never been that way. And so I agree—she is a saint in my life. We often laugh at how different we are, but our love for each other couldn’t be stronger. And at the end of the day, I thank God for this saint in my life…
For Reflection: How do you deal with differences in your most cherished relationship? In what way could you celebrate differences instead of challenging them?