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Oh my heart aches to hear this. GEM was such a lovely person, and so thoughtful in his posts. Let me ask the boards indulgence as I repost a response he sent to a post of mine regarding the "crosshairs of matrimony". It's a perfect demonstration of the quality human being he was and serves as my eulogy to his memory:Blackdogs asked: "From one who is tentatively in the crosshairs of the marital rifle, I'd appreciate whatever words of wisdom, warning or humor you can offer!!"Blackdogs,This is a good question, and one my wife and I have pondered frequently during our relationship. Essentially, we continually wonder why we are blessed with the same feeling about each other today, which we had when we first began dating.I haven't responded to your question until now, mainly because my wife and I have yet to come up with a definitive answer. But in spite of that (and at the risk of sounding corny, being way off topic, and boring the heck out of everyone), here are our collective thoughts.First and foremost we believe a major contributing factor is that we have been each other's best friend since before we began dating. In addition, we each share a group of people that we each consider as friends (some of them since our teen years).We've noticed that we share a common trait in how we pick our friends. We don't choose friends based on what they can do for us. Instead, our friends are people with whom we share common interests, enjoy being with, and whom we accept regardless of their faults. In other words we focus on their good traits and accept their faults without being judgmental.We've also noticed that we each get excitement out of the others accomplishments or excitement, even if its in areas that are of little individual interest to the other. For example my wife has little interest in fishing, but will accompany me on fishing trips. This is because she enjoys the outdoors, nature, canoeing, scenery, etc.. While I'm fishing, she is right along side me knitting, or reading, etc..Likewise, I do not enjoy sewing or knitting, but I enjoy the results. When she is in a fabric shop looking at sewing and knitting things, I'm right along side looking at scissors, needle threaders, thread, etc.. that I can use to add to my fly tying tool kit.In other words neither of us has ever attempted to force our individual likes or dislikes on the other, but we both go overboard in an attempt to find ways we can share in (and enjoy) the other's interests. This helps to build on to the number of interests we share in common.On the other hand, we each recognize the need to give the other space, so that neither of us ever feels smothered by the other.We each respect the others feelings, and monitor our own actions to guard against being responsible for actions which will cause the other embarrassment, concern or disappointment.We also share the same love for children, and agree on how to raise them. We treat each of our boys as individuals, and never ever attempt to mold them into extensions of us, or into a "model child" we may have read about in a book. Also, we never compare any of the boys against the other. We enjoy their positive traits, and attempt to "coach" them in improving their weaker traits (only if it was important for them to improve, or they seriously want to improve).Hopefully you aren't bored to tears by now, but you asked and I tried to give you an honest answer. There are many other things my wife and I thought of, but those above (in addition to those listed by blford (a.k.a Bill F.) in his response to you at http://fireboards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=17463858 ) should cover the major points.I do know one thing. We feel blessed that we do feel this way about each other, and that we share the same thoughts on how to treat each other, as well as other people.Together, we have been able to cope with life's continual surprises as a team. We're in it together, for life. So far it has been a fabulous ride.Best of luck in your journey. If you are lucky enough to be half as happy and my wife and I are, you will be doing good.Hope this helps,IllinoisGEMGEM emailed me privately and continued to offer encouragement and his gentle wisdom, which was received with gratitude.Rest in peace, GEMwith tears in her eyes, bd
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