The Bert to my Ernie

Paul and I made it to the temple on Tuesday! YAY!!! I came home totally renewed. A feeling of melancholy that had been hanging over me, was lifted. There is just so much *hope* there, and light.

An interesting thing happened to Paul and me there. We were approached by a lady who said, “You two are just so cute!” Paul and I had been as buddy-buddy as possible through the session, as we do. She asked us, “Are you guys newlyweds?”

Paul told her, “Sure! Kinda. Just going on 15 years now.”

She was clearly surprised. “Wow! I thought you were newlyweds!”

There was a weird pause. And with weird pauses, I tend to get anxious and awkward and say things that are stupid. And so I said, “Yep. We’ve been working on it!”

Such a dumb thing to say. Paul laughed out of the goodness of his heart and I laughed, too, as if what I’d said was the most hilarious thing since sliced bread.

But I got thinking about that and, it’s true! We HAVE been working on it. It’s what you do! We love each other now more than ever. We really do! All we want is for the other person to be happy. That’s what we work for. We want the other person to achieve their dreams. And that’s what you see. What you don’t see is the difficult road getting here. Our first year of marriage did not go well. We both agree—it was not fun. For years, we were actually not happy. We didn’t know how to communicate! And it wasn’t until we nearly got divorced that we finally started talking to each other. Not shouting—shouting doesn’t accomplish anything—*talking.* Without getting defensive, without making excuses. We took turns saying, “Wow. Yeah. I didn’t realize I did that. I can see how that hurt you. I’m so, so sorry,” and *meant* it. We listened to each other—really listened, as you would your best friend, because that’s what best friends do. And in the process, we *became* best friends. I will never forget the phrase that came to my mind around that time, “Give love, and you will receive love.” And that’s what happened. That’s how we grew this relationship that I adore. We’re newlyweds for the first time, after nearly 15 years and 3 kids. I absolutely love Paul. He is my best friend! He is the Bert to my Ernie. ❤️

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