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The key to a good relationship

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, it’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.”—Winston Churchill.

I love Churchill’s words—especially the part about listening. I’m 84-years-old, but I am still learning every day to be a better listener.

Anything good that has come to me through the years—my marriage to JoAnn, for example—exists and prospers simply because somewhere along the way I learned to stop talking and listen to what this calm, down-to-earth woman was trying to tell me.

It hasn’t always been easy. I’m going to say that again. It hasn’t always been easy. For a long time, I had a habit of trying to share my side of the story before JoAnn even had half-a-chance to speak. I guess I thought my hurt feelings were more important than hers—and once I explained things properly, surely peace and light would prevail.

I’m happy to say there has been a lot of change in recent years. I think it’s fair to say I’m getting much better at simply sitting still and listening to what my wife has to say.

I realize how glad I am that JoAnn and I are different, and see life in different ways. We think differently and express ourselves differently. But we’ve learned to complement each other–we’re the same but different, as we like to remind ourselves sometimes.

Most importantly, we both love truth. We both love what is right. It’s the key to a happy marriage, and it’s the key to a happy life. To quote Winston Churchill once again, “There is only one duty, only one safe course, and that is to try to be right and not to fear to do or say what you believe to be right.”

My love and blessings to you. As always, your thoughts on the above would be much appreciated.

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