When my husband and I met we were both younger, in better shape, somewhat more attractive and a lot less tired. We took the leap, the chance that all couples take and headed off into the horizon never looking back, always looking forward.
That was 17 years ago and let me tell you, we had no idea what we were doing or what was coming our way.
The thing is that none of us know what the future holds. Partners face all sorts of changes and challenges. One gets fat, one gets thin, one gets sicker, one gets healthier, one gets richer, one gets poorer and so on.
So what is the glue that affixes us to one another no matter how many negative forces try to pull us apart?
Here is what I can tell you. When I have something I need to talk about, he listens. When I have been sick, he has been there to support me, hold me and motivate me to scrap it out.
We do little things together like he cooks brunch on sleepy Sunday mornings while I read to him from the UK edition of Men's Esquire. I like the stories because this particular magazine hosts some great journalists and he likes the cars, the watches and the tech reviews. We eat side by side, flipping through the pages and looking at the pictures, some times in silence, some times in continuous conversation. We move as one.
He knows what stresses me out and what puts me at ease. I need a routine. I need to know what is going to happen next. I need to do everything NOW and I need to work out and write every day. He is extremely laid back and knows whatever doesn't get done today will get done tomorrow. He needs to cycle and ski. He needs to be around people, the fuller the room the better. I need quiet and time to myself, the emptier the room the better.
Yet somehow we make it work. We have explosive arguments like any other couple. Sometimes we say awful things to each other. It's as if the words leave our mouths and speed through the air without time to take them back. The thing is the closer you are, the easier it is to say something that is extremely hurtful.
It's the love that grows, develops and evolves through true friendship, through really knowing someone as well if not better than you know yourself and it's the acceptance of their imperfections and your differences, the loss at times for any understanding of why they did something impulsive to hurt themselves or hurt you. It's the chance you give them to fix things, to fix you, to make it all okay - that makes for a marriage of the souls, a bond that is unbreakable and reinforced simply by the promise to never stop trying, to never give up on one another.
A truly great partner is a best friend you hang out with for life knowing that if you are in trouble, hurting or lost; they will hold you, guide you and never leave your side.
And on a sleepy winter morning, over coffee, eggs and a magazine, they will be your Sunday.