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Why Doesn't My Mate...?

Did you write a letter or email to a friend when you first met your husband, wife, or life partner? Did it read anything like this one?

Anthony is incredible! He seems to know everything, and if he doesn't, he just learns what he needs to know. And he's got guts. He stands up for his beliefs and even once dove into a lake to rescue another kid who had trouble swimming. But the thing that most amazes me is how he just never gives up. He picks a goal and goes for it, slogging through stuff that would bore me silly, ignoring rejections, paying no attention to anyone who says he cannot succeed.

Or perhaps like this one?

Brianna's not a crazy risk-taker. She's careful with her money, with her time, and with her words. And if she gives her word, she really means it. There's nothing phony about her, and nothing flashy. She's no show-off. She's down-to-earth, true to herself, and scrupulously fair to everyone she meets.

Maybe this one?

Carina is an artist. What beautiful paintings! And she plays the mandolin, too. And the digiridoo! I don't think she's ever been depressed a day in her life, either. She's always upbeat, always sure today's great and tomorrow will be even better and why don't we go do something interesting right now? I have the best times with her.

Or this one?

Dave is the most loving man I have ever met. He loves every living creature, especially me. And he's easy to love back. He's really spiritual, filled with grace and gratitude. He tells me he feels blessed that we met on that hike. He's had a lot of hard times, but he sees the silver lining in every cloud. And he's funny! His jokes are never mean-spirited, and he has me laughing all the time.

Relationships go bad when we ask:

  • Why doesn't Anthony ever acknowledge the things I do for him? Would it kill him to be grateful? Look at Dave! He's always grateful. Was Anthony raised by wolves?
  • Why doesn't Dave ever want to try new foods or travel to other countries? Why didn't I marry someone more like Carina?
  • Why doesn't Carina do what she promises to do? She says we'll go somewhere together but when it's time to leave, she's busy doing something else that came up. She promises to cook dinner but won't leave her painting until long after the sun goes down. If only she were as reliable as Brianna!
  • Why doesn't Brianna ever finish any of her projects? She never finished redecorating the living room. It looks awful. And she bought that course so she could change jobs, but she's only finished two of the lessons.

If you find yourself asking why your husband, wife, or life partner doesn't do something, go find those early letters. Or ask your friends to help you recreate them. Because you really were downright lucky to meet such a person. And if you ask for the right things, you'll get them by the truckload. It's only when you ask for something else that you're both so disappointed.


Fantastic! When Tammy and I began, around 2005 or so, getting back to some of the things we did when we first got together, life improved. And that meant getting back to those things that most attracted us to each other at the very beginning. Thanks goodness we woke up and smelled the fun when we did!

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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