There’s Joy In The Knowing

Posted: July 19, 2011 in Love and Marriage
Tags: , , , , , ,

When my wife was making her decision to choose to stay married, and asking me to come back to her, one of the things she said was, “You know me so well.”  She was referring to my knowing what she liked and how to take good care of her.  That only happens in relationships that have lasted a long time.

To know another person deeply and completely is part of the very nature and fabric of what marriage is supposed to be.  It’s supposed to be for life, and within that commitment and unconditional love should be the freedom to fully reveal yourself to another.  Each person should be able to know and trust the other fully, and be accepted and loved for who they are.

Like so many things, this knowledge, over a long period of time, can be either a strength or a weakness.  One weakness is that we can assume we know all there is to know about the other person and no longer make the effort to try to learn more about what is going on inside him or her.  Another is that people can feel that they no longer have much to talk about, because they have already disclosed everything about themselves to their partner.

We found that we could see how well we know each other as a strength in our relationship.  For us, it has become a source of fun and joy that we can finish each other’s sentences and that we often know what the other is thinking without either of us having to say a word.  Rather than see it as boring and old, we see it as some of the glue that binds us so tightly together.

Just the other day, we were invited to lunch by a lady who worked at the school with us last year.  At one point, my wife and I were talking about something and the other lady made the comment that we had obviously been together for a long time.  We hadn’t realized it, but she was hearing a conversation that made no sense to her, yet she could see that we were understanding each other perfectly.

One day, shortly after we had gotten back together, my wife and I were in the car and I had the air conditioner on.  My wife reached up and flipped one of the vents all the way up and I asked her, “Is it too cold?”  Then I immediately starting laughing and answered for her, because in that instant, I realized that I already knew exactly what she was going to say.  She would have said, “No, I just don’t like it blowing in my face.”

The reason I knew this was that we had been having that exact same exchange for 14 years.  What made me laugh was that it had taken me until then to realize it.  For almost a decade and a half, she had flipped up the vent, and I had asked the same question and received the same answer.  I guess the reason it clicked that day was that, having been apart and then reunited, we were in the unique position of having all that body of knowledge about each other, but living in the dynamic of a brand new relationship, where we were really paying close attention to each other.

Since then, we have been “getting to know each other” all over again and celebrating both new things we are learning about each other, and things we already know.  When we went to Eureka Springs recently, we found out what each other’s favorite candy bar was.  We each thought we already knew, but that was based on old information that had changed over the years.  It’s fun discovering that there are still things to learn, and it really helps eliminate the tendency to take each other for granted, or get into a rut with our relationship.

About a week ago, we were in the car and my wife said to me, with affection in her eyes, “Who else could I say fried tickers to and would know what I mean, or make the car sound and would laugh every time?”  She recognized while we were apart that the grass isn’t greener on the other side, and the unknown isn’t as pleasing as the one who knows you so well and loves you completely.

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