Not every man can remember the moment he met his spouse, let alone the date, but mine is imprinted permanently because it was a significant day. 28 years ago, on June the 21st, I met the woman who has become my wife, friend and lover and we have been married now for the past 25 years.
June the 21st should ring some bells as it is the winter solstice which gives us the shortest day and the longest night.
So, give me the details my wife would say.
It was a gorgeous sunny Saturday afternoon and a few friends, and I had gathered at Seagulls to watch some live music. Today it is still there but now it is the McDonalds outside the new stadium.
The rest is very typical of new relationships. I looked across the crowded room, saw her, wondered over, introduced myself and knew within a few hours that she would be my wife.
Isn’t it like that for everyone?
Well maybe a little more complicated. Both of us had come out of failed relationships and were both very nervous of committing ourselves again.
I was adamant that marriage was not happening, ever again and of course there was the list. The one you made to say that your ideal partner would be like this and that and if they don’t meet all the ticks, they’re out.
My first tip is throw away the list. Everyone asks me how do you know if this is the right one? All I can say is you just know. Secondly, just talk. When we met, it felt like I had not spoken to another human being for two years. No games, no pretence, just hard-core conversation about everything and especially those hard to discuss things. It all just came bubbling out and 28 years later, that still forms the core of a good relationship.
Forget the old tapes. This is a brand-new person with a completely different personality. Don’t assume that the past failures will automatically happen in this new relationship.
It’s so cliché but yes, love is an action word and not just a feeling. The biggest thing that changed when we met up is that I started caring about her feelings more than my own. Sometimes we call it kindness or consideration but mostly it is just about being aware of your partner’s needs and feelings.
And after 25 years, what is it like? You remember that bit in the wedding service that said for richer and poorer and sickness and health. All that stuff is true and here is the best part.
We have no idea how life is going to turn out but it is so much easier to go through this journey with someone who genuinely loves you regardless.
So is it possible to find love the second time around?
I’d like to say yes. It happened to me. Happy anniversary Petal.