You weren't off topic! I was just sharing something I had found that my husband wrote that I thought might be an encouragement to others.
Our marriage is happy because we had both been in such horrid conditions before and so neither of us takes the other for granted. Barry had remained unmarried as he, after his father died, was the sole caretaker of an epileptic sister and his mother had had a major heart attack that left her bedridden. On my side, I had been married for 20 years to the father of my children when he walked out on us to be with another woman in 1991. He had had a series of affairs through the years I didn't know about and in order to justify them to himself had run me down constantly. It wasn't until later I realized no one can MAKE another person happy, no matter what they do. Happiness is the individual's choice of how to react (short of tragedies). After the older children had grown and gone, I had two left, both adopted, who were 14. One was Chris, who had had encephalitis at 3 and had become profoundly retarded as a result.
I was working as a science editor, helping authors get articles ready to submit to peer-reviewed journals. Mostly I was dealing with biology and genetics, but a friend of mine, who was a physicist at Stanford Research Institute, was also a friend with an astrophysicist in Australia and told him he should meet me. I had been seven years a single mom at that point and was not at all interested in marriage again. The pain had been too great.
I had read some of Barry's early work regarding the speed of light in the early 80's and had been impressed. But when he asked me to review a manuscript, I turned him down. I knew NOTHING about his field! He persisted, telling me he wanted to know if it was lay-friendly. I told him to email it to me as a Word file and I would look at it.
That autumn of 1998, we became good friends over the phone. The work on the paper was done via emails, but he would call more and more frequently as we began to enjoy each other's company more. I figured that with 14,000 miles between us, I was quite safe from involvement.
To cut to the chase, we were married two years later. Barry got a bride that was defensive, scared, and unsure of herself. I got a husband who was a firm and committed Christian who loved me and, in 15 years, has never once criticized me for anything. At first, if I made a mistake or did something wrong, I would literally cringe and wait for him to get angry. That was the pattern I had known for so long. It never happened. Gradually I became a human being again.
He healed several of the children emotionally. My oldest son and daughter were afraid to get married because of what they had seen me go through. AB (After Barry), they both got married and are parents now. He totally accepted my retarded son, Chris, and is the one who often changes his diapers (Chris is 29 now), does his laundry, feeds him, takes him on rides.
Barry is the reason this marriage works. I've tried to give him the home he never had in the meantime. Australia is so short on water that I designed walk-through gardens for our place here, with two water features. He loves it. From his den window he can look out on a rose garden.
We are both older now. I will be 66 in a few weeks and he will be 72 in mid-April. His health is not good, so every day with him is a treasure.
Here is something important: Barry knows the Holy Spirit in him and the Holy Spirit in me will always agree -- same Holy Spirit! So when we have a problem we can see our way out of, or a difference of opinion about something important, we pray together. Barry prays and I stay very quiet in my heart. We have learned that, often, God will pop a thought into my head that neither of us had considered before, which is the perfect solution. The first time it happened, I was rather shocked. Now we both know God is always here and His way is so much better than anything we could imagine or plan ourselves. We have learned to ask for wisdom and guidance individually and in concert constantly.
In addition, we have Barry's wacky sense of humor. We won't discuss it, but he can leave me weak from laughter. And laughter can heal so many rotten days.
Barry cares about me. Deeply, sincerely, constantly. If I am crashed out reading a book in the big easy chair he will say, "Is there anything I can get you?" Often I have my tea and snack with me, but if not, he will get them. He teaches astronomy at a local school. "On my way home, is there anything you need?"
Love is not an emotion, although plenty come along for the ride. Love is a choice, a commitment you make to care for someone else as much as, or more than, you care for yourself. I am loved. And so is he. He is my 'angel husband.' I don't know more than about four people in the world who don't actually like him. They don't always agree with his physics or his conclusions, but, personally, he is well-liked by almost everyone who has ever met him. I wake up in the morning and see him sleeping there and often wonder why, of all the women in the world, I was the one who got to be his wife.