Many people have taken notice of the relationship that Sam and I have. Close friends have asked us for years about how we do it and what the secret sauce is to our relationship. We both take this as a very high compliment and are honored.
The truth is that I never really thought about it. It simply came so natural to us. It’s not that we were blessed with some magical life with no serious problems. On the contrary, we have NOT had an easy time of it. Our life together would be considered by some, very difficult. We have faced hardships that are quite honestly, unimaginable to most couples, but we prevail. The image above is our feet, we took that in a parking lot. Yes, I was really smooching him which is hard to do bc he’s almost 6’5″ and I’m 5’3″
We thought it was a cute idea because we had matching shoes that day.
I asked Sam the other day what he thought our ‘secret sauce’ was to our relationship and closeness. He responded “Suzy, it’s because I am in ‘like’ with you.” Huh? I didn’t really expect that as an answer, and it caught me off guard.
“What exactly do you mean by ‘like’? You mean ‘love’?” I inquired.
He said, “No, I mean what I said… like.”
I asked him again to explain because he seemed serious.
He said that of course I love you. That goes without saying, but I believe that love is a bit overrated and that everybody loves everybody and everything nowadays. Actors and musicians tell their fans that they love them. People end conversations with ‘love ya’. We love neighbors, friends, pets, movies, cell phones and shoes…and that love has been watered down by its overuse. Heck- even McDonald’s motto is ‘I’m lovin’ it’.
How many of us have heard someone say, “I love my child, but I don’t like what he or she is doing”?
I have. Sam said that love is a given with your kids but ‘like’ is a bonus.
He believes that the power of ‘like’ is where it’s at.
Let me digress for just a moment. I’ll be frank; Sam and I have faced death (his) on more than one occasion. He is a beautiful soul and always tries to see the bright side and remains optimistic. We have spent most of our lives together searching for his cure and in the process we have learned not to sweat the small stuff because everything is small when you don’t know if you will have tomorrow together.
What we have faced, numerous times, over the past 18 years as a married couple would place a strain on any relationship. Let me just say it in black and white. Chronic illness ‘tests’ many couples. But we are still together and keep on keeping on with a single focus and lots of laughter.
I always thought it was love that carried us through, but Sam says he believes it’s because we really and truly LIKE each other.
He said that many people claim to love one another but don’t actually like the other person. Think of a family member that you say you love, but you may not like their actions. He pointed to many couples we personally know and demonstrated that the ones that had long standing, respectful relationships, genuinely like each other as friends. He explained that “as the years go by, it’s really nice to be married to your best friend so that when life hands you crap, you can laugh it away together or hide under the covers and hold each other tight and pray for things to get better.”
According to Sam, our ‘secret sauce’ is our ‘like’ affair.
He says no matter what happens between us, even when the ‘you-know-what’ hits the fan, we like the other person genuinely and from the bottom of our hearts (so much), that we hold on tight and do our best for each other. He believes that love may come and go, but like is a more stable emotion.
He explains that people ‘in like’ don’t usually hurt their partner because they are truly best friends in life.
Sam and I are best friends.
Whether it is ‘love’ or ‘like’ that carries us through the hard times may be debated, but we know that we love each other and liking each other only helps when times get tough. On more than one occasion we both have forgotten our anniversary and neither of us has ever gotten mad. A friend once asked Sam why he wasn’t perturbed by me forgetting (that year) about our special day and he said ‘because the other 364 days of the year are just as special with Suzy.’ We don’t need a ‘Hallmark’ kind of day to dictate how we treat each other.
You see, when times are sweet, it’s easy to love one another, but when life happens and the going gets rough, ‘like’ comes to the rescue.
The power of ‘like’ reigns supreme in our home. We like, we love, we laugh and we hold on tight to each other. It’s really all just perspective anyway. You can get mad because your partner squeezes the toothpaste from the wrong end OR you can go buy two tubes and be on your merry way 🙂 Life is precious and love is special. And according to my beloved Sam, ‘like’ is the glue that keeps our love, and us, together.
So this Valentines Day, while the world is throwing around the word ‘love’ on pre-written cards sold to the millions saying the same exact thing, try telling your special someone just how much you like them as a partner and if they understand and like you back, well then, you have your own secret sauce 😉
My wish for all of you is that you find someone special to fall in like with.