Letter from the Publisher
Jan 29, 2015 09:12PM
We all know that the very short month of February is the time we tend to focus on love and relationships. There are a myriad of legends on how Valentine’s Day came to be a celebration of romantic love—from a liturgical celebration of saints named Valentinus in the Roman Catholic Church to the attention drawn to courtly love by Chaucer in the High Middle Ages. Not a holiday, per se, but a chance to pause and reflect on the importance that relationships have to our personal well-being.
Our theme this month is on building healthy relationships and in our feature article, Happily Coupled by Judith Fertig, she shares secrets of several couples from a variety of backgrounds who have successfully shared and thrived in long-term relationships.
I can’t claim that I am an expert in this field but I can attest that building a healthy relationship is hard work—but only on some days. Other days, it is the most natural, life-giving and soul-tending experience. Fortunately, with my husband, John, there are many more in which joy rules the day. This is the second marriage for both of us, so we had an opportunity to see where the sticking points were the first time around and make some adjustments.
We also came into the marriage with a clearer sense that romantic love—the intense connection that drew us to one another in the first place—is secondary to the day-to-day matters that fill our days and nights. Like Fertig states in the article, “Long-term relationships are partnerships in living.” Mundane tasks like grocery shopping and cleaning the garage are just as important to a relationship as the moonlight strolls and movie nights.
The necessary ingredients are mutual respect, trust and kindness. To that important list, I would include the desire to help your partner discover his or her calling and then support it as best you are able as a couple. At our wedding 12 years ago, John and I publically committed to encouraging each other to be the best that we can be—both as individuals and as a couple. In the years since, we have worked side by side in Haiti, in Biloxi, in Appalachia, as well as in the kitchen and the garden—tending to the domestic demands of life. We also give each other space to explore our passions that aren’t necessarily shared. I sail and John fishes. I sing and John gladly listens. It is a marriage that may have been made in heaven but is kept vibrant and interesting with our daily commitment to be there and offer nothing but love.
I hope you will explore the offerings this month in the magazine and use it to enrich your own relationships.
With peace and love,