Anonymiss in DC

{September 1, 2009}   Epiphany

“All you need is love,” croon the Beatles, day after day, year after year.

Love is all you need.”


A while back, my mom told me about some adorable little old couple who’d been married for some absurd amount of time. They were on Oprah, or one of those shows– maybe the Today Show or something– talking about the keys to a long and happy marriage. And they disagreed with the Beatles. Love is important, they said.  But maybe more important is R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

I thought about this for a while, and I felt like I’d come across the Holy Grail of relationship knowledge.  It was like I stumbled upon the answer to life after the “honeymoon” phase of lovey-dovey-kiss-kiss. The butterfly “phase”…(although why that has to be only a “phase” I cannot accept.)

Anyway, I’ve been holding onto that thought for dear life. You can’t just love me, you have to respect me. You have to love me for my flaws, not just in spite of my flaws.  In short, you have to love me unconditionally. You have to think I am going to change the world for the better. You have to believe in me when no one else does, including me.

But I’ve started to rethink this recently.  And I realized “respect” doesn’t quite cover it. Respect seems to be part of some greater, bigger “thing”.  Maybe “teamwork”…but that doesn’t seem big enough, either.  What I really want, what I really need, is someone who is my partner for life.  Somebody I’m crazy about, who makes me weak in the knees, but also somebody who knows all of me and loves me (notice I didn’t say “loves me anyway.”) …basically somebody who is my best friend, the person who picks me up when I fall down, who believes in me even when I don’t.

I don’t mean this in a one-way-street kind of way, either. I want to be his everything, too.  I want to be the person he calls when he’s lonely, or when his sister’s in the hospital and he’s scared, or when he thinks he’s messed something up irrevocably in the office and doesn’t know how to fix it. I want him to know that I will always believe in him and I will always be there…and that no matter what, we’ll get through it. Together.

Why this is an epiphany, I’m not sure. It’s kind of intuitive really. But it sure seems like one…

Carrie Clark says:

In my experience, all of the best ephiphanies always seem incredibly obvious after the fact. This certainly seems like an epiphany to me and definitely gives me the words to express things I’ve been feeling lately. So thanks. 🙂

Patrick says:

I hope you are respected in your relationships!

Yup says:

Now that’s a brilliant piece of bloggin’ right there 🙂

Love and respect are hugely important, but generally recognized concepts, factors in relationship success. I’ve always consider the ability to fight well and fairly to be the sleeper skill that no one tells or teaches you to develop.

In other unsolicited information… I’m with Carrie. I think all epiphanies seem to some degree obvious after the fact. It is that certainty and clarity that gives them their power.

Anonymiss in DC says:

I’m onto you, “Yup.” 🙂

RR- how does one fight well and fairly? I always freeze up– it’s like instant paralysis– and I inevitably get angry/frustrated and start snapping. Unhelpful.

[…] Sand in the Eyes is the Start A couple of weeks ago Anonymiss wrote a post about the primary elements of a successful long term relationship. In the comments, I noted that Love and Respect are the universally recognized concepts.  The […]

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