I met Mike Goldberg the first day of law school at the University of Virginia in September, 1969. By virtue of the alphabet, the F's and G's were separated into a small section for one of our subjects.
In life, as in waterskiing, I can best handle one thing (as opposed to two, or worse yet, many things) at a time. To say I get overwhelmed easily would be a gross understatement.
If I react now, it's game on for the ego, but game over for the relationship -- and I won't let the ego win, because it viciously guards a set of mistaken beliefs that drive me further and further away from the one thing I truly want the most: love.
The thought behind the outcry being that marriage has always been the exact same institution ever since the dawn of time or at least since the dawn of the Bible. Same-sex marriage, it is argued, is a radical departure from this unbroken tradition. But does the Bible actually present "marriage as an unchanging picture?"
While I believe that people should be happy and feel loved, I'm fairly convinced that, except in extreme situations, dumping your spouse and playing the field won't get you there.
As we approach your 14th birthday, it is with great trepidation and anxiety that I write this letter to you. I am so proud of the young lady you have become, but I feel I am fighting against the clock to instill in you the life lessons I hold so dear.
You'll notice I said thinking about sex, not physically having it. It's not that I don't want to, I simply can't muster the energy.
You can imagine how too much of this, without any deeper conversation, leads to intimacy just withering and dying between two people, whether they've just met or have been married for 30 years.
In our technologically modern world where people post their relationship highlight reels on social media and can meet potential romantic interests by swiping right, I think it's easy to lose sight of what's important when it comes to a relationship.
I don't know if your love will produce children. I don't know if you'll even want children. But I do know that you should hold onto these youthful moments. Hold onto what you had in that waiting line. Hold onto the jokes, the laughs, the unapologetic PDA.
Soulmates see the world the same way. Meeting someone who can finish your sentences, maybe even right away, is powerfully enticing. Sparks fly. You feel understood.
Clean up, above and beyond the call of duty. Not your dirty cup? Who cares?
Here are a few things I have observed over the last 20 years that you might consider before you say, 'I do,' to help you stay the hell out of my office. I suggest you give the following some thought before you wander blissfully down the aisle in your $15,000 wedding dress.
It's said you can't kid a kidder. But you'd also have to reach a pretty high bar to fool a couples counselor. We've pretty much seen it all. Fortunately for us, we don't have to reinvent the therapy wheel every time we meet a new couple.
Sure, the dads on TV and in movies are usually made to look like bumbling dolts, but I think we all know that's completely incorrect. My experience has been that dads can be pretty awesome, involved, and have the magical ability to make us swoon while standing in line at the neighborhood ice cream truck surrounded by their progeny.
Isn't your marriage more important than the wedding? Now would be a fantastic time to keep a firm hold on perspective. Make sure that appreciation of the memory is mutual by reaching agreement about your marriage ceremony in general.