You’d think that after 47 years of marriage, Debbie and I would know all that there is to know about each other. (Maybe, at times, a bit too much for our own matrimonial good?) Nope. We both are constantly evolving, even if in small increments, and not always in the same direction. Which is not necessarily a problem, by the way, just a fact of being human. And so we both make it a habit to individually ask ourselves who we are, who we want to become, and what might be the best way to get there. Ditto for who we are as a couple. So much to learn!
We regularly look for help along this path of personal and collective growth, and sometimes stumble onto real jewels. Enter the book 8 DATES: ESSENTIAL CONVERSATIONS FOR A LIFETIME OF LOVE, by John and Julie Gottman, with the help of Doug and Rachel Abrams, as well as Lara Hardin. Without going into lots of book-review type detail, I’ll just say that Debbie and I give it two very enthusiastic thumbs up. We’ve learned so much about each other by addressing the questions in those pages. And, in an unanticipated bonus, as good as this book is for deepening relationships in real life, it’s also outstanding for helping writers to deepen relationships in the world of their fictional characters. Use it for both, if you’re so inclined. Double duty!