Garry F. Liday Corporation February 2019

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Garry F. Liday Corporation FINANCIAL COACH

RETIREMENT ASSET MANAGERS, INC. A Registered Investment Advisory Firm (RIA)

IT’S A COMMITMENT! Lessons From 36 Years With Louise

In November, Louise and I celebrated our 36th anniversary, which means our union has lasted longer than three-quarters of married couples in this country. That’s no small achievement, and we’re happier now than we’ve ever been. Some of this comes down to being lucky in love for sure, but I also think some of it is the result of the way we approach married life. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I figured I’d share some of the lessons we’ve learned over three-plus decades together. We had a bit of a head start on learning how a partnership works because we both graduated from the school of hard knocks with a degree in “failed first marriage.” Nobody wants to get divorced — I can tell you from experience that it is the antithesis of a good time. That said, if you do end up having to separate, you should use it as a learning experience. Everyone deserves a second chance to get it right. Now, if you’re on marriage No. 5 or 6, maybe what you should’ve learned by now is that you’re not suited for wedded life. In my case, the first thing Louise and I promised each other was that we’d be committed. Whether you opt for traditional vows or write your own, I’m guessing there’s something in there about sticking together through thick and thin. I’m not saying you should stay in a toxic or hopeless situation, but you can’t head for the hills at the first sign of trouble. Expecting a totally smooth marriage is as foolhardy as assuming you’ll never catch a cold. When we do encounter an issue, we discuss it frankly and openly. Wounds fester when you don’t address them, turning easily correctable problems into relationship-threatening issues. I mess up all the time, as all humans do. Louise is always there to point me in the right direction when I err. If it’s a bigger grievance, she’ll tell me in no uncertain terms what I did wrong and how to be better. These conversations aren’t always fun — who likes being told they screwed up? — but they always result in our bond becoming stronger and our days becoming more enjoyable.

There’s also so much I admire about Louise, and I attribute some of our success to her personality. She possesses skills I could never dream of having, makes me a better man, and teaches me new things all the time. One innate talent she has that I’ll never be able to master is her intuition. She can meet somebody one time and get a solid read on them. I have certainly wished I had recognized the characteristics of certain people — both good and bad — that she was able to pick up on in an instant. I guess there are some tricks you really can’t teach an old dog like me.

As Louise and I celebrate another Valentine’s Day together, there may be some chocolates and flowers in order. But if I choose the wrong stuff, I’m sure to hear about it — and that just may be the greatest gift of all. – Garry Li day

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