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Of the people who are close to you, who is the person most unlike you? What makes it possible for you to get along?

Oh, so many people are different than I am, but there’s always some basis for a friendship. You’ve got to have something in common! I think the binding factor is belief in the same core principles and values, and honesty.

Oddly enough, I can think of four people right off the bat that are similar to one another, but different than me. The things they have in common is that they are very organized, speak their mind, know their strengths and limitations, and are more assertive than I am.

One of those people is my husband. We’ve been married just over 40 years, and quite honestly, sometimes I don’t know how we’ve made it this far! We were born four days apart and have the same Zodiac sign, Aquarius. There the similarities end.

He’s always on time; I’m usually late (though I’ve gotten better in recent years — it just took a while). He’s neater and more organized than I am. He starts a task and finishes it. I start 10 things and eventually complete them. He sees things in black and white, I’m a gray area person. He has specific and unshakeable opinions, and I’m open to various opinions and ideas. If you opened up his brain, things would be in neat little compartments, and mine would be a junk drawer. Got the idea?

Still, somehow I think we’ve compensated for each other’s faults and shortcomings. When the kids were growing up I was much more in tune with how they were “feeling”, he often missed that — but his empathy has grown over the years, just as my opinions have strengthened. His exceptional ability to focus enabled him to start his own small business, which has been quite successful over 30 years and counting, and part-time into retirement. I have trained myself to focus and finish tasks (for the most part), but I have to rein my mind in to do that. It’s an effort. I have been diagnosed in my adult years with ADD. (Would have been nice to know that earlier!), but I think part of that is personality, too.

We did fall in love for some reason, must have seen something in each other that was attractive. We got to know each other better after marriage, and have continued that process ever since! We have a mutual respect, recognize that we do things differently — some better, some worse, and share the same values.

I think it will last.