Last night was my cousin's wedding. I met a lady who is 92 years old. We sat and visited on a couch while she ate a cupcake and she asked me questions about my family and made the connection between me and the bride. When she discovered we are a month from our 23rd anniversary, she was delighted.
My husband eventually found his way to a chair near us, so she said she wanted ask him what our secret was. How have we stayed together for almost 23 years, when so many marriages don't last that long anymore. She said "What do you do to hold her close? What does she do to hold you close? What are those special things that you do that keep you together?"
Mostly we laughed and said it was hard work, making sure we communicated, but really, a wedding reception with many people milling around it isn't the time to reflect, but today there is more time to think.
In retrospect that was actually a tough question. It's not that we take each other for granted. It's just that there are so many things that we just do, that we don't necessarily think of then as special. I guess the important thing to remember, or to ask ourselves, is are we taking those extra things granted?
Thinking about it, today, one thing I can say is that one of the special things my husband does is anticipate. (I try to do this, as well) Anticipating what someone else will need is one way that really shows you don't take them for granted.
I'm not talking about someone who anticipates your every need like a waiter or a high paid servant. I'm talking about somone who is living his own life and as he does so, notices things that you would like, too. Notices because he knows enough about me to recognize things that I would like or appreciate. I am in his awareness, not perfectly and not always (nor should I be), but enough so that I feel valued and respected.
For each of us it is different, because our character and of course our likes and dislikes are not the same. It's the noticing that is what is important.
There are many other things we do, and there are many other things we probably should do. We are, after all, a work in progress.