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The Power of Love: Our Story of Love

Updated on November 16, 2012

LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES

“'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Alfred Lord Tennyson

I read those words for the first time in high school, and quite frankly I thought they were a load of crap! At the time I was being ignored by a young lady who held my heart captive and there was seemingly no hope for me.

And so it goes! The years marched by, and one failed relationship led to another, and with each lost love another piece of stone was added to the wall around my heart. There were times it felt like this might be the real thing, like there was nothing that could hold us back, that love would finally be mine.

Only to find myself alone once more.

An interesting thing happened after awhile. I found myself entering relationships convinced that they would not last, and by so doing I was actually sabotaging the relationship before it had a chance to grow. I began looking for problems where they did not exist, and I began finding fault where there was none to find.

Looking back now, I realize it was all a product of fear. I was a self-fulfilling prophecy. I was so convinced that love did not exist that I made sure my walls were high and the drawbridge was in the upright position, all to protect me from the pain that surely would follow. I began to withdraw inside my castle, and I began to keep a part of myself protected to lessen the pain.

I am told that coyotes, when caught in a trap, will gnaw off their trapped legs in order to free themselves and survive. I understood that all too well.

To the outside world I was a perfectly functioning machine. I was fun to be around, laughing freely, giving of myself when needed, a good friend and entertaining date…..and highly dysfunctional! I craved love and yet prevented myself from receiving it.

Looking For Love

Looking for love
Looking for love | Source
and I found love in this beautiful woman
and I found love in this beautiful woman | Source

A GLIMMER OF HOPE

A crack in my defense system occurred five years ago this month. While working retail one day, a woman walked into my store and awoke me from my emotional lethargy. Yes, I was attracted to her! Yes, I wanted to know her better! Yes, I was terrified!

Five separate times she came into the store and five separate times I did nothing about it. After she would leave I would kick myself, rant at myself, gnash my teeth and swear that the next time I saw her I would take one more chance at that thing called love.

Love is not logical; nor is fear! We humans are adept at protecting that part of us which is most vulnerable. Knowing I was being illogical did no good. Knowing I was afraid did no good. All the rational self-talk in the world could not weaken my defense system, and I began to believe I was destined to never grab the brass ring. I would be the perpetual fifth-wheel at all parties, the guy everyone felt sorry for, the aging sack of excrement who couldn’t get out of his own way in life.

To this day I have no idea where I found the courage to speak to that woman in February of 2008. Somehow I found the proverbial “20 seconds of courage,” and I asked her out for lunch…and she said yes!

Her name was Bev; her name is still Bev and we have been together ever since. It by no means has been a walk in the park; we both carried some mighty heavy personal baggage into our relationship, and we both had ghosts to deal with, ghosts that kept rearing their heads when least expected.

Seven billion people on this planet and in a small retail store in Olympia, Washington, two strangers who were oh so alike finally met. What is more remarkable is that they both were willing to tear down their walls and risk it all for love.

DAMN THAT’S HARD WORK!

To our credit we both knew we had work to do on a personal level. We both were fully aware that we were wounded, but we both vowed to work through it all. We would go along smashingly well and then run head first into our own walls. We would break up, lick our wounds, and go right back to each other, as if sensing that we could either get it right or give up all hope.

So we have worked at it, and worked at it hard. It has required looking in the mirror and seeing ourselves for who we are, warts and all. It has required making changes so that the old mistakes were not done again. It has required tears and cussing, adjusting and re-adjusting, but the bottom line is that five years later we are still together and we are in love.

So what are the keys to our success? Please note I did not write the keys to success for all couples because quite frankly that would be the ultimate in hubris. I have no idea if what we have done is good for everyone else. I suspect it is but I’m not about to make blanket statements that I believe apply to everyone. I can only tell you what has worked for us….our experience, strength, and hope.

KICK EGO TO THE CURB

We do not believe a relationship has any room in it for ego. A relationship/marriage is a partnership of equals, and must be treated as such. My needs are no more or no less important than Bev’s needs. This is not a relationship of one-upmanship, nor is it a relationship where only the strongest survive.

Bev’s needs are my needs, and my needs are hers, for the simple reason that two partners who are satisfied and happy have no reason to look elsewhere.

I have read before that the definition of humility is “perpetual quietness of heart,” and that humility is the opposite of ego. I believe that to be true, and for proof I need look no further than our marriage. When I am with Bev my heart is quiet, and she would say the same thing if asked.

TALK, TALK, AND THEN TALK SOME MORE

This was the single most difficult thing for me to learn. I needed to trust Bev enough to be willing to communicate openly and honestly. I needed to knock down those walls and risk it all. I needed to know that if I shared my feelings I would not be laughed at. I needed to know that if I shared my thoughts and my hopes and dreams I would not be shunned. And she needed to know the same things, for her previous relationships were certainly not built on communication.

Bev and I talk about everything. We talk about our future; we talk about finances. We talk about our feelings and we talk about our problems. Oftentimes, because we still have work to do in this area, we will misunderstand what is being said, and then, if that happens, we come back for clarification.

There is incredible safety and freedom in finding that one person who will stand by you no matter what you say or think. Bev is my best friend, my lover, and, as corny as it sounds, my completion.

Do you and your partner still act like kids with each other?

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HAVE FUN TOGETHER

Life is hectic at times, even for the two of us, devout in our philosophy of slowing up and smelling the roses. Bev works full-time as a merchandiser in stores, and I work full-time as a writer, so we don’t see much of each other during the day. However, we consider it imperative that we spend quality time together in the evening. That might only consist of a game of cribbage and a review of each other’s day, but we make sure we do it each evening.

Why? Simply because couples must set aside time to groom the relationship and keep it on the path of togetherness. It is too easy to let life steamroll us; there are always demands on our time, but how could any of those demands be more important than our togetherness? Logically, that makes great sense, but it is amazing to me how many couples forget this simple fact.

As I said, Bev is my best friend, and I am hers. Who else would I rather spend time with? Nobody! We have great fun together, and we are a safe harbor for each other, and we both need that time together so we can continue to feed our hearts and souls. After all, we have both been searching for each other for over fifty years; it only makes sense to reap the rewards of that search.

On weekends we simply have fun together. We go for drives, we go for walks; we go for hikes and we go for ice cream. It makes no difference what we are doing, but we are doing it together. Of course, if either of us needs alone time it is available, but those times don’t happen very often. We just like being with each other.

“FEELINGS, NOTHING MORE THAN FEELINGS.”

Bev and I are emotional. Bev loves to laugh, as do I. We both will cry at a moment’s notice while watching a movie, or when we see something poignant during the day. Neither of us has much in the way of a temper, but we can be sad and we can exhibit all sorts of emotions at any given time, and the joy of it is, we allow each other the freedom to have those emotions.

Feelings are valid for every human being. The feelings do not need to be understood by others to give them validity. If Bev is crying, my only job is to be understanding and accepting of those tears. If I am cranky or nervous, Bev’s job as my partner is to allow me to be cranky or nervous, and give me a place where I can talk about those feelings.

This is a biggie for both of us. We were both in marriages where our feelings were discounted and oftentimes ignored. I can guaran-damn-tee that in this relationship our feelings will never be discounted or ignored. Bev is free to feel what she needs to feel, and she is safe in doing so. The same is true for me. How cool is that?

Share those feelings openly and honestly

TO TELL THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

This was a tough one for both of us! Why do people lie? Simply to avoid the consequences of telling the truth. However, if there are no ramifications, but only understanding and acceptance, then there is no reason to lie.

It took me a lifetime to find someone who makes me feel safe in being honest, and that is as liberating a gift as I have ever been given.

I have heard it said that we are only as sick as our secrets, and I believe that to be true. There is no sickness in our relationship; we have faced our demons and ghosts from the past; we have aired our dirty laundry and we have declared that our relationship is a fresh start for both of us. There is great peace of mind in knowing you can be honest and you face no retribution or judgment for being honest.

SO MUCH MORE

Yes, there are other reasons why our marriage works, but the ones mentioned are the top five for sure.

However, I feel compelled to add one more: we don’t try to change each other. We fell in love with each other because of who we were, and we both consider it silly and counter-productive to try and change that which we fell in love with. So many times I have heard a spouse complain about something their spouse has done. Instead of doing that, Bev and I focus our attention on the reasons why we love each other.

I cannot speak for Bev on this topic, but I can tell you without a doubt that I am the luckiest man alive. I have been given a final chance to get it right. I have been given an incredible human being to walk side by side with, and I’m not going to blow this chance. It takes hard work, and willingness, and determination, and constant vigil, but the rewards are unbelievable.

I am no longer looking for love in all the wrong places. I have found love, and her name is Bev!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, in truth, pain seems to be my greatest teacher. I hope I no longer have to learn lessons the hard way. :) Thank you dear lady and have a wonderful day!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Hi billy, I remember reading this a while back. I'm glad that you found the love of your life and that she makes you happy. Sometimes we have to go through the pain to experience joy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann my dear friend; I hope you are well. Thank you! I'm sending you a big hug this morning, and wishing you peace and happiness. It's been a long road for this man, but the journey was worth it for the destination is beautiful.

    • AnnaCia profile image

      AnnaCia 4 years ago

      billy, I hear you. This is my lesson today, eh? and you did not even know it. I am so happy for both of you and also proud. How incredibly delicious is to say that your loving partner is your best friend; that you guys could have time from each other, but mostly you don't need it because you both have a great time together. You also mention that the road is not easy, but at the end, after waiting 50 years for that beautiful and special woman to be by your side, you cannot blow it now. Love it, love.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Highland, I see you stopped by quite often today; thank you very much. These insights....I wish I had had them earlier in life. Gratefully I now have them with Bev.

    • Highland Terrier profile image

      Highland Terrier 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      This is lovely and says much more than the words on the paper. I hope that life gives you and Bev all that you deserve and more.

      It would be lovely if the young couples read this and learnt from it, that would be very nice

      Well done Billy and Bev

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Love is beautiful when it is finally found, DDE. Thank you my friend!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Love and trust got to have both in a relationship and love is rare to find in different places

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      R Scott, thank you! Love is what it's all about my friend.

    • R Scott Roakes profile image

      Scott Roakes 4 years ago from Bridgton,Maine

      This was the first piece I read of yours and it seams we may just be. I enjoyed it thoroughly !

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Globe, thank you and yes, it has all been worth it. I appreciate your kind words!

    • Globetrekkermel profile image

      Globetrekkermel 4 years ago from CALIFORNIA

      wow! Incredible, billubuc. I can relate to the longevity of you relationship.Sometimes, it is necessary to go through the tough road to make it work but like you say, it is all worth it.... More power to you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jamie, you sound like me ten years ago. :) Looking back I know exactly how I did everything in my power to destroy a relationship, and it was all fear based and now, looking back, I just shake my head in wonder.

      I really appreciate you, Jamie. There is so much that we have in common....the important stuff and obviously not crafts. :)

      Thank you my dear friend and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      What you and Bev have is becoming more and more rare.. at least it sure seems that way. I have always been terrible at relationships. I thought about trust when you were talking about putting up the walls. I would actually act miserable on purpose because if I felt that I expressed happiness it would be taken from me. I didn't even trust him enough to express happiness around him. How sick is that? I still catch myself doing it sometimes... It's ridiculous... who wants to be with someone who is miserable? Thank you for sharing this, Bill. You and Bev have got IT. and I wish you both many, many more happy years together :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, thank you my friend. I will, indeed, have a great Thanksgiving, and I wish the same to you and yours.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      What an awesome hub and tribute to Bev. So many of your points are right on the money too. It is hard work, but so very worth it. On this upcoming Thanksgiving we should all be thankful for our significant others. Have a good Thanksgiving Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, your mother and I would have gotten along quite well....now that I'm capable of listening.

      Thank you my friend; busy week so I'm going to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving now. Have a blessed week!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      The Johnny Lee video was so right for this post. Your words, "A relationship/marriage is a partnership of equals, and must be treated as such." are wise, friend. My mother's words to me were along the same thoughts: "always treat your husband as if he were your best friend, it will put things into perspective." Voted up and sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carter, I truly am blessed, and I accept your best wishes in the spirit they were given. Thank you so much!

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Such a sweet one Billy, filled with a gentle rawness and truth...what a blessing to find the love of your life in Bev and I hope you continue to enjoy your BF forever and ever...cheers

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, thank you! I can honestly say I have never been happier, and Bev is a huge part of that happiness.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a beautiful hub, Bill, and your description of your efforts to build a successful relationship with Bev will be very useful to other people. I am so glad that you and Bev found each other.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ishwaryaa, thank you kind lady for those wonderful words. I consider myself a very lucky man, and eternity with Bev would be fine with me. :)

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      A remarkable hub about your love story with your Bev! Congrats to both of you for embarking upon a long and beautiful journey of togetherness and happiness. May this journey continue for eternity. My best wishes are always with you!

      Thanks for SHARING. Beautiful & Awesome. Voted up & shared

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, message received! Thank you Master! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, this one falls under the category "do as I say and not as I do." LOL Thank you my friend!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      THAT is our JOB!....our mission in life......the STAR we reach for from the moment of birth...TO BE A MYSTERY.

      We have succeeded. Be silent, grasshopper.............

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      I thought the same thing that Paula said the first time I read the story of how you and Bev met. But in the end, it worked and you two are together and that is good.

      Mark

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, leave it to you to set me in my proper place. LOL Okay, so I can be a bit dense...I admit it, I not only fell off the turnip truck but the damn thing ran over me. There, are you satisfied? :)

      Women will always be a mystery to me and that's as it should be; otherwise I'd get cocky and that's an ugly sight.

      Thanks buddy! Word has it that you will be highlighted in tomorrow's hub. I can hardly wait till tomorrow. :)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Whoa!....hold the presses! Didn't this all take place when you were running a U-Haul franchise?? You KNUCKLEHEAD!

      "She came into your store, 5 times." 5 times? It never occurred to you, she was presenting you with the "opportunity" to ask her out??

      Can we talk, bro? OK, here's how I see it: 1. Bev moved a whole hell of a lot...or 2. She had a thing for packing boxes and packing tape.....3. She WORKED for a moving Co.........OR..."BINGO".she was doing her damndest to flirt with you, you silly willy!.........MEN!!

      The only thing she didn't do was pack herself in one of the cartons and mail herself to your store.......I did that once.....he left the box I was in, in the back room and went on vacation for week....It's a good thing I'm not claustrophobic.

      I'm glad you finally stuttered your way to a date.....but not nearly as glad as I know you are!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, thank you! I consider myself a pretty lucky guy!

      See you at Boomer tomorrow!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      What a wonderful opening of your heart to this lovely woman. I am glad that you both found each other in this modern day love story.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, Bev has called me that since the first week I think; her pet name for me. How strange that your nephew does the same thing. :)

      Thank you my friend; looking forward to highlighting you tomorrow.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, I am so happy that you have found this with Mike! Blessings to all of us my friend...blessings to all of us. We deserve happiness, don't you think?

      You are, of course, greatly appreciated. Have a wonderful weekend and I am sending along a large hug and smile.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Such great advice Bill. The best things in life take work and effort. I am truly happy that you and Bev found each other. The best part of living is doing it with someone you love.

      Bill, what a coincidence that you signed your comment to Bev as billiam. I just recently had my nephew call me that. He looked at me and hmmm, bill, william, how about billiam :)

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Wow, how do I follow the love of your life. Quite an incredible and moving tribute my friend which is penned with such emotion and love, it sings. You have found a most wonderful partner in each other and have nurtured and tended it through the last 5 years to watch it blossom.

      I met Mike purely by chance just over 5 years ago and I see many similarities in our story and journey to yours. Thank you so much my friend for writing this and Bev's comment is probably the one that sticks out to me out of ALL your 20k + comments!

      Absolutely beautiful.

      VU, everything and shared my friend.

      Have a great weekend you two, thanksgiving thoughts with you too.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beverly, guess what? Tears! What a surprise, yes? LOL You are my biggest supporter, the fuel that keeps me going when I doubt myself. In my opinion, we are the perfect team, and we will only get better at this thing called love. Thank you my darling; life has never been better for this boy and you are the reason for that.

      love always,

      billiam

    • kingmaxler profile image

      kingmaxler 4 years ago from Olympia, Washington USA

      Oh my dearest love, you write with such poignancy. I am your devoted fan. To anyone who reads the comments I will tell you that Bill is my haven in a world full of questions. He calms me and gives me peace. When situations arise where our past creeps up we give each other time and space along with a listening ear. It was a confusing road for me to accept and hold onto this love. I was a push-me pull-you daily. I was confused by my feelings and while desperately wanting Bill in my life I also was desiring to run as fast away from the pain that could and did occur. I was so disillusioned by love. My internal person was convinced that love was synonymous with deep emotional anguish. We had our own dragons to slay before we were willing to trust each other. It took both of us wanting each other enough to look beyond the pain. I finally learned to let go of the ending for the now. This journey has been worth it. I have found my forever love and he is brilliant.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, i am truly blessed, as I know you are....life is good and gets better with each day.

      Thank you dear lady and have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Thanksgiving.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, that was beautiful and I thank you for sharing that. Yes, the love of your life lives on in your children and grandchildren; they are the living examples of what love can generate. Blessings to you my friend, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend and Thanksgiving.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Time my friend, thank you, and congratulations on being with your mate for 26 years. I used to think it was impossible for two people to stay together that long and still love one another; I no longer believe that.

      Just in case I don't see you this next week, have a very Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for your friendship.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, thank you, and I have no doubt that you understand what I'm writing about. Love needs to be cultivated; the soil needs to be worked, or weeds will eventually grow. I do not plan on allowing that to happen.

      Blessings to you my friend, and have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bobbi, your words of advice are right on! Little things do count so much; without them we are just taking love for granted, and that is a very bad precedent to set.

      Thank you my dear and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jen, thank you so much! Yes, I guess I am lucky to have met Bev, but luck has very little to do with us still being together after five years. That took hard work and willingness, and I'm still working at it. Great description that you gave about honesty and not hurting each other; I could never hurt Bev intentionally. Now, I might do something stupid without thinking, but never intentionally. I respect her too much and yes, love her too much.

      Thank you my friend and Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

      bill

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      How awesome is this HUB!!! It is always so wonderful to hear when people Find their true love and are so truly happy.. Blessings to both of you

      HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU

      DEBBIE

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, I will never take it for granted. Thank you my friend!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Beautiful.....I lost the love of my life in 1988. I have not found any man to equal him. God threw away the mold after he made my Hubby. We have four daughters, 7 grandchildren, and 1 great granddaughter and when I look at any one of them, I see my true love.

      You and Bev are so fortunate to have found each other!

      Voted it UP, etc.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

      Lovely, Bill...really. Obviously you both have learned whatever it is you need to know to make it work, and I am happy for you. My husband and I have been together 26 years. We found each other in mid life after some bad times, also. We knew immediately upon meeting that this was "it"...and we were were right. It's always so nice to know others who have found the same magic. I wish you both continued happiness in your relationship and in your individual lives.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Bill, this truly is a touching story. A story of love, of communication, of understanding, of sharing , of trust, of giving, of receiving. In fact your reasons for this working out is applicable to, I think, all relationships that work out. And I 'm happy for you and Bev to have found the missing part in the other. I wish you the best, my friend.

      Sharing this love with all.

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

      Billy,

      Such a loving tribute to the love you share. Being honest with each other is the seed that will germinate love.

      Take care to keep the weeds of “Lack of Communication” pulled out of your love garden. Keep the sunshine radiating on your love, and it will flourish with each sunset and sunrise.

      Kiss for no reason and remember it is the little things in each day that counts; a special look, a soft touch and my favorite holding hands.

      I am so happy for you both.

      Have a great Thanksgiving together and by the way Bev is lovely.

      Your friend,

      Bobbi

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 4 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      I love this Bill, and I am really happy for you both! Every point you say here are really important for all people to consider when they embark on a new relationship.

      When I met Steve, we made an agreement... no lies! Honesty is the key to our relationship and we have stuck to it for 13 years. Neither of us could ever do anything to hurt the other, because then we'd have to tell the other, and that would be too awful. Over the years, respect for each other has grown and we are more in love than ever! As I read your article I could relate to all your points and realised just how similar myself and Steve are in our relationship to you and Bev... it's great isn't it! We also agreed not argue over money, and we never have! :-)

      People call us lucky, and I guess we are, but it takes work too. Losing your ego is probably one of the hardest things for people to do, but also one of the most rewarding, because it's our ego's that blind us to the truth of what's really happening around us. When your partners needs are as important as your own and vice versa, the two of you can work through anything!

      Voted up and all sorts, and in case I don't catch up with you between now and then, a very happy Thanksgiving to you and Bev!

      All the best to you my friend, Jen

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing. Enjoy what has been given you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pooja my friend, so nice to see you! Thank you for your kind words. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love on HubPages.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! I agree with you, thank God I found Bev. :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I am so happy for you. Thank God you found Bev, but thank God she found you. You have so much to give. Thank you..

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      poojasd7 4 years ago from India

      Such a lovely love story! It touched my heart. The lack of communication is the biggest problem in any relationship. Overcoming those barriers of being mocked at one's weaknesses, is the most triumphant moment. You strike the right notes when you say that accepting and understanding the person as he/she is, which is the most difficult, yet so important in a relationship.

      Good points, my friend. :-)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you once again, Faith....you are special to me. :)

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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Dearest Bill . . . I have to tell you, when I first read this true love story, I just cried to no end, for my heart is overflowing of joy for your special love together . . . very special love.

      In His Love, Faith Reaper

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith....I have read what, thirty comments on this hub, and I'm sitting here after reading your comment and I'm smiling and crying. What a beautiful thing to share with me. This is a priceless gift my dear, and it came from a beautiful heart of a loving human being. Thank you so much; I am sharing this with Bev so she can cry tears of joy as well.

      love and gratitude always,

      bill

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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Oh my, oh my, oh my goodness Dearest Bill!!!

      You always say you are no poet, but dear one, I am telling you . . . no need . . . as this is the most beautiful write of a true real life love story that I have read. I am just blown away by such refreshing honesty here and sharing your lovely heart for your love here with us all. I am so very touched by each and every word you have written here. Yes, life is way too short to not communicate to those who you really love and tell them, even if you do not get the answer back you want to hear in your heart, it is always best to be honest and forthright with another, so they can move on and to just not be unclear as to motives of one's heart. And then the best part is . . . as in your case . . . it all works out. I am so glad that you have expressed here that we all come with a lot of baggage that really needs to be worked out, but if true love is there, then it will all work out. Yes, the importance of real communication is so very key in all relationships no matter what. You have blessed me here tonight and I will always remember and cherish these words here you have shared of the very special and very real love between you and Bev.

      Voted Way up to the Heavens . . .

      Hugs and love to you and Bev always, Faith Reaper

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, what a doll you are, and I mean that with the utmost respect. You know what? I deserve Bev, and she deserves me. There were decades when I couldn't say that truthfully, so I'm going to enjoy every minute of my time with this angel.

      Thank you for being you; what a great friend you are.

      love always,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha my dear, I spent five years healing before I met Bev and committed to trying again, and I'm not of the belief that everyone needs someone to be happy. You need time to heal; give yourself that time. God knows you earned it after that last guy. :) If the time is right, when the time is right, it will happen. Until then, enjoy your own company.

      All my best dear lady; have a wonderful weekend.

      love,

      bill

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      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy Boy - This is beautiful. I knew eventually the wonderful story of your coming together would be told and it was well worth the wait. You both seem to have a healthy handle on what works well and when it doesn't, neither of you ignore it. You discuss it, come to a mutual agreement and move the hell on without a second glance.

      Your's is a wonderful tale of two people committed to each other, come what may.

      I am so happy for you and Bev. For the tough roads you both had to walk alone, isn't it fantastic to walk the tough paths together now. People don't seem to get that life is about the tough roads as well as the easy treks - but those tough ones seem so much shorter when you travel them with stellar company.

      Love, hugs and kisses to you both and thank you for sharing this wonderful and awesome part of your life. XXOO

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, every time I read how you have combatted yourself to find the love you have with Bev, I question myself. All I read says we are built to share life. I've been there done that and frankly, I see myself in the beginning of this hub. But now, at this point in my life, I'm ok with being alone. Will that change? I have no idea, but I'd like to think it's ok for me to feel that way. I envy you. I really do. I just don't know if I could let my walls down if I were even to entertain the thought.

      I won't worry about it today. I'll know if and when, but not today.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tavmaj, believe me, I have to fight my negative side almost daily. I am a cynical optimist by nature if you can believe that. LOL I guess that's why I find this love so amazing.....I never thought it was possible. :)

      Thank you for your kindness; you are greatly appreciated.

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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      This hub is so meaningful, so powerful. I felt so much emotion reading it and, I guess, comparing my somewhat negative view of love. I'm older of course and its easy to carry on without thinking things through. You and Bev are an inspiration - I'm so happy for you both - and thank you for such wise words. Cheers...

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Louisa, I believe every bit of pain is necessary to bring me to a place of happiness. How else am I to learn? Pain has always been one of my greatest teachers. With Bev, I was finally willing to change what needed to be changed.

      Thank you my friend; have a wonderful weekend!

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      Louisa Rogers 4 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      Bill, you said so much so eloquently in a short space-- feelings, fun, honesty, talking, ego... stuff that doesn't just happen, I know. It takes courage and risking and letting your heart be open. I wonder if the baggage was necessary to bring you to this place where you were ready to do whatever it took to love and be loved. Your story is beautiful and I will take into the weekend with me.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Acaetnna, ain't love great? My life has never been so good, and I have Bev to thank for so much of it. Thank you for your gracious words.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, you are so kind and loving. Thank you dear friend; I am truly blessed, not only to be loved by Bev, but to have so many friends, like you, who care for me.

      love,

      bill

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      acaetnna 4 years ago from Guildford

      Oh wow this is so amazing. Totally romantic and completely 'my cup of tea!. A great, great hub. Love, to be completely in love is the key to a lasting relationship. The power of love between two people is so priceless and completely amazing.

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      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      Linda recently complimented me saying I stripped the clinical and wrote of human experience.

      With this piece of yours, my mind's little voice was saying..."Love is patient. Love is kind.........". You have stripped the prayer into beautiful living action in your relationship with Bev.

      Voted UP and UABI...you are blessed with each other. Hugs, Maria

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, Linda, Linda! What am I going to do with you? LOL Thank you for the hugs....thank you for the glowing words of praise....thank you, most of all, for your friendship. You are the real deal my friend, and I'm honored to be your friend. As for those walls.....well, you know! :)

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      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Bill, and Bev too! You are such an inspiration. It doesn't get any more honest than what you have shared in this hub. That took a lot of courage. Now, grab the arms on your chair because I'm going to surprise you. Been there, done that, still have the walls up. :-) Now, you know why you are an inspiration. Well, that's one of the reasons. I am genuinely, sincerely, deeply happy for you two. Your love and joy in being together is tangible and affects every person who is blessed enough to know you. What a tribute this is to love, to commitment, and to living life real and honest. I absolutely love this gift you have given to Bev, to your relationship, and to us, your loyal fans and friends. BIG HUGS!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nellie, I do know, and I am very grateful for your friendship and kind words. You are a beautiful person my friend, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. :)

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      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      Billy, I think you know how much I admire you, your lovely Bev and your beautiful relationship. It's a true inspiration. It takes a lot of character to face one's fears and go for the beauty beyond it! Both of you did just that.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, what an incredible comment. Talk about self-reflection at its rawest! That is what was necessary for me to move to the next level, and thankfully I made it. I can look back and so clearly see the way I refused to let a relationship work. I seemed to do everything in my power to make each relationship fail...selfishness...refusal to listen...refusal to compromise....and on and on we go.

      I have always said that pain is my greatest teacher. Perhaps I no longer have to turn to pain for the lessons. :)

      Thank you dear lady; sending you a hug and a boatload of gratitude for your friendship.

      bill

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      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Bill - Your hub really hit home with me. I've never been good at relationships. God knows I tried ( several marriages ). Looking back, I managed to find enough "blame" to pin on each man in my life. These were good and fine men and heaven forbid that I should take responsibility for each demise.

      I know today, that I alone have been immature in those relationships. That my lack of self-love and narcissitic nature was the destructive root.

      And yet I am thankful for each wonderful man that has been unfortunate enough to love me. Looking back, I always feel tremendous love for these brave souls. How different my relationship would be today as I travel the road of knowledge and unconditional love. But I missed the boat and it's not likely that my ship will ever come in again.

      This is a stellar hub packed full of truth and light. I am thrilled that you and your precious Bev have found your "shangrila". A more beautiful couple there isn't. Thank you dearest Bill and my love and respect to you and your Bev. Audrey

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, every once in awhile I do something right, and this is one of those times. I am an incredibly luck man, and happily I have learned from past mistakes and I am now thriving in a loving environment.

      Thank you my friend; have a great weekend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cris, thank you dear lady. I am a very lucky man, and I wanted to share that with all of you.

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      This is another one of your best hubs. There is so much truth here. I agree with the quote,"It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." You made very good points. Communication is essential in a relationship. Talking and listening are very important. I think it's amazing when you find the one who you can be yourself around, you can say whatever you want, laugh, someone who will see you as a friend, lover etc. I think your relationship with Bev is very sweet and a romantic love story worth reading. voted up awesome & beautiful. I enjoyed the video too.

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      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Awww Bill, this is a wonderful story. I love it from the beginning to the end. Love this part: “FEELINGS, NOTHING MORE THAN FEELINGS.” (reminds me of the song to add up in the Jukebox) (:

      Thank you for sharing it with us and congratulations to you both.

      Happiness always!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LaThing, it is my pleasure. I guess reality is definitely my thing. I try to live without illusions, and I try to paint a real picture of life. Hopefully that helps some who read my stuff. I appreciate your friendship; thank you and have a great weekend.

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      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      This is such an invigorating hub! Very interesting and helpful. I think those keys to success in a relationship, are helpful keys for every couple. You pointed out few of them, but they are the most important ones. I always get so much out of your hubs. They are real, truthful, and always helpful. You bring everything down to reality, and that makes things nice and simple. :)

      Enjoyed it very much, Billy. Another excellent hub. Thanks friend......

      Voting up, +everything....

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sue, thank you! I feel blessed, and you know what? I deserve this happiness, and so does Bev.

      Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for your friendship.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kris, I certainly understand your comment. The past does rear its ugly head at times; that's when the work and determination come in. I'm so happy that you are in love; bless you and thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, you make me laugh, and that is a wonderful gift that you give to me and others who have gotten to know you. Congratulations on not giving up, and for being willing to put in the work. Love is hard work, as you well know, but it is oh so worth it.

      Thank you my friend; enjoy your weekend with your bride.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donna, it warms my heart to hear stories such as yours. Hold onto that man; hold onto that love. You have paid your dues and now you deserve all the happiness that is coming your way.

      Thank you and have a wonderful weekend....and...have a wonderful life.

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      Sueswan 4 years ago

      Hi Bill,

      You and Bev are blessed . Couples who are truly love each other like the two of you , support and encourage each other instead of trying to change each other.

      Best wishes my friend to Bev and you. :)

      Voted up and away and sharing

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      KrisL 4 years ago from S. Florida

      Thanks for this . . . my husband and I would share many of the same tips -- the only difference is that we've been married a long time, and sometimes hurt feelings from earlier years of our relationship -- with the younger and stupider versions of us -- come up and need to be aired and healed together. Not easy, but completely worth it.

      Voted "awesome."

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      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill, Where do I begin? (When I was born, decades ago...no, that's too far back!) I was always the type of guy that felt love, instead of crushes. Weird, but that's the way it was. I dated the same girl for three years in high school, and then got engaged. Yet, things happen and that fell through. Later, another engagement. Oops, I moved to the South and she didn't want to. C'est le Vie! Then, I met my future wife. No, it wasn't love at first sight by any means. Yet, over the years, we've grown closer and closer. She wanted to change and needed to, so I helped her become more independent and self sufficient. With this, came self confidence. Now, she's not afraid to try anything, where as before, she was Little Miss Timid. We've grown to love each other because we've always been there for each other. Times haven't always been good (or even friendly), but, unlike many today, we never gave up on our relationship. After 32 years together, enough is enough! Divorce is coming ... no, just joking! lol After 32 years we're ready to go the rest of the way together. No sense in changing now, we're just getting to know each other! : ) Great hub, my friend!

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      The Frog Princess 4 years ago from Florence area of the Great Pee Dee of South Carolina

      Wonderful hub and the love story is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

      Your story of her walking into your retail store hits home with me as the person in my life today (we met in a big box store) and its been a growing love since our first date five months ago. He is so gifted and so much talent with teens and gives so much free time to children. He is the greatest person I have met in my life. We laugh, talk, dance, (he sings) and attend church together. Our dinner nites out are always special and romantic. What can I say except I feel love in the air. We each have two grands and its so much fun doing things with them included. God does and sends us different places for many reasons and he and I both feel it was our time in God's eyes. He knew we were both healed and he put the two of us together.

      Donna

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I agree completely; falling in love is fairly easy; making that love a foundation of your life, for a lifetime, is real work. :) Thank you Carol; have a wonderful weekend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pagesvoice, I love that...you wake up laughing, and do not go to bed angry! Perfect! Thank you for a great comment my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, thank you so much! Yes, we both had to risk pain in order to find this happiness. Thank God we were willing.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I know it's hard for some people to show their personal lives in an article; to me it is necessary to bring home my points. People relate to me because I have allowed them to see me with all of my warts and frailties. I am one of the gang, a screw-up at times, but someone who truly does try to do good things....like most of us.

      I was in the right place at the right time when Bev walked into my life. She is beautiful and loving and compassionate, and she is my inspiration.

      Thank you my brother; you are a good man and I greatly appreciate you.

      love to you,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Innerspin, a good love story is a wonderful way to begin a day. :) Thank you my friend; I greatly appreciate your kind words and wise comment. Have a great weekend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Steph...exactly! We are on the same team....I like that! Bev and I will have rough spots, but bottom line is we have no desire to be with anyone else, so we work it out each and every time. :)

      Thank you my friend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, my friend, so good to see you again. Mike and I have been carrying on the battle while you were gone; now I can take a day off and let you cover the front lines. :)

      Thank you Joseph! Have a great weekend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, thank you, and yes, there are ups and downs, but it is so much better than it was in earlier relationships, and there is no fear that it will end when ups and downs happen.