There's a line in Jack Nicholson's "As Good As It Get's", when he says to his leading lady, "You make me want to be a better man."
That's how I feel when I spend time with Joy; when I talk with her, when we do things together. Over the last four years she has shown remarkable forbearance as I've turned what was a routine lifestyle upside down. I quit my old job to take another which entailed shift work. Talk about turning life on it's head. Goodbye regular weekends and measurable patterns, hello to trying to adapt to a massive overhaul in our way of life. Add to that me leaving my faith, the thing which had bought us together, which occurred at roughly the same time, and you have some idea of what I put her through. To spend time with Joy is to be with a lady who eschews the natural qualities of womanhood. She's an absolute lady, from the way she speaks to the way she dresses to the way she moves. Quite how she ended up with somebody like me is a mystery; I'm a positive Tasmanian devil of lunacy. I don't think many could manage, yet together we've built something special. 13 years of marriage have passed and I can say that my love for her is deeper and stronger now than at any time. In fact, as the years pass the more her qualities become evident to me. In so many ways we differ; she has a deep and quiet faith, whilst I'm an arch skeptic. She's poised and considered; I'm the proverbial bull in a china shop. Yet from these perspectives we relate so naturally, and we each give each other time to express ourselves, be ourselves, explore ourselves. Like all couples we've had patches, yet at no time have we ever seriously considered not being together. When I left Christianity I know that many thought that this would spell the death of our marriage. How could we possibly live together? Or reach consensus? Or be a positive influence on each other? Well we've done it. And we're still doing it? And if you're interested as to why then all I can say is that is comes from a desire to continue to build something special, and to treasure a relationship that has borne two children and a wealth of wonderful experiences. Why on Earth would I walk away from that? What exactly am I going to find in any other woman that I don't already have in Joy? I've struck gold, I've landed a lady with a classical femininity and intelligence, and one who gives me the space the holler at the moon, to battle with life's big question's, and be the man that I need to be.