So … yesterday we visited some friends who live out of state and have, what we’ve already and often observed, is a deeply happy marriage. It’s not just a delightful, joy-filled partnership; it’s also a long-term one of over 40 years.

While we don’t know them as intimately as friends we might have known for decades, it felt fully okay over dinner and some delightful pinots last evening to plainly ask: “What would you say to a couple who desires your type of happiness in marriage? What’s your deal?”

“He’s my hero.”

I’ll call her Julia and she didn’t hesitate for even a moment to describe her admiration for what her best friend and partners is, has become, does, and represents. She wasn’t talking about his work, although his vocation is unquestionably admirable too … fully selfless.

“And she is mine.”

I’ll call him James, who was quickly and fully as sincere and authentic as they both are about life, love, relationships … of all kinds. So much evidence of such, all around them.

My dear pal/partner/spouse and I drove to where we were staying that night. Yep, that’s what we keep hearing from the happy couples, and yet again this night: It’s the amplification of the other (indeed, the idea resonates from a post from long ago, thanks Dr. Faase), deep admiration (not fake – totally real), and full respect of who the other is, will be, has journeyed, is becoming, will yet grow to embody.

Neat. Period.

And another great lesson from a wildly, in-their-element, just darn full-of-life happy couple.