44 Years and Counting—and Growing!

I call her my “What if?” gal. I’ll explain in a bit.

Karen and I mark 44 years of marriage on June 21st, and I want everyone to know that our marriage is perfect. We’ve had only decades of “ups” and no “downs.”

If you believe that, I have some land to sell you. 😂

Truth be told, my wife since June 1980, completes me. If that’s too sappy, let’s go with “complements” me. The reason is … we’re different. Vastly different.

How Different Are We?

I am pretty much a hard-charging guy with lots and lots—did I say lots?—of opinions. And generally not shy about sharing them. I’m the classic “Type A” personality: competitive, achievement-oriented, fast-paced, high-energy, goal-oriented, and impatient.

And sometimes (often?) annoying. Mrs. Miller would not disagree.

I also like being out front, so I love being onstage teaching “Personal Accountability & the QBQ!” Helping the audience laugh and learn is my goal, and I am more alive than ever when doing so.

Karen? She’s a feeler, concerned with people, soft-spoken, and prefers being backstage, behind the scenes, making a difference. She does have opinions, but they mostly remain unsaid.

For her, life is about relationships. One personality test revealed she thinks about relationships 88% of the time. Wow.

Me, not so much. Probably closer to … 5%.

Also, people who know Karen view her as … sweet. I doubt any human on Earth has ever used that adjective to describe me … unless I said it. 😅

People like Karen. A lot. And I love the fact that people like her.

Now, though we’re “polar opposites” in many ways, what’s odd (and outstanding) is that we are completely aligned on matters that matter, such as faith, parenting (7 offspring, 14 grandkids), and politics.

But day in and day out, we view much of life through “180 degrees out” lenses. So, we often regard people around us, how to do things, actions to take, and decisions to make differently.

But … What If?!

I began this piece calling Karen my “What if?” gal. For 44 years, she’s been by my side, watching me live life personally and professionally, challenging me with, “But what if this happens?”—offering thoughts I’d not thought of. This is where she does share her opinions, and though somewhat irritating at times—just being honest—her views have added tremendous value to my life.

Quick example:

As our “expert” writing and marketing team prepared to launch our first book and pondered many title options, Karen said, “What if … you just call it … QBQ!?”

Wisdom. So we did. 😊

Country crooner Keith Urban says it well in “Somebody Like You”:

Sometimes it’s hard for me to understand, but you’re teachin’ me to be a better man.

That’s exactly right. Karen Elizabeth Giles Miller, all 4’ 11 3/4” of her, does just that. She completes, complements, improves, and challenges me.

I’m thankful for that—and her.

Have you found a lifelong friend like this?

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3 Responses

  1. July 2 my “friend” and I will celebrate 58 years of marriage also with ups and downs but forever believing our vows of for better or worse, sickness and health, etc. were for real. We’ve had moves to places I’d rather not live (but cherish the friends I’ve met there); we’ve both had cancer and beat it (praise God) and functioned as single parents due to work shifts, but through it all we have stayed the course. Now in our 80s we have had the joy of world travel beginning with short term mission trips and now just for pleasure. Congratulations to you and Karen! Job well done. I’m sure when y’all are in your 80s you’ll still be praising God for matching you up just as we are. 😍

  2. Same story here but a few years behind you. My wife is the Rock in our marriage, our children know and treasure her.

  3. Hi John – and happy anniversary! I really can relate to your message. My husband and I are also approaching 44 years of marriage (August) and I have often thought we also are polar opposites. He is patient and thinks things through (and an AMAZING chef!), I am often impatient and want to get things done ‘right now’ (and am not so great a cook). We have definitely complimented each other over the years, and I think in some cases, have become more alike in that what was our weaker areas have become stronger from the support of the other. No one I would want to navigate this crazy thing called life with other than him (Phil)!
    Here’s to many more years for you and your lovely wife!

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