What sustains our relationship

18 May 2016

US president Barack Obama was talking about his marriage: “And then what sustains our relationship is I’m extremely happy with her, and part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once completely familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways.

“And there are times when we are lying in bed and I look over and sort of have a start. Because I realise here is this other person who is separate and different and has different memories and backgrounds and thoughts and feelings.

“It’s that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because, even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about the other person.”

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