One of my happiest memories is that of my parents complimenting each other, whether implicitly or explicitly, face-to-face or behind each other’s backs. Everything felt right in the world when my mom and dad were admiring and relying upon each other, whether it was in little things like cleaning and chores or in big things like vision or logistical skills. I’m not saying that my parents were perfect; in fact, they probably picked on each other more than they complimented each other (and they will never be reconciled to each other’s driving style!). But they had an understanding and appreciation of each other’s abilities, accomplishments, and efforts – a realization that their marriage was so much stronger with the gifts both of them brought to it than when either of them tried to dominate or control the relationships. Though they have never been particularly demonstrative or romantic people, I saw in this dynamic the deep love that they had for each other. And so it is this mutual respect and interdependence that I want to cultivate in my own marriage, so that both my husband and myself can bring our strengths to the table with confidence instead of pride or insecurity, rely on each other in our areas of weakness without feelings of shame, and generally form a team that functions out of a place of mutual love and encouragement.