J. Paul Getty once said “I would gladly give all my millions for just one lasting marital success.” When Katie and I read that quotation we knew exactly what he meant. Getty, at one time the world’s wealthiest man, had a surge of regret at the end of his life. Lonely and approaching death, he said that his 14 homes and billions of dollars meant nothing to him, and he’d trade everything for one experience of marital happiness.
This touching quotation had special meaning for me , since I might have ended up like Mr. Getty had it not been for a chance conversation at a party.
In my book, “Five Wishes,” I tell about how a man at a party asked me question almost thirty years ago, a question so powerful it still resonates through my life every day. You can read the details in the book, but let me give you a quick sketch of what happened. The question invited me to look back over my life from the perspective of my deathbed, and to ask myself if my life had been a total success. If it were a success, what was the one thing I experienced that made it so? If it were not a success, what was the one thing I wish I’d experienced that would have made it so?
Once I asked myself the question, I realized that my life would not have been a success because I had never created a lasting love-relationship with a woman. All my relationships in my teens and 20s had faltered and fallen apart eventually. I had always blamed it on the other person. But now I saw that the real problem was me and my lack of ability to make a commitment. Once I saw how important this was, I made a commitment to Kathlyn (Katie), with whom I was in a new relationship. Twenty-eight years later we’re still together and thriving in ways that far exceed our dreams.
What did we do that made it happen? Stay tuned to this blog, because we’ll share it all here.