When I was about 8 years old, my parents were considering separation. I remember my mother putting on mascara in front of a mirror as I was sitting on her bed watching her. My mother turned to me and said, “Everyone likes your father and everyone likes me but we don’t seem to like each other anymore. So we have decided to separate.” That statement shattered my heart. My vulnerable young mind reeled in confusion. I cried. My mother was profoundly moved to see my reaction. Without saying a word, I ran out of the house and hid in a small forest. Some hours later my father came back home from work. They went in their bedroom and closed the door. I secretly put my ear against the door to hear what they were saying. My mother explained my reaction. Moments passed in complete silence. Then I heard them agree that they would work things out and remain together for the well-being of their children and the dignity of their marriage. At the beginning it was not easy for them but as the years passed I can honestly say I hardly ever saw two people that loved each other so much. Their love was unshakable and real. That love was earned by their unselfish dedication to each other and their family. It wasn’t just about romance because romance comes and goes. It wasn’t just about personality or having complimentary views on things, it was about a heart-to-heart sensible responsibility to each other for a higher principle – love for their children. This lesson surely does not apply where there is serious abuse. But for any relationship to be sustainable we need to adjust to cooperate, to forgive and to find a meaningful reason to live together. In my tradition we believe that our partner is God’s beloved child entrusted in our care. How we respect, honor and care for one another is intrinsic with our spiritual path. And that by faithfully passing through the apparent good times and bad times the easy times and the hard ones, we grow together and live a legacy of love. Much of what I am able to share with the world, I have received from the example of my parents.