Every now and again I come across a story that is just beautiful and I must share. When that story is about a long term love relationship I am drawn to learning what I can about how they made it work and why they are together.
Goodness knows I’m a novice in the world of relationships with a partner.
In June William and I will celebrate 4 years together, a record for me and one I am not taking lightly.
It’s still an area of my life that I consider to be at it’s infancy but it’s a partnership I am deeply grateful for.
I have always found it easier to be alone. As I child I spent hours and hour plotting how I was going to run away and I think I created a default pattern for myself in my own mind.
But, even though I still often want to run away these four years have shown me that I am learning way more in a relationship about myself than I ever did controlling it all alone.
I add here that I don’t think a love relationship is the only relationship we have that forces us to grow. I believe all relationships, if real engagement is happening, force us to grow or hide more. We choose.
So back to what moved me so much about this article.
When Tom Ford’s husband, Richard Buckley, got throat cancer some friends assumed he had AIDS and they might catch it. Without hesitation Tom Ford cut all ties with those friends, standing by Richard.
I’ve experienced this on more than 3 occasions with William in the 4 years we have been together. Both with family and with friends he has made it clear in words and actions that he supports me.
Not the kind of support that is blind and unreasonable. I’m talking about the kind of support that someone like me, whose boundaries are not very well defined, can be reminded that some behaviours are just not acceptable.
I also love this excerpt ;
One of the things that always amuses me — amuses isn’t even the right word, because it doesn’t amuse me — but often, I’m at dinner parties with very close friends, straight, and they realize that Richard and I have been together 24 years, and the response is often, ‘Wow, you guys have been together 24 years! That’s so amazing. I don’t think of gay men being together that long.’ And I’m, like, ‘Why? What are you talking about?’ Some of the longest relationships I know of are same-sex couples. A lot of my straight friends have married and divorced and married and divorced in the time Richard and I have been together. I think that preconception, from even very educated liberal friends, that being gay is possibly more sex-based than emotionally based, is surprising and shocking in today’s world. I’m someone who likes being part of a couple and always wanted that and always sought that, and it would probably be true for me whether I was gay or straight. Richard and I are bound together, and I think that’s what that recognition is when you look someone in the eyes and you feel like you’ve known them forever. It is a kind of coming home.
Tom Ford and Richard Buckley
Although this article was published in 2011, their story is not old and they have gone on to have a son in 2012 and got married in 2014. It must be going on to 29 years together.
Mazel Tov to them both.