Love Lingers Here: Intimate Enduring Relationships–V. Exploring the Founding Story

Love Lingers Here: Intimate Enduring Relationships–V. Exploring the Founding Story

Mick had to return to Sweden and they corresponded by letter for three months, which brought them even closer together. Having decided to get married in Sweden, Mick and Sheila took on a new, joint project: Mick taught Sheila how to speak Polish, while Sheila taught Mick about American culture. Sheila is now fluent in Polish and speaks with very little American accent. Ironically, having moved to the United States with Sheila ten years ago, Mick now speaks Polish with a slight American accent!

The Enduring Nature of the Story

Founding stories seem to live forever—perhaps because they are often repeated by the couple. Even though the stories may become less and less accurate over the years, they retain their vivid quality. Betty and George, for instance, have been married for forty three years. Their founding, stories clearly reflect the values and mores of an era that is centuries away from many of the younger couples that we interviewed, such as Ben and Karen.

Even today, values remain central to the relationship that Betty and George have been established. George suggested that Betty begin telling the story of their meeting –though he often interrupted once Betty began. They apparently met at a bus station, through a mutual classmate. According to Betty, it was love at first sight:

I got on the bus and sat in the aisle seat until I saw Daddy [Betty’s name for George] coming and then right before he got to my seat, I scooted over. He sat down and we talked all the way home. We were both students. Never met anybody that I could talk with so easily. We had the same physics class.

At the point of their first meeting, Betty scooted over in her seat to accommodate (and attract) George. She has continued to meet his needs (often sacrificing her own) since this time. They were both studying to become dentists, yet it was George who became the dentist and Betty who worked behind the scenes as the manager of their dental office once again she made a sacrifice that was typical of women during an earlier era.


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About the Author

William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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