As Patrice wrote in her blog, today is four months to the day since we typed vows to each other on a knoll at our beach house, with our friends as witnesses. We had already been partners for two and a half weeks, but we considered that the engagement. When we stood up and made a public declaration, that was our marriage.
Not only are we still married. We still love each other, more deeply than ever. We're still in love with each other, which surprises and delights us. We still enjoy each other's company, make each other laugh, and comfort each other when things aren't going well. We give each other space to grow. And we still have a very hot time when we are alone together, nudge nudge, wink wink.
Four months and going strong doesn't just happen. I've written before, as have others, about how easy it is to have misunderstandings in Second Life. There are no nonverbal cues, except perhaps some crude manually operated animations. There aren't really even any verbal cues, because you can't hear the other person speak. We type to each other, including as much expression of feeling as we can. But we can't actually touch. We can't hold each other when one of us is feeling bad. And in the end, one person might go offline, from frustration or depression or just sheer exhaustion, leaving the other to wonder just what went wrong.
Patrice and I have learned a lot in the five months we've known each other. We used to have more drama. I was responsible for a fair amount of it. I swear, I'm not into drama, but SL does sometimes bring it out. Some people love drama in their lives, in First Life as well as Second. Hey, if that's what you like, have fun. Patrice and I have tried to avoid it. We're not dull. We just try not to turn little things into big things or let minor matters escalate out of control.
Mainly, we talk. We talk about everything. We talk through differences and difficulties. Again, that's really no different than in FL. I'm sure thousands of articles have been written about the importance of communication in a relationship. And when one of us needs silence, we do that too, which requires trust. Sure, sometimes our communication breaks down. Our virtualness is human and we fail. But mostly we work things out by talking, by not cutting the other person off, and by being open to each other. We like how it works.