Steve. Now I suppose that's not unusual, but I rarely hear others say this about their spouse. I hear folks say they ride together, but I can't recall hearing anyone refer to their spouse as their "Riding Buddy". I read Trobairitz' Tablet and she often writes of riding with her husband Troubadour and the wonderful times they spend together. I admire that in any couple; the ability to spend time together and still value and enjoy one another.
I had a friend when I was in my twenties whom I was closer to than anyone in my life up until that time. Thomas was so much fun, so smart, warm and gentle, I felt I just couldn't get enough time with him. Having his life cut short at the age of 32 due to an enlarged heart devastated me. I felt completely alone and considered suicide. Only my 6-year-old daughter kept me alive at that time, having made a promise to never abandon her. I hung onto my life by a thread, wishing so badly I could be with Thomas on the other side. Until he was gone, I hadn't realized just how much his friendship meant to me.
Over the years, I've had a great deal of trouble making friends. I was living a lie after Thomas died, marrying a man I didn't love, trying to fit into a role I thought was best for my daughter, but forsaking myself. One doesn't attract friends, nor keep the ones they do attract, when one is dishonest. The moment I would open up to someone and show them a glimpse of my real self, they bolted. Imagine Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg, if you will.
One thing Steve and I have worked hard to maintain is valuing our friendship outside of our romance. We also maintain a healthy working relationship, having parameters that we both adhere to when we are discussing business. It's all pretty formal, but it works for us. One of my favorite aspects of our friendship though is being Riding Buddies. As Riding Buddies we treat one another as we would any other rider we share the road with. I pack my own bike, take care of myself, and ride my own ride. I still ask Steve to pump my gas, but that's because of my hand pain from Fibromyalgia. The truth is, I would ask anyone I ride with to help me with it.
To have different aspects to our relationship has actually helped our marriage. When we get into a funk in our romance, we can work together. When we are looking for someone to just take a ride with, we can hop on our bikes and ride. By having these different roles, we actually have a friend in our backpocket at all times; not just a spouse.
Maybe that's what I was doing wrong in my other two marriages. My first husband Butch is a sweet guy and I will always love him as a friend. We don't talk anymore, but for many years after our divorce we were pretty good friends. When he remarried a jealous and possessive wife, he eventually ended our friendship. I missed my friend more than my husband, and still do.
I'm grateful to Steve for being my friend, first and foremost. I hope that no matter what happens down the road, we will always be Riding Buddies and best friends.
Who is your Best Riding Buddy?