Duane & Nancy, Westwood Hills, KS - married 1953

Duane:
I started thinking about our relationship in all this.  For Nancy, dealing with this disaster of a person who used to be a capable person, and a real partner.  So I started recognizing not just Nancy's capability, but the wonderful expressions of it.

Then, one day, I started asking myselfas I was gaining more of my capabilities backI started asking myself, "now what?"  You know?  Is Nancy going to voluntarily go back into the shadows, where she'cause I started realizing that that's how she had operatedwhere she had historically been?  Was I going to push her back into the shadows?  Was I going to require that she go out of sight?  And none of that worked.  None of that was appealing.  So then, I had to ask myself, "can I grow?"  Into this give-and-take, she's-in-my-face-frequently, feet-planted, relationship?  Can I learn to operate this way?  Can I encourage Nancy this way, to not just stay out, but continue to grow?  (He laughs, filled with emotion.)  So, yes.  We had always been partners.  But now, we were embarking on a new partnership path.  Which is a bigger one.

Nancy:
Well, yes.  Because as you gradually moved on into doing things again for yourself, then I didn't have to do those anymore, but it was a regrouping kind of experience for both of us, just to go through all that.  And I think marriages can go through a lot of stages; it's almost like several different marriages, in a way…

Duane:
Exactly.

Nancy:
…that you've had all along.  And you can kind of earmark things like that, that brought about real change.

Duane:
We became aware that, through the years, we had been a lot of different people.

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