Roman / Guy Whisperer Case 527
She’s my life…
The Love Investigator: This was one of the few interviews I sought out. After hearing the tale of Roman’s love for Lori, I contacted her and she lovingly gave her husband to me for interrogation.
“She’s my life…” Roman says, his dark Latino eyes misting. He embraces the little things that comprise the grand love affair that is his nineteen-year marriage to Lori. “I can tell her anything, and I want to tell her everything because she’s my best friend.”
A teddy-bear guy with an uncontrollable grin, Roman has spent half his life in love with the same woman. He’s as rare as a willow tree in the desert, and I have the afternoon alone with him to determine how some men can love a woman in that complete and soulful way. All I need is one example, one case to relight my own beliefs in The Adventures of a Love Investigator.
We’re in the conference room of the office suites where my real estate business is located. It’s after hours, and the phones are blessedly silent. The two of us sip soda from green cans. Roman wears a golf shirt and jeans. His grayish hair is neatly combed. His hands are at rest. And his happiness fills the room like some sort of subliminal music.
Roman is a postal worker, and Lori is a hospital administrator. Her job is high stress with a lot of responsibility. Heart attacks run in her family and are a quiet, constant concern for the couple.
Months earlier, Lori had experienced sudden chest pains while at home. As Roman raced to call an ambulance, he was stricken with the thought of losing her. The emotions were so overwhelming Roman passed out, hitting his head on a table as he fell. Lori put her own pain aside and picked her unconscious hefty husband from the floor. Then clutching her chest, she drove them both to the emergency room.
When he regained consciousness on the gurney, and saw Lori at his side, Roman’s first words to her were, “I love you so much I would crack my head for you any day.” His love overcame his ego. And no, it wasn’t a heart attack for Lori.
Roman’s love is the old-fashioned, I love you more than I love myself, love. The kind I was hoping to find still existed. “Where does commitment come from? What do you draw on?” I ask.
His answer surprises me. “I don’t like the word commitment. That word sounds too forced. Lori is my life and that’s a fact. I don’t have to think about it or use words to describe it. It just is.”
“Do you ever fight?”
“Sure. I might get mad at her for a couple of hours, but then I forget it. It helps a lot when you’re friends because you’re always going to come back.” His smile grows.
“Absolutely,” Roman continues, happy to be sharing his insight. “The best part about marrying your best friend is that you take joy in each other’s lives. I love doing everything with Lori.” He looks shy. “Sure, I go out with the guys, but the whole time I’m out I’m thinking about telling her what happened and watching her reactions.”
He chuckles, enjoying an image in his head. “I even love shopping with Lori. I hold the clothes and follow her around.” He leans forward, laughing, again. “She has me trained to find the sales racks.”
I tell him of my misadventures and the awful men I’ve encountered in my interviews. I talk about the money-thing, the divorce court judge said was the ‘marriage breaker.’
Roman shakes his head, no.
“From the beginning, money was never an issue. We never had his and her accounts. Once we married, she just became a part of my account.”
“Tell me how you came to do that,” I ask. “Not the part about sharing the account but trusting so easily, so quickly.”
“It’s just natural when you really love someone,” he smiles and settles back in his chair. “Tell you a story that isn’t part of me and Lori?”
“Sure. Go wherever your mind pulls you. I’ll follow.”
“When I was a teenager, my dad had a carpet installing company in New York City. This elderly woman’s husband had died. A year later she decided to get new carpet.”
I listen attentively, enjoying the company of this man in love and wondering where this thread is going to end.
“We were taking out her old carpet, getting ready to install the new stuff. When I reached under the radiator in the living room to remove the carpet, I found a wad of money. Big bills! My dad and I gave it to the lady.”
He takes a sip of soda and pauses.
“There was more money under the carpet in different places.” Roman shakes his head. “During their entire married life this man had been hiding money from his wife as if she was his enemy. He was never working with her or for her. Now he’s dead and his precious money was almost lost forever.”
I can easily visualize this miserly man. Being stingy is another way of being selfish. And if you must put yourself first, then why bother being in a relationship at all? If money is more important than the person you’re promising to love and honor then forget about the promise. It’s worthless.
“What are you teaching your two sons about love?” I ask.
He laughs a deep, slightly embarrassed laugh. “I tell my sons – if mommy’s happy, everybody’s happy.”
I’m basking in his joyful energy. There is nothing indecisive about him. He reminds me of one of my earliest interviews, Kurt, the rock musician. He was all about making a marriage work. Roman is all about how it’s impossible for it not to work.
“You draw on it every day. It’s a force of nature and feeds off of touch. I can’t resist squeezing Lori or hugging her even if it’s just in passing. It gives us both something – a little turbo-charge. It keeps us going throughout the day.”
“How did you come to recognize that what you felt was real love?”
“Lori and I were friends for a long time before we realized what we had was really love. We grew up in the same town. She was a cheerleader and I was a football player.”
“And?” Another first love story!
“The love was always there, she just had to hit me in the head, one day.”
“How’d she do that?”
“We were dating other people. We would even double-date. It never occurred to me that I loved Lori. I think guys are that way. We walk over the obvious. Then one day, she just took a chance and told me that we loved each other. And when she said it, I thought, she’s right.”
He speaks softly. “In the beginning we were worried we would lose our friendship if we messed up our relationship.”
“But it was worth the risk?”
“Oh yes. I can’t imagine my life without her. Everything I do during the day, I wonder what Lori would say about it. I think of her constantly.”
Shrugging, Roman says, “I don’t know about me, but she shines with happiness.”
“What if you hadn’t taken that chance?”
“But we did.” He smiles proudly.