Almost ten years after reading "John Adams", I've lately been recalling David McCullough's descriptions of the relationship our 2nd President had with his wife Abigail. I realize this takes me out of historian territory and closer to lightweight reader or romantic fool land.
Still, McCullough's take on Abigail's influence on John is fresh on my mind because I recently had occasion to recognize, again, how well my wife grounds me. Who do you rely on to keep you from getting too certain? My wife's ability to keep me on my toes is something I hope I'll never take for granted. I have often wondered how famous people who are constantly surrounded by people who only tell them what they want to hear can wade through their own bullshit as well as what's being thrown at their feet.
Both my sisters and my brother also remind me from time to time that I don't have a monopoly on truth. But family of origin relationships, even good ones like mine, are fraught with enough baggage that it's easy to occasionally ignore that feedback, especially when convinced I've discovered the holy grail. When my wife tells me to get over myself, points out holes in my logic or reminds me being right is not the highest virtue, I want to remember how listening carefully to Abigail helped John do pretty well.