Jane Kallir, gallery co-owner, 54, and Gary Cosimini, software developer, 58, New York, N.Y.
She: We were college sweethearts while I was a student at Brown University and Gary was at the Rhode Island School of Design. We met while working on a literary arts journal; I was the editor, and Gary was the art director. After I graduated, we moved in together in Manhattan in the fall of 1976—New York was the place for us. And in 1985, to celebrate our tenth anniversary of being together as a couple, we got married.
But exactly ten years after that, things began to fall apart. I think we’d gotten into a rut. We weren’t communicating very well. And Gary was the one who had the full-blown midlife crisis—he quit his job, left me, and bought a boat. When he moved out of our apartment, he wrote me a note that said, “I’ll always love you, but right now I just can’t live with you.”
That was hard. I think when a marriage fails, it’s usually the fault of both parties. I can look back now and say this was an important learning process for us, but at the time, it was awful.
After we divorced, we kept in touch. We had dinner together occasionally. He bought a house; I bought an apartment. I was dating; he was dating. I met some interesting guys, but no one could hold a candle to Gary. Aside from being intelligent, funny, and kind, Gary has such a special way of looking at things. Then, when his father passed away, in November 2000, I really wanted to be there for him. I drove up to Massachusetts in the snow, with a terrible cold, and I think it was at that moment that we realized we were still a couple and had always been. We wanted to be together. We’d shared so much over the years, like rings on a tree. We had such a bond.
We’ve just gotten married for the second time, this past November. The second wedding means so much! We don’t just love each other—we love each other more than ever.
He: I sent Jane a topiary teddy bear for Valentine’s Day some years back. I didn’t attach a note. It was my way of reestablishing contact with her at a time when she was angry with me. I thought a nice, funny, wordless gesture might do the trick. She got the message. It was a resurrection of our past: I’d given her another teddy bear a long time ago. She still has it.
We’re the same people today, but we have a new agreement on how we live and work together and how we help each other. I still have my house on Long Island, and I travel a lot for work. Jane runs an art gallery in Manhattan. So we each have our space.
The big lesson for me is the depth and nature of our feelings. We’ve been through difficult patches, but we’ve found each other again.