Nothing he did made her happy. There always was something that could be corrected, improved, tweaked, changed, worked upon.
Nothing was perfect...of course, perfect was not a possibility and everybody had a different definition of perfection. But he tried. Every time. Every day.
Forty years hence, she knew he would never come close to what she wanted him to do. Forty years hence, he knew she would never really say - This is exactly how I wanted it.
Forty years hence, they would sometimes ask themselves if it was all in vain, the effort, the trials. They would have varying answers depending on their moods.
Forty years hence, they would wonder what would life be like had they made other choices. Forty years...
Forty-one years later, they would know this...if not this, they would have another life, another future, but not this.
This, that they have now. This, that keeps them going. This, that they have found with each other.
Forty-one years later, they would trade those forty years for one more year with each other. Minus all the hunting for perfection, the expectations, the assumptions. One more year.