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Posted on Mar 23, 2012

The power of resoluteness in marriage

The Power of Resoluteness in MarriageA 17-year old secretary meets a professor twenty years her senior. Filled with imagination and ingenuity, she finds this man intriguing.

Five years later they get married and become lifelong partners in pursing a dream – his dream – to send a rocket into space. They share the value of resoluteness – he for his work, and her for her husband.

He never fully realizes his dream and dies of throat cancer.

But thanks to the resolve of his wife, this man’s work is not forgotten and 131 of his 214 patents are secured posthumously through her efforts. Two of these patents are regarded as important milestones towards spaceflight.

Who is this amazing couple?

Robert and Esther Goddard.

The quiet power couple

An American professor, physicist, and inventor, Robert Goddard created and built the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket, which he successfully launched in March 1926. This was just part of his lifelong dream of achieving high altitudes with rockets.

Robert suffered with many health issues throughout his life. But he never quit. And he never let financial constraints or public ridicule stop him from keep trying. That’s  resoluteness.

The same was true for Esther.

Throughout their marriage, and long after his death, Esther demonstrated her resoluteness to her husband and his work.

How? Some of the many ways included deciphering his notes (which she alone could read), photographing his work, stamping out the brush fires that were the results of his rocket launchings, keeping his account books, sewing the parachutes he used in his launchings, and never wavering in her support of his vision.

Even after Robert died in 1945, Esther continued to promote her husband’s accomplishments. Her resoluteness to his cause ensured he eventually received the honor and credit he deserved, as one of the founding fathers of modern rocketry.

The value of resoluteness

As a differentiating value, Resoluteness means firm in purpose or belief; unyielding and determined.

Robert Goddard demonstrated the full essence of this value from early childhood, when he was first inspired to consider the dream of rockets in space. He preserved this dream through his whole life.

This can be seen from a great quote by Robert, often highlighted, that comes from a speech he gave at his high school graduation (at age 21!):
“It has often proved true that the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.”

This quote almost defines Robert’s life, and how he embraced the value of resoluteness.

Esther also demonstrated this value, Even after moving from Massachusetts to Arizona, she became the emissary for her husband and his crews, and visited the town of Roswell for supplies and ensured a sense of normality for her shy husband.

Maintaining a belief in Robert’s vision and supporting his determination, while preserving a healthy balance made Esther a perfect match for him.

Robert & Esther Goddard were a true team. They shared the value of resoluteness to see his dream shift to hope and ultimately reality.


How do you demonstrate the value of resoluteness in your marriage?



  1. This one made me cry…

    • In this case, that’s a positive sign…. Thanks!


  1. Values Quotes – Robert Goddard on Resolve | Ferguson Values - [...] quote is from Robert Goddard, credited as the Father of Modern Rocketry. I recently wrote a blog post about…
  2. A quiet power couple. | Encourage Your Spouse - [...] a little bit from Robert’s blog about the Goddards: A 17-year old secretary meets a professor twenty years her…