Imperfectly Perfect

Some people who know me personally probably wonder how anyone could stand to be married to me.

In all honesty, sometimes I wonder that myself.

I’ve known people in the course of my life who had a lot in common with me.  We had the same taste in music and movies, loved to read, even similar personalities.  According to the commercials for those internet dating sites, that’s just what you should be looking for.  Someone who is matched up with you point for point.  By why on earth would I want to me married to someone like myself?

I get a lot of joy out of self-deprecating humor (obviously), but I know I have some good qualities.  The flip side of that coin is that I have some bad ones that more than make up for the good ones.  I have a notoriously short fuse.  My mouth runs off like a half-broke horse, and sometimes acid drips from my tongue.

I am also one of the world’s great pessimists.

I try to pump myself up sometimes to be an optimist, but it’s hard to change a lifetime of dark thinking.  Bad things that have already happened, and bad things I worry might happen–they lay in my mind like the frost that lingers in the shade hours after the sun is up.

What would happen if I was married to someone who was like me?

Bad things.

Instead, I’m married to a man who is quite different from me.  I won’t say we are total opposites.  That’s not exactly right.  Our core beliefs and goals are the same.  We want the same things out of our lives.  Some of our interests are the same, but a lot of them are different.  Matt isn’t into reading.  Although our taste in music is very similar, my eclectic style tends to stray too far to the left or right to suit him.  He could watch “Full Metal Jacket” over and over and over and over and over and…..well, you get the idea, but I think it should be banned from Planet Earth.

Most importantly, he balances out my dark thinking quite nicely.  He has a very level, calm view of life.  He can lose his temper just like anyone else, but he has much greater control over his mood than me.  Rather than thinking the worst in every situation, he has a “wait and see” type of attitude that calms me down.  He works so well against my pessimism, because he doesn’t try to lie to me or be overly optimistic.  Instead, he takes a “wait and see” attitude that is very effective towards reigning me in.  He has the ability to be supportive without being patronizing, and for me, that’s a wonderful quality.

So all of that got me thinking, and what I decided is that I don’t need someone who is perfectly matched to me on 147 points of compatibility.  What I need–what everybody needs–is someone who loves who they are.  If you think about it, the pieces of a puzzle that go together aren’t the same.  They don’t match each other, but they are made to fit together.

 

That’s the best any of us can hope for.  And for all of my dark thinking and poor choices, I think I did pretty good on my choice of a husband.  I must have–it’s been fifteen years.  It’s easy to love him, regardless of the little differences that crop up.

As long as I don’t have to watch “Full Metal Jacket.”

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8 thoughts on “Imperfectly Perfect

  1. I know what you are saying….and my husband and I were total opposites when we married 28 years ago…and what happened over the course of that time was we became the other…and totally flip flopped!! so now..opposties still attract!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

  2. This was a nice post to read. I like hearing about happily married people. I think marriages like yours are the best kind because you even each other out. It seems like quite often, though, (and I say “quite often” because of the high divorce rate) people get stuck with someone who speaks or appeals to their weaknesses. So a lot of times you have two drowning people pushing each other down when what you need is at least one person who knows how to stay afloat and keep everyone’s head above water. The hope would be that eventually or even just on occasion both of you would learn to swim so that you can happily float around together. Rather than push each other down, you would lift each other up and enjoy the view. I am not sure that two drowning people could spontaneously learn to swim and save themselves.

    It is funny that I am reading your post right now because my daughter, who is in the middle of doing some psych homework involving the concept of happiness, JUST turned to me and said that I could never truly be happy because I’m too much of a pessimist. I dismissed her with a “pfft”. Ha!

    Anyway, I enjoyed your post and it is stories like yours that give a pessimist like me hope 🙂

    • There has to be pessimistic people in the world. Think of how annoying it would be if there weren’t! Believe it or not, all optimism can’t be that great, either. Like you said, balance. I can still be happy. I find happiness every day. I’m just more adept at poking holes in it than most people!

  3. Finding someone that’s ‘easy to love’ can be tough, sounds like you did just that though. Sometimes my husband and I joke about signing up for one of those dating sites, and seeing if we were matched! Ha! We are not perfect but that would be boring!

    • I’ve always wondered though, do people put their actual personality traits on those sites? I mean, do you ever get on there and see “world’s greatest pessimist–sure to deflate all your big ideas!’ or “chronic body odor issues?” I mean, how honest can a person actually be? I bet it’s a real reality check when some of those people meet in person.

  4. I tend to like pessimists. People who put themselves down get a bad rap but really, there is humility in it and also a keen rational eye. I’m sure a lot of self-criticism is bad for us but I’m like you – more on the putting myself down side but with humor. I too – if I think too long about it – wonder why someone would ever want to marry me. But my GF’s remind me that HE’S the lucky one and I’m here to tell you that too —> your guy may balance out your dark side, and that’s fantastic – but YOU do a whole lot more, you balance out his sacharrine side! Just kidding and being overly optimistic for you here…hope you don’t mind!

    • No, I need a little dose of optimism from time to time from an outside source. That way I don’t get suspicious that my husband is just being nice.

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