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?
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.”