I wanted to write a bit of an updated version of that post, because (a) we have been married now for over three years (and together nearly a decade) and (b) we have been dealing with varying levels of turmoil in this household due to having separate interests.
So here is how I feel these days.
First off, it is a real challenge. I used to think we brought out the best in each other. I still do (mostly) believe that, but man, is it hard work. When you have been together a long time, laziness ensues. For me, making concessions for L, and going outside of my comfort zone is getting tougher as the years go on. I have gotten quite comfortable. I have settled in for the winter, and I don't want to change. L is somewhat the same in this respect.
Okay, so there's laziness. Now combine that with separate interests, and problems can arise. For purposes of not making this blog post ten pages long, I will focus in on social aspects. The best way I know to describe it is that, mentally, I have become 75 years old, and L has stayed at 25. After graduate school ended, I promptly cashed in my "It's Friday night, let's get wasted!" card. Then we got married, and I kinda stopped wanting to go out like I used to. I can blame it on my health problems or depression from infertility, but really, the married version of me mostly enjoys alone time and hanging out with my husband. I like to order in, watch movies, read books, and spend an embarrassing amount of time on Pinterest. He is perplexed by the amount of time I spend online, likes to go out a lot, wants to hang out with friends, would love it if we drank together more, etc. So that difference I noted in my older post, "I love to be a nerd. He loves to be cool" has become a really big difference. It drives a wedge between us. We both have to work extra hard on doing what the other person wants to do, because, in some respects, we just don't take pleasure in the same things. We are working on this. Hence, date nights and other methods of married people fun, I guess.
As two opposite people, I feel like it really tests our limits as a couple. We want children. That is not a big mystery around here. Sometimes I imagine that if we had a child, we would have that child in common. We would both be interested in everything that involves our kid, and most of our efforts would be focused on said kid. I think we are really ready for that. But that is not our story right now, so we continue to iron out the kinks...just the two of us.
We used to be so infatuated with each other that I don't think either of us ever even noticed the negatives. Now, we are no longer trying to impress the socks off each other, and flaws are magnified. When I don't clean up, it isn't "my adorable little mess" anymore, L has that judgmental "clean your shit up" glimmer in his eye. Conversely, when L goes on some anal retentive cleaning binge, it isn't endearing to me, I look at him like he has a mental problem. There aren't fairy tale surprises around every corner. The rose colored glasses have gone missing.
We complement each other in a lot of ways, but we also have to compromise a lot, too. Yeah, yeah...no one ever said it was gonna be easy, and all that crap. In the same vein, many don't usually talk about how hard it actually is.
I am not necessarily looking for advice on this. We aren't like on the road to divorce or anything like that; L knows I love the shit out of his Container Store-loving ass. Just putting our experiences out there in case anyone else married someone with separate interests and has struggled with it.