13 September 2012

Opposites Attract: Part Deux (4 years later)

Four years ago, I wrote a cute little post about how L and I are basically opposites. I think it got picked up and posted on Weddingbee, too. My general perspective was, "We are so different, but fit together so adorably well. Three cheers for being opposites!"


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.

7 comments:

  1. we are in a similar boat...just SO different.
    And still young enough to be changing, so that has also been a struggling, learning experience "why do you need to do that now? you never used to!"

    I so relate; thanks for sharing.

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  2. I feel you...my husband and I are opposites in so many ways...no one ever pictured us together, including me and him! He is very analytical (engineer mind) and I am very emotional (Pisces)...I am a creature of habit and he likes to change things up frequently...he likes to get boozed way more frequently than I do...so many differences but like you, we share so many things that keep us close...but it's still a struggle

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  3. Yup - no couple is perfect, and it does take "work". I had the "fairy tale" with my ex-husband (note the "ex" there). We NEVER fought, loved just about everything the other person loved, and seemed to always be on the same page.
    But that crashed and burned.
    Then I decided I didn't want a "fairy tale". I wanted something real. Someone I could HAVE and RESOLVE conflict with - and if we can't resolve something, we love each other enough to love each other through it.
    My Sailor and I have some glaring differences. Spiritually, we're in different places. I usually want to go out MUCH more than he does (the Navy keeps him so tired).
    But we also find we're a bit contagious w/ each other. If he REALLY loves something, I REALLY want to support it and vice versa.
    Maybe not having kids right now is a good thing - it'll give you guys a chance to get on the same page a bit more so you know you're parenting styles will be in line and what not? I'm so grateful we'll be going through all the adoption training. It'll give us a leg up and help open up some great communication. But that's for another blog... or email. lol

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  4. Amen! My husband and I have been married nearly four years (together for 10). This post rings true to me in nearly every way. When you announce that you are going to get married everyone is so excited and happy for you, but no one ever gives it to you real-that this marriage thing is HARD work.
    I appreciate you being real about this. I love the hubs very much and we are in it for the long haul, but man we can really irritate one another! lol

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  5. i know what you mean about getting lazy and getting settled in your ways. it's tough to always try, but compromise and the love for one another gets us through :)

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  6. Totally get it. Our main difference, I plan and want new friends, he's cool just hanging at home. So I plan things to do, but we don't have that many friends!?!

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  7. Vito & I are opposite in a lot of ways too. I am perfectly content spending time reading easy, fiction books and watching a ridiculously amount of TV while he wants to be reading and learning. All. The. Time. He doesn't like to go out of his way to make new friends when I love making new friends. But I think we both go out of our comfort zones for each other. I make sure I read up on the news to talk to him about current events and he sits and watches "stupid TV shows" with me. 8)

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