Opposites attract. Or so said Paula Abdul and Skat Kat. I'm pretty sure a famous scientist said it, too, someone perhaps with more credibility than Skat Kat. Anyway...I'd like to believe in that theory.
The thing is, if I don't go with that way of thinking, my marriage is doomed. Andy and I are polar opposites. In some ways, I don't know how we've lasted this long because of it; in other ways, I think we're a perfect match. We disagree a lot, but at the same time, like a geometric principle, we complement each other.
I'm as spontaneous as can be. I'm all about taking a random road trip one day, out of nowhere. Or buying an albino Burmese python on the spur of the moment. (That happened.) All of my tattoos came about impulsively, too, because what better way to alter your body forever than by doing it on a whim? Andy, on the other hand, is a planner. He makes lists. He checks and double checks the possible scenarios in every situation. He drives me nuts. But here's the thing - he grounds me. If it weren't for him pulling me out of "Sara Land" as he calls it, we'd be homeless. Or in jail. He is my rock.
We disagree on our definition of quality time. I crave deep conversation. He thinks as long as we're sitting together on the couch (possibly with a football game on) that we're spending quality time together. Um, no. I need eye contact, the expression of feelings, honest communication. He thinks constantly talking means we're communicating. We've discussed our differing views on this topic many times, and just like everything else, it boils down to one thing: compromise. I won't twist his arm to provide me with unrelenting intellectual fulfillment, because, frankly, that's not his job, and he won't expect me to be satisfied watching a marathon of Moonshiners with him all day. Open communication about our feelings here is the key to happiness.
I've always envisioned myself living in a big city. He's content being a farmer in Fort Jennings. We've had to compromise there, too. I can adapt to living here as long as we travel to big cities once in a while. We go to Chicago quite a bit. And really, I'm starting to enjoy being a farmer's wife. It's fun.
There are countless ways my husband and I differ, and the clashing has caused us some distress over the years. Do I ever picture myself with someone more like me? I used to...but I know there's be problems there, too. It's not about focusing on what's not right, but focusing on what is right and working hard to improve the things that could be better. No one is anyone's "perfect match." There is no such thing. The key is simply to work hard, every single day, on the relationship you're in. As the saying goes, if the grass is looking greener on the other side...well, then it's time to water your own lawn.
I'm not saying every relationship is worth salvaging. I believe in divorce. I just also believe in giving it everything you've got before you decide to part ways. Rather than focusing on your differences with your partner, embrace them. It could very well be that you balance each other out. Andy keeps me grounded in reality when I need it, and I get him to loosen up and have fun when he's getting too uptight. We're like puzzle pieces. We fit. Sure, sometimes it takes some jamming to get the pieces to fit, but it's worth it. I can't imagine myself going through life with anyone else.
Skat Kat would be proud.