I feel strong affection for him, this man I married a decadeish ago. We met, dated, cohabited, married.
We procreated. Twice.
Barely 6 months into our relationship, and two weeks after graduating college, moving to a new city and into our first apartment, my father got sick.
Three months after that, my father died.
That’s a large chunk of Really Stressful Life Moments crammed into the first year.
What saved us?
Loyalty. His, not mine. I can look back, with no small amount of guilt, and recognize that I gave almost nothing back that first year. I would have left me.
Separation. He either traveled, or worked the typical Monday through Friday, 9-5. I worked retail, lots of weekends and a lot of second shift. We rarely overlapped.
Moving. We added a dog, moved to a different apartment in a different city. We both changed jobs and started working (theoretically) similar schedules.
Wipes a tear, chucking. I’ll never forget that time when work made me very late to marriage counseling. The winning point went to JB; the therapist rarely took my side after that night.
We’ve never sustained the Burning Grand Passion present in all the romance novels. Moments, weeks, months. Yes.
A lifetime? Not going to happen. Reality smells like morning breath, not chocolate.
We compliment, but do not complete, each other.
Similar religious (no thanks) and political (he’s solidly liberal, I’m more
dirty hippie) positions help make our relationship work.
He always gets the religious references in television and movies.
Then explains them to me while laughingly singing about what a Dummy Heathen he married.
I point out all of the mysterious pop-culture references he never notices. We’re working our way through a solid list of 80s/90s cult classics. He’s never seen a single John Hughes movies, people.
Part of our education included him watching The Shining. I had to go hide in the bedroom; cheesy denim jumper notwithstanding, that movie FreaksMeTheHell out.
Our differences fill an ocean. The big one.
He likes to be out with people in the world, an extrovert. He’s shy and doesn’t always jump into conversations. He rarely offends strangers, almost never makes glaring social faux pas.
I like to be away from the people in the world, an introvert. I’m not shy and often jump, push, shove my way into the most random of conversations. I offend people on principle, accidentally dropping social faux pas like Gretel dropped crumbs.
I can go days cocooned within the walls of my home to the point that my voice goes scratchy with disuse.
After a mere eight hours he starts clawing the door.
He views the world tinted by happy rose-colored glasses, expecting the best until people prove otherwise. He practices tolerance and acceptance.
I see the world through narrowed eyes as they peer through mud-colored lenses. I anticipate the worst from everyone, choosing surprise over disappointment. I can be critical and judgmental.
We work. Most of the time.
This post was written in participation of Blogher’s NaBloPoMo February 2013 theme: Love and Sex.