I think men and women spend a good portion of their first years together trying to make their spouse be just like them. I know we did. I wanted Jim to think like me, do what I wanted to do, dream like I did, enjoy what I do...how narcissistic can a person get? I can also remember feeling that same kind of pressure from him. I was always trying to reinvent myself to be more like him. For those of you that know us this probably sounds pretty funny. We are like polar opposites on many, many things. Our personalities are very different. Our marriage has been like mixing water and oil in many ways. We are the quintessential difference between the apple and the orange. We all give lip service to the notion that you cannot change another person but I bet if the truth were known, we have all done our darnest to disprove that one.
He likes one thing, I like another. He likes to camp and hike and take managed risks..me, I like the comforts of home and sleeping in a real bed. I detest carrying what I need for survival on my back (seriously carrying pots and pans and food and bedding is fun??) Really? Rarely do I willingly take risks..managed or otherwise. I don't like leaving my comfort zone or safety net much..he doesn't have one. I use to love dancing, but he is not a fan and doesn't even listen to music that much. Me..I have to have it, it is like air to me~ music is a huge part of my life. He is very mechanical and logical and a great leader. I have trouble with anything mechanical, I operate from my emotional base and love to work out of the spotlight.
He is a dash-always running onto the next event, I am a dot. I like to savor an experience before moving on. He has got to be on the go and moving 24~7, I am happiest reading, writing, staying home and I enjoy a balance between activities and relaxing. We both love being busy but our definitions of that are quite different.
So how does this work over nearly 44 years? Does he ever dance? Yes. Do I ever camp? Yes. Have we converted each other...not really. We do it for the other one and that makes it good in spite of itself. You know how the scriptures talk about 'kicking against the pricks, right? You have to stop doing that. God created your spouse and there is no ""do over" that you are in charge of. Accepting that is a major step towards a mature kind of loving relationship.
Real love is based on commitment for the long haul, acceptance, and a lot of giving up of the things about ourselves that make us selfish. What makes a marriage strong is working towards unconditional love for our spouse and sharing a life time of experiences. Then you truly become one. What makes all that possible is shared beliefs, goals and vision. It is looking beyond what I want and am and seeing what we can potentially be together. It is loving God and being willing to learn His ways. It is knowing that in marriage, "we" are more important than either one of us individually.