Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Enjoyed Differences

A great marriage is not when the 'perfect couple' comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.
Dave Meurer, "Daze of Our Wives"

The thought of being married to someone just like me is scary. I doubt very much that I ever remarry, but if I am ever in the market I will avoid a relationship with anyone clone-ish. Differences are important ingredients, not simply reasons for battles, but opportunities to grow.
I admired my husbands ability to tell the world just what he thought without worrying what others would think. I cared so much, it was almost magical to me, but it was years before I understood that blending my concern with his ambivalence would forge two people stronger by their understanding of points of view of such immense differences. I became sassier. He became gentler. Really knowing eachother changed us both.
If I had simply stayed scared and silent there never would have been a meeting of the minds between us. It was a one sided war for twenty years, a dictatorship where I bowed to his will in every way. Once I began to understand myself better and gently invited him in things became as different as night and day. Our marriage became a real friendship between two very imperfect people who were dedicated to loving and accepting one another in spite of it all.
I thank God every day that I was such a rock solid comfort to him till the end. Not because I was forced; none of what I did came from a place of duty, it was an honor from the first step to the last. Brutal, heartbreaking life and death drama, done with steady hands and a steadfast heart. And if he had worn the caretakers costume the same result would have occurred. We were an island onto ourselves. Friends celebrating our differences. Loving someone in spite of the difficulty involved just makes it more valuable when you finally get it as imperfectly right as is humanly possible .