The first time I met him, I was instantly drawn to him and I didn't know why.
He was far from the man of my dreams. In fact he was just the exact opposite. He was also everything that I was not. I was extrovert, he was shy and quiet. I was opinionated, he had tempered judgment. I was assertive, he was laid back. I was transparent, he was cool and under composure.
Do opposites really attract? Psychologists explain this as arising from one’s innermost desires (probably rooted in the unconscious) to find traits and characteristics lacking in him in another person so he would feel complete.
After having been married to him for about fifteen years now, would I say that I am a complete person because of him?
He does complement my weaknesses. The opposite traits that I saw in him turned out to be that natural strengths that I depended on when times were hard. He was very much like the rudder that kept the boat afloat. When I was filled with doubts and fears and was on the edge, he was the steady hand that guided me through.
But such realization did not happen overnight. Over time, his natural strengths became sources of friction or even feelings of alienation. How I wished he would be more open with his feelings. How I wished he would feel the same way I do. How I wished he would be more sensitive and more caring. How I wished… How I wished…
So I tried to change his personality to suit mine. And that started my misery. It was like digging a hole for myself. The more I wanted him to be just like me, the more that his natural traits were being magnified.
I decided that, for my own peace, I better accepted him for what he is. After all, if I couldn’t change my personality to suit his either, isn’t that unfair to him? Funny how we want to change another person and yet we wouldn't take the first step to change ourselves.
Accepting him for what he is - strengths and weaknesses and all - was the most liberating decision I have ever made for myself.
Today, our marriage is stronger than ever. We have learned to live side by side with our imperfections, always highlighting our positives and downplaying our negatives. We have found that underneath our personality differences lie common and enduring values that we both believe in: love, responsibility, integrity and faith. Come to think of it, when you have lots of these, no marriage will ever crumble even with personality differences.
Happy birthday, ‘theart. I am glad I married you. I couldn’t imagine myself living with any other man.
3 years ago