My husband, T, and I have a lot in common. We are from similar working class socioeconomic backgrounds. We grew up in the same hometown in Northern Indiana and had many of the same friends as teenagers. We are both 3rd children. We share the same politics and have similar senses of humor. Neither of us are particularly romantic.
Beyond that, there are differences. He was raised a casual Protestant, I was raised a devout Catholic. He likes mustard and I like ketchup. He likes IPA beer. If I must drink beer, I prefer German Hefeweizen, but I have a wheat allergy of sorts and if I eat or drink too many things made with wheat I will break out with eczema on my fingers and around my eyes. If I then stop eating wheat for a while the rash goes away. Very strange. I love wheat (think bagels) and so I periodically play with fire by eating it. I can't help myself. If T had a wheat allergy I am pretty darn sure he would never eat it again.
One of the biggest differences is the way we view the world. He makes assumptions. I don't trust the world enough to assume anything. In our day-to-day life he rolls with the punches, I am consumed by blocking every move. He trusts everything will be okay. I anticipate every potential problem and try to find ways to avoid trouble before it starts. He is laid back. I am a nervous *&^%! wreck. He thinks I worry needlessly and I think he doesn't worry enough.
And so it goes, and so it has gone for a long, long time. This year we are celebrating 45 years together. We were both wild and crazy kids when we married at 19. Nobody thought it would last.
Relationships are difficult. It is hard to reconcile the fundamental differences between two cohabiting people for an extended length of time. Obviously it takes compromise and mutual respect. Love is a given. Trust is important. You have to accept your partner for who they are, not for who you want them to be. But I think if there is a secret to a long and happy marriage it is "liking" your partner as much as you love him/her.
You can love someone and still not like him or her very much. It happens. Love is personal and deep. Human beings are complicated. As the song goes, sometimes "love hurts." "Like" is conditional on compatibility and joy. I love that man like nobody's business, but we are not two hearts that beat as one. We have two separate hearts that beat for each other. And I really like him a lot.
I think she should have stayed with him...
I will have sporadic access to the internet this week, but will respond to comments as soon as I am able. Cheers.