Friday, January 1, 2010

What We've Learned

Mr. Octopus and I are a textbook case of opposites attracting. While we do have some key things in common--the same sense of humor, a mellow temperament, an optimistic and positive outlook on life--in most aspects, we could not be more different. I've been thinking about this because this past holiday season, my groom and I were separated for two weeks, and it was really hard on both of us. We've been apart for much longer stretches before, but this time, we definitely found ourselves feeling a little sad and a little lost without each other. I've been thinking about why this stint apart was so hard, and I really feel it has a lot to do with how different we are. Steel City Groom and I have come to rely on each other to balance ourselves.

Sometimes, I think maybe it seems to people outside of our relationship like I'm the one having a big impact on him, because the ways in which I help him are more visible. I am ambitious and goal-oriented, organized and efficient. I'm a planner and a go-getter. He is a daydreamer, a scatterbrain, almost comically disorganized, a procrastinator, and an epic slob. This big difference between us has pushed him and provoked him to improve a vast amount in areas like not putting off unpleasant but necessary tasks, sticking to a schedule and a to-do list, keeping a clean house, accomplishing plans, and generally getting his act together and getting things done.

The things he does for me, however, are not as obviously apparent, but they are incredibly important. I am a deeply stubborn person. I have a really hard time admitting when I'm wrong, have not traditionally been a skilled apologizer, and compromising does not come naturally to me. I tend to think of what would be good for me before I think about what would be good for others in my life. Steel City Groom has the biggest and kindest heart of anyone I know, and the depths of his capacity for selflessness and generosity continually amaze and humble me. He always, always thinks of me (and the other people he loves) before he thinks of himself, and is willing to do anything he possibly can to make me happy. From him, I have learned to apologize wholeheartedly and to admit when I'm wrong unconditionally. He has also taught me to forgive quickly, without reservations, and move on. I always think of the example he sets in putting me first, and I strive to follow it by putting his needs and wants at the top of my own priorities. I try really hard to remember that true compromise means making legitimate, real sacrifices in the interest of the greater good of the partnership, and does not mean getting exactly your way 85% of the time instead of 100%.

Obviously, neither one of us has perfected the other. He still sometimes plays video games for six hours instead of taking care of his responsibilities, and arguing with me is still sometimes like trying to find a peaceable solution with a steamroller-brick wall hybrid. But the point is, we're trying, and it's working. And maybe even more importantly, I think we make each other want to be better people. So I think part of why I missed him so much these past two weeks is because I feel like my best self when he's around. I don't just love him, I admire him and look up to him, as well. And I know he feels the same about me. And I think I better stop before rainbows and beams of magic actually shoot out of my ears from all the love I'm slopping all over the place right now.

Are you and your fiance more similar, or different? What have you two taught each other over the course of your relationship?

No comments:

Post a Comment