Last week I went shopping. It was one of those Saturday morning excursions, where after a leisurely breakfast and a look through the local paper, it seemed appropriate to get out and about and see what is on offer.
The change of season heralds a change of outdoor temperatures, so for me when I awake in the morning, it’s cold and crisp. I had been looking at buying some new shoes for a couple of weeks, and while reading the newspaper I noticed an outlet store offering shoes on sale. Unable to resist, I dragged my partner down there and spent some time inhaling the heady scent of polished leather and admiring all of the beautiful shoes. I came upon a pair of burnished brown cowboy boots, and immediately I froze…
I had to have them. Secretly I had always wanted a pair, but I always worried about what people would think.
- I would look stupid
- I would look too tall
- People will stare
- I would look too gay
But I finally came to the realization that I don’t really care. Sure, I care about what people think, but my love for cowboy boots outweighed my fears of what others would say. Walking out of the shop, my partner chuckled and said to me "You’re so quirky, but I really love that about you. You are just who you are."
That really made me wonder. Maybe my partner could never have the courage to wear cowboy boots, but he loved me for the fact that I could. You really begin to love your partner when they can do things that surprise you and you love them for it. They can be an individual and you love them for it. They can be quite unlike the person you are, and yet you still love them.
Many people hold the belief that you should only marry someone like yourself, someone you have lots in common with, so that you can maximize your chances of having a happy marriage. Part of me thinks this is true, as I see a lot of couples who do marry people like themselves and have very happy marriages.
But equally I see people who marry their opposites and have happy marriages too. How do they make their marriages work?
They make their marriages work by keying into each other’s particular needs. Sometimes it takes an opposite to bring forth a side of you that you wouldn’t otherwise have the strength to show. Perhaps they round out your character and allow each of you to develop your strengths to become better people. Perhaps they allow you to develop a different view of the world which offers you a form of enlightenment.
The difference could be what makes your marriage interesting. You always have the opportunity to marvel at learning something new.
The key here is to not be scared of your differences. Love your partner for what makes them different from you. Love them for what makes them different from others. It might be what made you fall in love with them the first time… and it may be what makes you want to fall in love with them again.