I knew immediately what I wanted to write about for this week’s column. It’s our Men’s Issue, so naturally, I wanted to write about my "man."
When we started dating five years ago, I knew we were the quintessential yin and yang couple. But it wasn’t until we got married a year and a half ago that I realized how different we really are.
He’s a pack rat, I’m a neat freak. He’s a spender, I’m a saver. He has a sweet tooth, I have a garden. He loves to sleep, I get five hours a night on average. He leaves work at work, and I’m a work-o-holic addicted to my Blackberry.
On paper, it doesn’t look like we’d be a good match. But we are. We are two extremes who force each other to meet in the middle.
He keeps the important documents I’m usually throwing out on accident. Now, he saves more than he ever did, and I pinch those pennies a little less. I’m introducing healthy green foods into his sweet-stacked diet, and he’s taught me to enjoy an occasional yummy dessert. Through him, I’ve enjoyed several Saturday morning sleep-ins, and I’ve inspired him to rise and shine to be productive more often. He’s also enforced "No Phone Zones" around the house and yard so that we can enjoy our personal life without interruptions from our professional lives.
None of these adjustments have been easy. We’re both headstrong and stuck in our ways. But we love each other, so we make compromises.
That’s not to say meeting in the middle doesn’t still cause friction. We still get into arguments about dirty dishes, busted budgets and productivity plunders. But we’re learning how to vent without being vicious and find solutions through the steam.
I remember on Pete’s parents’ 35th wedding anniversary, I asked Pete’s dad what one piece of advice he’d impart. And he promptly responded, without hesitation, "Learn how to fight right." He said there’s a way you can grow closer through your grappling. If you do it constructively, cautious of your partner’s feelings, you end up respecting each other more when the dust settles.
Those wise words have stuck with us ever since. And "fighting right" is one thing we’ll agree to do for the rest of our lives.
On a related note, Jewel just came out with a song called "Ten" that perfectly applies to this topic. I embeded a video of her singing it live below. Enjoy!