8 Things No One Tells You About Marriage
5. Getting your way is usually not as important as finding a way to work together. continued...
Namely, that when it comes to certain disagreements, there is no right or
wrong — there is simply your way of looking at things and your husband's.
"I used to be very black-and-white earlier in our marriage," says Lindy
Vincent, 38, who lives in Minneapolis. "Now I see that I'm not all right
and my husband is not all wrong. There's more gray in life than I thought, and
that's taught me patience and the value of compromise."
The more I get to know and appreciate my husband for who he is, the more I
respect his positions. That doesn't mean I always agree with him. But I can see
the value in striking a balance that satisfies us both. And instead of harping
on how wrong he is, I can usually swallow the verbal vitriol and simply say
something like, "I see your point" or "I hadn't considered
that." After I sincerely acknowledge his view, it seems to become easier
for him to hear mine. And because I know I'm being heard, most of the time now,
I don't even want to prove how right I am anymore. Funny how that works,
6. A great marriage doesn't mean no conflict; it simply means a couple keeps trying to get it right.
Maybe you think that because of my newfound wisdom, Genoveso and I never
fight anymore. Ha! As important as it is to strike a balance, it's also
important to have a big, fat fight every now and then. Because when you fight,
you don't just raise your voices; you raise real — sometimes buried — issues
that challenge you to come to a clearer understanding of you, your man, and
your relationship. I wouldn't give up our fights for anything in the world,
because I know in the end they won't break us; they'll only make us
7. You'll realize that you can only change yourself.
Ever seen the '80s sci-fi cult classic Making Mr. Right? When the
stylish heroine, played by Ann Magnuson, is hired to teach a robot how to act
like a human, she seizes the chance to create a perfect guy. A hotshot
commercial whiz, she uses her marketing prowess to shape John Malkovich's
android character into her personal version of the ideal man — sensitive, eager
to please, and willing to listen.
There is a bit of that makeover fantasy in all of us — something that makes
us believe we can change the person we love, make him just a little bit closer
to perfect. We may use support and empathy or shouts and ultimatums, but with
dogged conviction we take on this huge responsibility, convinced we're doing
the right thing.