Water Your Own Grass

Opposites attract, the popular saying goes. If that’s true, well, then my husband and I are magnetic forces to one another because I’ve never met another person who is more the opposite of me. In most ways, we are opposite souls; yin and yang. But in other ways (I prefer to think the ones that matter most), we are exact carbon copies of each other. We seem to align perfectly on life goals, sense of humour, the way we choose to spend our time and money, and how we want to raise our daughter.

This coming Saturday, my husband and I will be celebrating 6 years of marriage.

(2017…)

(2018…)

(2019…)

(2020…)

(2021…)

(2022…)

Sorry, I had to take a moment to calculate that in my head. Yes, 6 whole years in which we did not successfully kill each other. I call that a BIG win. As life progresses, the years tend to blend into one another, don’t they?

On our very first wedding anniversary, I asked my husband how he thought our first year of marriage went. We had been through a tough year, one that shifted the very foundation we built our relationship on. We’d been lucky to come out the other end, scars and all but still intact. And his honest answer was that it was a lot harder than he thought it would be, but also a great year for our growth as a couple.

One of the things that comes naturally to humans is that we tend to compare ourselves and our possessions to others and what they have. What do they have? I don’t have that, I want that. We may not always realize we’re doing it because it’s so caked into the fabric of our culture. Some of us chase things (materials, money, partners, career) because we see others doing the same, therefore it, too, must apply to us.

When I was single in my 20s (for a full decade), I remember thinking, “God, if only I could just find my person and be married. Then my life would be perfect, just like everyone else around me.” The grass, as they say, always seemed greener. What I didn’t realize was that I was putting the idea of marriage, a marriage to anyone, on a weak pedestal. My ultimate goal was to simply touch that finish line without any real idea for what would lie ahead and the work it would require.

If I could go back and tell my 20-something single-self anything, I’d tell her what to look for:
Find someone who doesn’t mind doing the chores you hate and vise versa.
Find someone who makes you laugh so hard you end crying on the floor clutching your insides.
Find someone who always wants to truce because they ultimately want to make things work.

Because that’s what matters and makes our marriage work: compromise, laughter, and communication. 

Ironically, the traditional 6th wedding anniversary gift is iron. While he didn’t give me the gift of iron (technically nurse Tonya did), it certainly was received in a timely manner. 😊

Happy 6th. I love you. There’s no one else I’d rather put up with more than you (despite being contractually obligated by marital status to put up with you, I still probably would’ve done it for free). That’s true love.

Do you think the old adage of ‘opposites attract’ is true? Any personal experience to share?

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43 thoughts on “Water Your Own Grass

  1. I think that’s a great overall take on marriage. I will say that banking on the ability to call a truce isn’t likely to last throughout the years 😬. That saying “don’t go to bed angry” is pretty ineffective and the best way through those moments is to give one another some space to think through your anger. There will forever be severe ups and downs. You’ll have moments when you’d like to off him and bury him in your yard and vise versa 😆🤪. The most profound thing that I’ve learned is that true love isn’t a feeling, it’s a choice. The choice to let them keep living even when you want to strangle them, the choice to love them even when you’re seething with anger and you both can’t come to a compromise, the choice to put one another first even when those warm fuzzy feelings aren’t there during every day busyness. The feelings will come and go. Choose love regardless. ❤️ That’s what 17 years of marriage has taught me. One of these days you should write your love story! I’d enjoy reading that 🤗

    Liked by 5 people

    • I agree, LaShelle. I don’t go by the “don’t go to bed angry” rule. It just doesn’t work for me. Sometimes I need things worked out asap so I can calm down and move on with my day, and other times I need the space to let the dust settle. It really depends on the situation.

      I also must say your thoughts and mine are not any different, really. When I said, “the ability to truce,” I really meant it in that we are able to put our individual stubborn quirks aside and put our marriage first. A lot of relationships have little things that each party might knit-pick about, calling a truce for me is like having the wherewithal to put that aside for the greater good (the greater good being the peace of your marriage). A “truce” to me, means actively making that choice to either admit fault or move forward with a positive attitude and turning a new leaf and understanding that continuing down the same path would be purposeless with nothing to gain. Most often, these are the little fights that really don’t have to be fights at all!

      Thanks so much for sharing some of your love story, too! 🙂 I linked all the posts I’ve ever written about my marriage at the bottom of this post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with LaShelle. She has put it quite eloquently. After over thirty years of marriage, I can tell you that it is a lot of work and that it doesn’t get easier. Actually some days it feels harder, but as said above, you choose to stick with it because love changes as you age. Flexibility is definitely the key.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, sometimes it just works! Maybe it just means you both get equal time to focus on your different hobbies and therefore you have more bandwidth to pour into your marriage?? But congrats all the same! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never been married as you know Jen, but I have pondered and scratched my head over the union of my parents, maternal grandparents and maternal great-grandparents. I never met and know nothing of my father’s side of the family as he rarely discussed them. However, to hear each generation of strong women in the family tell the story, it was one of hardship and hard knocks and unpleasant experiences. That and my father’s defection, tainted me on marriage, despite protestations from my mom that “all men are not alike.” I think you worked through your rough first year and have six years under your belt and a lifetime of wedded bliss ahead of you.

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    • Thanks so much, Linda! It makes me sad that you’ve never had great examples of great men or great love in your life but I know you don’t know any different and are just fine the way you are! I, also, growing up, didn’t have many great examples of great relationships so that was one of my biggest fears about getting married- I didn’t want to have to do it more than once!

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      • Yes that is very true Jen and my mom would plead with me, showing that we had neighbors and friends with wonderful mates. I was bullheaded and I know I have missed out, but the few relationships I had that might have blossomed into something more permanent, I was like you and afraid to ever make a commitment – no way would I be following in my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother’s footsteps. Nearly every one of my friends have been married twice; one is going to remarry her husband after he left her and married someone else some 20 years ago. He had a change of heart after getting a new kidney and divorced his second wife and wants to remarry my friend. Now stubborn me would not have taken him back. One friend is on her third marriage. I used to travel a lot when I was younger and had a nice trip once a year and that was friends of the family then with tour groups on my own. I enjoyed being independent and now think I would find it difficult to change.

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  4. I agree… compromise, laughter, and communication is the true love! I cannot say that we’re opposite…we do have our preferences but most of the time we find each other thinking the same thing 😅 sometimes there’s no need for words to communicate 😁 and it has been this way for the last 14 years 😉
    Happy 6th anniversary! 💕

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh, I love this! I’ve pondered this a lot and I think–just as you mention–that sharing that same values, goals, priorities (financial and time), and parenting preferences is the key. Pair shared core values with a willingness and ability to communicate, and it doesn’t matter how different you are, because you’re on the same page when it comes to the things that really matter. I’ve also found, over the 9 years I’ve been with my boyfriend, we’ve become more similar… we share ideas, teach each other skills, and bombard one another with random trivia, so there’s that! Congratulations, and cheers to love!!

    Liked by 2 people

      • You are so right–making anything work is a feat. We have single friends and, it seems that on dating apps, all the ladies are looking for the 6’5″ fit millionaire and the men are looking for a supermodel who’s good in bed. What a nightmare!! It makes me feel as if you and I have won the jackpot–companionship, acceptance, laughter, and lots of love. Cheers to you and yours!!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Companionship is a huge component we fail to put on that “must-have” list when we are younger I think because like you say, we are focused on the outer aspects of a partner but companionship is so important! Thanks for your input, always appreciate it! 💓

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Aww, happy anniversary! What a wholesome ending that was. I think ‘opposites attract’ depends on which part of the relationship we’re talking about.

    If it’s interests, then yeah, possibly. But values and vision have to be the same, because I once was in a relationship with a ‘mystic’ who blindly followed yoga ‘gurus’, and I wasn’t able to get behind her using her necklace to determine if certain foods were edible or not. It’s a freaking onion, Sara! You don’t need a bracelet to tell you that!

    My current partner of 10+ years has very different interests from mine, but we do want the same things out of a relationship, so I guess similarities also attract?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy anniversary! Thanks as always for an honest post. We often create these fairy tale marriages in our heads resembling something we saw in the movies. The truth is every marriage has its challenges. I think you’ve hit on a key element of marriage which involves sharing similar values. If a couple isn’t in sync with the important parts of being married, that can put a strain on things. At the same time I think it’s important that couples enjoy time together as well as having their own interests. I want my wife to do things with her friends because I know that makes her happy. She supports me in my dreams, even if she doesn’t have the same interests. I think the number one thing that splits people apart is not communicating.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Happy Anniversary. It sounds like you have built a solid foundation for a successful marriage, and I wish you continued happiness. I think it’s a combination of having some opposites and having some similarities that works best…

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I do think that opposites attract, but I also thinks it takes strong people to understand this and thrive living with this reality. For us it’s been our differences that have provided us with a well-rounded perspective that cookie cutters couples don’t have, being that they’re the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. In my marriage (we just celebrated 38 years) I have found one of our main differences has really helped our relationship. My husband is very spontaneous – and without him my life would be dull. On the other hand, my more “down-to-earth” approach keeps him from making too many decisions without thinking things through. He keeps us laughing and adventurous (like a kite in the sky), and I supply the string that helps us come back to earth when needed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, this is so beautifully said! I love that you both bring the best out of each other! That’s ultimately the biggest benefit to opposites attract, isn’t it!? We bring the best out of each other and hopefully compliment each other nicely, like fitting together like puzzle pieces! 🙂 Congrats on 38 years!!! We are babies compared to your marriage!! 💕💕

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  11. Happy Anniversary, Jen. You are certainly wise. It really is interesting that opposites attract. Along the path of marriage it’s balancing the daily stuff, like chores, and celebrating what brought you together, like laughing at the same stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

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