Question: Dear Luise: My husband and I are having to do a lot of work to keep our marriage on track. I look around me and see many other couples who appear to be just rolling along. It’s not like that with us. We trip and fall on a regular basis. We don’t see things the same way and are both pretty strong-willed. Most of our progress on this bumpy road has been in refining ourselves and making ourselves more accessible and malleable. It’s grueling a lot of the time. Is it possible we are seriously mismatched? Glenna
Answer: Dear Glenna: Yes, it’s possible that you are mismatched because most of us are. We marry when we are a long way from being fully actualized adults, so most of us have a lot of growing up to do after the fact. While we are flopping around, so is our spouse. That can’t be defined as “rolling along” in anyone’s book.
I would suggest that you accept the fact that there may be others out there who are having an easier time of it and let it go. Comparisons are seldom useful. Also there are couples who just put on a good front, and some that stay so much on the surface that no one is home…not really.
There are so many ways to address growing into responsible adults and creating a resourceful marriage. For most of us neither goal is easy…and combining the two can be a huge and constant challenge. Some couples use counseling as a buffer and some go it alone. Such choices not only reflect personal preferences but also available finances.
See your marriage as “normal for you”. See it as your path in life and your puzzle to solve. Celebrate your wins and see your failures as par for the course. In other words, there are undoubtedly many blessings hidden in the fact that both of you are willing to work so hard and consistently. It sounds like you are learning that being on the right track is very different from being right.
Talk about what’s fun, so you don’t create it being nothing but work. Identify and then focus on the areas that have become conflict-free. Run and play whenever you can. And be thankful for each other. It’s my guess that you are becoming each other’s teachers. Blessings, Luise