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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Marriage Changed The Two Of Us

Hubby and I have had this conversation several times before. Because the truth is marriage is about two very different people from different backgrounds, upbringing, personalities and preferences coming together to form a family unit. In a perfect scenario, the two different individuals can come to a compromise on every different thing between them, but in a less-than-perfect world where 99.99% of us are in, this is usually not the case. While the first year of marriage may be called the 'honeymoon' period in a marriage, it is also the time when the couple come to know of (some, to their horrors of horrors) certain living habits of their spouse. There are therefore lots of collision and buffing before life finally settles down into one that's comfortable for both parties.

Hubby and I are very different people. I am an early-riser while he is a late-sleeper. When we were students, I would rather sleep and wake up at 2am to study, whereas hubby would study late into the night and sleep in the wee hours of the morning. When we got married, that was the first thing we had to iron out. While his night barely started at 10pm, I was already struggling to keep my eyes open by that time. Back in my parents' house before I got married, 10pm was my bedtime for goodness' sake. =.= And so, after a while, we realised we had to compromise. I pushed my bedtime later and later bit by bit while he tried his best to sleep early. Our compromise was 12am and that worked for us both after a while.

I am embarrassed to admit that hubby became a messier person after we got married. It was the bad influence I had on him. His mum is a cleanliness freak, so he grew up in an extremely clean and meticulously-dusted house. Too bad for him, he married a slob. And I have to say, over the years, his sloppiness has increased many folds, much to the dismay of my mother-in-law. :P

Personality differences was definitely an issue as well. Even though we had been friends and courted for a long time before we got married, there were certain areas we had to change in order to live happily together. For one, our conflict-management style is very different. I am a typical girl who prefers to talk it out and not have to hide or pretend. Whenever we got into an argument, I would want to talk to hubby and sort out everything within the hour. Especially when we work in the same office, it is extremely torturous for me to have to pretend nothing happened in front of our colleagues - It is just not me. For hubby, it's a different ball game altogether. His style is going 'cold war', which irritates me to no end. The worst thing is to tell a girl to stop talking! But you see, for a guy, they often choose to retreat and stop talking or thinking about an issue that makes them upset.

There was once after we got into an argument, so I texted him about 15 minutes after the argument (yes, I do not have much patience for such nonsense as you can see :P) and wanted him to stop being angry and we should stop quarrelling. Haha! At the beginning of our marriage, he would not read my messages or respond at all, and would go into cold war for the rest of the day at least. But by and by, he learnt to compromise to my style slowly. That day, he replied me immediately with a message that basically said he needs time to cool down, and I cannot expect him to immediately be okay, but he accepted my apology and that he will be fine after a while. That to me is a big breakthrough. From someone whose first instinct is to go into cold war, he changed himself to fit me and the only reason I can think of is that he probably loves me very much.

I guess that basically said it all. A marriage demands a crazy amount of compromise and relenting, but the love in it will also make such a crazy thing possible. I am very grateful to God for bringing such a wonderful man into my life to be my husband, and one thing that my Pastor said to me will stick with me forever. She said that love is a choice, and even when the lovey dovey feelings are no longer there, we still need to make a conscious choice everyday to love the person we married. And once we have made that choice, it is easy to stay in love for the long term. That is something I remind myself all the time - In spite of our differences, love is for the long haul and I intend to keep it that way. :)