Is there such a thing as a perfect marriage, you might ask? I would have to follow that with a question, "Is there such thing as a perfect person? Some would dare to say yes. Of course the answer to both questions is no, but you can get pretty close to perfection in marriage if you allow imperfections in your spouse.
I have been married for over 14 years, and frankly, I do not know too many other couples who have. Fortunately, there are still some older couples (married 20 or more years) still around. When I talk to people my age who have divorced, here are the complaints I hear.
Reasons couples say they have divorced
1. He or she refused to grow up.
2. He or she was spoiled.
3. He or she was dull and unexciting.
4. He or she was unfaithful or abusive.
While unfaithfulness and abuse is a whole other issue, the other three issues boil down to one major complaint. He or she would not conform to the image I have of them.
When people marry with the assumption that they can train the other person into the perfect partner. They are starting on the wrong foot. They are destined for failure. No one is perfect and no one is ever going to be perfect. The sooner your realize that there will be days when your spouse has and will always have flaws, the happier you will be.
Look at us for example. I have a short temper. I like solitude. I am blunt. I am impatient. I had these flaws when I married, and I still have them today. My husband knows how to work around my moods and shortcomings, and does not try to change me. My husband, on the other hand, has a slow burn (in the temper department) is the life of the party, is very diplomatic, and could sit and contemplate a stone for hours. You would think one of us would have killed the other by now. Instead of focusing on each other's shortcomings, we acknowledge them and move on.
So with all of these imperfections, how do we have a perfect marriage? We a set of rules, and a series of understandings. Our rules are pretty clichÃ©, but they work.
Our rules to a perfect marriage:
1. We do not argue over the phone. (This rule also got us through a 4 year long distance relationship.)
2. We do not go to bed angry.
3. We never take disagreements personal.
4. We never let arguments interfere with sex.
Things we have accepted about each other in our marriage are:
1. What we married is what we got. There is little chance of either of us changing for the better.
2. There will be days when I think he is annoying.
3. There will be days when I want to be alone.
4. There will be matters that I decide on quickly but have to wait months for his input.
5. In arguments, I will act like a spoiled brat, and he will likely ignore my feelings.
We know these things about each other, and have accepted them in the name of our marriage commitment. We made a promise before each other and God that we have no plans of breaking. Understanding and accepting each other's shortcomings is only the foundation of our marriage. On top of that, sturdy foundation we have built years of love, respect, honor, fun, and too many beautiful moments to count.