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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Opposites

My husband and I sleep on opposite sides of the bed. This is for a variety of reasons, namely that sleeping right up close to him is akin to sleeping next to a sauna. Not only does the man generate enough heat to possibly fry an egg on his bald head, he sweats profusely. My sheets and pillows and mattress are all permanently stained from him no matter if I were to wash them daily or hourly. He also claims that I steal the covers and leave him freezing with just the corner of the sheet, soaking wet in his own sweat and uncontrollably shivering, but since he is technologically retarded and will most likely never read this blog, I can say with 100% authority that this is a complete falsehood.

We are opposite in a lot of other ways as well. I was raised a Catholic, he was raised Baptist. He is from a very rural area, I hail from the 'burbs of Cleveland. He is a conservative, I am a flaming liberal. He graduated high school, I have a Master's degree and seriously contemplating getting my Ph.D. one day. He would be an R on Holland's hexagon, I am an S (they are on opposite sides, for those of you who have no clue what I am speaking of here). I could go on and on in the myriad ways that we are completely different, but I think you get the picture.

Yet somehow, we make it work. We balance each other. He calms my tendencies towards obsessing and perfection, I bring out his assertive side. He reminds me of the value in accepting other people's imperfections and accepting that they would be overshadowed by the good in them, I remind him that just because you love someone does not mean that you have to put up with their shit when it is, well, shit. He reigns in my temper, I help him express his feelings.

We do not have a "traditional" marriage. We both work, and he does help out more than the average man with the household chores. Is the load 50/50? No, but that is partially my inability to ask for help. My husband does not expect me to be superwoman, yet my insecurities and the pressures of society make me feel that if I am not, I am failing. I think, though, that he particularly loves me when I am a human being because then he gets to see a side that I never share with others...my soft, vulnerable side that I have learned over the years to bury deeper than an inmate wants to shove his shank into his rival's side. Of course, one could make the argument that if things were truly equal, he would be helping more regardless...but baby steps, right? We as a couple are a work in progress...

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