Friday, April 9, 2010

I Hate What I Love About You

Have you ever noticed that the very qualities about the people you love are the exact same ones that drive you ridiculously crazy? What's THAT about? It's attraction and repulsion in the same breath!

I think with my kids, it's easier to see how their more....ahem....."trying" traits will likely serve them well as adults. That annoying stubbornness? How great will that be when they need to persevere with something, or even just stick to their guns? What about that argumentative streak? How could that not help them believe in and stand up for themselves and their convictions?

It seems more confusing when it comes to our spouses or significant others, though.

When I met my husband, I loved his sensitive side. He comes across as a bit of an arrogant, abrasive guy to the rest of the world, but I saw through that hard shell to the soft, gooey core. I loved that contradiction of hard and tender. Who knew that seventeen years later, that sensitivity would drive me a little nutty.

Don't get me wrong, I love that my husband uses that sensitivity to be the hands on father that he is with our girls. I've definitely lucked out in that department. Right from the beginning of our parenting journey, my husband and I have been partners. As I was laid up in a bed after a torturous thirty + hours of labour, which resulted in an emergency c-section and a baby with a fractured skull, my husband did all diapers and many bottles and much of the care I just wasn't able to do. I hear friends talking about their spouses and how the guys had only changed a handful of diapers (if that) or had never done a bath-and I'm aghast. We had decided from day 1 that we would split all parenting duties, but even without that vow, I can't see my husband not WANTING to do those things. He's a wonderful father and I'm thrilled that my girls are lucky enough to have him in their lives.

For our relationship though, look out. I'm not the romantic, sensitive, sentimental type. I joke that I'm the dude in our relationship. I'm critical and picky and very much a realist. I can also have a very sharp tongue. Sometimes, I don't even realize that my husband's feelings are hurt by words I threw out in passing. When he gets moody or withdrawn, there are times (I must admit) where I feel like he's being ridiculous. Sometimes, I just roll my eyes and say a quick "suck it up! #%*" in my head. Yep, that very quality that I so love in him also is the one that most drives me nuts.

I've heard couples that are married for a lifetime say the same thing. I don't know psychologically what that means, though. Is it like that old saying goes, "be careful what you wish for?" I sometimes think it's a way for us to compensate for a trait we lack, by finding it in our partners. Then we realize we don't have that trait because it's actually crazy annoying. At least some of the time. Okay, mostly the times when we want to be right, or alternatively, know that we did wrong.

Hmmm....or maybe I'm just being too sensitive about this?

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