Adam and I have been together, through thick and thin (mostly thick) for almost twenty years now. We started dating in college, which surprised most of our friends because we just seemed so different.
Adam is stubborn. He's passionate and thrives on debate and lively discussions. He's not shy about sharing exactly who he is, and if you don't like him, he's ok with that. The world is clear - black and white, right and wrong - and he has firm and well researched opinions. He's a thorough decision maker, but once he makes it, he'll stand by it. He doesn't like being told what to do.
I'm generally quieter. I don't like conflict and hate being in arguments. I'm a pleaser who doesn't like to be disliked. There are so many shades of gray in the world. Overly researching a decision can paralyze me.
I (obviously) think he's a good person. I like to think that I am too. But we're pretty different. And our friends in college - even our mutual friends - couldn't imagine we'd make it through one date without driving each other nuts, let alone starting a relationship. And getting engaged. And getting married. And starting a family, where we somehow each ended up with a clone.
Yet somehow, we fit.
It's not perfect, no marriage is. We definitely need to make compromises.
For example, he loves leather furniture. I do not. After an initial compromise of a leather that neither of us liked or hated, we've decided to mix the family room furniture. He gets a leather chair, I get a fabric couch.
When it was time to buy a new mattress, we struggled. I love the kind of bed that swallows you up in plush warmth. He sleeps best on a rock hard surface. We were doomed to find some kind of middle of the road firmness that left both of us unhappy, until we discovered the sleep number bed. He has his side as firm as it can get, and I'm happily plush.
We struggled endlessly when he drove the family car. I sit fairly close to the steering wheel, where I'm most comfortable. I think he must like to channel racing drivers with how far back and reclined he likes to be. He'd always try to readjust my seat back, but it would never be right. One weekend trip just messed me up for all my kid shuttling. So I'd always drive, and then whine about it, or he'd drive, but then knew he was messing me up, and then we found this ridiculously easy hack that not only allowed the two of us to stay happy in our positions, but also took away all the annoyances of getting my car serviced.
Compromise is key. Two puzzle pieces that are the exact shape rarely fit together, but us? We're a perfect fit.