This is a response to a blog entry located here: Twos-Day: Realistic Love.
In this blog, the author, Rachael, challenges young, unmarried ladies to analyze their lists of what they want in a spouse and evaluate whether that list is realistic or not. She explains a few things which are not realistic–namely, that men are not going to love like women do, i.e. watching romantic movies and being sensitive. She also emphasizes that you shouldn’t be too much of a perfectionist about your list. Her bottom line was prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.
Reading this blog made me think about my own journey into love and marriage, my own “lists” along the way, and how marriage has turned out for me. Was it different than I expected? About what I expected? Better? Worse? The same?
I think the easiest answer is that it is not what I expected, but better. Being raised by a single mother, I actually found myself in the odd position of having very few expectations when I read those articles (back then, they were found in magazines) challenging us to write down a list of what we expected in a husband. The one thing I could think of was somebody who understood me, although I couldn’t have articulated what exactly that meant if you asked me. Physical appearance was never important to me–neither my own appearance nor a potential spouse’s–so that apparently “typical” adolescent female desire never found its way onto my list. And I often wrote on my lists (I wrote several in order to see how they evolved over the years) that I wanted him to be a Christian–partially because I knew that I was “supposed” to marry a Christian, but also because I realized, somehow, that a non-Christian guy would never understand me to level I wanted to be understood. My future husband being a Christian wasn’t an “option” for me so much as Christianity was, and still is, the very springboard from which I analyze all aspects of the world.
One thing that did show up on my later lists was “someone with a sense of humor”–although, again, I couldn’t have articulated what kind of sense of humor I meant. Ten-ish years later I’m still not sure, although I know now that I didn’t mean the punny sense of humor my husband has. 🙂
But ten-ish years later, I’ve also realized that the sense of humor bit didn’t matter as much after all. Yeah, it has brought out more groans than laughs between us, but to the surprise of my newlywed self, over the years, I’ve actually grown accustomed to his sense of humor, and I even make jokes in like style back to him sometimes, and we’ll both laugh–him at the pun I made, and me out of pure joy that I successfully tickled his funny bone.
Marriage teaches you to love making your spouse laugh more than you love your own idea of what’s funny. It also teaches you to love the person you’re with more than the imaginary one from the “list” you made 10 years ago.