For those of us on the single side of married, marriage is kind of a weirdly pieced together picture. Each segment of the picture is kind of hidden, and looks like a blank slate. It’s tempting to look at marriage and fill in those blank segments with all kinds of different things. You get it in mind how much time you’ll spend together, what your spouse will do for you, what the kids will be like, and everything else. Each piece is, in many ways, it’s own ideal picture that come together to make your perfect marriage.
There’s just one problem.
No marriage is perfect.
Now, I’d like to think that if you’ve been married for more than a day you know that fact. It doesn’t seem to take long before any relationship runs into unanticipated problems. I mean, no matter how much premarital counseling you go through, there isn’t likely a conversation about toilet paper brand you’re going to buy (cheap vs. name brand), or where dirty towels go when you’re done with them (Floor vs. Hamper). There’s no conversation about what you do when you realize your spouse squeezes the toothpaste incorrectly (from the bottom is the correct answer, FYI).
The problem is that those small things aren’t ever in our childhood fantasies. Movies don’t show the main characters go grocery shopping and argue about whether or not the name brand matters. TV doesn’t show the married couple getting bored after playing rummy for three hours, but not agreeing on what else to do.
No marriage is perfect because no person is perfect. There is inevitable tension and conflict that comes from those imperfections. And most of them are unexpected, because your spouse will see imperfections in you you never knew existed. After all, we don’t know what we don’t know.
But those now seen imperfections are also the places where your spouse can prove most loving and supportive. Maybe they are loving by graciously letting you know (as opposed to pointing it out to win a fight). Maybe they don’t say anything, knowing that it isn’t the right time. Maybe they choose to love you in spite of your imperfections.
Me? I want to love my fiancee, at least partially, because of her imperfections. They’re a part of what makes her, her, and not someone else. They’re a part of what separates her from the rest of the women on the planet. Our imperfections make us, us.
My fiancee is not going to be my “perfect wife”. Not for lack of desire or trying, but because marriage is a moving target. We are all flawed creatures who are constantly changing. The woman I marry will not be the same woman I am married too in five years, and I won’t be the same husband. And that’s part of the beauty of marriage. The unknown (on this side) becomes an opportunity to grow because of our imperfections.
The ideal pictures we we held onto for years turn into something else entirely. Expectations and ideals should give way to make room for each others flaws and imperfections, painting a beautifully messy masterpiece together. Sure, it won’t look like you had always thought it would. It isn’t a “picture perfect” marriage.
That’s why we’re “perfectly imperfect” for each other…