I have a very dear friend who is single and recently told me that people think there's something wrong with her as a woman in her late 20's (almost 30's, gasp!) who is still single. As if she's damaged in some way. Such a poor, pathetic single girl. Personally, I think it's a bunch of bull.
The thing that I pointed out about her situation is this: we are all damaged. We all have flaws, annoying habits, and obnoxious tendencies. Every single one of us. Those of us who are married, however, have simply succeeded in finding someone who is willing to put up with our flaws and love us anyway. I am very honest when it comes to my own flaws and I'll be the first to point out that I'm not the easiest person to tolerate. I guess you could say I wear my flaws on my sleeve.
I sometimes like to think that I'm the one with all the problems in my relationship. I'm needy. I'm very Type A. I'm paranoid. I'm obsessive. I ask too many questions. I take hours to get ready. I want things to be done my way. I hate asking for help. I'm impatient. I hate change. I cannot fly by the seat of my pants. I'm impulsive. I'm too loud. I talk too much. I use big hand gestures. I'm clumsy. I say too much. I can't keep secrets. I have a sharp tongue. I cuss like a sailor. I spend too much money.
But the thing about me is this: my flaws are who I am. They are very tightly woven into the fabric of my personality. When my husband and I met at a party in college, I tormented him endlessly because he couldn't chug a beer (he still can't, for the record) and he later told me he thought I was a bitch. Until I caught his eye and smiled--and everything changed.
I am still that person today. I won't let you live it down, whatever it is. I poke fun. I bust balls. I point out how ridiculous things (and people) are. Not everyone appreciates my humor, but it's who I am. I found someone who accepted every last one of my manic tendencies and character flaws for what they are. Because that, my friends, is what relationships are about: accepting all of someone, not just the parts that you like. People really don't change all that much; and marrying someone with the hopes that they will drastically change who they are is a dire mistake.
My husband has his flaws, too. However, he and I are almost complete opposites. Which is a good thing, actually. I don't think my life could handle two highly strung, extremely loud and unnecessarily paranoid personalities. He's the calming influence to my crazy tendencies. And it works for us.
The thing about relationships is this: it's almost impossible to understand them from the outside looking in. It happens all too often that people who seem happy on the outside actually aren't--and the opposite is also true. Any relationship in your life takes both work and patience in order to be successful. A marriage is no different.
As people, the thing we all have in common is this: we are all flawed in some way.
"I like flaws and feel more comfortable around people who have them. I myself am entirely made of flaws, stitched together with good intentions." -Augusten Burroughs