It has been well established that it took me longer than the average person to find the one I would marry. It is still a shock to me the reactions I get from people who find out it is my FIRST (and hopefully only) marriage!! I get different looks, but recently I encountered one that made me feel like a "sell out".
I was shopping around for ideas of anniversary gifts for my husband that a woman asked how long I had been married. When I told her how long and that it was my first, the woman gave me a "why bother" look. As if I had gone thru the trouble of marrying while I have one foot in the grave or something. A look as if to say "if you hadn't put up with a spouse, why would you want to NOW?"
Over the years I have been looked upon with pity, the type a homely girl might get from people betting NO ONE would want her. When I was single, I was told I was lucky, from obviously unhappy wives AND HUSBANDS who love to bitch and moan about their life but continue on staying in their relationships. I was questioned beyond end by people "trying to help" find what was wrong with me that I had not been married even ONCE!
I was praised by some who I am sure wondered if I was gay and just had not admitted it. The only people who understood my not settling were close friends who have been divorced once, twice, even three times. It wasn't that I didn't fall in love and had relationships; it was that I "stuck to my guns" (hey, I live in Texas) and did not allow time passing me by to push me to settle for less than what in my mind and my heart were non-negotiables. We all have them, as petty as they may seem to others, and the older I got the more I realized I was happy not to deal with compromising. The reality was that I just hadn't found the one I would compromise some things for.
I have heard people vent over little things that they put up from their spouse, and always I have half heard their complaints and mostly half focused on the words they use, "put up". Immediately my mind goes to thinking, you don't HAVE TO put up with it. You choose to, and it isn't putting up its accepting your partner as is! Mostly BECAUSE OUR PARTNERS DO US THE SAME COURTESY!
My husband accepts the fact that more times than not I leave half-empty cans of soda. I open one and walk around the house with it enjoying it. Most of the time I forget I put it down some place and he usually bumps in to it. Hey, I like to enjoy my drinks and not just gulp them down on the spot! I think he has chosen to make a game out of it and "catch me" on it than to go crazy over it.
My epiphany on free will came to me when I heard my best friend arguing with her ex (after their divorce). "I don't HAVE TO do nothing but breathe and die!!" Then she chose to hang up the phone!
In a world where it's easier to relate to one another in misery and most likely cause envy if you are happy, we shouldn't be hesitant to count our blessings. Take a minute to reflect on the many little ways we have felt loved and accepted by our partners. What is the most ridiculous quirk you know drives your significant other insane and you just can't help?? Remember it next time you are about to start nagging/moaning over something about them and let it slide. You don't have to get irritated and can choose to just smirk.