Imagine if you did this before you got married?
Actually, you probably think you did, right? But many of the ‘faults’ you now see were likely not seen as faults when you were dating. That cute, endearing ditziness she had? It’s now a very annoying air-headedness that looks more like a fault than a merit. That sweet, self-deprecating Eeyore quality he had? It’s now an over-the-top pessimism and negativity and looks a lot more like a fault than a merit.
Even if you could evaluate your potential mate’s faults (as if he or she is showing them off to you while dating), you still would have a hard time making a proper decision. The reason is so many ‘faults’ haven’t shown up when you are courting. For example, ways of interacting with kids, in-laws, bosses, etc. Reactions to growing older, gaining and losing money, jobs, homes, status and health. Most of those circumstances aren’t experienced when you are young and in love.
So, given that you can’t really know much in advance, what do you do about these faults you see in your spouse? Is it possible to embrace them, ignore them, talk about them, resolve them? Can you, and should you, perceive these traits differently than you do? Do they have value you are not seeing? Do you have humor, love, compassion, understanding you can demostrate in reaction to them instead of annoyance or anger?
Who knows, a different understanding and response to their faults might help get rid of some of your own!
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily
Quote by Magdalena Samozwaniec, 1894-1972, Polish writer and satirist
One year ago today at the NDD – Technology: the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it.