The first time I got married I had observed that we both had highly intense parents that had divorced and remarried less intense partners, but this wouldn’t stop us because we were clearly “meant to be.” Now I won’t dispute that thought because we were meant to produce our amazing son, but it did ultimately end. I believe this was not because we were both intense people, but because our particular brands of intensity did not entirely mesh well together.
The early stages of meshing together were a challenge. In hindsight I see that I mistook drama for passion and assumed it was just a part of two intense people connecting. Over time we were able to find a pretty good balance that was based on open communication, but our communication styles were very different so that took quite a bit of work to maintain. Still, I was taken by surprize when it ended. I had so many friends who complained about their spouses in a way that showed a lack of respect and I never felt that personally on either end.
What was lacking to some degree was complete acceptance. There were always things about each other that the other could not completely accept. I always wanted him to be less moody and he wanted me to have more of a filter. This seemed fair because I think these were things we couldn’t completely accept in ourselves either.
For you Buffy fans out there, I used to complain that I didn’t understand why everyone got all woozy over Angel when he was so broody. When things ended, I remember him saying that he was an Angel and what I really needed was a Spike (we’re talking post soul here by the way).
Over the years I tried dating people who were less intense, but there was always something lacking for me.
Fast forward seven years and I have found someone who loves me because of my quirks, not despite them. Not to say that there is nothing we would change about the other, but we accept each other as we are. In fact, my Guy once said, I “accept the shit” out of him, and he does the same. He makes it pretty easy since despite a challenging past, he fully appreciates everything he has in his life. That’s not to say it’s all roses and no thorns, but the thorns are brief and we can talk about anything! He doesn’t take things personally at all, and I’m working on it. We share the five As that David Richo says are essential in a healthy relationship, acceptance, attention, appreciation, affection and allowing.
After seven years of single parenthood, I’m moving back into the world of marriage again when I wasn’t sure I ever would. If I’ve learned anything from my years of relationships and dating it’s this – drama is not the same as passion or an inevitable outcome of two intense people meshing, and compatible communication styles save a lot of drama. Also, until you completely accept yourself, it will be difficult to find someone who completely accepts you. If you do, and it’s mutual – treasure that!