If my husband and I were on eHarmony, I’m not sure we would be a match. I’m not even sure we would match up in the “What if” section since our interests are so diverse. He likes cold weather climates; I like warm; he loves hunting and shooting; I love art and poetry; he could go for days—or maybe weeks—without talking to anyone; I would probably start talking to an inanimate object by noon.
Contemplating these differences made me wonder what makes a couple truly compatible in the worldly sense: The same style? The same taste in music? The same obsession with the paleo diet or gym?
I felt kind of sad for those on eHarmony, who possibly have a slew of “matches” and yet miss their opposite who is compatible in all the ways that matter. For my husband might not like art or poetry, but he has been my first reader for every one of my books.
He might not enjoy Tennessee’s 60 degree winters (and 90 degree summers), but he moved me back from Wisconsin because he knew how much I missed my family. Due to his introverted nature, he might not enjoy my book festivals, but he happily watches our daughters—and even sends me sweet “proof of life” videos—so I can attend without feeling any mama guilt.
The other night, we had a good laugh while going through all the various ways our seven-year marriage should never be a perfect match. Later, when we were cleaning up the kitchen, he asked, “You never did find the top to the vanilla?” (I had made a mocha cheesecake three days before.)
I shook my head and continued wiping down the counter.
“How does that happen?” he asked. “You’re just cooking, and then—” he snapped his fingers “—it’s gone?”
(I forgot to mention that my husband and I cook very differently, too. He is a chemist in the kitchen; I am more of an . . . abstract painter.)
Lifting my head, I snapped my fingers. “You’re blocked,” I said, which is an eHarmony feature you can use if you do not care for one of your matches.
He laughed, then, and I laughed, too. He came over and poked me in the rib. “You’re so cute,” he said.
After we got the kitchen clean, we zipped our girls in their footie pajamas and made their beds on the floor of our room, because this is how we avoid unnecessary drama on a stormy night.
We got them tucked in their little rabbit and puppy dog sleeping bags, turned off the lights, and then I stretched my pregnant self out on the bed. My husband stretched out in the opposite direction, so my feet were by his face. (When you’ve been married this long, you no longer worry that your feet might stink.)
We led the girls in lullabies as the essential oil diffuser on the dresser got bright and dim, bright and dim. My husband concluded the concert with “Edelweiss,” which he began singing to the girls a few months ago and has quickly become our family’s favorite. I sang as well and listened to our voices rising together in a rather inharmonious tune. And I thought that, though my husband might not be the world’s idea of a perfect match for me, he is mine.
What do you think makes a marriage compatible?