tenderpaw08: (head shot)
[personal profile] tenderpaw08
I'm not entirely sure why it's in my mind right now, yet I'm going to share the advice my father gave me shortly before my intended wedding date in 1990.  It's memorable in part because my dad wasn't big on discussing things of an emotional nature and has rarely given advice before or since then (his initial response about the marriage was "I don't think that's a good idea" yet he was supportive nonetheless.

Days before the date I discovered something about my intended spouse that shocked me. It offended me, even.  The specifics of it aren't actually very important.  What mattered was that I felt somewhat betrayed, as though anything that important should have been shared much earlier.  Yes, it would affect me negatively and set a different tone for our life together.  Just knowing that our values and perceptions were different in a key area where many couples have conflicts would have been helpful to know.  It's true that I was 18 and ignorant of many things and should have had better counsel and/or asked questions about such things before agreeing to marry.  Yet when I told my often-critical father about it, knowing his views and values were much like my own in the matter, he did not point out my naivety nor focus on my intended's flaws.  He started by asking a couple of questions.

"Do you still love him?"  "Do you still want to marry him and live with him for the rest of your life?"

The answer to all of that was yes.

"Then you accept it as part of who he is and you find ways to make it work."

So I did.  It's true that the marriage did not last.  Yet the reasons for its demise had little to do with that particular matter.  It didn't help, yet it was something I could accept, work with, and eventually help turn to something positive for both of us. 

Nobody's perfect and sometimes it's simply better to choose happiness over being "right"; you won't always be both.
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