Simon and I have been married almost 5 months, it’s been 18 weeks of marriage and I’ve gotta say, we’ve been through a lot already! We’ve had our honeymoon in Hawaii which you can read about here and here. Then we had Christmas which we spent in Adelaide (South Australia) and Ararat (Victoria) before coming back to Bendigo the day all our boxes moved to Darwin (Northern Territory). We cleaned a house, said goodbye and moved to Darwin in January. Since arriving we have unpacked (sort of), started new jobs (I’ve started two!), had to meet new people, get adjusted to the extremely hot and humid weather up here and we had a fur baby!
It’s been a very busy and full 18 weeks! Something that has become abundantly clear to both of us is how opposites attract but there is always going to be conflict. I guess it’s about how you deal with that conflict and your differences that really makes all the difference in making a relationship of opposites work. This post is intended to be a positive one, one of encouragement but I gotta be clear and say up front… Simon and I are two completely different people and this often creates a lot of conflict for us, we have had to work really hard on our communication to not make the past 18 weeks a warzone. Let me explain;
Simon and I met at work. He hired me. Although The Salvation Army (where we work) has some very tight social circles (particularly in Victoria) we hadn’t actually met until I drove from Melbourne to Bendigo for the interview. It didn’t take long for our mutual attraction to became evident and one night, while we were in Wodonga for work, Simon told me how he felt about me. Luckily I felt the same way too and there began a beautiful love story
Or did it?
Of course it did but we spend so much time together we sometimes forget that we are actually quite different people and with these differences come different needs and priorities. I like to be organised and plan things out, Simon is a ‘wing it’ man. I am a complete nerd, I love to study and read and write, Simon likes to play video games that require as little mental stimulation as possible, the more violent the better apparently. My motto is ‘why put off till tomorrow what you can do today’, Simon’s motto is ‘Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow’. Obviously we love each other for these opposite aspects of our personalities; Simon has helped me relax and not be such a perfectionist all the time, the details don’t always matter, or if they don’t get done it doesn’t always spell ‘failure’. And I have helped Simon with organisation and productivity.
We feel very strongly that God has brought us together for his mission and for his purpose and for each of our own ultimate happiness.
Especially when we eat chicken and I want the leg and he wants the breast…
That makes me very happy!
But in all seriousness, the title of this post came out of an argument, a funny argument but an argument all the same. We refer back to it from time to time, every time we need to remind ourselves how different we are. I look at Simon (or the other way around) and I say ‘Puppies, Pink Lemonade and Snow’… It was during our engagement and we were driving… I think it might have been from Bendigo to Melbourne which is about a two hour drive. I was frustrated because my entire life at this point was consumed by wedding ‘stuff’. Don’t ask me how far away we were at this point from the actual wedding but I would estimate maybe six months to-go. So it was close enough that I had wanted to have all the major decisions made but far enough away that I was just starting to hone in on the details.
Details… I would guess that that word would cause the biggest tension in our relationship out of anything. I had a VERY detailed to-do list leading up to our wedding with timelines (which I was prepared to be flexible and realistic with but not so flexible that everything got done in the last month of our engagement). Simon had a vague idea of what he wanted and he knew that he had been allocated tasks but wasn’t stressing out in the least. It had gotten to the point of tension in our different approaches to wedding planning. I didn’t want to be a nag but I felt he needed to know how stressed I was about the entire production. I felt if he could only pay attention for long enough to put a tick next to something then it would provide me with a very high level of satisfaction!
Simon chose that very moment to bring up an idea that he had randomly seen (he tells me it was some kind of lantern idea, I honestly cannot remember, how’s that for details, ha). I had, obviously, been pouring over wedding magazines and blogs, websites and pinterest for months, for hours, sometimes days at a time. Not to mention all the pre-planning I had done since I was about 12 years old… I basically just liked to look at pretty white things by this stage... Simon’s ‘idea’ had already been through the filter in my mind and had already been silently vetoed due mostly to time constraints, clearly I had not communicated this to Simon but somehow he was supposed to know anyway.
This caused a mini argument that mostly involved my ego becoming inflated about how much time and effort I had put into the wedding planning. I was frustrated that Simon thought he could just come in with any old idea that pops into his head and expect it to be accepted onto the drawing board.
Clearly it didn’t fit the plan and the timeline, hello! What a dick. Me I mean… Anyway this is where the Puppies come in… Simon went silent, as he often does when I get on my high horse. (I really gotta remember to come down from there more often.)
Due to our vast differences in approaches to conflict resolution (Simon shuts down, I continue to
explode express) this frustrated me even more. Then I uttered the phrase most men hate more than anything, ‘What are you thinking about?’ Simon’s answer was ‘Puppies, Pink Lemonade and Snow!’ I couldn’t help myself, I burst out laughing! How’s that for diffusing a tense situation?
He went on to explain that he was thinking about us getting a puppy after we get married (we had already been talking about it for some time), the pink lemonade we were going to drink at the wedding and whether or not it was going to snow in Mount Macedon… Now I could have continued my childish behaviour with my defiant pedestal attitude but not only was his answer so absurd it was hilarious but it told me his heart was actually in the right place. All I could say at that moment was ‘I wish I could live inside your brain just for one day!’ Could you imagine it? While my head was full of pointless details and timelines that were literally keeping me up at night Simon was thinking about;
1. Our Future – The puppies signify him wanting to start at least a fur family with me…
2. Our Happiness – The image of us sitting together sipping pink lemonade at our wedding was certainly a dreamy place to reside.
& 3. Well…
Actually I don’t have anything for number three… Snow..? Hmm… I guess, to me, it just was such a great example of our two separate personalities coming together in such a real and stark way that it was clear we needed each other!
One of the most important things I have learnt (and continue to learn) in the past 18 weeks of marriage is I don’t have to strive for perfection in our marriage… God has already done that… Our marriage is perfect in our imperfections because the less perfect Simon and I are at being husband and wife the more room there is for God to be there. I just gotta remember to trust…
So far God has done a good job of reminding me when I forget that… And he gave me a pretty patient husband with a special place he can retreat to anytime I start riding that old nag and it’s full of puppies and pink lemonade and… snow… I’m really focussing on celebrating our victories, cutting our losses and continuing on in love and positivity! What’s God teaching you through the imperfect moments right now? ***