After infidelity, I’m rather skeptical of the old adage “opposites attract.” I’d advise just the opposite really — find someone in your own values tribe.
No two people share everything, of course. My husband’s love of Texas, for example. Tornadoes? Okay. Scorpions? Sure! Ten-year droughts? Bring it! Rat snakes? No worries. Jalapeños? Loves it. Oppressive heat? DEAL with it. Funny hats and pick up trucks? Love. LOVE.
And yet he married me — a pasty Northerner whose favorite flavor might be “milk.” He doesn’t spackle over my Texas antipathy. No, he gallantly and at great personal sacrifice moved us 1500 miles north. (Still in the South. But only just.) So while we don’t share everything in common, we share the big stuff. We’re conscientious, faithful, hyper-nerdy people. Responsible, a bit type-A (okay, we’re control freaks). We keep a clean house and run a pretty tight ship. (He’s better about mail. I’m better about dust.) We both have useless masters degrees (African history, comparative lit). We do our homework. We’ll do your homework. Because of course… we’re both chumps.
On the big ticket items — core values — we’re a match. And let’s face it, our core weaknesses are pretty match-y too — chumpiness.
It works. It stands out in stark contrast to my previous relationships, where I didn’t have a lot of shared values, but by God, I had SPACKLE!
Twenty-something Tracy. “Marriage? I’ve never tried that before! Sure! Is that a car-door on your dining room table? That’s interesting. What an iconoclastic outsider you are! Rejecting the bourgeoisie conformity that demands tidy surface areas! Sign me up for some chaos!”
Thirty-something Tracy. “You cancel plans a lot. I guess that means you’re spontaneous, whereas I am rather controlling about symphony tickets. But no worries. I suppose I’m free on Thursday. Maybe. We’ll keep it open!”
Married to a cheater Tracy (pre-D-day). “Sure, you go off on that hunting weekend with the guys. I’m secure in my independence. I’m cool! You do you! I’m happy here being me. I’ll just go ionize my needs into tiny undetectable particles. Have a great trip!”
Chump Marcus Larzarus made an interesting comment on this phenomena last Friday on the question of “where’s the shame?” He wrote:
So rather than search for the empirical answer to ‘Where is your shame”, NOW I substitute, “Their brains are not wired like ours”. That makes us incompatible. And that is reason enough.
Next Question… How did I overlook (spackle) this incompatibility?
So, CN, tell me about your spackle. How did you overlook the incompatibility?