Married & Still Crazy After All These Years

This story was originally published in the Charleston Daily Mail on February 14, 2014.

From the time we started dating, my wife and I just knew we were a perfect match. Peas in a pod. Socks in a drawer. Reese Cups in a wrapper.

We shared the same interests, enjoyed the same music and ate the same foods. Whitney and I spent every possible waking hour together. When we were apart, we talked on the phone or traded messages online.

We laughed and cried together, and professed our undying love at least every day. Never had there ever been two people more perfectly suited for marital bliss.

And then we got married.

Today marks our seventh Valentine’s Day together, and our fourth V-Day as a married couple. I’m still crazy about her. She, by all accounts, is crazy about me.

But looking back on those early, exciting days when we thought we were a perfect match . . . well, we were just crazy.

The truth came out soon after our honeymoon.

We didn’t live together before getting married, so I knew nothing of her day-to-day habits. I had no idea this Sleeping Beauty could slumber through an atomic bomb blast. And when I finally managed to wake her up, I quickly learned she is capable of a level of grumpiness usually reserved for a member of the Seven Dwarfs.

I know living with me is not easy, either. Whitney is an extrovert who loves being around people. Her husband, meanwhile, tends to live inside his head. Sometimes, I’ll eat my whole dinner without saying more than a few words. That’s partially because Whitney is an excellent cook, and partially because I’m waiting for her to fill in the conversation.

We argued quite a bit in the first year of our marriage. At the time, I thought something was wrong with us, although other married couples have since assured me those arguments are perfectly normal. Healthy, even.

It makes sense when you think about it.

At its most basic, unromantic level, marriage is just the process of taking two people, combining all their stuff and making them live together . . . forever. Simple physics dictates that, unless those two people are perfectly matched, the process is bound to cause some friction.

And here’s the rub: nobody is a perfect match.

Marriage has taught me so many things about my wife, and more about myself. I don’t have much patience but I’m pretty thoughtful. Whitney’s middle name could be Job, but sometimes she forgets things I think are important.

Four years into our marriage, it turns out we’re not that similar at all.

But it doesn’t matter.

I still hate waking Whitney up in the mornings, especially when her alarm rings two hours before mine. But I still love waking up beside her.

I crank up the television way too loud for her liking, but she still sits next to me on the couch.

Sometimes we drive each other crazy, but we’re still crazy about each other.