Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 29--The Compatability Test Part 1

"It's not a test", she reassured us, "it's to provide talking points, exploration," as we put down our heads and filled in ovals for the next hour. One hundred and fifty questions later, and with the wedding date on the horizon, we wondered, "Are we compatible?"

Outside the church, we wiped our sweaty palms on our jeans as she waved us off into the night. "What did you say about money?", he asked hesitantly. "Well, what did you say about how many date nights we'll have?", I shot back. Clearly this was NOT the time for review.

We sat down a week later and began to look over the results under "her and his" responses.Part one of the test review went simply, going over backgrounds and relationships past and present,fairly vanilla and unintrusive. Part two of the review didn't apply as neither of us had been widowed (and I not even married yet once!).

Tricky is what I called part three. It all began a bit innocently. All of our answers lined up, military fashion. It was sort of laughable, as if we had cheated by looking at one another's paper. Then our counselor asked questions that weren't on the test, the "between the lines" kind of questions...ones that could feel like an ambush if one had not had enough sleep and too much caffeine (which I had, on both accounts).

I became a bit emotional and he looked at me quizzically as if to say, "do I know this woman?" Fortunately, as all good advisors do, she walked us through the points of tension and left us with homework. She encouraged us to keep talking and that marriage would always be a process, not a finished project.

What crystallized for me is that I am female and he is male. I have been independent for 18 years, he's had a family life for most of his years. I am protective over individual attention from him. He's protective over time with his kids. I have set working hours. He's on call 24/7. These priorities and needs are often at odds and could appear to have no middle ground.

Here's the good news: we're good listeners and learners; we've got a good work ethic and a great sense of adventure. We have a lot of people who love us and support our marriage. Our goal is to have matured through some of these "strike points" more next year than this, and more the year after than the one before.

I have great hope and excitement for that personal growth AND a few boxes of tissue for the days that feel less than hopeful or exciting.


  1. Love this IS a process. I've been married 11 years and am still learning. It's funny what you are willing to overlook later in marriage or what starts to feel a little easier (read "obsessive running tendencies" into this...) Love you and see you SOON! Angie

  2. I agree with Ang and I think that right before a bit of panic sets in as we try to look at them under the microscope "one last time" and make sure we are going down the right path. Sounds like good stuff!

    Flaming latte' in 27 days!!!