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  • Writer's pictureJaye Gaff

The quote that changed my relationship

I don’t love making grandiose statements like this “changed my life” but this one really did. I don’t really know if Bob Marley even said it but let’s just pretend he did.

I used to be this person who believed my Husband had to be perfect and I waited, on a precipice, for this perfection to materialise. It never came and I thought for certain my marriage was doomed. And why was he doing this to me? After my childhood? After I had to ditch my family for the sake of my mental health? How he very dare.

And then I read this quote and my opinions changed overnight. I started to train myself to see his flaws that were intrinsically him as things to love about him. I started communicating about what I needed because you need to - with everyone - and I have specific ideas about what I want. I stopped dropping hints and just telling him what I wanted. I told him the things I was unwilling to compromise on. I started praising him as much as he praises me. And it worked.

Those ridiculous things he does — the socks in random places, the “clean” kitchen that is never clean, the forgetfulness — those are parts of him and they’re parts I need to learn to love. Of course, I don’t condone being treated like shit but we all have undesirable things in who we are and these are his and this is the man I married.

I’ve found I had this view that you’re “communicating” as a couple and then there’s the real fucking communication that involves telling them what you’re unwilling to budge on without fear that it’s going to ruin things. I need surprise presents at random moments. I am vain and I like shiny things. I don’t need him to surprise me on my birthday or our anniversary but I do need the random surprise Starbucks (or Starbucks sippy cups). I need him to stop putting all the emotional labour on me.

I no longer need a perfect man because that’s setting myself up for failure as much as it is him. He doesn’t deserve that and neither do I. And maybe, I look away from a multitude of things that he does but I like it that way. It’s the only way I can survive in this life. And I love this beautiful man for exactly who he is. Realising he’s not perfect and not psychic has been the best thing for me. And, sure, it took awhile to realise my idea of a perfect relationship was really what society tells you it is — a man who loves you will never make you cry, you won’t have to tell them what you need, that they’ll just know. And, man, isn’t that a load of bullshit?

He is not perfect and neither am I and knowing that and accepting that makes us perfect for each other.

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