Married to a Non-Introvert

I am a super-introvert, and my husband definitely is not. Not that he’s an extrovert—that actually might have been easier to adapt to since he would have had a broader social circle to run around with and would have depended on me less for social stimulation. But he’s sorta in the middle of introversion and extroversion which means that he prefers to spend most of his time with one or two of his favorite people. And that almost always includes me.

So, spending time together gives him social energy, while mine becomes depleted (as is the case with all of my social interactions).

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Cold Feet Truths

In the early stages of our relationship, my husband and I knew the chances of it resulting in marriage were a long shot. We were very different, lived on two separate continents, and didn’t have enough money to bridge the gap very often. The limited amount of time we had in person was rushed and jam-packed with experiences, without the ability to see each other in normal, everyday kind of life.

But there was something about this man that, despite the challenges, kept me riveted to my computer screen on Skype. So much so that I married him the 3rd time we got to be together on the same continent (for a more spiritual version of the story, click here).

I knew—absolutely knew—that this was the man for me. But lots of people get some version of cold feet before heading down the aisle, and I was not an exception.  Annoying little contradictions crept periodically into my mind, things like “we don’t have enough in common” and “what if I’m making the biggest mistake of my life?” My confusion and frustration about all the mixed messages I was hearing regarding my future often led me to tears.

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The Gift of Sex, by Clifford and Joyce Penner

This book was given to me by a friend at my bachelorette party. She called it a “classic” although it had only been published in 2003 and I’d never heard of it before. But the more I read, the more I could see how The Gift of Sex could easily become one of those “classic” books that get gifted at bachelorette parties, much like What to Expect When You’re Expecting being a staple at baby showers.

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Couples Retreat

A friend of mine once told me that thousands of years ago in Israel, newlywed couples would retreat for a year to get acquainted with one another. They’d be isolated from the people they knew, leaving behind the former ties and making new ones with their spouse, before re-emerging in their society as a couple united in mind and purpose.

I don’t know where she got her information, and whether it was historically true or not, and generally I thought something like that was kinda unnecessary in the day and age (and the type of society) where couples actually do know each other very well before getting hitched. But something about it drew me to the idea because I was in the kind of long-distance relationship that didn’t allow for us to be around each other very much in normal everyday experiences. We talked a lot on Skype, and I was sure that he was the right guy for me, but I knew that sharing a home and a life would be a hard transition for a couple who couldn’t act like a couple most of the time and who essentially turned back into independent people as soon as the computer screens closed or as soon as one of them got back on a plane to go home.

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Twice as Inefficient

I love efficiency. I love getting things checked off my to-do list, and the more things I check off (and the more quickly I do that), the more accomplished I feel. And subsequently, the more happy.

So when I got married and acquired twice as many to-do’s and a to-do partner who doesn’t value efficiency as much as I do, I became twice as inefficient. And I got a little depressed. I mean, who was I if I wasn’t being super-productive??

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Getting Over My Imperfect Wedding

Long before I got married I was skeptical, to say the least, of the following ideas people had about weddings:

  1. The wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life (that’s way too much pressure for one day to carry, and what— is it all downhill from there??)
  2. It’s all about the bride and what she wants (hello, this is the groom’s wedding too, and if he cares about how things are done, then he gets equal say)
  3. The invitation list (and who accepts and declines) makes and breaks friendships (sometimes the budget prevents inviting everyone you love, sometimes life circumstances prevent someone coming who is really important to you, and true friendships will survive these limitations)

And don’t get me started on the Wedding Industrial Complex that ropes couples into stopping at nothing to realize all their Pinterest-perfect dreams to have the most unique, most memorable, most envied wedding of all time.

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