How to See People WHOLE

My husband says that he thinks I’m pretty darn perfect most of the time (and to be fair, he usually acts like he actually thinks this). Until…He doesn’t.

Every couple of months Tom suddenly expresses a list of gripes about me – most of which I’ve heard before. And so – upset but curious – I ask him, ‘Why don’t you tell me these things as they’re happening, rather than letting them bottle up and then randomly explode?’ He never really has an answer for me.

I, on the other hand, tend to express my frustrations as we go; something many men like to call “nagging”. And yes, it’s usually a repeat gripe (so whose fault it this – mine or his? We may never settle this one, I know…).

So, the reality is, we both have issues with one another at times. Who doesn’t? No matter how much I like and/or love someone, I don’t think any relationship can ever be 100% harmonious. Even my own mother – who says her children “can do no wrong” – is occasionally upset with my brother or me. And that’s just plain real.

Each of us has enlightened/ideal qualities… As well as practical/flawed qualities. If we choose to see just one aspect in someone, it’s eventually going to backfire on the both of us.

I know I’m not the exact same person 24/7, and much of the time I can admit this. Human interactions and communications can be complex and confusing. I don’t even always know why I do what I do or say what I say; although I can at least admit that and keep trying to learn more about myself to help me, myself and I – and friends/family – grow.

Anyway, show me someone you think is ‘perfect’, and chances are you’re idealizing them, are infatuated with them, or actually love their unique blend of hard and soft, dark and light, expected and mysterious behavior. Until for a bit or a long while, it rubs you the wrong way and you think you just can’t take it any longer. Well, welcome to the Real Relationships Club.

Being realistic about our own quirky traits and those of the ones we care about helps us find the compassion it takes to understand, forgive, move on, and hopefully learn something about ourselves along the way. We are then (ideally at least) given the same understanding and respect in return.

[Original Painting by Melanie Noel Light]