Relationship Cleanup: Ponderings of a Messy Girlfriend

“You’re so messy,” he tells me. Luckily, he didn’t say, “You’re such a mess.” The latter has an entirely different meaning, to me anyway. My response was a slightly-sarcastic, half-joking “You can’t have it all, you know.” Underlying that remark was the thought that I have many great qualities, so you need to put up with my not-so-great ones too. In other words, “Get over it.”

As he slipped into dreamland and I proceeded to get ready for bed, I looked at our bathroom counter, overflowing with lipsticks, lipglosses, and other product . I thought, “Damn, he puts up with a lot.” Not only am I rather messy, but I’m also scatterbrained, as he calls it. I don’t cook. I seldomly clean. I have a potty mouth. I’m definitely not your model wifey.

My thoughtless remark of “you can’t have it all,” was a huge relationship sin. Of course we all want our significant other to accept us as we are, not try to change us, blah blah blah, but does that mean we should just be our awesome selves and if the other person doesn’t accept us, too bad for them? Sometimes when we do that, it’s actually too bad for us. Our unwillingness to change and compromise puts us on the losing end. There’s a lot of ways to change your actions, without losing who you are. There’s a big difference. A lot of people say that they shouldn’t have to change. Yes, you shouldn’t have to change who you are, but I don’t think it means that you shouldn’t have to change what you do.

I think we often take that attitude… that it’s really too bad for our partner if they don’t like certain things about us. My sarcastic statement really wasn’t too far from what I thought I believed – that you can’t have it all… you give up some things to gain others.

We get into relationships and become laissez faire. We do things that we know irritate the other person. We don’t go the extra mile to do things that we know the other person wants us to do. We don’t take out the trash because what is she going to do? Yell? Oh well, she’ll still love me. We don’t clean up the bathroom counter because 1) we’re too lazy, 2) it’s easier to access lipgloss when they’re all laid out, 3) it’s not THAT bad, 4) what is he going to do, 5) he should accept me for how i am, 6) he can’t have it all.

Now, how sinful is that? How damaging is that? If that’s how both parties in a relationship think, it’s no wonder why the success rate of marriages isn’t too high. I realize I need to change my lens and the way I view my relationship… because he really can have it all… and he deserves to. Maybe I can’t give it all to him, but it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try my hardest. Relationships are work, and I need to remember to keep working at it… cause it’s worth it.

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