Amber McNaught’s weekly column on newly married life
Until I met my husband, I’d never really believed in the whole “opposites attract” thing. In fact, I’d imagined I’d probably end up marrying (if I ever got married at all, and that was in doubt for a good many years) someone almost exactly like myself – quiet, bookish, a bit shy, something of a loner. Making myself sound really attractive here, aren’t I?
Of course, it doesn’t quite work out like that, and I guess it’s a good job. If my husband was even the slightest bit like me, we’d probably rarely leave the house, other than to buy more books and we’d definitely have been too shy to ever get together in the first place. So it’s probably a good job that me and T are just about as different as it’s possible to be.
I’m an introvert, he’s always the first person to suggest karaoke of an evening. I like words, he likes numbers. He’s one of five siblings – I’m an only child. And while I’m a bit of a loner, and not particularly comfortable in crowds (you really wish you were me, don’t you?), his attitude is “the more the merrier”.
It’s taken me a long time to get used to this need of his to be surrounded by lots of people at all times – in fact, I’m not quite there yet, if I’m honest. I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact that he comes from a large, sociable family, while I’m used to lots of peace and quiet. Christmas in Terry’s family means twenty-five people sitting down to dinner, while an impromptu family meal requires more food than most families eat in a week. For me, the only child, it can all get a bit overwhelming.
Then there’s the way that my husband will invite people along to anything we have planned. “If it’s fun for two,” goes his logic, “It’ll be even more fun for five!” So a quiet walk in the country suddenly involves four carloads of people, and every time we go to a party we’ll usually come home with our weekends booked up for the next month. “I’ve just invited everyone along on that shopping trip we were planning for Saturday,” he’ll say. “That’s OK, isn’t it?”
Most of the time, of course, it is OK. But there has been a long period of adjustment, where I’ve had to get used to the idea of suddenly being part of a huge family, and he’s had to get used to the fact that just occasionally I need a bit of time to myself. We’re getting there, slowly. And most of the time, we get to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Amber McNaught is a freelance writer who got married this March. She now has that Paula Abdul song, “Opposites Attract” stuck in her head, and she really, really wishes she didn’t.