I agree with Diane B. My husband and I have similar values, although I'm not sure how because we come from vastly different backgrounds.
He was a blind date and as we joke now, 25 years later, that he was a complete experiment. He was so different than anyone else I had been dating and they weren't working out so I had to do something different!
As I said we came from completely different backgrounds. My husband came from an educated, white-collar corporate executive family. Me, self-employed working class.
Different religions: he-Catholic, me-Baptist.
I was and still am a financial conservative, he's willing to take a risk (and done very well) with investments.
Politically - we tend to cancel each other out.
He was (is) a complete slob. I was and still am, rather anal about things. BUT, I found it important to lower my standards, just a bit, which was much easier than bringing him up to mine.
We really are more opposite than similar.
What I think makes our relationship work? Communication. We literally talk about everything! And I mean everything!! Just this past weekend I was at my breaking point with a never ending stream of commitments I had for a week and I felt he could be helping me slice the cheese for Easter. But instead of ASKING him, I ASSUMED he knew it needed to be done and got in a pissy mood! OK, I'm not a toddler or a teenager, I know better. Bottom line, once I told him I was stressed and needed help, Boom it was done and even enlisted the children so I could shower.
The other thing is, and it goes back to that communication, we talked about everything before we got married. Because of the church we got married in, we were required to take those marriage classes. We really had already worked out a lot of the issues, but those classes do force you to take a hard look and self-evaluate how you view things. In my opinion, there should be some sort of pre-maritial counseling required to get a license no matter what religion, if any. It helps open the communication.
I've heard him joke that he'd rather be happy than right and I guess I'd agree. There are certain things that just are not worth the fight. Is it really that big of an issue that he uses my kitchen towels to wipe his mouth? Nope, throw it in the laundry room, get him a napkin and get a clean one. I'm sure I have habits that drive him nuts, although I can't imagine any. :) Just kidding!
I am dead serious that, my husband and I have been together 25 years and married almost 23. If it's possible I love him more now than I did back then. We've had issues, sick babies, financial difficulties, both of us finished our college after marriage, ill parents, etc. But we've faced them together, always!
I'm sorry you have to go through this. Maybe you can take some of the thoughts and file them away for your next relationship. And if need be, you need to do some self-evaluation, you do that as well.
In good health,
ps. I love what Heather posted about putting one another first. We've done that as well. Of course the kids were/are well cared for, loved and treasured, but we did things together knowing that someday it would just be us. We can make a trip to Home Depot an adventure!