Partner Renovations: Can you love them despite their “quirks”?

It’s the first time you’ve felt that the person sitting across from you could be the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. On the other hand, maybe this isn’t the first “true love” you’ve had, but you know it’s going to be different this time. You mesh. You’re happy.

Now think back to the other relationships you were in. What caused them to fail?

  • Did you grow apart?
  • Did one of you cheat?
  • Were the initial intentions of the union misguided?
  • Did their cute quirks become annoying habits?

The cute quirks (AKA annoying habits) are where many relationships go south.


Unless you married your high school sweetheart, chances are, you haven’t been afforded the luxury (or torment) of growing up with your partner, and now you must decide if their quirks are something you can live with forever, and ever, and ever…

Neither Bryan Baeumler nor Scott McGillivray can fix this for you.

I made a new acquaintance earlier this week and, among the multitude of personal topics we discussed, the subject of our respective partners was part of our getting-to-know-you convo. As I lean into my eighth year with my spouse, he is celebrating his 10th with his.

2016-04-10 full-body-(with-tools)d47c720ca9a06e0abe1eff0000415d3a

Photo courtesy of

2016-04-10 mcgillivray-blog-pic-LR

Photo courtesy of

Neither of us were spring chickens when we met our partners, and we both recognized that our expectations of a life partner differed from before gravity took a stronghold on the perky parts of our bodies. I shared with him that, at the beginning of my online dating journey, I met a man who was eight years my senior and we seemed to “click” in almost every area of our personalities. When I met him for the first time, I took a moment to breathe and say to myself, “This man is in his forties, and set in his ways. If you cannot love and accept everything and anything about him, you need to move on.”

Very quickly, I realized that his quirks were something I couldn’t live with, and dissolved any hope I had of a long-term relationship. (Of course, not before torturing myself with a roller-coaster of “I love him, I hate him, I love him,” emotions.)

Well, my new acquaintance had also been around the track a few times, and when they announced their upcoming nuptials to his future mother-in-law, she took him aside and reminded him that the person he was about to spend the rest of his life with, was the same person he met on the first day.

That was her not-so-subtle reminder for him to take a step back and assess if the quirks were going to be tolerable if they should, one day, turn into annoyances.

Both of our situations were identical, in that we analyzed if we could spend the rest of our lives with that individual, without the expectation of trying to change them.

So where are he and I in our relationships? We are both in love and at peace with our chosen partners.

You ain’t so perfekt neither!

I’m not saying that my husband is perfect (although I have stated, on many occasions, that he is “perfect for me”), but I made a decision eight years ago to take him as he is; and hope that he’ll accept me as I am. I guarantee you, I am far more quirky/annoying to him, than he is to me. Some days I sit cringing, waiting for him to lay into me for one of my many shortcomings. He doesn’t though. So because of that, it further emphasizes my point of accepting him for who he is.

We do have talks about behaviors or actions that bother or concern each of us. We’ll even ask each other, “Does it bother you when I…?” The other person’s answer (93% of the time) is, “No.”

If you’re heading into a new relationship, or are already knee-deep into one, one of the keys to keeping it flourishing is acknowledging that you must love that person for who they were when you first met. Sure, you will grow together to an extent, and the opposing factors of your personalities should enhance or benefit the other, but don’t ever think you can “change” them.

Don’t think that you even have one iota of a right to change them.

You can find a solution that doesn’t line the pockets of a divorce lawyer.

Please don’t think that I’m suggesting you ditch your spouse because he leaves the toilet seat up, or she leaves a chinchilla-sized hair ball in the shower drain each day. If those quirks are beginning to burden you, then I have two suggestions:

  1. Express your challenge with the habit, and ask that they make an effort to correct it.
  2. If #1 fails… Get over it. A marriage is not worth ending over a toilet or shower faux pas. Invest in an automatic toilet lid closer, and give the fur ball a name, and treat it as lovingly as you would your dog or cat.


The more you dwell on the negative quirks, the more it will blind from seeing all of the other blessings your partner brings to the table.

2016-04-10 chinchilla

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *