Sometimes I just want my husband to fight with me.

Not like the boxing gloves kind of fight;

I just want him to get on my level of petty when we’re arguing.

I want him to yell back.

I want him to say anything so that I can say everything I have yet to say.

I have this long list running circles in my head but there’s no satisfaction in yelling within myself.

But he stays quiet—which angers me most of all.

I tell him we don’t communicate well; that we need to talk, but the truth is that we process things quite differently.

But when you’re the extreme one in your marriage, you just can’t follow that line of thought. You want instant relief. Instant satisfaction. And then instant regret. Well thought-out responses and patience aren’t really your area of expertise.

Sometimes I just want my husband to be as excited as I am about every crazy idea that pops up in my head.

Hey, let’s wrap the kids up and go for a run down the road at 8 p.m.

Hey, let’s pack up and drive four hours to the beach.

Hey, let’s go to this thing at this place and do this stuff and spread our wings.

And I take a blow to the ego and a damper to my soul every time I can’t do said crazy, irrational thing.

Sometimes I just want my partner to understand the level of intensity I feel daily and match my level of energy.

And sometimes he does. He meets me face-to-face because I’m a woman whose intense height matches her extreme pace.

And I come to expect that shared demeanor like a promise; I punish its absence like a true offense.

Sometimes I want to change. I want to be a little more quiet. I want to be more content with sitting still. I want to be more dainty. I want to be more the epitome of a lady. But even the thought makes me cringe and makes me a different breed of crazy.

Sometimes I want my husband to change. I want him to be more open. I want him to see the potential. I want him to share my over-optimism. I want him to replace his hesitation with enthusiasm.

But then I realize that change would strip away everything I love about him.

And the thought makes me cringe, for if he were like me, our marriage would be a fatal kind of crazy.

You see, we extremists don’t always realize what we need when we’re reinventing ourselves at 1 a.m. or trying to teach our toddlers the whole alphabet in just one morning.

We get so focused on these ideals that what we need gets a little cloudy.

need a firm hand when mine becomes unsteady.

need a soft reminder to sit down and just be.

need you’re being kind of crazy when no one else will tell me.

need a gentle voice and a safe space and stability.

And I don’t just need, crave these things.

It’s something I find in us that I struggle to find in me.

It’s not a lack of self-sufficiency, but more so a desire of mutuality.

To my less extreme partner:

I am thankful that opposites attract.

I am thankful that when I try too many things and stray too far, you’re there when I get back.

I am thankful that your strides are identical when mine are touch and go.

I am thankful that you hold your tongue while I let mine slip too much.

I am thankful that you’re there both when I’m wound up and when I’m tired.

And I’m most thankful that God gave me someone to calm my storm without extinguishing my fire.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Whitney Ballard

Whitney Ballard is a writer and mom advocate from small town Alabama. She owns the Trains and Tantrums blog, where she writes about motherhood, marriage, mental health, and more. Whitney went from becoming a mom at sixteen to holing a Master’s degree; she writes about that journey, along with daily life, through a Christian lens. When she’s not writing while on her porch swing or cheering/yelling at the ballpark, you’ll find her in the backyard with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.