I don't particularly like my wife. Her personality grates on me. She is overly boisterous and generally attention seeking. She lacks grace and tact. She works hard to be the center of attention and seeks approval of others. She breaks into song at awkward moments far too often and it comes across as wanting for attention. She steps on others in conversation, cutting them off and interjecting her own thoughts without a sense of good conversational flow. She is not particularly feminine. Not to mention that she doesn't cook for shit and rarely even tries.
All these things are quite a turn off for me. They are things that I could possibly bring her out of. I see how they are formed out of general insecurity, out of a lack of training and leadership. She developed these traits in an attempt to get the attention of her far too busy father, and they have carried over into adulthood.
Problem is, these traits annoy the fuck out of me. All else held equal, I feel pressure from myself and my own moral code to love her in spite of her flaws, and to help her overcome them. I have been on a consistent path of improvement over the last year, focusing on my flaws and intentionally fixing my shit. At the end of the day, I'm still annoyed by her.
I've been listening to Jacko Wilink's podcast a lot lately. He talks about extreme ownership, how a true leader takes responsibility for every situation, and comes under his subordinates, seeks out how to support and improve them. I can possibly train her in the areas of tact, teach her to be more secure in her self via affirmation, help her to end the attention seeking behavior, motivate her to be a better cook, but I won't be able to change her baseline personality. The little things that annoy me, like how she acts when excited, or her love of breaking out in song randomly, are things that are uniquely her, that I shouldn't expect to change solely to fit my own desires.
And there is the rub. Even if we could figure out her sexual anxiety, even if I lead her into greater levels of confidence so that she is less socially awkward, I still think that I would be annoyed by her basic personality.
I have a submitted post from my pre-MRP days that touches on how I don't think we're soulmates. I've come to realize that the concept of soulmates is dumb, but there is one aspect of the death of oneitis that sticks for me. Killing oneitis and accepting AWALT doesn't mean that all women are the same, or that you should be married to any random woman off the street. Yet at this point, that is the situation that I feel stuck in. I'm here now in this relationship that I have spent years trying to iron out, with a woman that I married out of complete betadom when I was far too immature to make such a decision about a woman who I have never really loved, trying to fight this battle because I don't want to be a quitter.
So, after my puking, I come to the question. Do you actually like your wife? Do you like her personality? Do you desire to make love to her whole being, not just her body? Are these even goals to aspire to?