Everyone’s definition of the perfect mate is different based on their own desires and personality, but it’s safe to say that most people’s ideal can’t do wrong—which isn’t realistic. As I got older and more experienced in dating, I realized that holding a man’s traits against a checklist wasn’t progressive. It’s more important to weigh the good and the bad and figure out what you’re willing to deal with and what really are absolute deal breakers.

The biggest lessons my hubby taught me were that sometimes people become who you need them to be and that I’m a lot stronger and secure than I ever gave myself credit for. The day we sat down and talked about officially becoming boyfriend and girlfriend, we spoke about our flaws first and, luckily, there were no deal breakers because the good outweighed the bad. Facing the bad wasn’t easy but when I noticed that he was willing to improve, it made me fall for him a little harder. Here’s a list of three reasons I almost didn’t marry my man and why I chose to move forward.

1. He “Dated” Some Women I Know

My hubby isn’t trifling but he has a hefty resume in the dating department, a lot of which led to sex. We all have pasts but what frustrates me most about said resume is the fact that I know a lot the women on his list, which is one woman too many. I’ve worked with some of these women and learned that some of these trysts happened when he and I were in our early dating years (let’s face it, if you and your guy don’t have an official title then he’s seeing other people). However, when he and I considered getting serious he was open about telling me who (even though my woman’s intuition had most of the names lined up already). I appreciated his honesty but it was a huge blow to my ego. Women like to feel special and that our man is exclusive to us so learning that I got him in line stung, especially considering the small industry that we work in. Yet I decided not to allow that to be a deal breaker because I knew he was serious about me when he aired himself out so that we could hopefully progress together. This showed me that he had evolved into the man I needed him to be and that I needed to swallow my pride and learn to let go. So far, he hasn’t given me a reason to not trust him and I respect that.

2. He’s a Workaholic

I love that he’s a hard worker because he has the accomplishments to show for it but I also hate it because some times he ignores me or chooses work instead of living life…with me. This was a bigger problem when we were dating but eventually I expressed my concerns and frustrations and since then, he started to let sitting at the computer post-work hours go. He cut down on writing blog posts and conducting work research and edits after hours, which freed up some cuddle time watching TV on the couch. We also designated a weekly date night so that we can have guaranteed bonding time. He still has his workaholic moments but I see a noticeable difference and effort to be mindful of quality time so I feel confident about our future.

3. He’s Not Always a Good Listener

I find that I often have to repeat myself or remind him of certain conversations we’ve had—too much for my liking. For  example, when we were planning our wedding there was a conversation about a prop station that somehow got “lost in translation” and it infuriated me that he couldn’t remember one detail when I brought it up later as we were finalizing plans for our ceremony. After some frustrated tears (on my part) and several hours of simmering down (he banished himself to the couch that night), we discussed this perpetual problem of his and discovered that part of the issue is that I tend to talk to him while he’s either on his computer or when the TV is on. Apparently, even when he answers me and looks at me while I’m talking to him, if he’s typing, surfing the Web or watching a show, chances are his brain won’t process what I’m saying. Instead, he does this autopilot thing where it seems like he’s listening and engaging but he’s not computing (no pun intended). Our solution is that from now on, there will be no electronic distractions on when we speak and he’ll also work on his focus in general. So far, it seems to be working.

What are you willing to compromise for true love? Sound off!

Mr. and Mrs. Rocque are the couple formerly known as Anslem Samuel and Starrene Rhett, New York-based journalists who found love in between bylines. Follow the newlyweds’ musings of a marriage in progress here, on Twitter and via their joint blog