I thought I became a teacher because I love kids, but it turns out that the real reason was far more selfish and insidious

It appears that knowledge of your spouse is a highly effective indicator of satisfaction in your relationships. 

Knowledge of one’s partner and life skills are much better predictors of average satisfaction across relationships, according to Harvard-trained psychologist Dr. Robert Epstein and student Rachel Smith, who have just presented their study at the Western Psychological Association in Los Angeles. Knowledge of one’s partner includes his or her preferences, dress size, hopes and dreams. Life skills refers to paying the bills on time or managing stress. “To me it shows that therapists need to rethink how they’re working with their clients,” Epstein says.

What shocked researchers the most was that 40% of the couples he studied had no idea about one another’s hopes and dreams.

No idea about one another's hopes and dreams? What the hell are these people talking about? Are they talking at all?

My wife and I have been working together in some capacity - either as elementary school teachers or as founders and producers of Speak Up - for almost 15 years, so in addition to our home life, we have spent an enormous amount of time working together.

I like to think we know each other really, really well.

In fact, I suspect that we sometimes know each other better than we know ourselves. 

Six years ago, during a book club presentation, I was asked why I became a teacher. I explained how much I love kids and how my role as the eldest of five siblings probably played an important factor as well. I also explained that when I was growing up, no one ever spoke to me about my future, so my vision of job opportunities were limited to only what I could see, so teacher was a natural landing spot for me. 

Elysha - who had joined me for this book club visit - shook her head. "That may all be true," she said. "But a big part of Matt becoming a teacher is much simpler. He doesn't like to be told what to do. So when he's in his classroom all day with his students, no one is telling him what he should or shouldn't be doing."

I had never considered this possibility, but as soon as Elysha spoke these words, they felt right.  I would prefer to describe myself as wanting a certain degree of autonomy and independence in my work day - which I also get as a writer and a business owner - but boiled down to its essence, Elysha is right:

I can't stand being told what to do.

The surprise of this discovery was quickly replaced by excitement over the idea that my wife might know me better than anyone ever. Since that day, she has proven this fact repeatedly, telling me things about myself that I am apparently too blind or obtuse to notice on my own.  

Since our wedding day in July of 2006, Elysha and I have only gotten to know each other better, and happily, we have only grown closer as a result.

It's not often that someone gets to know me better and ends up liking me more.

I chose wisely when it came to my spouse.