Together 25+ years. MArried almost 20.
Its obviously not like it was all those years ago. Generally we get on great 95% of the time but those 5%.
...Do you learn to live with your partners 5% things that annoy you?
At times my wife is a complete nightmare but hey 25 years. Am I just looking for perfection which is not realistic?
..Should I just ride out the downs now knowing that it's likely to be up again soon like in the past?....
I will answer differently. It depends on how bad the 5% is.
I was in a sex starved marriage, what tipped me over the edge was when my wife's anger at me, finally turned into her trying to humiliate and/or emotionally hurt me when I was at my most vulnerable times (i.e. after on rare occasion every few months when we had sex, she would immediately pick a fight with me to regain emotional distance). I would orgams feel close to her, cuddle, and then a few minutes later she would emotionally rip my heart out and destroy all feelings of closeness.
It became so predictable I told her that I wasn't going to have sex with her for 3 months unless she changed how she treated me. The 3 months came and went and she gloated at how it didn't bother her at all. I discovered MW Davis SSM and Glover's NMMNG and some other relationship books, I worked out in the gym, lost weight, started dressing better and then she became curious. We got help from a sex therapist and did a Gottman weekend (the 5 to 1 thing is based on real science).
Ultimately when faced with a divorce if she didn't change and no one to blame but herself, she choose to participate in saving our marriage.
Been married now close to 44 years. Some of the years were horrible, some were tolerable, and some were spectacular. Even in the bad times, I still loved her with all my heart.
So no it is not all perfect and some of it can be downright soul wrenching. It the 95/5 ratio is correct and the 5% isn't too bad, you are a lucky man.