Dealing with differences in marriage is a stepping stone to having a healthy marriage.
Each spouse is different, we hear it time and time again.
Can you truly grasp that concept though?
Once you have lived together with your spouse for an amount of time, you will be able to see it more clearly.
Have you said some of these statements before:
We are so different!
We do not have anything in common.
He/she just does not get me.
When you first start dating your spouse, everything is new and exciting. You have no problem going the extra mile, being extra patient, and over looking certain things.
After the newness wears off, and you settle in because you are more comfortable with each other.
One of you is a night owl, and the other is a bright and cheery morning person.
In the beginning, you had no problem messing up your sleep schedule and daily rhythm to spend every waking minute with your spouse.
But the lack of sleep has caught up with you.
You start noticing certain things that didn’t bother you before give you headaches.
You may find you are not as quick to offer help with something, or have as much patience as you did in the beginning.
These are just our natural different personalities that come to light. Not that things such as patience can’t be worked on.
Being married is all about finding middle ground, a compromise and how to work together as a team.
Is it really true that opposites attract?
One of us is an introvert, and one of us is an extrovert. Although sometimes it just depends on the day or event.
Will this change? Possibly.
We should all be growing and changing throughout our life. That’s one reason why you should never stop pursuing to know your husband or wife.
Even if you have known them 5, 10, 20 years, there is always something new you can learn.
Your differences makes you who you are; a unique human being.
We must come to a place where we can respect each other’s differences, compromise, and find what works for both of us.
We must accept such personality differences and honor our spouse, not condemn them.
Your differences impacts and makes your marriage better in many ways.
1. You can use them to achieve and accomplish more. It helps couples to become a great pair. 🙂 For instance, Ashley writes better than Marcus, but Marcus is more tech savy.
By combining our differences, we are able to write and publish great marriage tips like this one for you.
2. Knowing your differences will help you to stop competing against each other, and promotes unity in your marriage.
3. Your individual differences also helps you to appreciate your spouse especially in the areas you are not skilled/competent in. Your spouse becomes your help mate, and compliments you.
Examples of areas were we differ.
Ashley: Likes spontaneity, is emotional, and jumps head first.
Marcus: Likes to plan, is practical and logical, and plans into details.
Do you see how different we are?
Combining your differences is not going to be easy. Infact, it’s a challenge for most married couples, but a very important element of marriage.
The 7 most common differences in marriage that couples can relate to are:
- Cultural/Family Background. What cultural background do either one of you come from? Marcus is from a Ghanaian background, Ashley is from an American background. Growing up in two different families is similar to growing up on two different continents.
- Religious. We both share a common belief. In some marriages, both couples come from different religious backgrounds.
- Age. One spouse can be older than the other. I am yet to see a married couple who were born on the same day, at the same time, in the same month, and of course, the same year.
- Financial. Together, do you agree about your views on money? Is money evil? How do you spend your money? How about debt, is it right or wrong?
- Educational. One spouse might have a higher education than the other.
- Sexual. Yep, who has the higher sex drive? Is it you? 😉
- Entertainment. How do you spend your free time?
So how do you discover and work together on your differences to build a healthy marriage?
These simple tips can help you to combine your marriage differences to build a great marriage.
1) Have a conversation and verbalize the differences you each see. Talk, talk, and discuss how you differ from each other.
And don’t think you are the same as him or her, you are unique individuals.
Imagine being married to someone just like you ( same eyes, ears, habits, etc)? What kind of marriage will you have today?
2) Make a list of your similarities and differences. By doing this you will be able to communicate them better to each, and see how you compliment each other.
3) Talk about how you can find a compromise. If one of you is an introvert and the other an extrovert, talk about how many events you would both be willing to attend together, and individually in a month.
4) Do not try to guilt your spouse into doing anything your way. You may not even realize you are doing this. Be aware of the words you choose to plead your case.
5) Respect their answers, and their right to say no. Yes, they can say No to you!
6) Find a way to have fun with your differences. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Add some fun 🙂
If you happen to fight over your differences, stop doing it.
Sit down and work together with your husband or wife to figure out how you can harmoniously use your differences to improve your marriage.
If you do not handle your marriage differences well, it would add stress and unwanted fights or arguments to your marriage.
Now, go celebrate your differences!
How different are you from your spouse?
Are your differences making your marriage stronger?
Image courtesy Geralt