So You Married Your Opposite: Marriage 101

Christian vs Non-Christian, Siblings vs No Siblings, Rented House vs Purchased House…

When my husband and I first met we only saw our similarities… there were SO many! From the fact our first names both started with “J” to our dreams, goals, and desires. This made the whole “courtship” process of 3 months easily do-able (and blindly agreeable!) When you believe you are marrying the better version of you – where is there any hesitation? NO WHERE!
It wasn’t until the three year mark I realized how opposite we were. The etherial Newlywed phase had worn off and I began to see differences in every little thing. The way we were raised: Christian vs Non-Christian, Siblings vs No Siblings, Rented House vs Purchased House… etc, etc. It was as if the “love cloud” which had made all our similar parts the only thing visible had evaporated and what was left was two complete strangers living in the same house!
It was upon this revelation I was left with the decision to change things personally, or just live miserably married. Divorce has never been an option for Jeff or I (we have removed it from our vocabulary along with other bad words like “can’t”, and “double chocolate cake”), this is something I suggest all couples do. It isn’t that difficult a task to remove the divorce threats from your vocabulary if you can control your tongue, this is the hardest task in marriage PERIOD. Holding your tongue!
Just like in Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad,  Jeff and I had seen our own married version of the popular self-help book in our families. We were witness to: Happily Married Unhappily Married with our Grandparents remaining “Happily Married” and our Parents “Unhappily Married” – we decided to focus on the former.
At the five year mark (it took a couple years of me being uncomfortable), I began a serious book reading regime on marriage alone. I took to an at home University and “home schooled” myself in the art of marriage! Here are some of the book titles I devoured:
  • The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  • For Better of For Best by Gary Smalley 
  • Letters to Karen on Keeping Love in Marriage by Charles W Shedd
  • Personality Plus by Florence Littauer 
  • You Can if You Think You Can by Norman Vincent Peale
  • The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino
  • Self Love by Robert Schuller
Some of these titles as you can see are not “marriage” or relationship driven, but they are personality and over all psychology addressing. I believe WHOLEHEARTEDLY in what Brian Tracy (author of Focal Point a Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity, and Achieve Your Goals) calls the “leverage of others knowledge”. Let those who have come before you teach you the way! If the wheel has already been created… why not drive in their car?
So I was reminded today about our differences (THANK GOD we are so different! He doesn’t “complete me” he makes me a BETTER me!) when I went to the bank. At the bank there is a big plastic bowl of lollipops and as our custom is, I ALWAYS pull out six of the same colored pop for our children. ALL red, blue, etc. as to not induce strife. While I was carefully selecting ALL the pink ones (sometimes I laugh out loud at this fact alone considering the other people in line see this woman with hands full of pops) I couldn’t help but laugh because Jeff will ALWAYS pick six opposite colors when he goes to the bank! He thinks watching the kids negotiate and handle conflict is the funniest thing! It’s as if the challenge he presents them with is so much better to him than the obvious peaceful alternative that I would present.
If this post today encouraged you to think positively about the oppositeness of your spouse and how your differences could actually be a strength instead of a weakness, consider saying to yourself “I’m a better me because he/she is the opposite of me.”
Think about all the ‘scary’ things that you have been able to do since you have been married, and all the things you would have NEVER attempted if it weren’t for your “oppositeness”. Maybe you went to a fancy restaurant for the first time, tried a new food, went sky diving, or meet some new friends as couples, we really do have a lot to be thankful for in our opposing views! Think about how boring life would be if we were attracted to our exact replica! Yikes!
What are some of your opposites? I would love to hear from you!
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