Archives for Gary Chapman

So, You Married Your Opposite – Now What?

I MARRIED MY OPPOSITE

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. When you believe you are marrying the better version of you – where is the hesitation to come from? NO WHERE!

It wasn’t until around the three year mark that I realized how opposite we were. 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” that had made all our similar parts the only thing we could see had evaporated and what was left was two complete strangers living in the same house!

MWAH!

 

WHAT NOW?

It was upon this revelation that I was left with the decision to change things or just live miserably married. Divorce has never been an option for Jeff or I, as we decided to entirely remove it from our vocabulary (this is something I suggest all couples do). Just like in Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad,  Jeff and I had seen Happily Married Unhappily Married with our Grandparents and Parents and we chose “Happily Married” – even if it meant we had to become students of marriage.

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 internal 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”. If the wheel has already been created… why not drive in their car?

Lollipops

RAINBOW LOLIPOPS

So I was reminded today (after nearly 18 years of marriage) about my husband and I and 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 lolipops and as our custom is, I ALWAYS pull out six of the same colored pop for our six 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 a hoot! It’s as if the challenge he watches them go through is so much better than the obvious peaceful alternative that I would present.

“I’M A BETTER ME BECAUSE HE IS OPPOSITE OF ME”

If this post today encouraged you to think about how the oppositeness of your spouse 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 that 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 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!

 

Jessica Heilman, Founder WHM

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Jessica Heilman is the mother of six children ages 16-1, lives in San Jose, California and has been married to Jeff Heilman for nearly 18 years. You can read their marriage testimony here: We Decided to Get Married on Our First Date!