I heard a quote from someone a few months ago: “If I was just like my wife, one of us would be irrelevant!”
The number one reason why couples fight is because of their differences in opinion. Whether it’s finances, how to raise kids, how to decorate the house, or whatever, sometimes we don’t see eye to eye. I like balance. I like when we agree. But that’s not the way the world works. We are all different; there is not a single person that is like us. That’s why we need to be around a community so we can learn from each other, and teach others what we know.
Here are some ways Lenny and I are different, and how they’ve affected our marriage. What differences would you add from your marriage?
Differences in memory. For the life of me, I cannot get Lenny to empty his lunch bag until I have to pack it the next morning. If you do the chores in your house, you can laugh at this. I can’t sleep at night if there are dishes in the sink or socks on the floor, but my husband doesn’t give it a second thought! By me saying this, I hope you don’t hear that I’m perfect. My husband always remembers things that I don’t, and I honestly can’t even remember what they are to tell you! Well, what he remembers stuff is just as important as him leaving his dirty Tupperware in his bag overnight. For example, I had a job interview today, and my husband reminded me to print out my resume and cover letter and bring a list of questions to ask. Our minds were only meant to think about what is needed, and if we both remember things, one of us is irrelevant. Maybe God chose my brain to focus on the cleaning while he chose my husband’s brain to focus on how to prepare for an interview! Although Lenny’s not too stupid to know how to clean and I’m not too stupid to know how to apply for jobs, we can use our strengths to help each other out instead of both having to be experts at everything.
Differences in personality. While I tend to be anxious and energetic, my husband is relaxed and mellow. This has worked out in favor of both of us. When I struggle with anxiety, my husband helps me see that there’s no point in worrying. He is my go-to person on a plane; when I’m normally paralyzed, he’s squeezing my hand and reminding me to breathe. However, when Lenny gets too comfortable, I challenge him to go beyond his comfort zone. I actually encouraged him to apply for his first job, and I coached him on how to prepare for his first ever interview (see how the tables have turned!). We tend to think that differences bring us apart, but when we learn to appreciate our differences, we can use them to propel our marriage in the right direction.
Differences in experiences. Without going into detail, my husband and I have almost the exact opposite childhood. Although we grew up about twenty minutes from each other, and even visited the same places when we were kids, it was like we’re from different planets sometimes! While I wish I had some of what Lenny had as a kid, and while he wishes that he had some of what I had as a kid, we can learn from both of our experiences. What we’ve endured throughout our lifetime has shaped us into who we are today, and God has allowed us to have the lives we’ve had so that we could reflect His glory. The fun part of marriage is trying to figure out how God has weaved our stories together to bring glory to His name.
What differences do you see in your marriage? How have they made your marriage more enriching? How have they hindered your connection to your spouse?