I was asked a question privately about marriage and I thought my answer was worth sharing publicly.
“What if you and your spouse are opposite in personality?”
I got a little excited by this question because that just happens to be LoverMan and I!
Yes, “opposites attract” is a real thing and it can be an opposition or an opportunity to grow more into the yin/yang or into one dynamic team.
Every great marriage can tell you great stories of how it was so hard, or how even they at a time didn’t think the marriage would make it.. and if they don’t have a story like that, one of them or both are doormats.
Early in our marriage LoverMan was doing something so very annoying. In fact I am sure if I had talked to a friend she would have agreed, it was a problem. I am sure anyone I told would side with me. It was annoying and needed to stop. Unfortunately for my pride I didn’t talk to other people about it, instead I prayed. I prayed daily, I would stop what I was doing and pray. One day rehashing his annoyingness, I prayed again. Up in our home hung this sword; he loves military history, it is a civil war replica. My eyes fell on the sword, and this question came to my mind, “Do you have the precision needed to cut this out of him?” I saw myself handling a sword trying to, without killing him, do the necessary cuts… and in this imagery another question, “What is attached to this (the thing that was annoying me) that you love?” The truth was so much of what I did love was attached to this annoying thing. It was annoying because we were together. I didn’t have the precision required to excise this.
So super annoyed now with God I muttered something like “ok I will leave it with you”. So your tracking, here I am annoyed with my husband and with God.
A few days later we were doing our couple scripture study, and in reaction to something we had read my LoverMan said, “I realize I do (the very thing I found so annoying) and I think it is because ____.”
He shared about the little Nathan and boy I didn’t know some hurts he had experienced. We were able to have a conversation that changed my heart.
If I had nagged him to stop the thing, he might have worked on it, but no one, exactly no one changes because we ask them too. They may for a minute, but the only person who effects change is ourselves. If i had pointed a laser on that fault out of love for me he might have worked on it, but only when the root, the cause of that behavior was looked at could it really be worked on.
The moral of the story is this, if your spouse is a good person, not a narcissist, socio-path, addict or some other cant connect the dots person, if they are someone who is trying, at some point you have to ask yourself do you trust them to work on them?
If so, then yes share what is hard for you, share how it affects you. Sharing without all the bitterness too is very helpful, but if you really trust them to be someone who is trying, let them do the work. People may respond to a nit picker, but it is a reaction, and not being proactive. Also you’ll notice there was a time set aside for us to study together, that opens up things in the heart. I do not think our marriage would be what it is without regular and consistent prayer.
So to my friend that asked, yes being the opposite of your spouse is hard, it’s going to take extra time in prayer and lots of communication but the reward is, especially as you work together you bring different skills to the table. I shared that in the post that prompted the question.
If your spouse is a trying to be a good person, you two will find the way to create the friction that creates hot flames of “ya know” and being the team you were meant to be.