We’ve all heard the saying opposites attract. You know you’re singing that Paula Abdul song in your head right now. But what happens after the initial attraction wears off? What happens when opposites decide to marry?
When a relationship is new, differences are fun and exciting. You may get to experience things you would never have tried on your own. Everything is colored in that new relationship glow.
As time goes on, those differences can either strengthen your bond or push you apart. It’s all about perspective and attitude.
How do I know this? Well, from my own experience. I married someone who is my opposite. With eleven years into our marriage and three kids, we’ve made our relationship work even though we have very different likes and dislikes.
First, let me give you a few examples of how opposite we actually are.
- I love Television. Watching helps me relax and entertains me.
- My husband didn’t even own a TV when we met.
- I’m an indoor girl. I like sleeping in my bed, using a bathroom, and all the creature comforts.
- My husband owns a VW Bus and likes to camp.
- I enjoy ballet, rock concerts, and shopping.
- He likes car races, Bob Marley, and malls give him anxiety attacks.
Not only are our likes/dislikes opposite, but we have very different personalities, beliefs, and senses of humor. He’s more laid back, while I am a worrywart, which is putting it mildly.
So, how do we make it work? Lots of compromise, lots of communication, and lots of patience. There’s also a lot of love, so that helps.
At the beginning of our relationship, when we were dating, we both were willing to try things that the other liked. I sucked it up and slept in a bus (and peed in the woods!) on more than one occasion. He suffered through many episodes of The Real Housewives for me.
By trying things that the other liked, we would find things that we both liked too. After dragging him to several concerts, we found a few bands that we both liked. We also figured out that we both like spending time outdoors at things like festivals or restaurants, so it doesn’t always have to be camping.
Now that we are comfortable with each other and not trying to impress each other, we make an effort to get out of our comfort zones. We also know that it’s OK not to like all the same things. You can have your own interests. We don’t have to do everything together, and we show our three boys that we can still be a family.
So, when the boys want to go camping in the front yard or to Snooze at the Zoo, it’s OK if I want to stay home. When it’s time for back to school shopping, I take one for the team. I’ve learned to like baseball, and my husband has even enjoyed binge-watching Netflix.
We’re both still open to trying new things but also know it’s OK to tell the other person when we really don’t want to do something. Marriage is hard no matter what, but as long as you have each others’ backs, it doesn’t matter how different you are.