Opposites are supposed to attract, but what if, instead, they lead to decades of misunderstandings and hurt?
Every Friday I like to run a short inspirational marriage piece with just one thought. And today I want to look at how being married to someone who’s an opposite can lead to danger if we don’t deliberately make room for the differences.
Sheila’s Marriage Moment: When Opposites Repel
Let’s take a couple that are opposites: he’s a logical Spock, and she’s a warm, fuzzy feeling type of person. Or perhaps she’s the one who values logic, and he just wants to feel cherished.
Now let’s get them married.
Over the years she wants to feel connected, but he withdraws into work. She experiences that as rejection. As she pleads with him to connect, he doesn’t know what to make of her outbursts. So he withdraws more and more into work. She grows angry, and he doesn’t know why. Soon whenever they talk there’s tension. He knows she’s always mad at him; she feels that he’s unfeeling and perhaps even cruel.
Or, perhaps she’s the one who withdraws into schedules and organization, and he tries to reach out. That leaves her feeling that he’s pathetic, and she grows even more organized and straight-laced to try to compensate for his inability to cope with life, as she sees it. And soon they are miles apart.
I’ve seen couples like this at some marriage conferences I’ve taught at recently. And I know others like that personally. In fact, I’ve had several friends tell me that their husbands are abusive, largely because they’re cruel and always angry.
Yet when I really look at the relationships, I don’t see abuse. I see years and years and layer upon layer of simple misunderstandings, which grow into something so big it seems insurmountable.
Don’t get me wrong–I believe emotional abuse is real, and I’ve written recently about what to do if you’re married to a controlling husband. But all the abusive relationships I have seen have several commonalities: the husband is manipulative, not just distant; the husband acts differently outside the home than inside the home; and the teenagers in the house know exactly what’s going on.
In so many marriages, though, it’s just that the couple sees the world in such radically different ways that they think the other isn’t just abnormal; they think they’re morally wrong.
What would happen, though, if early in the relationship they simply realized: one of us values logic while the other values emotion. Neither is right and neither is wrong, and, in fact, by valuing each other our differences can make us better people!
Before we assume our spouse isn’t just different, but is actually bad, let’s ask ourselves: “could their behaviour be explained simply because they see the world differently?” Maybe if we started to try to see the world through each other’s eyes, we could tear down some of those walls, and not feel so much like we’re married to a stranger.
What’s #1 at To Love, Honor and Vacuum?
New season (the warm weather is finally here to stay! Yay!), new (older) posts in the Top 5 positions! The wedding season is about to start and I’ve got some marriage tips to get us all ready for the heat! And also a lot of really great thoughts to discuss, so check it out!
#1 NEW Post on the Blog: Do We Know What It Means To Serve Our Husbands?
#3 on the Blog Overall: 50 Most Important Bible Verses To Memorize
#5 from Facebook: Honeymoon Blues To “O”ver The Rainbow
#5 from Pinterest: Top 10 Wedding Night Tips
I’m in Pennsylvania with the RV again!
I’m speaking tonight in Shippensburg and Sunday in Canton, so if if you’re in the area, come on by! (check out the Events in the sidebar for more info!)
The Facebook Page was a Riot this Week
So I posted this on Facebook this week:
And the responses were hilarious!
Then I also asked this question:
And the responses were funny, but also really helpful! I’m totally going to turn that into a post.
So if you’re not on the Facebook Page, you really should come on over.
If You Didn’t See Katie’s Video Yesterday…
…you really should. I really liked this one:
We’re Got Winners!
Thank you so much for everyone who entered my contest with the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle! Dana B. won dinner with me. She’s from Washington state, and I’m hoping to meet her later this month. And Mindy H. from Colorado won me speaking at their church, and we’re hammering out the details now. It will likely be sometime next May.
Other people won some ebook bundles, most of which have now been mailed to them. I’m still in the process of doing the last four winners (it takes a while to upload everything to Google Drive! 🙂 ), but they should be finished this morning. So thank you for sending me your receipts from the Bundle, everyone!
That’s it, everybody! I hope you have an amazing weekend.