Opposites Attract…. but how do we get along and stay together?

My spouse and I are opposites. We have very different personalities right down to our sleep wake cycles.

  • He is an early bird. I am a night owl.
  • He is more positive. I am more negative.
  • I am more adventurous about food. He likes to eat the same thing over and over again.
  • He is organised and neat. I am messy and blur.
  • He is more extrovert. I am more introvert.
  • He is a doer and goal oriented. I am a dreamer and drift along.
  • He is decisive. I am laid back and indecisive.
  • He makes conversation with people easily. I am quiet and reserved.
  • He talks and walks fast. I speak softly and walk slowly.
  • He is not afraid to take a chance. I would choose the path of least resistance.
  • He is level headed and practical. I am impulsive.
  • He loves routine. I like to try new things.
  • He prefers doing things to a fixed schedule. I am spontaneous.
  • He likes to listen to fast music. I prefer slow, relaxing stuff.
  • He loves to think and analyse and plan ahead. I don’t like to analyse and I live from day to day.
  • He is a joker. I am more serious.
  • Even our love languages are different. For him, it is Quality Time and Acts of Service. For me it is Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation.

We are clearly very different. It is no wonder that we sometimes do not understand each other. He views and interacts with the world in a very different way from me. Sometimes our different views and opinions, cause us a lot of strain and tension. We find that we can’t agree on things with our very different styles. That makes us rehash the same arguments over and over again through the years.

Though different in temperament and thought processes, we do have similar values though and we share the same believes on how we should bring up our children. (though the manner in which we bring up the children may vary slightly but the overall believe and value is the same). Family is important to us and we both prefer to stay in then to go out partying with friends, we are not very sociable beings, though that is how we met each other. We met at a pub. 😛

When things are going well, we get along harmoniously because we complement and complete each other. His area of strengths overcome my shortcomings and I am strong in areas he is not.

However during times of stress or periods of difficult challenges, that is when our different sytles and personalities show up big time. That is when I feel our differences the most. The saying “sometimes you are the windshield, sometimes you are the bug” comes to mind. 😛

The challenge of our marriage is how to complement each other, respect and appreciate each other more and communicate better. Right. Now writing that down helps me to remember and understand my spouse better. I do know him very well indeed. 🙂 I understand myself pretty well as well. Self awareness is very important too. If I want my relationship to work, then I must understand myself and my spouse. We may be different but I’m ok. You’re ok.”

Now, the next step is to make an effort to support him. There is no such thing as an effortless relationship. Love is work. We have to work hard to make our marriage work. One way is to know my own faults and try to correct them. One way is to work on me and hopefully everything else will fall into place.

Instead of focusing on the differences, I should focus on the positives.

He is my best friend and he makes me laugh. He is a wonderful father and  he looks after us, his family very well.

I don’t always write about my spouse. Most of the time I write about my children. That is because I feel a marriage relationship is more private and should not be aired on the blog. So I reduce it to the occassional rant and for special occassions like our anniversary. However, today, I am writing this to help me analyse and understand our relationship better so that I can become a better spouse.

Learning to get along with your spouse is crucial. Your spouse will be with you for life (hopefully) and was there even before the kids, whereas your children will grow up and have lives of their own one day so if your spouse is second to your children, you will feel a great loss when they leave the nest. “Till death do us part.” So today instead of writing about parenting as I usually do, I dedicate a whole long winded post to love, marriage and relationships. 🙂

Which are you? Opposites Attract or Birds of a Feather Flock Together.

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  1. Elaine says:

    Your hub sounds so much like mine and I am so like you except for the food part la. 😛 My man loves to eat.

    The first few years when we were together, we went through so much arguments.

  2. WMD says:

    When I read your lists, I also realize that mine is a case of opposite attract but like what you say, though we are different, we have the same belief and priorities.

  3. WMD says:

    Oh I forgot to add, because we share the same belief/vision/priorities, this help in difficult moments, where we will keep aside our opposites and work towards our shared values/priorities.

    I read somewhere in a forum Similar Values + Opposite Interests = Success; Opposite Values + Similar Interests = Disaster;
    Similar Values + Similar Interests = Boring 🙂 I guess the important part is to have the same values.

  4. littlelamb says:

    how did u meet ur hub is the turning point..that the part that attracted him to u or vise versa. I like couples that make it through or work it through n not giving up easily…

  5. Jefferene says:

    I like this post very much! On the difference in love language, i guess this is the common difference between men & women as i was reading “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”. I truely agree your point of view on efforts are required from both parties to keep the relationship going.

  6. beng says:

    we hav been going thru difficult times n yet it turned out mrs n i hav become even more closer. marriage needs work. as long as there is love, things will work out

  7. sting says:

    this is a very sweet post and I wished many young couple would read about it..

    oh, you may wanna check out personality types eg MBTI and how each type get along with others… can just google for it… 🙂

  8. Greg says:

    Dear MG,

    It is so wonderful to read your blog as a mother and supportive wife. I myself has become a “not by choice” part time father due to the many roles that I played as a father, husband, son, son-in-law, etc … who was and is doing almost everything from housework to taking care of the financial issues and management of my family in Malaysia.

    The stress was and is still heavy as long as one party carries the heavier part in all the roles that a parent needs to play for the family and children. How I wish my spouse learns to be more of a mother and wife to me at times. I have always let my understanding that she being a “father and mother’s” girl and being the youngest in her small family contributed to her being less incline to such roles compared to myself being a middle child in a large family of both girls and boys with a distinct father and mother roles being played by my parents and where both boys and girls have to do everything. It is also rather “confusing” for a “modern” husband and father like me to play so many roles. Sometimes as I do wish to be somewhat more of a “traditional” father and husband so that I can concentrate fully on being the breadwinner fulltime.

    I am already in my 40s and am still finding ways to “teach” my spouse to play the different roles as a married couple despite the fact that she is also working full time. One main issue is that she does not actually read up on mothering issues even on the internet and normally read romance novels plus movies.

    Anyway, I best not take up too much of your comment space. Just sharing. Thank you and I pray for all families to have such a happy setup as yours.

    I strongly believe in equality between man and woman in this modern world but I feel that many women or mothers do forget their key roles as family nuturers as well as a supportive wife to a full time or even part time working husband and father of their children.

    Hello Greg. The reason I wrote this post was because my husband said to me “Why do you never support me? Why do I feel like I am alone all the time when I am married?” Well, I may do all the traditional “support” role like taking care of the kids and the house (which my spouse feels I am having it easy since we have a helper at home) and yet I have failed in being supportive to my spouse to that extent. He feels that I am always going against him, like pulling him back when he is trying to move forward because we are so different and quite often I don’t quite agree with his decisions etc. Though we have the traditional family style my spouse says the same thing you are saying. Why can’t he concentrate on bread winning instead of having to worry about the home front all the time? He feels like he is carrying on two jobs at the same time. That doesn’t make me feel very good as the fact that he feels distracted at work means that I am not doing a good job at home. He did not say that of course but I think it means the same thing. We are both in our 40s as well.

    However, I think I am beggining to get it or rather I am trying my best to. To be truly supportive, one has to make a concious effort. The key word is concious effort. It doesn’t just happen. Sometimes it is the exact opposite of what you want to do and say. Perhaps sometimes you even have to smile and say “yes dear” when all you want to do is argue about how wronged you feel but at the moment I am still finding that a bit hard to do. Haha.

    I think that you are feeling very stressed right now but if you persist in “teaching” your wife the balance of roles you would prefer , eventually persistence and patience will win. You could “teach” yourself a thing or two too because change starts from you as I’ve just learned. I also learn from my kids all the time that in order to become a good teacher, you must first be a student yourself and relearn everything from scratch. 🙂

    No worries about filling up my comment space. I’ve just filled it up even more myself!

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