Do opposites really attract? In many marriages it seems so. No two people are exactly alike, but if opposites attract how can you build a functioning harmonious marriage?
You were initially attracted to your spouse in part by ways in which they were different from you. Vive la différence! Now those differences make life more challenging. He always seemed so strong and stable, not swayed by feelings, a perfect complement to your emotional vulnerability. Now his stability seems cold and distant. Her spontaneity and fun-loving nature gave you a new window on life your reserved personality needed. Now her mood changes drive you crazy.
Intellectually you may accept that you don’t have the right to make your spouse over in your own image; only God has that right. And yet deep personality differences can easily make many marriages much less than peaceful. But when approached in a healthy way differences don’t have to lead to conflict.
How can the two of you become one when you are so different? Fighting, withdrawing, and miserable détente aren’t good options. Conflicts over intimacy, money, household responsibilities, in-laws, and more are frequently rooted in core personality differences, and learning to deal with those differences constructively will improve your relationship greatly.
Here are some ways to move forward in several specific push-pull areas many couples struggle with. Simply understanding your spouse’s unique personality better may well decrease the tension between you. And then we’ll discuss three foundational ideas important in dealing with any “differences” between you and your spouse.