Friday, May 11, 2012

Do opposites attract?
Sometimes opposites do attract. It is extremely common for partners to be temperamentally opposite. Even couples who are not opposites will discover they have some opposite traits. All couples struggle with how they are different from each other. One person may be a loner while the other loves to socialize. One person may like adventure and the other avoids change. One person may be very generous and a spender and the other one very frugal.
The key to handling opposite traits is to make these differences work for you rather than against you. Often the differences which bother a couple after marriage are the very traits which attracted them to begin with. During courtship, for example, your partner's carefree, spontaneous temperament fascinated you. After marriage you view it as impulsive or irresponsible.
After marriage we make the mistake of trying to make our partner behave like us. In order to live together happily we need to respect each other's personality and realize that it has deep roots in that person's childhood or even in their inborn temperament.
There are several things couples can do to ease the problem of being opposites:
1. Don't attack each other's basic personality. Instead, be specific about what bothers you.  For example, instead of saying, "You never want to plan anything," say, "I feel nervous if I don't know ahead of time what we're going to do."
2. Be adaptable.  For example, experiment with doing some things on impulse that your husband or wife wants to do. If both partners are willing to modify the extreme aspects of their styles, both will have learned from each other and will have grown in the process.

3. Communicate about the ways in which your styles differ and how you would be willing to adapt. You might, for example, let you husband know that you are fearful of anger. He may then realize the need to control his anger by cooling down before attempting to talk about an issue. You may realize that you admire your husband’s ability to express feelings. He may realize that he admires your self-control. The trick to getting along and to your growth as individuals is to recognize that there are some benefits to the other person's approach as well as some draw backs to your own. 
Problems arise when couples are unable to appreciate their differences; when either individual can only operate in one fixed way. Someone who is spontaneous or impulsive all the time would lead a chaotic life. Someone who always plans everything ahead would not know how to relax on a vacation. 
I hope these ideas will help you realize that you and your partner are well suited to each other and learn to appreciate your differences.

Intelligent people are always open to new ideas. In fact, they look for them. Proverbs 18:15 NLT

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