Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Secrets of a Happy Marriage -- Acceptance and Appreciation

I like this video of different people expressing love for each other. Gives you something to think about.

Ok, if you each are committed to your relationship and to loving each other, you are off to a good start. What next? Actually, the real key is love. Commitment is a part of love and so is acceptance. You can't really love someone if you don't accept and appreciate them for who they are.

My husband and I have put acceptance to the test. We are so different from each other! He is an
orderly, detail type of guy, and I am a creative thinker. Communication isn't easy for us. He needs details plainly laid out, then slowly and logically builds to the conclusion. On the other hand I need to start with the goal, the whole idea, then I have some place to put the details.  He focuses on "getting the job done", while I question, "Do we need to do this?"

Some people look for someone like themselves to marry thinking that sameness will make a peaceful relationship. They may be right, but I think it would be boring! I also wonder if you would grow much if you were very similar. After all, who needs a clone of themselves?! Some even seek a lack of conflict and understanding by "marrying" someone of the same sex. I enjoy the empathy I receive from other women, and it is invigorating when I talk with another intuitive; rushing from thought to thought; but for a partner, my very different husband is the one.

Why? Why would I prefer to work with someone who taxes my patience when I try to communicate with him? Why would he prefer a creative person like me over all those orderly women out there? When I asked him he said, "I wanted a teacher and you're the best." A wise man retold the words of his future father-in-law, "You two are a perfect match. The rocks in his head fill the holes in yours." There is a lot of truth in that.

I have an incredible ability to grasp the whole picture. I latch onto the goal like a mountain climber driving in his anchor then pulling himself up. I solve problems because I can work backward from the goal to achieve it. These are wonderful creative abilities, but I also have astounding creative disabilities. I can't remember names, numbers, do math quickly, spell well, or handle much data at a time. After a few minutes of trying to do detail work, I develop a headache and collapse in a nauseous heap.

On the other hand, my husband has an amazing ability to manage data. He is exact and precise. When he builds something, it looks good. When I do something, cakes slide off plates, and hung pictures fall to the floor. I come up with the ideas, and he makes them reality. We are each half baked without the other. When we work together it is exciting! Combining my creativity with his detail ability gives us an ability to do amazing things that neither of us could do alone.

He needs me to help him relate with others. Many years ago I decided that my husband should write his family instead of me writing letters for him. After spending the next two months soothing his family's hurt feelings after one of his direct, to the point letters, we both agreed that I would handle all correspondence. We also agreed that he would handle the finances. My "its close enough" attitude drove him crazy, beside I enjoy not having to deal with so many details.

So I help him communicate, plan, run his businesses, set goals, solve problems, and have fun. He handles many details, helps implement my ideas, makes my dreams come true, gives me the time I need to create, and encourages me to share my talents with others. I will always be grateful that he shares his impressive detail ability with me and appreciates my creative talents.

It took us years of frustrated confrontations before we finally came to not only accept, but appreciate each other. I think we are often attracted to opposites because we, deep down, sense that they will complete us; bring to the relationship what we lack. Then after we marry, we also want them to have all the qualities we have, to be like us or some ideal mate. Once a woman who had married a man who is fun, relaxed, out going and caring told me that she wanted him to be more like my husband. She now also wants him to be good at household repairs, and precise. She wants someone who would get the job done (her long list of home repairs).  I explained that a husband like mine does not do long talks in the evening, spontaneity, or cook like her husband does. Also I reminded her that people are a "package deal". My husband does accomplish task wonderfully, but when he is in "on task" mode, he is totally focused and does not talk. After a few moments of thought, she decided that maybe she could just hire my husband instead (he has a handyman business).

Our relationship works for us because I am also a quiet person who enjoys a lot of time alone to think and write. I plan activities for us to do together and he happily complies.  I have learned to schedule fun, and he has accepted that every detail does not have to be planned out.

I'm not saying that this is the only match for us. I have thought about what we would do if one of us died. Now that we have come to appreciate differences I think we could probably have a fulfilling marriage with with most any good person with the same values.

For more of my feelings about living with someone who is my opposite in most ways, go to my blog:  see Topics - Marriage, Acceptance

Poems Of Microscopes and Telescopes and Opposites

I have also written about our relationship on my blog
see article Our Marriage: ISTJ and INFJ

Here is another good place for information about Marriage

These scriptures are Good Advice for Marriage
I especially like the "Never Faileth".  You don't stop loving -- ever!

1st Corinthians Bible New Testament
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
 Charity never faileth:

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