Differences Are A Gift To Our Relationship If We Handle Them With Care

by Yvonne Chase on May 17, 2017

Enhance Our Relationships
People who get into relationships then get upset at their person for being different make me wonder about their relationship readiness. What did you expect? People make the world go round. It is our uniqueness that makes life interesting. It is our individual ways of being and our differences that enhance our relationships. 

Reared Its Ugly Head
In the latest episode of Married At First Sight, Sheila became unhinged about Nate’s competitive nature that reared its ugly head during a game of ping pong. They got into a huge fight and Sheila refused to hold his hand once the game was over. Watch the video and we’ll talk after:

Showed Up In Beast Mode
For Sheila, the game of ping-pong was just about having fun. For Nate, it was about showing and proving how good he is at the game. He literally showed up in beast mode ready to win then got his feelings hurt when he lost. He underestimated Sheila who never uttered a word about how great she is at ping pong.

Even The Score
Most men I know are competitive.  They hate to lose and will jump on an opportunity to turn that loss into a win.  Nate wanted to play a second game to win after Sheila beat him in game one. Here’s what he told People magazine:

Sheila whooped me so bad that first game that I needed a rematch to try to redeem myself! We even put a wager up: loser washes and folds clothes. In my opinion, it was all in competitive fun, but at that moment, Sheila wasn’t feeling it.

After Ping-Pong, Sheila expressed how she was feeling and this is where our views were different. Sheila felt like I was a sore loser and I wanted to dim her “light,” when in actuality, that’s just my personality to be competitive. If I lose at something, I want to play again to try and even the score. This was all new to my new wife at the time and it just wasn’t something she was used to, which is expected.

Marry Yourself
If you want to be with someone who acts like you, talks like you, walks like you, thinks like you, processes like you and so on and so forth, you ought to save everyone a lot of headache and heartache and date then marry yourself.

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Energy Level Of A Slug
We ought to expect conflict and disagreements when two flawed people get together. Nate has high energy and he’s competitive. So what? Perhaps his high energy can kick up her chill mode or her chill mode can mellow out his high energy when needed. I’m sure they’d have another big fight if he had the personality and energy level of a slug. 

Moments Of Disagreement
Kudos to Nate for reaching out to hold Sheila’s hand and connect with her even in a moment of disagreement. Most couples disconnect in the way Sheila did and never find their way back. I also liked when he remained a gentleman and let her go ahead of him up the stairs. It would’ve been easy to go ahead of Sheila after she rejected his hand but he didn’t yet she let the door slam in his face. We tend to see our ugliest behavior in moments of disagreement.

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Idealized View Of Marriage
And one more thing, just because Nate has never seen a marriage up close, doesn’t mean he’s unaware of what marriage is. It’s possible that some of us who’ve seen a marriage up close may have an idealized view of marriage. In addition, while Nate is younger than Sheila, he definitely has shown a lot more maturity in the way he handles himself during their moments of disagreement.

Calls You Out On Your Stuff
Dr. Jenn Mann breaks down the importance of differences in her book The Relationship Fix and I agree wholeheartedly with her sentiments. She says:

Typically, we think that to be close, as a couple, each of us has to think the same way. This is a very common relationship myth.  To have a partner how calls you out on your stuff is so much more valuable than being with someone who parrots what you say, thinks what you think, and just tows the party line. Healthy couples challenge each other while still being supportive.

Indifferent About Our Differences
The best relationships are made up of two people who complement and challenge each other. Where he’s weak I’m strong and vice versa. Instead of becoming indifferent about our differences, we ought to embrace those differences and see them as one of the greatest gifts to our relationships. That’s one way to develop patience. I’ll leave you with this question in closing: how will we ever grow and evolve into our best selves if we date and marry someone who is just like us?

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Something to think about…

What say you? How important is it to embrace the differences in our relationships? How are you different from your spouse and how has it helped or hurt your marriage? Can all differences be embraced? Are men more competitive than women?

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

1. Leave a comment below 

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah May 19, 2017

Yes. My husband and I are different in a lot of ways. One of the best things about that is we balance each other. He calms me when I need it, and I get us places on time. 🙂

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Yvonne Chase May 22, 2017

@Sarah,

Getting places on time is super important. As I said in the post, people who want to date and marry someone just like them need to remain single. They have no clue about relationships/marriage.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…He’s Your Son Not Your Surrogate HusbandMy Profile

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Michele Morin May 22, 2017

Yes, I’m convinced that one of the main reasons why marriage with my husband has been so wonderful is that we are very different and complement each other as a result.
Michele Morin recently posted…Laughter on the Pathway of LamentMy Profile

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Yvonne Chase May 22, 2017

@Michele,

And I believe that is intentional by our master. He knows what we need and he knows the best complement for his creation.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Divorced People Need Love Too But I Don’t Know If You Should Marry OneMy Profile

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Karen Del Tatto May 22, 2017

Thanks for sharing your wisdom on the gift of differences within a relationship.

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Julie May 22, 2017

Interesting post!
I’m thankful for my husband’s differences because many of His strengths are where my weaknesses are and vice versa. I think I’m more competitive than him.
Visiting from #LMM
Julie recently posted…5 of the Most Important Lessons I Learned Last YearMy Profile

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Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle May 23, 2017

Thanks for this challenging post. Yvonne, the Pit Stop Crew have chosen this post to be featured on Friday. Well done.

Kathleen
Kathleen – Bloggers Lifestyle recently posted…Lifestyle Blogger’s – How to make Your Mark!My Profile

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Maree Dee May 27, 2017

Wow, I loved this post. After 29 years of marriage one would think I should know this. Well actually I do know this but so easily fall into seeing all of our differences as bad. Thank you for the wake up call.

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Brandi Raae May 28, 2017

We are naturally selfish beings. So, when differences get in the way, we tend not to like them, and that’s what makes them so difficult! Sometimes, I am super passionate about something that my husband isn’t, and that can be hard, too, especially when it comes to parenting. Marriage is a constant opportunity to die to self for sure. 🙂 Thanks for pointing out all of the necessary positives about differences and for sharing at the #LMMLinkup!
Brandi Raae recently posted…Literacy Musing Mondays May 22-27My Profile

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