Skip to main content

Our Differences Are Our Strength


Our Differences Are Our Strength

My husband and I have a really wonderful relationship. That is not to say that we are never challenged with differences of opinion. Over time, I have learned, that our effort to meet in the middle and retain our individual perspectives is the very thing that makes our partnership strong. I think that is the place where a lot of couples get stuck. We are raised to believe that we are supposed to present a united front, and that if we do not we have somehow failed. That is not exactly true. Sometimes, if we can learn to embrace our differences and be grateful for them, we can achieve much more in the long run.

I am completely cynical; I am always questioning everything. Alternatively, my husband trusts easily. He transfers his intense belief in himself to the people that he believes in, and as a result they rarely let him down. Without my husband, I would rarely venture to trust anyone with anything. He nudges me forward, (usually gently), into relationships, and ventures that I would be too skeptical to attempt without him. Then to his side, I am sometimes able to ground him a bit when he has become so enthusiastic about something; I fear that he has lost the full perspective.

We approach parenting from opposite directions as well. I am a born disciplinarian. Though it often exhausts me, I an constantly on top of my kids to clean up their messes, say please and thank you, be nice, and not roll their eyes. I am terrible at playing however. I can play a board game, and I can teach them how to complete a task any day of the week. I am also really good at sharing information, but I do not play. My husband is great at playing with the kids. They all go to the park to play soccer, and he takes them to the YMCA. I run on my own in peace. We come to agreements remarkably well on how to punish the kids, somehow we magically meet in the middle. Our complimentary personalities are also good at noticing different behaviors in our kids that we might need to address. I recently decided put some drastic limits on the television that they are allowed to watch. My husband has a strong focus on helping my oldest daughter deal with her anger, which is something that I have no idea how to address. I can’t seem to muster up any empathy for her exaggerated tween angst, whereas my husband somehow, has the ability to understand it.

Ironically, one of our biggest challenges is coping when one of us is not at our best. If my husband knows that I am upset or unhappy about something, his functionality takes an enormous hit. I am the same way, I am absolutely miserable when he gets sick. So, we both have an unspoken understanding that we need to do our best to be at our best, so that our partner can be at theirs as well. I guess it’s kind of creepy how symbiotic we are. My nature makes me flinch at that fact, but I shouldn’t. As women, I think that we are raised to see ourselves as weak if we aren’t able to be one hundred percent independent at the drop of a hat. The thing is that interdependence, is a step beyond independence. Once we have grown up and can take care of ourselves, the next step is having the guts to depend on someone else, and to allow them to depend on us. It takes a leap of faith, and I sure as hell am glad that I took the leap with him.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

20 Things…you learn after moving to Florida.

20 Things…you learn after moving to Florida.
1.There is a big difference between a roach and a palmetto bug. Real roaches are the guys from New York. They infest, they are spooky smart, they are dirty and nasty, and you have to work really hard to get rid of them. Palmetto bugs however, are big and creepy and dumb. You usually see them outside at night and they will fly right at your face. They don’t infest because they are native and they can’t survive in our AC temps. 2.Every public indoor place will always be frigid. Most of your friend’s houses will be as well. I take a sweater with me almost everywhere that I go, and if I forget to I regret it. 3.Outside of weather emergencies, weathermen are superfluous. In the rainy season, which is most of the time, there is an eighty percent chance of rain, every single day. The weather man has no idea what time it will rain, how hard, or for how long, and there is no way for him to predict it. You just have to go out there with your fingers cr…

Phineas and Ferb...the positive cartoon.

Phineas and Ferb
I wrote a story previously that went into my dislike of Sponge Bob; so to be fair I will go into my love of the cartoon Phineas and Ferb. I had been adverse to it before I watched it, because I believed that it was probably like everything else that is geared towards kids of the same age group. It is not. The cartoon is completely unique, and as all great cartoons, it is equally enjoyable for children and adults.
The first thing that caught my attention was the unbridled creativity, and innocent intelligence that the two main characters possess. The boys can do anything; the sky is the limit. I believe that this is such a wonderful message for children. We, as parents, limit our own children more than we think. When I first took my kids to their 4H Lego Robotics club, I was completely blown away. I had no idea that my kids could put some blocks together, plug them into a computer, program them, and create a moving robot. An example of kids who can accomplish anything…

Christmas in Florida

Christmas in Florida
December tenth today and I swam my thirty laps in the pool. It’s pretty chilly, but I don’t really feel it after the second lap. I am so grateful that I am able to keep swimming this late into the season. My body responds much better to swimming than it does to running, and I still get a great cardio work out.
This is our seventh or eighth Christmas in Florida now. To be honest, it wasn’t much of an adjustment for me. I have lived in climates where we got tons of snow. I even graduated from high school in Northern Michigan, but I really don’t miss it. I am a worrier, so snow just makes me think of bad roads and car accidents. I think snow is absolutely gorgeous, but I don’t like the cold. I would be perfectly happy if snow stayed on mountains. I would visit it to ski.
I finally convinced my husband for the first time this year that we really did not need a tree. He is partial to real ones, and I have no real love for artificial trees. Not once in all of the years…