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Embracing Differences and Finding Balance in Marriage

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iStock_000002855123SmallDisagreements between married couples happen all the time, and that’s OK. Everyone is different and certainly should not agree on everything. The problem lies in the fact that spouses may disagree with one another and simply not understand why.

Differences of opinion or disagreements don’t have to be negative. Here’s the thing: literally every good marriage book can be summed up by saying that your spouse thinks differently than you and you need to figure it out. The key is to figure out how they think and love your husband or wife in the way they want to be loved and not the way you want to be loved.

One example (and something we see quite often at Stenzel Clinical) is when one spouse is proactive and the other is content. This means one spouse is continuously trying to grow and communicate while the other is fine with everything as it is. The content spouse is likely hurt by what they perceive as criticisms while the proactive spouse may feel hurt that their partner isn’t willing to change.

In this case, both sides will need to strive to better understand each other and compromise to meet each other’s needs. The content spouse will need to try and grow in some areas while the proactive will need to cut back on their criticisms and be more accepting of their spouse for who they are.

If you don’t know what your spouse is thinking, you’ll need to take the time to talk to them and see how they feel in an effort to better understand how the situation can be improved.

Finding the proper balance
Balance is what creates a good marriage. Couples who recognize and embrace differences will likely do very well. However, many marriages start by embracing and loving the opposite traits of a spouse and end with resentment for the very same reason.

If you understand that your spouse works to balance you instead of resenting that fact, your relationship will be successful. The key is to talk in a reasonable way and remember that your spouse may not think the same as you, but they still love and respect you.

In couples with children, there will usually be one spouse who is more grace oriented and another who is more truth oriented. Often times, rather than realizing its good to have that balance while raising kids, each side ends up overcompensating for the other spouse by being too strict or too loose.

Instead of overcompensating, have a discussion as to what is best for the children and back each other up when the time comes instead of competing. Don’t assume the other parent is wrong in what they think; discuss what your kids need and works towards balancing one another.

When you’re married, remember that those differences between you and your spouse can be what binds you or what tears you apart. Always work to have an understanding with and knowledge of the person you love. It’ll make a world of difference.