Marriage part 1: Opposites

Rick Mattson Devotion, Uncategorized 3 Comments

Sharon and me, 1982

About six years ago I started a little wedding business on the side.

To date I’ve hitched about 30 couples.

One of the requirements for my involvement is that couples sit with me for two sessions of pre-marriage counseling. I give them homework and in our discussions we get pretty deep into their relationship and issues.

Couple after couple, patterns emerge.

One is that many soon-to-be “man and wife” are opposite each other in significant ways.

For example, it’s often the case that she leads with emotion, he with logic.

Or she’s extroverted, he introverted.

Sometimes in both categories it’s the other way around.

It seems to me if your spouse is opposite you in a significant way you need to value the difference. 

But I find that many couples hadn’t thought of this. They tolerate¬†difference but I wouldn’t say they value it.

In my own marriage it took me a long time to value those “opposite” traits in Sharon. I’m abstract, theoretical, metaphorical. She’s (weirdly) concrete, practical, literal.

I guess I assumed for a long time, at least subconsciously, that Sharon would come around to see the world the right way — my way.
Then one day I woke up and began to think that my spouse being different than me was a gift from the Lord, a counter-balance to even me out a bit. 
Maybe Sharon was there to pull me out of the clouds on occasion and ground my feet in the real world (over-rated!).

Comments 3

  1. Jackie, Since I think of myself as “normal,” I have a hard time adjusting to my opposite (in certain respects) as also being normal, even after all these years.

    Sandi, Secular culture tells me that I can't love others until I love myself. From a Christian perspective, that seems backwards, wouldn't you say?

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