Do you appreciate the differences between you and your spouse? Or do you find them to be more of an aggravation? It’s funny how when you first meet someone, those differences can be endearing but over time, they can become frustrating.
Sometimes I have to catch myself falling prey to this. I can look at the differences between us and feel like he needs to change. But in reality, it is who he is. And just as I expect him to accept me, I need to do the same.
Take the way we respond to stress. It is very different. I can still remember many years ago when our first child was about a year and a half, I had a miscarriage. It was a traumatic experience for both of us but because of the way he handled it, I felt like he didn’t care as much.
I took his silence, his undemonstrative ways as an affront. I felt like he wasn’t handling it the right way…my way.
Eventually I came to realize that he internalizes things more than I do. While I like to talk about what has happened, he has difficulty expressing his feelings.
We were recently hit with another stressful situation in our family and once again, I found myself
frustrated with the different way he was responding. But this time I was able to quickly recognize that dangerous trap. I wouldn’t allow myself to fall into it.
Never are the differences more apparent than when difficulties come your way in marriage. But those are the times we have to remember that because of our gender, our personalities, our background and our experiences, we are going to react differently to situations that come our way.
It’s important to appreciate those differences, instead of seeing them as some type of enemy. It will save a lot of frustration and arguments in your marriage.
Photo by mamjodh in Flickr