We all know that opposites attract—it’s exciting, passionate, and mysterious. But a successful marriage needs more than just attraction. Can two opposite personalities really make it work, or is it a recipe for disaster?
After four years of marriage to my opposite, I am here to say it can work and that there are numerous benefits to marrying someone who’s 180 degrees different from you. Now if our connection was just about our differences, it may well have been a recipe for disaster. When it comes to what’s important to us, we’re on the same page. We have the same dreams and goals. It’s in the details of how we achieve those goals that our opposite personalities become the spice of our relationship.
Marriage is always an adventure, but marrying your opposite can really be a wild ride. In our relationship, I’m the cautious one and my husband is the risk-taker. In fact, on our first date he told me he was getting ready to take a camping trip with a friend into the deep, dark wilderness of Canada. The type where you drive as far as the road goes, then hire a float plane to drop you even farther into the middle of nowhere and trust that the pilot will come back a week later to pick you up (he almost didn’t). Definitely not my thing. Thankfully my husband hasn’t whisked me away on a remote Canadian camping trip yet, but he encourages me to step out into the unknown. We have already had plenty of adventurous moments, and we keep each other on our toes. I never know what will happen (or what he will say) next.
We Never Stop Learning
I am constantly learning something from my husband, whether it’s about history, politics, or the military. One of his earliest memories of our relationship is of me, “Miss Play It Safe,” asking him about rifles and bullets and his life as a Marine scout sniper. He admits that he’s also learned a thing or two in the kitchen—including what it means to puree. I’ve found that we’re both experts in our own ways, thus both of us never stop teaching or learning from the other.
We Discover New Likes
Marrying your opposite allows exposure to a wide range of new ideas and hobbies, some of which might even end up your own. Our first disagreement while my husband and I were dating was about which sport was better: wrestling or basketball. Although my first exposure to wrestling was quite a shock, it turns out I do enjoy it. And now my husband wouldn’t miss filling out a March Madness bracket each year. If we’ve never been exposed to something, how do we know if we like it or not?
Marrying your opposite makes you an expert at compromise because you’re constantly doing it. You want that motorcycle? Then please take a safety course and wear safety gear. That tattoo? Then please find a clean, safe parlor. You want to be at the airport one hour early and I want to be there three hours early? Let’s settle for an hour and a half. (This is real life, ladies.) Compromise can also lead to a more balanced couple. Instead of viewing our differences as a hindrance, we view them as a building block to a stronger marriage.
It’s An Opportunity to Love
Some of my greatest moments of love have been when I’ve deferred to my husband’s desires. I’m not talking about choosing between a Fuji apple or a Pink Lady apple. No, more like choosing between an apple and green peas. When each person wants to do drastically different things, both of which are good, it can be difficult to let go of your own desires. But in the end, choosing to please him instead of myself turns out to be an act of love.
It’s Fostered Personal Growth
Opposite personalities can make for some pretty stressful and challenging situations. Learning how to work through those challenges, swallowing your pride, and admitting you’re wrong are never easy to do. The push and pull of refining your will against another’s can be a painful process. It takes practice, patience, and the willingness to work on your own weaknesses. The end result is a more wise and virtuous you, which is always a plus.
We Have Perfect Kids
Throw the best parts of my husband and me together and you end up with one perfect child! OK, just kidding. But the other day I did catch my two-year-old son jumping off the top of the couch. He stumbled when he landed and shouted, “Whoa, careful!” It was music to my ears. He made both his parents proud that day.