How to Celebrate Differences in Marriage

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celebrate-differences-marriage

I’m happy to have Sarah Geringer on the blog today! She is full of wisdom and insight and has an amazing #wifehack to share for all of those who feel discouraged by differences that pop up in marriage. I hope you are encouraged and blessed! Welcome Sarah!
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Have you ever seen the classic movie “The Odd Couple”? Two men who couldn’t be more opposite must learn to get along as roommates, without killing each other in sheer frustration.

That’s the story of my husband and me.

When we were dating, our opposite traits seemed charming and delightful. He was bold and driven; I was quiet and content. He liked constant variety; I liked constant routine. Our friends told us we were a great match, because we balanced each other so well. He and I felt like we had found our missing halves.

We had no idea yet how our differences could become SO annoying. We said our vows with stars in our eyes, and they blinded us to the sometimes painfully funny truth that awaited.

Take our first road trip as a married couple. In our ten-hour drive home from New Orleans, we spent several hours debating on who was “right” about our social preferences. Isn’t a vehicle just the worst place to have a fight, because there’s no escape?

The emotional temperature was pretty hot inside the cab that day. He thought I was rude to leave a party before it was over; I thought he was indulgent to stay all the way to the end. We were stubborn in our own viewpoints.

It took several more public embarrassments at Super Bowl parties and barbecues before we figured out the truth: he’s simply more extroverted than I am. He likes a big party with lots of action, and he flits around, trying to absorb all the fun he can. I plant myself in a corner and try to have one or two quality conversations amid all the hubbub, and I max out at three hours.

We hadn’t yet learned that our differences were simply differences, not matters of right or wrong. We were still in fix-it mode, trying to change the other person to our liking.


Celebrating Our Differences

A few years into our marriage, I started digging into the Bible for my own personal growth. I spent a lot of time studying the Psalms, and one Psalm that helped me most was Psalm 139. This verse stood out to me:

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14 ESV

I began to realize I was well-crafted by God to be introverted, quiet, calm, and contemplative. God chose me, before I was born, to be who I am.

I also began to realize my husband was well-crafted by God to be extroverted, loud, energetic, and fast-paced. God chose him, before he was born, to be who he is.

I looked at this truth from a perspective I’d never really considered before: If God made my husband to be this way, who am I to think I need to change him?

The odd couple #wifehack I’ve learned is this:

Start appreciating your husbands God-given differences and stop trying to change him. Click To Tweet

God knew we were different, even opposite in most ways, before he allowed our paths to cross. He knew our differences would both attract and repel us, and he also knew they would refine and shape us to be better people.

Uniting in Our Differences

In the beginning of our marriage, we were like the squabbling Corinthians, who thought one person’s role was better than another’s. Even though Paul was writing to the church, I feel like these verses apply to our marriage too:

“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’” 1 Corinthians 12:21 ESV

If my husband is the head, he still needs me as the eyes in our marriage. He needs my hands as his helper; I need his feet to keep us moving forward.

“But God has so composed the body…that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” 1 Corinthians 12:24-25 ESV

My husband and I had to learn to unite rather than divide over our differences.

In time, we learned to appreciate each other’s opposite traits and even use them to our mutual advantage. He asks me to handle a testy situation with our children because I’m gentler and less likely to explode. I call on him when extended family situations needs more strength and resolve than I can muster on my own.

Now, when we discover a rare common trait, we add it to our (very) short list. But most of the time, we rejoice in our differences. They certainly keep our marriage interesting!

What’s your #wifehack?

Do you have a #wifehack that has made a world of a difference in your marriage? Share it below and you’ll be entered into a giveaway! To read more about the giveaway, click HERE!

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Sarah Geringer is the author of three self-published books and blogs regularly at sarahgeringer.com. She loves writing in the morning, reading in the afternoon, and enjoying family time in the evening. Sarah lives in her beloved home state of Missouri with her husband and three children.

Follow Sarah on Facebook ,Pinterest  , Twitter , or Goodreads

 

 

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Need to Catch Up on Posts from the #Wifehacks Series? Say no more!

Week 1: Stop Blaming Your Husband for Unmet Needs
Week 2: When Silence Is Sinful in Marriage
Week 3: Who’s Your God: Idolatry in Marriage.

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23 Comments

  1. RebeccaLynn

    I love this! My husband and I endured a very similar car ride very early-on in our marriage. I think it was appropriate that we were driving through some pretty tornadic and terrifying weather in Oklahoma/Texas. Ha! Our difficulty is actually being too similar, but it’s the same principal we’ve had to learn – which is to honor one another and learn to unite rather than divide during difficulties. Thank you for this, Sarah!

    25 . Jun . 2017
  2. Sarah Geringer (@SarahGeringer)

    Hi Rebecca! I know lots of opposite-attracted couples, and their stories (like yours) encourage me! Blessings to you and your hubby!

    25 . Jun . 2017
  3. How to Celebrate Differences in Marriage | Sarah Geringer

    […] so excited to be featured at Kaitlin Garrison’s site, The Barefoot Blog, this week as a guest poster in the #WifeHack series. Here’s a brief intro to my post, and I […]

    26 . Jun . 2017
  4. Sheila Qualls

    Boy, I can agree with this one. I always tell my kids, ” The things that attract you will become the things that will repel you!” LOL. Y’all sound a lot like us. I am the introvert. Opposites do attract, and that’s the way God intended it to be. We all just need to get on board and work it out. : )

    26 . Jun . 2017
  5. Lisa notes...

    I can SO relate to this, Sarah. My husband is the extrovert and I’m the introvert in our family, too. We’ve had to grow into this as well: “My husband and I had to learn to unite rather than divide over our differences.” We’ve found that I can be more responsible with the behind-the-scenes stuff and he can do more of the outward things that make me uncomfortable. It works! 🙂

    26 . Jun . 2017
  6. mareedee2016

    We all need a reminder to appreciate our differences. My husband and I started a business together early on in our marriage. It worked great because what he was good at I just wasn’t. In business we really complimented each other. However, at home it was quit different. We had to learn to accept each others differences. To be honest after almost 30 years we still do. Thank you for the great reminder.

    26 . Jun . 2017
  7. Sarah Geringer (@SarahGeringer)

    Hi Sheila, Lisa, and Maree Dee! Thanks for reading today, and I’m glad you all can relate, and that you’re appreciating your differences! Blessings to you!

    26 . Jun . 2017
  8. Rosanna@ExtraordinaryEverydayMom

    I loved this quote: “We hadn’t yet learned that our differences were simply differences, not matters of right or wrong. We were still in fix-it mode, trying to change the other person to our liking.” I think I’m only just realizing, after 15 years of marriage, that this is exactly what I’m been trying to do. Thankfully, I have a very patient and enduring husband so we haven’t fought all that much about it. However, subconsciously much of what I’ve been doing has been to try to change him. Thanks for writing this!

    28 . Jun . 2017
    • Kaitlin

      Rosanna,
      That line stuck out to me too–it is SO TRUE! It’s hard not to get into “fix it” mode when we think things a certain way. I’m so glad this post encouraged you, as it did me!

      29 . Jun . 2017
  9. Kristi

    Love this! Our differences aren’t a matter of right and wrong but just simply differences.

    28 . Jun . 2017
    • Kaitlin

      Kristi,
      Amen and amen! Differences are a good things, but they just don’t make sense to us sometimes!
      Thank you so much for popping in!

      29 . Jun . 2017
  10. karentfriday

    Kaitlin, great guest post by Sarah. Love her stuff and your writing as well. We’ve never arrived when it comes to marriage. Love the idea that a husband and wife are both well-crafted by God, just in different ways. We should celebrate we’re not cookie-cutter Christians. Blessings to you both.

    28 . Jun . 2017
    • Kaitlin

      Karen,
      Sarah did such an amazing job on this topic! You’re so right–we’re never going to arrive! It’s an ongoing journey. But we can all share our secrets in the process of it all! Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂

      29 . Jun . 2017
  11. Ariel

    Life together is so much happier when you stop trying to change each other! I really like the idea of this series! My #WifeHack is definitely learning how to Submit and still be a “strong woman”! http://www.youngmrs.com/2016/07/05/biblical-submission/

    29 . Jun . 2017
    • Kaitlin

      Ariel,
      I completely agree! Thank you for sharing this #wifehack!! I can’t wait to go and read your post!

      29 . Jun . 2017
  12. Sarah Geringer

    Thanks everyone for your kind comments! I hope this post helps you and inspires greater peace in your marriages.

    29 . Jun . 2017
  13. Moumita De Sarkar

    The first year of marriage is always the most difficult time for a couple.Both husband and wife have a lot of expectation from each other. The tiniest mistakes look like a devastating damage to the charming image of their partner. The sooner they learn to deal with each other’s imperfections , the better their marriage becomes. Then life seems much easier to be dealt.

    29 . Jun . 2017
    • Kaitlin

      Moumita,
      This is such incredible advice. You’re so right– the first couple years it’s so hard because of all the expectations you have for yourself and your spouse. I love your advice of dealing with imperfections quicker so you can truly enjoy what marriage was created to be. Thank you so much for this awesome #wifehack!

      29 . Jun . 2017
  14. Karen

    You could be describing my husband and me! He is talkative and out-going and is a total information junky so he loves hearing and sharing ideas…with whoever he meets. (cashier, waiter, random person at the gas station….) I am the opposite. I don’t talk to stranger much and prefer the quiet and introspective life. We have had the same sorts of clashes as well, but over almost 3 decades have learned (at least somewhat! ha!) to appreciate our differences. I tell my kids all the time when it comes to marriage relationships “if you are both the same, one of you is not necessary”… so instead of fighting, celebrate your differences!

    29 . Jun . 2017
    • Kaitlin

      Karen,
      I absolutely love what you said, “if you are both the same, one of you is not necessary!” That is so true!! It’s much better to appreciate differences in each other than live in bitterness because you’re not the same. Great advice!!

      29 . Jun . 2017
  15. thisgratefulmama

    What a great reminder that my husband is fearfully and wonderfully made. Considering this truth in moments of frustration or criticism will definitely change what comes out of my mouth. Great tip. Glad I found you through the S&L Link up. Great post. Thanks!

    29 . Jun . 2017
    • Kaitlin

      Absolutely- It is such a great reminder that our husbands are made in the image of God with such purpose! Thank YOU so much for stopping by!

      03 . Jul . 2017
  16. Arica

    keep writing your experiences PLEAS. Your advice is addictive in my life and every other women on this planet. We’er not called woMAN for no reason!

    10 . Jul . 2017

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