Deborah is an enthusiastic fellow when it comes to marriage and relationship and like to help young couples get it right in their love life.
How to Cope With Differences in Relationships
If you are single, don’t be in a rush to get married. Most people think that being single is a bad thing, but NO! Independence is a gift you should embrace. Singleness is a time to build and prepare for life. It is easier to be single praying to become married than to be married and praying to be single. Also, it is easier to be happy when you are single (not to say that marriage is bad, but marriage is designed to make you better, not happy!). If you enter the marriage hoping to be happy through it, you are going to get disappointed.
Your life will not be the same as when you were single. You will have to give up your time, your attention, and yourself to someone else (your children and spouse) so embrace your single life. It’s a gift.
It is okay to desire marriage, but it is better to prepare for it. Have you read any books on it? Have you attended conferences and seminars on marriage? Have you gone to counseling for it? If your answer is NO, then your single state is the best time to prepare for it.
Differences In Relationships
A relationship is a state where opposites attract. You are generally attracted to those things you don’t have.
I give you an instance: you are a quiet person in college who would like to stay alone. Then, in the corner, you notice this person who talks and doesn’t hide a thing. They seem to be shy about nothing and you wonder, ‘How do they do it? They're so confident!’ and you begin to fall in love. You are attracted to that person because they are the opposite of you, and this other talkative person noticed you because you are the opposite of them!
Then, looking further, after the attraction, friction begins to happen. Notice the example I gave earlier about opposites attracting. Now, the situation can get tough in marriage. Maybe the quiet one increases conflict by not being vocal during an argument, or maybe the loud one makes disagreements more difficult by appearing intense and overwhelming.
The Healing Process
Now to make it through the frustration stage, you need to appreciate who your partner is. Be aware of the difference and accept it. The difference brings the balance that you both need in your marriage, and this balance brings safety for you both.
When you successfully go through a frustration state, you will make it to the exchange stage. Otherwise, if understanding is not applied, it will generally lead to separation. The exchange state is when both spouses combine both their features; the part that is lacking in him, she brings out, and the part that is lacking in her, he supplies it.
Read More From Pairedlife
You need to adjust to the life of your opposite partner. Not to say that you need to become them, but you need to accommodate their lifestyle.
Take, for instance, you have a partner who is not an organized person, and when he comes back from work, he throws the jacket on the couch, pulls off his shoes at the staircase, drops his briefcase in the dining room, and goes upstairs to remove the rest clothing on the bedroom floor. If you murmur every day to him about his recklessness, it will only get worse. Instead, follow after him and pick them up. Then at a point, you can put a cloth basket and tell him that you’d appreciate it if he puts his dirty clothes in the basket when he gets back from work.
He may not do that the next day, but as the days go by, he will begin to adjust. So, you have adjusted to his way of life (unorganized person), and he has adjusted to yours (organized person), but if you had just nagged at him all the time, it might have caused hurt and anger leading to more conflict.
It is imperative to move from emotional love to intentional love. After some months of being together, most couples feel that they married the wrong person because the opposites they loved then have become apparent, and it begins to frustrate them. It is as if they were initially blinded by love.
You did not marry the wrong person, you simply did not take the time to learn about marriage.
In the dating stage, the opposite characteristics didn’t seem to bother the partner and they were in love. Love made them not pay attention to these characteristics until they got married.
The steps to make love emotional again are:
- Emotional love is high at first. This comes naturally and cannot be controlled.
- Emotional love goes low. You can’t be emotionally high forever. It goes down at some point.
- Then when you start to practice intentional love to build the emotions, emotional love develops again.
In the third stage, because you did something to bring back the emotional love, you can sustain it.
Marriage is beautiful when two people work together, combining their strengths and differences. Everything begins to flow perfectly well. It is best to acknowledge that there are differences in relationships and begin to work on this concept when we are single.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Deborah Osadjere