Without a doubt, most people marry someone who is the polar opposite of them in many ways and areas.
I have worked with a lot of couples and time after time, conflict arises from those differences. What is almost humorous about this is that often times it was those “differences” that first attracted us to them.
CASE IN POINT: In general, I am what some would call in the world of Psychology and Personalities, a “Type A” person. When asked to describe me in 3 words, my husband has said, “Intentional, Driven and Thoughtful.” Yep, you guessed it. I married a “Type B”. I would describe my husband as “Strong (of heart, character and body), Kind and Genuine.”
He is very black and white, and I can see the grey. He grew up in a small rural town in Pennsylvania as the youngest child in a family of boys enjoying the great outdoors, while I grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland as the oldest child in a family of girls who enjoyed shopping and educational activities.
When we first met in college, it was his laid back nature, kindness and unwavering peace and stability that I was attracted to. For him, it was my “go get ‘em” self motivation, drive and strategic purpose to life that was attractive to him.
Shortly into our marriage, I quickly realized that the words of the wise Pastor that did our pre-marital counseling started to ring true and play loudly on repeat in my head... “Your initial attraction, will become your biggest frustration.” WHOA… drop the mic right here!
The initial attraction of my husband’s laid back ways started to get on my nerves as I found myself wanting to say to him (while running around the house completing a list a mile long), “can you get up and do something.” Coincidentally, he found himself after a long week at work wanting to say to me, “can you sit down and chill for a minute,” despite his initial attraction to my “get ‘er done” approach to life.
Throughout seventeen plus years of marriage we could’ve let our differences frustrate us. We could’ve let our differences separate us. We could’ve let our differences define us. Instead we learned how to let our differences improve us! We see our differences as strengths, not weaknesses. We learned to VALUE our differences instead of letting them annoy us.
Maybe you and your spouse are dealing with infertility and just maybe you married someone different than you. You both will “see” the journey differently. You both will “value” different parts of the process. One of you is probably a “feeler” and one of you is probably a “thinker”. You both will experience and respond to the ups and downs of the rollercoaster ride of trying to conceive differently.
So how do you navigate your fertility journey with someone who is different than you? Well, here are 6 Tips:
1. Identify the strengths that each of you bring to the table. Utilize and focus on these.
2.Identify what matters most to you as a couple and then choose to focus on those important big things.
3.Make decisions together.
4.Choose to laugh instead of getting frustrated. When your spouse does a piece of stupid or is acting in a way that doesn’t make sense or is “different” than you would’ve done it… laugh and move on. It probably isn’t worth losing your “peace” over.
5.Put yourself in their shoes. Try to see the situation from their perspective.
6. Be quick to forgive and ask for forgiveness..
“You can be right or you can be happy.” I’m not sure who said this quote first, but I want to be happy. Don’t get me wrong, I like to be right...ok, I LOVE to be right… but I CHOOSE my battles and I LOVE-LOVE to be happy:)
Just For Fun: Ask your spouse to describe you in 3 words;)
Relationship Expert and 3x Surrogate, Tiffany Jo Baker spends her time helping couples birth their dreams and navigate the road and relationships well while trying to conceive. Married for over 17 years to her polar opposite, yet best friend, together they have built a life and family based on faith, core values, humor and forgiveness. She loves to laugh, eat french fries, find amazing deals and create new memories.
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Tiffany Jo Baker MA, CLC
Couples Life & Fertility Support Coach (+3x Surrogate)
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