Mark: I like mornings.
Jill: I’m a night owl.
Mark: I like to eat out.
Jill: I prefer to stay home.
Mark: I love coffee.
Jill: Only tea for me.
Mark: I love anything spicy!
Jill: Mild for me, please.
Mark: I am a feeler.
Jill: I am a thinker.
Mark: I’m an extrovert. Jill: I’m an introvert.
Mark: I like to watch movies. Jill: I like to read books.
Mark: I like pepper. Jill: Only salt for me.
Mark: I see the liabilities. Jill: I see the possibilities.
Mark: I see the big picture. Jill: I see the details.
Mark: Nuts make a good brownie.
Jill: Hard things like nuts don’t belong in soft things like brownies!
Mark: My favorite cake is German Chocolate.
Jill: Coconut isn’t really meant to be eaten, is it?
Mark: I process things externally by talking about them.
Jill: I process things internally by thinking about them.
WE ARE SO DIFFERENT!
Obviously our differences have clashed many times over the years. Not so much with little things like food likes and dislikes, but more with things like how we process, the lens we see the world through, and how we think.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen many of our differences as “right” or “wrong,” which has resulted in judgement in my heart.
I’ve, too, had my share of “right” or “wrong” thinking, but even worse, I’ve spent too much time thinking that our differences made us incompatible. I not only allowed Satan to whisper that lie in my ear, I allowed that lie to take root in my heart. I believed it. That was certainly at the core of the affair and my decision to leave Jill 3 years ago.
The truth is that every couple is incompatible. Sure we may have some similarities, but we also have many differences. We’re two different personalities who came from different upbringings, who will see the world in different ways.
These days I’m not focused on our differences. I’ve moved my thoughts from grumpy to grateful. I’m looking at the benefit our differences bring rather than the problems they cause. I’m also embracing who Jill is and resisting the urge to change her.
These days I’m nipping judgement the minute it enters my mind. I’m not giving the enemy a foothold by “taking my thoughts captive” and replacing judgmental thoughts with grateful thoughts so pride doesn’t creep in unnoticed.
We’re all wonderfully incompatible and that’s “normal” for marriage!
What about you? Can you embrace your spouse’s differences and not think of them as wrong? Do you need to apologize for being judgmental or critical?