Written by – Stacey Micklevitz
No, opposites attract. Right?
Right! . . . At first.
See, Bryan is my opposite in nearly every way. I’m very structured; he’s laid back. I’m a tad high-strung; he’s laid back. I’m very detail-oriented; he’s, well … laid back. Have I mentioned that he is rather laid back?
When we first met I was drawn to his spontaneity. As someone who had to have every detail of her life written on a calendar, I found Bryan’s ability to pick up and go anywhere at any time EXCITING! He was seemingly available at a moment’s notice. He was always having fun, always involved, and always on the go, never missing out on a moment of life. This was quite a different perspective for someone who sometimes passed on opportunities because they were not scheduled in my planner.
Bryan often commented that he admired how organized I was. I knew the smallest details of work-related projects. Home had a place for everything—and everything was in its place! And I was a walking phone book and date planner complete with color-coded scheduled events. We complimented each other in every possible way.
Then we got married.
I’m not sure when or how it happened, but at some point, Bryan and I found ourselves struggling with the realities of each other’s temperament. His laid back personality left him unaware of priorities which I knew demanded his attention. My need for structure left him feeling smothered without a sense of control.
Bryan and I often joke that we would not be married if we’d lived together first. It’s TRUE! This is what commitment is made of—sticking together even when the novelty has worn off. Compromise in marriage is essential, but it is not what builds an enduring bond between clashing strong personalities. Commitment to lifelong marriage is best understood with a commitment to its Creator.
Left to my own sensibilities, I could find myself believing my style is superior to Bryan’s. I might think, I know better how to run a household, having experienced similarities in my corporate career. I can usurp his God-ordained leadership role and push my style on him.
When this happens one of two outcomes results:
- He pushes back until one giant meltdown occurs (undesired)
- He relents, allowing me to take over our married lives until his heart boils over with resentment and one giant meltdown occurs (undesired!)
However, there is a third and superior option:
- I can surrender our relationship to God
God didn’t bring me and Bryan together because we were “perfect for each other” but because we can refine each other—preparing us to glorify Him together. In the areas where we clash, I lift my concerns to God. Sometimes I ask Him to change Bryan—IF IT IS HIS WILL. But most often, it is MY HEART that changes (desirable!). Believe it or not, I have actually become more laid back and somewhat less structured in my old age. Ok, it might be hard to detect, but my mother has noticed it! 😉
Consider surrendering control of your spouse to God, the creator of love and marriage. And you might find yourself going beyond merely accepting your spouse’s irritating differences to the point of embracing those differences as tools to challenge and improve your own heart.