Secrets of a Newlywed: Learn to Embrace Your Differences

This is the next post in Secrets of a Newlywed, a series where I open up and share some of the lessons, insights and understandings--the little secrets--that have made my marriage the wedded bliss that it is. (To read through all the posts in this series, click here.) Like anything else, they are easier said than done. But I know from personal experience that when I do manage to live them out, I've seen what beautiful fruit they bear in my relationship with my husband. So, today, I share another with you: Learn to Embrace Your Differences

They say that opposites attract.

I never really believed in that, but now that I’ve been married for a little while, I can attest that my husband are much more different than I’d realized at first.
Did you know that there are two kinds of cleaning? I didn’t until I got married, and then I discovered that while my husband and I both like a clean home, our definitions of what makes it clean are very different.

I don’t like clutter, so I prefer to have everything organized and put away, crumbs wiped from the counter, and laundry in the hamper. My husband though, doesn’t like germs, so he likes to have the carpet freshly vacuumed and the bathroom scrubbed.

For me, though, I don’t really see the need to clean unless I can see the dirt. My husband, sees nothing wrong with leaving piles of paper on the kitchen table, the coffee table, the desk, almost any level spot he can find.

Can you see how this might cause problems in our marriage?

Fortunately, though, we’ve chosen to look at the situation from a different vantage point: He keeps things clean, while I keep things neat. Instead of seeing our strengths as fighting one another, we choose to see how they complement one another. Where I am weak in my cleaning, he is strong, and vice versa.

It is a small distinction, but it has made all the difference.

I used to see those piles and cringe, wanting to stuff them into a folder or a drawer out of sight. I imagine that he wished I’d pick up a dust buster every now and then. But in those instances, we’re focusing simply on the other person’s faults and neglecting the strengths we each bring to the table. We’re zoomed in on everything that is wrong and not letting ourselves see all the things that the other person does right.

If we take a step back and look, though, we’re bound to find a strength that complements. And that takes the sting from the frustration.

Another example from our marriage is that my husband and I are pretty different in how we approach money and spending. I prefer to pinch my pennies, tally up register receipts, and keep a good amount in savings “just in case.” My husband, though, is eager to treat us to a nice dinner and give money to the homeless man on the street corner.

Can you see how this might cause problems in our marriage?

But fortunately, it has been another case that we chalk up to our strengths balancing each another out. If it weren’t for my husband, we probably would never leave the house. And it’s good to build some “fun” into your budget. But if it weren’t for me, we probably wouldn’t have been able to be debt-free already.

Instead of letting these differences upset and divide us, we have learned to see them as gifts and blessings that we each bring to the marriage.

I’m not sure that we ever made the conscious decision to think about the things that frustrated us about the other and figure out how they actually complemented us. I imagine it was more the Holy Spirit planting those sentiments in our heart and opening our eyes to the way that God sees us, one small example of how “in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Separate, we are but pieces. But joined together, we become more whole.

That is the beauty of marriage.

P.S. If you are interested in sharing a lesson from your own marriage, please get in touch for details about guest-posting in this series!

Related Posts
Being Intentional about Saving Money

How I Knew My Husband Was "The One"


  1. Ha! your differences are a lot like ours... Well, we used to be that way about cleaning, but with the kids now, you just take what you can get and no one complains about the wreckage :)

    So I just sent you an email about guest posting thru the contact form, but it didn't seem to go thru. Did you get it?

  2. I think a lot of couples deal with this but none write about it as eloquently!

  3. @ Jessica - Yeah I got your email; thanks! I think the form was set up a little wonky so I went in and modified it. I think it's fixed now!

    @ Nicole - Aw, thanks :) I appreciate it!

  4. I think differences in a marriage are so important. My husband and I have been married over 2 years now, and our differences really help balance out our marriage. Great post!

  5. @ Britt - Thanks! Yeah, I think you definitely have to embrace that kind of perspective when it comes to differences!

  6. This is a lovely post. It's wonderful that you can embrace your difference instead of letting them become a divisive factor in your marriage.


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