How do similarites and differences make your relationship work?

@blueskies (1186)
United States
February 12, 2007 10:12am CST
I have two exes. In each case, we were both very different. We shared a few common interests, but didn't share the same basic beliefs and values. I really think that played a big part in the failure of those relationships. My husband and I are both alike and different. We have some different interests, but most of our basic values are the same. He is quite a bit older than I am, but I was raised with many traditional values. We are both neat-freaks and believe that keeping our home very clean is important. We both like to have everything in it's place and like to stick to routines and schedules. On the flip side, we both enjoy going out and having fun. We love to joke around and horse around with the kids. Both of us have quick tempers, but neither one of us can stay mad for very long. He is high-energy, I'm very low-energy. I love to read and have quiet time to myself, he can't stand to sit still and hates to read anything more complex than the tv listings. These are just a few of the ways that we are alike and different. What is it about the similarities and differences in your relationship that you think are key to making it work?
9 people like this
41 responses
• United States
12 Feb 07
You sort of sound like me and my husband. He is 15 years older than me, but in our situation it's a good thing. He has taught me a lot that I wouldn't have known otherwise. I love sitting and watching TV or reading a book and he has to go go go...when we go out to dinner, I love to just sit and talk and he wants to meet everyone and be the life of the party....I want things to be put where they belong and he is very messy. He knows exactly where something is, but it's a mess around it. These are just a few of the differences. We both have the same ideas on how to raise children. This is a big one for married people, I think. We agree on discipline techniques and to let kids be kids. We want our kids to be kids as long as possible and not have to grow up too quickly. We agree on religion and spirituality (too long to go into our thoughts). I am like you, a relationship only works with lots and lots of work and if two people are SO WAY different, it will be that much harder.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Mar 07
thank you so much for best response. :)
@sithlord (167)
• India
13 Feb 07
its called L-O-V-E....simple enuf??when you fall in love wid someone...it doesnt matter...u love them no matter wat..ur really happy when thry agree wid u...and yet..its their differences from u which make u fond of them...sigh...thats y i say love is as treachourous a gift as beautiful and good and pure .....have fun with it...it'll last forever...
• Philippines
13 Feb 07
It is indeed a factor in maintaining a relationship. If both partners does not know to settle differences, then there would be a risk of a cold relationship. But, if your love outweighs your differences, then, love shall conquer them and the relationship shall be able to surpass trials and obstacles.
1 person likes this
@vivien_9 (229)
• Philippines
13 Feb 07
It makes the relationship stronger.
1 person likes this
@Wanderlaugh (1624)
• Australia
13 Feb 07
The best relationships I've ever seen are when the two partners don't crash into each other by being too similar. I think the differences are the strong point in some issues, too, where each can take up the load when the other doesn't know how to deal with it. My parents were poles apart on some things, but they could always communicate and teach each other in their own fields. One of the best, and funniest, relationships I've ever had was with a woman who was/is an actress. She got kicked out of a well known Sydney restaurant/nightclub, but they wouldn't let us leave until they'd given her some free food... I played the straight man for this effort, and was fascinated to see how she handled people. I'm a fairly conscientious hermit, and the contrast between us had both of us laughing all the time.
• United States
13 Feb 07
I can't speak for other relationships, but I do know that in my relationship, our differences complement one another nicely. He's nurturing, I'm protective, he's calm and thoughtful, I'm good at thinking fast on my feet, he can cook, I can fix dents in the wall and unclog a toilet, etc. We have enough in common that we're not complete opposites (we're both shy, for one thing), but we're also not so similar that we bore eachother. We're able to remind eachother to take care of ourselves.
@stibigirl (291)
• United States
13 Feb 07
I have been with my husband for 11 years, married for 5 of those years and I have to say that the things that we have in common are what keep us motivated in our relationship. But the interests and values that we hold seperate are things that make us individual. I think that both of these are important in maintaining a balanced relationship between two people. There will always be things that you like to do, music you like to listen to, movies you love to watch over and over again, that your partner may not like, but those are the small things. I agree that core values about life and children should be discussed before marriage and should be similar in order to make a relationship work better.
• India
13 Feb 07
me & my husband are almost like you two. we are so similar its most amusing how most of the times, we even think on similar lines even on trivial issues. we like the same music, the same type of movies, the same games, same programs of TVs, its like we are twins. it of course feels great to have such a partner with whom you can share soooooooo much. we both are also easy-going types in our approach towards life, love to relax and take on life at an easy pace. only thing we differ is in our approach towards food. while i'm a foodie to the core of my heart, he's like OK with whatever you place in front of him. easy for me, i guess, but sometimes it does get a bit irritating specailly when you are dining out and you have a most nonchalant partner! but our son makes up for his pa. my son and me are partners as far as food is concerned!
1 person likes this
@AskAlly (3627)
• Canada
13 Feb 07
I am the talker, thank God my husband is a good listener. We have similar goals for the ranch and we work very well as a team. Often we don't even have to communicate verbally, and just know what comes next. We had similar upbringings and that helped when we raised our 5 boys. My husband was always the daredevil and I am the worrywart. I like the house cool he likes it way too warm. We do not differentiate between housework and chores. He can do laundry just as easily as I can do an oilchange. What ever it is that we do it has worked for the 26 years of our marriage.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
13 Feb 07
I think having close basic values is the most important thing. This doesn't have to mean religion either like a lot of people think. For example, if one religion says that you should try to do good things and be a good person, then I as an atheist could of course still believe that I want to do good things and be a good person, without taking the religion. Interests are somewhat important, but not as much.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Feb 07
I think it's all about identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your spouse or friend, then concentrating more on the strength than the weakness. Concentrating more on those things that attract you to your partner in the first palce will go a long way to working out a relationship. If you talk about similarities and differences, the list is endless, just know it's the differences in the two of you that brought about the attraction in the first place.
@ladygator (3468)
• United States
13 Feb 07
We have lots of differeces but they compliment each other. The best part is that we both love to party but he is really quiet and a bit more passive. I am very motivated and energized.
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
13 Feb 07
Myself and my husband are very opposite in personalities. He is shy, traditional values are very important to him and he his a hard worker with the land. I am also a hard worker but I am a social butterfly. I think we commplement each other. We have been together over 10 years and he is happy for me to do all the yaking.
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10882)
• Canada
13 Feb 07
MY and my husband have many shared interests and many that are not. This works very well. We can do things together, agree with things together, believe in things together, dream about things together, but we also have things on which we agree to disagree , discuss to become more informed - and still agree to disagree :) = or just do by ourselves instead of together. In all the similarities and differences balance things well and complement each other. Once we get into the field of values and beliefs however we basically have the same. This is very important because sometimes even small differences in certain values can create a big conflict. It doesn't mean that couples with different values can't make it but depending on what they are , it can makes things more difficult.
1 person likes this
@sizzle3000 (3039)
• United States
13 Feb 07
I think that if you both like the same things and think the same way that this is a boring marriage. I think two people with different personallities but the same basic beliefs will be great together. I am trying to say that you need to agree on finances, and where you are going to live, how you are going to raise the kids and how you are going to run your home. These are the basics. One person likeing country music and one liking rock and roll should not break a marriage. You need to feel you can be yourself at all times and if you can do this then you will have a great marriage. I always say communication is one of the keys to making a good marriage or relationship in general.
@maryannemax (12170)
• Sweden
13 Feb 07
two people will never be the same even if they spend their lives together forever. and that's the magic of it all. my boyfriend and i were raised in two different countries. and sometimes, we get to discuss about our differences, which i find just right and healthy, too for the relationship. i was raised in the philippines and he was raised in sweden. but our differences never bothered the relationship. it's who we are, who we were and who we will be in the future is better.. because we will grow old together. he has a longer amount of patience than me. but that's good. since, he always understands me especially my jealous side. both of us are open to talk about issues. and if ever we end up arguing, we never let a day just pass us by without fixing the problem. we both love watching movies, cooking, writing letters, emailing, chatting to each other. i am a thrifty person. and he's not. which is good for us. i can advice him about handling his money well. and he advices me about spoiling myself sometimes, too. there are still a lot of more exciting "features" but i might take too much space already. what i do know is we love each other so much despite the differences and that we love each other's similarities.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Feb 07
My gf and I are pretty different, but yet we have a lot of the same basic core values. We disagree on some things, and our personalities are pretty different. We keep eachother pretty grounded whenever one of us is feeling out of whack. We have calming values over the other. So, even if we are pretty different, we still have a lot of the same ideals and goals.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Feb 07
My husband and I have been married for 3 years. We are TOTALLY (i can not capitalize on htat enough) DIFFERENT!!! He has his old ways, 1956 ways and i am more laid back. That causes alot of friction, but if the love is there it somehow works. Our alikes are more of a common goal. We want to be happy. Thats it. And being with each other makes us happy. So that is how we have sustained in a relationship as crazy as ours.
@nannacroc (4049)
12 Feb 07
Me and my husband have a lot of things in common and a lot of differences. I like to get up early, get the jobs done and relax, he likes to sleep late,relax and do jobs later in the day. We've finally worked out that I tidy in the mornings and he cooks tea and washes up in the evenings. We do share the same, as you put it, old fashioned values. He's very tidy and I'm very untidy. The reason we're still together is that we love each other very much and both realised right from the start that marriage was about compromise and not about always agreeing with each other.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Feb 07
I have heard that oppisites attract but that is not always the case my x husband and I had a lot of things in comman and that did not work out either because of his non ability to stop drinking I believe that God has our mates but we just have not found them yet so on that note I do not think either I think it is what God has in store for you
1 person likes this