Many people say that opposites attract, while others believe that people are attracted to those most like themselves. Although we may be attracted to a person for qualities dissimilar to our own, those qualities often drive a wedge later on down the road and cause one person, or both, to wish that their spouse was more like them. That being said, those same qualities that drive couples apart are often the driving force behind a long marriage or relationship.
Why Aren’t We More Alike?
Many wonder how couples can last so long in a marriage where they obviously are annoyed by the personality traits of the other. The downward spiral that entraps so many couples often ends their marriage altogether. However, many couples reverse the trend and reignite the spark that led them to get married in the first place.
To put this into context, let’s say a wife goes to a marriage counselor complaining that she feels uncomfortable that her spouse is too social and outgoing, or he’s too introverted or shy. She wonders why he can’t be more like her. A counselor may ask her why she married him partner to begin with. More often than not, the wife will say that she was attracted to her husband because he brings out her talkative side or intellectual side.
They ended up marrying because they bring out the qualities in each other that they couldn’t do on their own. They balance one another out, and in turn, they both feel whole. When both people in a relationship realize this, that’s when they remember why they got married to begin with.
The Upward Spiral
Relationships take work. When you stop and think about all the times your spouse has come to your rescue, you start to realize all the value that they bring to your life. In the beginning, many relationships are easy and don’t take much work at all. Over time, the begin to take more work and understanding to make them function.
When a husband or wife starts to realize the drawbacks of their personality, they can really start to appreciate what their spouse brings to the table. Instead of viewing the personality of the other as a hindrance, they view their partner as an asset. Also, part of making a relationship stand the test of time is knowing what actions to take, and what actions are going to yield the best results for both people.
Differences Are Attractive
People are looking for ways to balance themselves out and make themselves whole. No one is born with a complete personality, and no one has all the skills they need. That’s why we look for others with traits different than ours. Of course, many people don’t want to be dependent on each other, but having a partner that fills in your shortcomings and compliments your strengths is perfect.
Another word for this is “completion”. This refers to a couple that grows together as a couple, and as an individual, because of their unique partnership to each other. They both become more “complete” people during the length of their relationship.
Finding Your Opposite
If you’re single, don’t go looking for people that are obviously your opposite. At the same time, you don’t want to be looking for someone that is too similar to yourself either. A person that’s too similar to you will cause monotony down the road. Find a partner that shares a few of your traits and the same values as yourself, but is genuinely different personality wise. The difference in personality causes a healthy level of tension, and it keeps the relationship progressing during the initial stages of courtship. It’s also the power supply for long-term stability.
When couples understand why they balance each other out, or “complete” one another, the relationship is rekindled. Couples that realize this after many years of despising each other feel rejuvenated, appreciated, and have a feeling of satisfaction that they married the right person.
It doesn’t take a special kind of person or relationship to build up what you lost. However, you do have to have an understanding of who you are, and why your relationship is failing. This takes work, testing, and time on both ends, but it’s well worth it in the end.