In our book, Do Your Kids a Favor. Love Your Spouse. there’s a chapter entitled Why Did I Marry Someone So Strange? Let’s take a look at the idea that “opposites attract.”
This theory is supported. Paul Schrodt, a professor of communication studies at Texas Christian University, teaches a class on what he terms “fatal attractions.” He states,
“Opposites attract. They just don’t always stay together.”
Even a positive personality trait can be negative. We like to say that a negative trait is simply a positive one carried to extremes. An introvert is often the “strong silent type.” That solid, quiet personality may draw someone into the marriage. Then before too long the spouse finds him or herself wishing there wasn’t so much silence. The extrovert is bubbly and talkative, the life of the party. Those traits may be appreciated for awhile, but after a few years (or even weeks), the spouse may wish for more peace and quiet.
The differences that were once so attractive can become intolerable. Now what? The first step is to realize that a person’s personality is not totally flexible and to acknowledge that traits have positive and negative sides.
It’s important to accept personal responsibility. Recognize the negative aspects of your positive traits (carried to extremes) and work to minimize those weaknesses. That is your responsibility.
Take time to remind yourself of the positive attributes of your spouse. What drew you to one another initially? Reflect on and acknowledge those positive qualities frequently.
Finally, realize your spouse brings balance – especially in parenting. Your kids can benefit from the strengths of both Mom & Dad of both the extrovert and the introvert.
You can hear John and Kendra’s interview on Austin Hill in the Morning below: