Your relationship cannot be as close as you’d like it to be if you’re not willing to shift your attitude about your differences, i.e. what causes the friction between you. In the beginning, you probably thought his differences were cute, adorable, enchanting even. As you became more familiar, some of those differences have probably begun to wear on you, maybe even make you a little bit crazy.
It’s important to remember that it’s our differences that make us interesting to each other. It’s essential that you remember you two are not the same, that you don’t want to be the same, and life would be less interesting if you were too much the same. The trouble is, most of the time it’s the differences that cause most of the problems in a relationship.
If he saves money and you like to spend it; if he’s messy and you’re tidy; if he likes to eat at 6:00 sharp and you eat when you’re hungry; if he’s too lenient with the kids and you’re strict; if he’s casual and you’re more formal; if he likes sex in the morning and you like it at night; if he likes sex more often than you do; you’re going to have trouble if you don’t know how to deal with your differences. Generally, it’s the differences that breed resentment and distance.
True intimacy is an ability to open up to each other and allow yourselves to be vulnerable. The only way a person can be vulnerable with another is if they know they’re not going to be attacked. They must know that what they have to share is going to be heard, honored, and accepted as what’s true for that person. If you and your husband have gotten into the habit of attacking each other because of your differences, then this is going to be a very difficult habit to change. But it ‘ essential if you are going to develop the kind of intimacy that lasts a lifetime.
Before discussing how to bridge this gap, let me inspire you to seriously consider staying open to the possibility that the following might be the best way to guarantee a lifetime of love. That’s because you’re going to turn the primary reasons for divorce into the most precious means to ever-deepening intimacy.
To make this concept work successfully for you, you must both be willing to have open-hearted, revealing conversations with each other. You have to be able to talk about your differences in a way that stays loving. To do that you must keep in the forefront of your thinking the realization that everything you’re going to be doing here is to insure an enduring relationship. You got married wanting forever, this is an important part of making that a reality. So let’s get started.
How To Make Your Differences Work For You
Make a date with each other, or select a time and place, where you will work on transforming your differences into deeper love, respect, and intimacy. Treat it like you would an appointment with a couple’s therapist.
To begin this process, make a list of all your differences. It’s most effective if you categorize them into differences you admire and enjoy, and differences that cause friction. Since the goal is to deepen intimacy, you’re going to learn that this new way of talking to each other works any time you want to understand each other more clearly.