ProConnect

A Good Marriage May or May Not Be Compatible

By

A Good Marriage May or May Not Be Compatible
Good marriages doesn't mean you are always compatible. It means you work together when you are not.


There is a myth that couples talk about all of the time in my office. They tell me that they are living together to see if they are compatible. I am sure they are sincere in their effort to make sure they can tolerate one another, but living together is not going to reveal that. According to the literature, couples who are happily married aren’t always compatible. In fact, there is no correlation between being happily married and how compatible you are. In truth, compatibility is rarely spoken of until one person begins bringing it up, and then it becomes a big issue. It usually means the couple is not getting along, which happens in happy marriages and unhappy marriages. Couples are not compatible all of the time; they fight about sex, kids, money and an extensive list of other things.

Dr. Ted Huston runs the PAIR project, which is a longitudinal study of married couples. His research has shown that the telltale sign of an unhappy relationship is when one spouse begins to worry about not being compatible or begins to overstate the importance of compatibility for a good marriage. The word compatibility covers a wide spectrum of areas. If a husband or wife tells his or her spouse, “We aren’t compatible anymore,” the spouse would be wise to sit down and ask him or her directly, “In what area specifically are we no longer compatible?” This would help narrow the real issue, and the couple could actually begin to make changes.
Many times couples begin fighting in my office; they cannot trace where the fighting originated, but they are able to say they haven’t been happy for a long time. Worn out, tired and stressed, they look for a way out of the marriage, believing it is the marriage. This makes sense, because if you project your unhappiness onto your partner and your union, then the only solution is to break that union. Unfortunately, due to the lack of healthy marriage mentors, couples don’t understand that it is normal to go up and down. They don’t see the arguments, discord, and the process of negotiating and making up watching movies and TV. They see one person leaving and shouting, “We are no longer compatible.” If I used compatibility as a measure of success in my own marriage, I would be in big trouble. I married a man very different from me, thinking that since we both had the same vision together we could negotiate anything. So far, so good, but no one is exempt from challenging times. Those challenging times in the marriage should be anticipated and embraced for further growth. When we walk away from those times, saying something such as, “We aren’t compatible,” we lose an opportunity for growth not only in our marriage but within ourselves.
There are things I can recommend if you have come up against a wall in your marriage and want to walk away. These suggestions will help, but be sure you both share the same vision or outcome for your marriage prior to undertaking them:
1. When you feel incompatible with your spouse, write down what areas in your personal life are bothering you before mentioning it to him or her. These issues are yours, not your spouse’s.
2. Take your spouse out on a date or walk and talk about your marital vision. Ask him or her if they feel the same. Listen to what they say.

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Mary Jo Rapini

Counselor/Therapist

For more information go to: www.maryjorapini.com
Talk to me on my fan page: http://www.facebook.com/maryjorapini
Tweet me: @MaryJoRapini
Read my Love and Relationships Blog on Chron.com
Ask me questions on Fox26 in Houston, TX and watch every Thursday Morning at 9am for “Mind, Body, Soul with Mary Jo” and Friday Morning's at 8am for “Healthy Happy Hour with Mary Jo”

Location: Houston, TX
Credentials: LPC
Other Articles/News by Mary Jo Rapini:

5 Ways To Survive A Friend Unfriending You

By

A group of my colleagues and friends were talking about losing good friends. One of my friends' situations was a job promotion and a change of location. Her friend cut her off, didn't want to be her friend anymore, and un-friended her on Facebook, leaving her feeling confused and mistrusting. Had this person been a friend at all? Another friend told ... Read more

Fighting Fair Made Easy In Six Easy Steps

By

http://youtu.be/-_G4NpWgyNQ   The one area that most couples do not explore before they get married is "how to fight". It may seem derogatory, or somehow cynical to focus on how you will fight with each other when you are beginning a new life together, but nothing could be further from the truth. Learning to fight fair has health benefits as ... Read more

Why A 'Married Hall Pass' Won't Fix Your Intimacy Issues

By

Marriage is tough and commitment is not biologically natural, which is one reason when you get married you must commit to monogamy. This is my theory, and although there are many theories in marital therapy, the one that works the best is the one that works for the couple. I find it interesting that humans never change although technology is changing at a ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts
Friends lunching

Want to Derail Your Relationship? Listen to this Common Advice

Advice from well-meaning friends and family doesn't always help and may even be harmful.

Guy Checking Out Woman At The Market

When Temptation Strikes: Dealing With Attraction to Someone Else

Is natural for human beings to be emotionally or physically attracted to others?

Tips For Re-Entering The Dating Scene After Divorce

10 Tips For Re-Entering The Dating Scene After Divorce

Divorced? It's time for you to get out and meet your match!

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Resources
How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no time…

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>
HOT STUFF!
FROM OUR PARTNERS