Why Being Total Opposites Is Actually A Good Thing

Photo: getty
Why Being Total Opposites Is Actually A Good Thing

Back in September of 1998, my husband Chris and I flew to Maui for our destination wedding. It was a gorgeous and unforgettable stay, but one choice I made sticks with me to this day, and has taught me a lesson about whether or not opposites attract, and not needing to be joined at the hip as a married couple.

I saw that the hotel was providing free scuba lessons in the pool, and I asked my soon-to-be husband if he wanted to take lessons. He refused, so I chucked the idea as we did other things.

RELATED: Anyone In A Truly Happy Marriage Knows These 5 Secrets, According To A Happiness Expert

Knowing what I know now, I would’ve gone ahead and taken the free scuba lessons, and returned back east to hit up a scuba diving and snorkeling shop to take even more lessons and get my diving gear. So, with this marriage advice, couples can understand that they don't need to do everything together. Here's why.

1. New hobbies make you interesting.

Scuba diving, here I come! All these years later, I still haven’t taken the plunge into the deep end of a scuba diving pool or open water class, but I believe I will soon. Whether my husband joins me or not, I’ve learned that it’s okay — healthy, even — to have different interests as a married couple, without fear of it spelling the death knell of a marriage.

I learned that sage piece of marriage advice from Dr. Phil’s Relationship Rescue book, and it was sort of a revelation to me years ago when it first dawned on me that it’s okay if you like tennis, for example, and your wife likes golf.

I guess I was so accustomed to my mostly unhappily married parents not conducting any of their pleasurable life activities together that my logic swung me over to the other extreme end of the pendulum whereby I thought happy couples engaged in 90 percent of their fun times together.

RELATED: The Scientific Reason We Fall In Love With Our Polar Opposite

2. It helps you find the perfect balance during outings. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that couples should go about living separate lives with separate friends and only come together when it’s time to do something required for the children.

Thankfully, my husband and I still enjoy watching TV, movies and driving around looking at houses together, along with other activities. But I’ve learned not to get dismayed if he’s not ready to join my HIIT boot camp classes yet, and it’s no problem for him if I don’t thrill at the chance to knock back 18 holes with him at the golf course.

I’ve witnessed firsthand how enjoying activities with other people makes us more interesting as well rounded individuals.

It reminds me of Brad Pitt’s first attraction to Angelina Jolie, an actress who was flying planes and had adopted her first child prior to meeting Pitt. She wasn’t sitting around waiting for her life to start by the time she met him. Therefore, even after we meet and marry the men of our dreams, our lives shouldn’t stop.

RELATED: 15 Men Reveal How Important Common Interests Are In Their Romantic Relationships

Paula Mooney is an author or multiple books (mostly written under pseudonyms) about love and relationships. Her work has also been featured in numerous national media outlets, like Yahoo, Examiner and others.