And then my husband said "let's turn a barn into our home!"

My husband was browsing Pinterest when he approached me with this new idea. He asked me excitedly, "Chaun. What if we turn a barn into our house?!" I could tell that he was half-joking.

Which also meant he was half-serious.

I responded with a surprised, but concerned, stare. Then I laughed at him.

I am not a country girl. I need stuff like neighbors and friends and Walmart to feel sane. Taylor, on the other hand, could live in a town with a population of 1000 people, and couldn't be happier than an overly attached girlfriend getting a text from her boyfriend. (Just imagine squeals and giggling, friends.)

Our dream living situation isn't our biggest difference in our marital dreams. We have different opinions on the number of kids and cats we should have. Although we're both painfully cheap, we still have different ways on what we save money for. Even some of our bigger life priorities have different numbers of importance on the scale.

People are different from each other. Including the married ones.

Let's now happily acknowledge that all couples are different from one another, and the people in the coupleships are are vastly different from one another. And it's okay. It's okay to talk about those big differences, so you can work out the kinks and compromises. It's okay to realize there are times when it feels like there can't be viable compromise and hard sacrifices have to be made. Those are tough choices. And it's okay.

Being different is hard. Those differences have made me feel ostracized at one point in our marital career. I fretted constantly because I didn't want the same exact lifestyle as my spouse. This feeling wasn't caused at all by my husband. Rather, the feelings built inside my heart and grew substantially, because I allowed them to grow without saying a word about it. 

Here's the ticker here. Here's how you solve that problem. Write this down: When I finally opened up about my worries (Read: Babbled out nonsensical words as I drank my tears), I felt a HUGE relief! I was free from my self-imposed burden, and had the opportunity to work with my sweet husband to realign our end goals and vision for our life together. 

I had never really forgotten what the end goal was. I just had forgotten how we would get there. That end goal, friends, is for us to both be happy.

It sure is hard to "think together" when only half of the relationship isn't being open about their thoughts. Just pointing that out. :)

Now. About those nefarious personality and dream differences.

Those differences have been stirring up quite the trouble! What do we do about them?

Well, friends, I don't think differences are all that bad to have. For all the differences that we face in a relationship, it brings that much more variety into our lives.

I have told my husband that I support him 100% if he ever accepts a job that meant moving the family to the back country. I told him that the children and I are happy to visit him and his country home on the weekends. ;) A move to the country would be a few minutes outside my comfort zone. However, since it has potential to both make my spouse happy, and something for me to experience, it would be something to consider.

Here's what I'm trying to tell you, my peeps. The personality differences don't have to break a relationship. Instead they can make it richer and fuller. Compromise is sweet and relieving. Sacrifice is life changing, especially when you do it in love for your partner.

How to find the balance between compromise and sacrifice

A long time ago, I read a blog post (HERE) about writing down what your spouse "needs" and then to check with your spouse if you got this right. Taylor and I did this exercise once. I made some wild guesses to what his needs were, and then wrote down my own. Then we compared. I was surprised to learn how I was wrong on his needs. Totally surprised! After all, he's my husband, isn't he? Was he not the "chosen one" that I made vows to across the altar? How did I miss those key qualities about him? But I listened. Then I committed to his needs to the best I could. My husband did the same for me. (He also missed on a few of my "needs".) He learned, he listened, and he prepared changes in his life to make sure there was enough room for my needs too.

One of my needs may or may not be a maine coon kitten. I know, I know, my husband lives with a difficult woman.

In the end, we won't get what we both want forever. At some point I might, maybe, possibly move out to a country bumpkin home for a few years. And then he'll follow me back in later years to my comfortable city home full of frolicking maine coon kittens. In those years of not having our dream home right away, we'll have to make do with feeling the happiness of our spouse's dream coming true. Because love means sharing, peeps. :)

For all those spouses who have realized that they're different from their companions (which is basically every married person here) : I encourage you to be open about your differences, and to be accepting of your spouse's. Try to write down your and your spouse's needs. Work together to see what can be done to satisfy both, and see where sacrifices need to be made. 

Because friends, for all the differences that we bring to our marriage table, that much more we better from.

Any thing you want to add to approaching differences with your spouse? Share below!

1 comment:

  1. Those are some great thoughts on finding the right ground between sacrifice and compromise! I'll have to think some more about that...


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