We’re Different From Our Partners, and That’s Okay

We're Different From Our Partners, and That's Okay

When two people fall in love, they usually find many, many things that bind them together. A new couple can feel elevated with the ideas that another person sees things the way they do and feels the same way too. These are the experiences that tell us our partnership is the right one.

My Husband / Wife Doesn’t Understand Me

Differences in a Relationship Can Produce Misunderstanding

But after being with our special person for a while we begin to notice how they don’t really get us sometimes. We see how we think about something yet our beloved will think an entirely different thought as if they are speaking another language. This is quite normal as couples move from the “we are just alike stage” to “we used to be alike and now we are different.”

The problem for many couples though is that they don’t like the difference. A lot of people want what they had in the beginning of the relationship and are waiting for their mate to oblige them. Unfortunately for a lot of couples this is a time of great stress and difficulty.

Sometimes, Your Partner Won’t Get You, and That’s Okay

Many couples don’t know what to do when the differences start to appear. It can often feel as if something is wrong because it doesn’t feel like it used to. And that’s why I am writing this to you today. NOTHING IS WRONG. YOU ARE JUST DIFFERENT FROM YOUR MATE!

This thought came home to me the other day. It was a lazy weekend day and my husband and I were sitting around reading the paper, (I know we are old). I was interested in a couple of stories; one was about the participants of the Special Olympics, and the other was about a place in Africa that adopts baby rhinos. I loved each of these stories. They made me feel alive with the world and in my own life.

I read the headlines of all the other news without spending anytime understanding the other stories of the day. And that’s when I had the thought of how different my husband and I are. He reads all the stories I glance over. I read the stories he glances over.

Everyone Is Different, But We Can Appreciate Different Sides of the Same Coin

Husband and Wife Bring Different Perspective to Art, Like Many Things in Life

We live in different bodies, different ideas and different ways of connecting with life and the world. I like what I am interested in, just as much as he likes what tickles his brain. Later that morning we called a mutual friend for a chat. She is a wonderful, older woman we both love.

She lost her husband a year ago and is still feeling the loss. I love her and feel close to her knowing this. I want to talk with her about feelings and life and all the things that fill me up and help me feel connected to another. My husband wants to talk at length about other things that delight him like food and wine and foraging for mushrooms. So who is right?

It’s Okay to Have a Different Perspective

We both are. We are both the way we are and we connect with life the way we know how that makes us each feel good, and it is way different. Does this mean we are not right for each other? No, it just means we understand there are some parts of our relationship where the connection may be different.

I will not feel the fantastic energy my husband feels when he travels in the food and wine world. I know my husband can not feel the same depth I have for the emotional world. Or actually maybe he does in his own way, just as I do when I dip into his universe. And when I am with him in the food and wine world I know he will be my guide. And when it’s time to emote, maybe he thinks the same thing of me that I will be a guide for him too.

Learn More About Differences in a Relationship

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Can’t make it on Monday? Learn more about differences in a relationship, and how to live with them, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you improve your relationship. Give it a read.

Get Couples Counseling

Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.

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