Can Differences Help A Relationship?Dec 15th, 2009 | Author: admin | Category: Fly Features
Can the differences between you and your loved one actually help or hurt your relationship? Now before you answer, I’m not talking about trivial differences like, “she likes Italian food, and I like Mexican.” No; I’m referring to the major differences that define the true makeup of a person.
Well the concept in itself is fascinating to me, so when I ran across this feature in Men’s Health, I had to share it. Check it out, and as always, let me know your thoughts.
Diversity can make a couple dynamic. But opposites may not always attract forever.
“What matters is how they actively deal with their emotional response to the differences,” says psychologist Alan Fruzzetti, Ph.D., author of The High-Conflict Couple.
Neutralize these potential problems now to ensure a long and happy future together.
You’re Jewish, She’s Catholic
Cause for concern: 3.5 out of 5
You’re both faithful; that’s a big connection. A study of 50 married couples found the same level of intimacy with interfaith and same-religion couples. The mixed couples just took care to understand and respect each other’s religion.
Ask her this: “So, then, baptism or bris?”
Make plans now to avoid a future holy war, says Susan Campbell, Ph.D., the author of Saying What’s Real.
You’re GOP, She’s a Donkey
Cause for concern: 1 out of 5
“Approach political discussions with an attitude of curiosity about what makes her tick, rather than attempting to change her mind,” says Lee Raffel, M.S.W., the author of I Hate Conflict! Spouses influence each other and develop similar political attitudes as their marriage progresses according to University of California researchers.
Ask her this: “Want to go Lincoln-Douglas style?”
Debate is good for your health. Couples who suppressed their anger the most were twice as likely to die during a 17-year study as more expressive couples.
She Racks Up Debt, You Save
Cause for concern: 5 out of 5
Financial issues are among the leading causes of divorce (22 percent said money was a factor), second only to abuse, in a 2007 poll. “When there’s no meeting of the minds about money, there’s no trust,” says Raffel. As the saver, you’ll feel burdened and betrayed, which can translate to suspicion and hypervigilance. Then she’ll become defiant or dishonest. Cue vicious cycle.
Ask her this: “Mind if I sneak a peek at your financials, baby?”
If you’re talking rug rats, exchange credit reports and bank statements to find your dual financial footing. That could scare her straight or calm you down. Not at audit-ready intimacy? Learn her fiscal policy by asking how she’s handling her 401(k) in this stormy economy.
She Wants a Clan, You Want 2 Kids
Cause for concern: 4 out of 5
“Motherhood is a critical, key role that’s sometimes an aspect of a woman’s identity,” says Elizabeth Saenger, Ph.D., a psychologist based in New York City. “If she’s not able to have that, she may feel incomplete.” But if the brood’s too big for you, resentment may flare.
Ask her this: “Would you settle for two kids and a regular Yahtzee night?”
Understand why she wants a large family (e.g., she came from one) and why you prefer it smaller (e.g., financial worry), then look for options that may satisfy you both, such as adopting her family traditions or starting a smart savings plan.
She’s a Neat Freak, You’re a Slob
Cause for concern: 2 out of 5
She doesn’t want to nag. Really. “Have her make a list of the messes that irk her most,” says Raffel. “Then see to it that they’re taken care of.” Perform daily acts of spontaneous tidiness to please her. Even small sacrifices may mean more to women when they’re born of sincerity, say the authors of a 2007 study.
Ask her this: “Can we bring another woman home?”
If you’re married or spend more than 4 nights a week together, spring for a cleaning service. A man creates 7 additional hours of housework a week for his wife, according to University of Michigan researchers.
So what are your thoughts? Can real differences make or break a relationship?
Talk to me.
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