Handling Differences In Marriage

If you didn’t know, Austin and I are complete opposites in just about everything. So, we’re talking about how you can handle your differences in marriage.

Transcription:

Welcome to the love of adventure podcast, where we talk about the marriage relationships in the marriage and how you can go deeper with your spouse. Today, we’re talking about how you can handle your differences in your marriage.

Differences. I thought we were pretty much the same person, though.

Yeah, if you’re just tuning in with us and haven’t been following us for a while, then you won’t know this. But we are complete opposites. And like everything,

I mean, this Yeah, it’s kind of a central theme to the blog, to our other podcast, that we’ve kind of approached. I don’t know, virtually everything.

Pretty much. And I’m not saying that most people don’t marry their opposite. Like, I mean, very, very often do people marry the person that has, you know, the extrovert is with the instinct or introvert or whatever. But I think you and I probably share very few shared interests have very few like, oh, we really fall in the same Yeah,

I mean, there’s, there’s some, there are some core overlaps and things like that. But yeah, a lot of our tastes and music and, yeah, entertainment, food. A lot of stuff is different.

A lot of it is so you know before we got married, did you know how different we were?

Probably not the depths of differences.

I guess when you’re dating, it’s really hard to know, right? It’s like you’re going out on dates to do the same things.

Yeah, yeah. Cuz I mean, like, we were going to go see the same movie together, we were going to go to the same restaurant together those kinds of things, but also, there, you know, there are some differences that aren’t going to show up until you’re living together. And so, you know, just simple little things about where the toilet lid should be. Not the toilet seat, ladies and gentlemen. That’s right. I had the toilet seat thing. Correct. I had that down pat. And then found out that the toilet lid is closed, equally important to my wife. And so I was like, oh, man, she lucked out. She already put the toilet seat down.

It’s obvious you’ve never dropped anything in the toilet like your hairbrush. stuck in your head? I have thrown it you’re I have.

I haven’t because I don’t throw things around in the bathroom. I don’t know why you did as a teenager, but I didn’t.

I’ve dropped so much crap in the toilet. So yeah, yeah, not really the thing. I don’t know. I mean, I guess I knew we were different. But like you said, not quite to the extent

Oh, no. Yeah, absolutely knew that we were different. But I mean, I expected it. Yeah. Oh, yeah.

I expected that we would have differences because we didn’t. I mean, if you grew up in a different household than anyone, you’re gonna have just like differences about, you know, how your household runs, or what you’re expecting. I mean, like, in my family, we always did family dinners. So when you and I get married, I feel like that was a really difficult adjustment for you, because I expected family dinners, like on your own schedule,

family dinners were part of my childhood, that sort of went away in my teenage years, just coincidentally, not because I was a teenager, but around that time in my life that that kind of went away. And so yeah, I got very used to, you know, like I said, eating on my own schedule, eating, you know, an individually prepared meal. I mean, not that we never, you know, like cooked a meal together as a family or, and things like that. But it was not a staple in my home through my teenage years and leading up to marriage like it was for you.

Yeah, that was definitely probably one of the first differences I really had to deal with. So how do you feel about our differences? Or how different we are when you start realizing oh, wow.

Um, I don’t I feel about the differences, though. So how do you feel about now?

Now, I embrace it and appreciate it. Make fun of it and laugh about it, you know, those kinds of things. Because we spent, we spent so many years working through our differences and making them into strengths rather than points of conflict. We decided that you know what, you’re good at this. And I’m good at that. And that makes us better together. Or, you know, you view things through this lens, and I view them through this lens. So that gives us a broader picture and began to embrace those things I would say at the beginning. I really don’t know if I’m struggling like I know it was difficult. I know that it was difficult. I’m trying to remember how that played out because it really was 18 years down the road now for We got married in 2018 2003. What am I saying?

I don’t know what you’re saying? No, we got married in 2003.

Are both numbers? Yeah.

So it was a very long time ago. I know, I know that it was a challenge. I know that it was difficult. And there were also, you know, what I would say is, I think the biggest difference, not only have I learned to embrace the differences, not only have I learned to love those, you know, whenever you hit me with something I didn’t expect, that is now an amazing thing. That’s a great thing. Most of the time, you know, but I would say that the misunderstanding of differences because now we can, we can recognize conflict, and chase it down a lot easier than when we first got married. And I think for a long time, you and I had a conflict, that was coming out of differences in our like core identities, our personality types, our values, our upbringing, you know, what, or personal preferences, whatever the difference was, and we didn’t recognize the difference. And so, conflict resolution, when you don’t even know why the conflict is happening when you don’t understand that at a fundamental level, there’s a problem here is made things a lot more difficult. And now I think, I think we drill to the core of that a lot faster than we used to.

Yeah. And so when we’re talking about differences, you know, I think some of our top differences that have been the most difficult thing for me was just the way we interpret what someone else says. And you and I can go into a conversation and literally walk away with a different meaning from what that person was actually saying. Yeah, yeah. And I don’t know if one of us is right or wrong in that, but I am telling you that. So like we could have a, you know, a conversation with each other. And I think I’m saying one thing, and because of the way you interpret the world, you are hearing something else. And that was probably the, like, biggest difference between us that I didn’t recognize as being different. 

I don’t, I can’t put my finger on a moment when that changed. Or if it was more of like, we just got slowly better at it over time. But I feel like now we are pretty quick to say, Okay, what do you think you’re saying right now? Because here’s what I’m hearing. And you’re like, that’s not what I was saying. You know, okay, I’m granting you that. So are you explaining yourself better, please? Yeah, that’s, that’s been a big part of our

Oh, yeah, there are definitely times when you think I mean, something by what I say. And honestly, I don’t even know what I mean. And by the time I, what did you mean, when you said that? I actually didn’t think in advance that I just,

I don’t words were coming out. I didn’t think and then words happened. I’m sorry.

So that was definitely one of the top things that we differed on. That was a huge struggle. What are some other top things that you think, pose big problems in our marriage? Because I don’t, you know, I mean, I say pose big problems. They are still here. And they are still problems. We work through them faster. But at the start, we had no idea. Right? Right.

Okay, so you said that we interpret things differently. Oh, yeah. Yeah, I get my, the other one that I’m thinking of is kind of the same thing. It’s verbal, it’s communication, just that you are way less precise than I am. Oh, yeah. About it everything. And I think way less than, you know, this, is that that is not true. It’s not no, absolutely not. No, no, I am on a regular basis. I’m like, when do you come up with this stuff? You know, like, I’m trying to think of like, when in your day, do you have time to think through the nature of your relationship to so and so or whatever it is, you know, like,

I think it happens much faster than you think. Okay, okay. So you’re just leaping to conclusions. Whereas I’m overanalyzing? Yeah. Oh, okay. All right, well, then, Oh, that makes sense.

Do you think I spent that much time really analyzing any of this stuff I just a five minutes I’m just

imagining that you’re spending hours that I’m unaware of, by the way, hours where I’m I don’t know where I’m out of the house or you’re in the backyard or something and you’re just, you know, sitting by a lake meditating and pondering the nature of, of your friends’ relationship with their spouse, you know, or what’s happening in the housing market in DFW or whatever, because you always come to me and you’re like Sabah’s. That’s the thing. You always come to me and say, What do you say? What do you say? I was thinking, hey, here’s the primary Hello. Oh, you do? Because when I say I was thinking, I mean, I had a thought. If I said I was thinking an hour an hour minimum that I’ve given to this, which is not terribly often that’s the thing.

Like, have you thought about what you know, I have not late, ladies and gentlemen. Ladies, gentlemen, you’ve arrived at why we’re doing this. This moment that just happened live on the air. We just had a marital breakthrough in our communication abilities.

Apparently, we need to address this differently.

I mean, for years, I used to make fun of you in some regard. Like I would say it tongue in cheek, but I 100% meant this, that whenever you would come to me and say, so I was thinking there would be this like Audible sigh Oh, yeah, of me going.

I know, how is my life, actually, how

is my life about to change? Because for years, when you came to me and said, so I’ve been thinking, it was like, so I’ve been thinking, I think I’m ready for another child. Or I’ve been thinking, we should move. I’ve been thinking, let’s completely redecorate the entire house. I’ve been thinking, I want to get a job, or you know,

like me to scare you even a little bit more now, you know? So I think I’m about to scare you even more in this. I never really had full plans and thoughts key thoughts. Like, I was on the toilet a minute ago. And I thought you know, we really needed another baby. Hey, baby, I was thinking time to have our next kid is the extent of my thinking.

So, all this time, when you were saying I was thinking or I’ve been thinking that’s the other one that hits me. I’ve been thinking, Okay, now you’ve sat and thought for an hour on multiple occasions, because you’ve been thinking, and really what you mean is I just had an idea popped into my head, possibly within the last five minutes. Yeah. And I’m going to share it with you as though it’s a full-fledged plan. And idea. Wow. Amazing. That is amazing.

So And aside from communication, things that we differ on that our top differences that were very hard for us to work through was just the way that we relax. Oh my gosh, this was really honestly, this was such a big fight.

This is our classic example of communication. Because we talked about defining terms in your relationship and, and, and with your personal feelings and things. And one of the terms that we had to define early in our marriage was relaxed. Because I would say, you if you said to me, Hey, let’s relax tonight. Let’s chill out tonight. I immediately assumed that meant what kind of pizza do you want? And what movie? Do you want to watch it?

Who actually shares it? Did I ever say relax? Or did I say I need a break? Either way? Yeah, either way, because I don’t recall ever really saying the words relax. I was when I would say I need a break. Right? Do you interpret that as relaxing?

Well, I still think you define relax differently than I do. But either way, yeah, that’s the thing is you would say I need a break. And I’m like, me too. Awesome. And you know, for me, that meant chilling out watching a movie, you know, hanging out at the house, whatever. And for you a break. And maybe you’re exactly right. It’s a break for you a break means I need a break from this house that I’m in all the time. And so we would have these pretty big blowouts every now and then, about like, you know, I’m ready to plop down and watch a movie and you’re like, I’m ready to go. And I’m like, What are you talking about? Yeah, we’re not going. We’re gonna take a break. You’re like, I’ve been thinking, let’s go out.

Yeah, actually, because of that difference. You would think I wasn’t actually taking care of myself. Like I did have some care because oh, she’s not sitting down. She’s sat down all day. So she needs a break. And I want her to sit down and I’m like, going into 18 years, two years to understand that you don’t have an off switch. You just don’t stop. And Keelie calls herself the Energizer Bunny, you know, she just keeps going. And she will keep doing things until she collapses. And I think I’ve helped you out a little bit. Oh, yeah, absolutely. But my problem is I like what’s the opposite of the Energizer Bunny, I don’t even know. The Duracell dinosaur. I don’t know. I was like, I have a hard time getting going. Now once I get going. I do like tend to like to keep rolling. But I am much, much, much more ready to chill out than you are. You’re like, what’s, what’s the next thing? Gotta gotta go? Does Gotta go? And that is reflected in your break in your what’s the word? I’m looking for leisure?

Well, you know, that’s the thing, though, is you say, Well, I have a hard time stopping and disconnecting if we are at our house or a place where I am responsible, right? I will always be in.

If there’s time. There’s time to clean mode. Yeah. So, in order to keep from that being the case, I have to go out of town, go to someone’s house go to somewhere where I don’t have to be responsible.

Right? Yeah. So we’ve had to help each other. And we balance each other out in that way. Because, again, embracing the difference, you know, you have learned to chill out a little bit, you’ve learned how to clock out when you’re at home. And granted, it’s still not second nature to you yet. It’s still a what’s the word? I’m looking for your conscious decision that you have to make? And then you’ve pushed me in the direction of hey, I’ve actually found myself thinking,

myself thinking I’d like to go out tonight. How long did you? How did you have to think about it? an hour, an hour at least? That’s been what I’ve been thinking for an hour, it’s time to go home now. But I have I’ve thought alright, you know what, we’ve done a lot of stuff that at the house-made COVID was a man. It. It pushed me to the edge of how much do I like to be in the house and chill? And actually, I don’t know that it pushed me to my edge. I really don’t, I thought that the pandemic shutdown was going to make me realize how much I need to get out of the house and go and do and blah, blah, blah, and nope, it did not it confirmed who I am. But it did push me in the direction of I know that you need to get out, I know, the kids need to get out some of them more than others. And so if I don’t, if I don’t plan a day, where we’re going to say, hey, you know what, we’re going to clock out Friday early, and we’re going to go down to the park and we’re just going to walk around because that’s all we can do right now. And have had to again, embrace that difference and say, let’s, let’s go do this because this is going to feed my family. 

So so, you know, differences cause a lot of struggles. And obviously, you have to work through that in your marriage, but there are benefits to having differences, too. So what do you think are some of the biggest benefits to how we’re different?

Rounding each other out, you know, filling in each other’s gaps. And sometimes that means it means literally filling in your gap, as I step into the gap where you’re lacking. But sometimes I feel like maybe I’m pouring into your gaps, you’re pouring into my gaps, where, like I said, there there are, there are parts of my personality that have developed and have grown. Because of you being there and your influence or me watching you know, watching your example. And that kind of thing. There used to be nothing I hated, dreaded more than picking up a phone and calling someone. And now I do it on a regular basis and have for years in multiple contexts, like at work at all different kinds of jobs, and at home with friends, family, those kinds of things. And so that’s, that’s an example of not you making up for my, my lack there. But you building that up in my life. And then there are other times where it is and maybe always will be us making up for each other’s lag, not building it up in the other person. But just stepping into that gap.

Right? Well, I think it does. I think it does both because, exactly.

You know, one thing that I learned about myself was obviously that I don’t take breaks. And I remember you went out of town for some reason, who knows probably many youth camps you went to and I would like I would not stop because I don’t watch TV naturally on my own. I had no reason to ever stop working. And I remember by like day three or something of you being out of town like I was so so exhausted. And you know, when I was a teenager and stuff I could probably go go go like that early 20s But by the time you’re getting into your 30s and stuff, you know, I really do need to let my body just rest here and I realized that because I wanted to be with you and you have differences in me. Like I needed that and having you there I did it and I feel like that has actually been occurring With walks like you’ve wanted to take a lot more walks, I feel like that was a big struggle for us. Yeah. Mary, like you never wanted to go on a walk. But I walked all the time. Yeah. So I do think there are there, that’s a benefit as well filling in the gaps. But also, like, you just get so used to doing something you sort of end up craving eventually.

Yeah, and that and that can be one of the ways, of filling in the gap rather than standing in it. And by standing in the gap. I mean, like, you know, when it comes to technology, like, I don’t care that you own and operate a website company, not technologically deficient. And it’s fine because I can do it for you. And there are some things that I’ve taught you to do, and you’re going to handle those. But there, man, you know, folks, listen, there are times where she just hands me the phone and says it’s not doing a thing, make it do the thing. Yeah. And that’s, you know, I appreciate that, by the way, cuz, right. I know a lot of people who have to, you know, they just deal with not being able to make their phone work. They just don’t know how to do it.

Like, okay, so that’s, that’s a very practical example. Another very practical example on my end. And this is so dumb, and at the moment, at the moment, I felt really dumb. Okay, Okay, are you ready for this?

I’m on the edge of my seat. We went to New York City, okay, for part of our vacation. I spent a day in New York City. And we needed to get on the subway. And like, as soon as we walked through the doors, I went, I am out of my element. Ever. I hate every part of this. I do not want to be here, right? And there was like, no one wants to be on the subway. Do they know that? It wasn’t the subway? What was it? It was? How do we get on the subway? That was the problem. And there were 1000 Little details. There’s a guy in a booth. But you don’t buy your tickets from the guy in the booth. There’s a ticket machine. And there are four ticket machines. And three of them did one thing, and one of them did a different thing. And three, two of the three were down for repairs, and we’re rebooting. And, and I’m just standing there and I’m going as I went into complete overwhelm of like I how do I solve this pack? Silly? Yeah. And you turned to me and said, Why don’t you ask the guy in the booth.

I dare you. I came. And I said, I said, I want you to know, this is a moment of vulnerability. This is a moment of huge personal and marriage growth. I turned to my wife and said, Can you? She said, Why don’t you ask the guy in the booth. And I couldn’t I literally I couldn’t, I was not going to happen. We were not going to ride the subway this day. And I just turned to you and said, Can you because I knew you can walk up to this person in you know, you’re not overwhelmed right now. It’s that’s not who you are. And so you walked up to the person and opened your mouth. That’s all I needed you to do. You open your mouth. And you’re like, um, I need to know. And I immediately stepped in behind you when we’re trying to get from here to here. And I don’t know which ticket to buy and blah, blah, blah. And I don’t know what it was. I don’t know what it was about my inability to just open my mouth and talk to the guy in the booth. 

This is what I asked him to do it because he was like, I think we post No, right now if I have to figure out what stop we’re supposed to get off. We are not gonna get so this was perfect, this is a perfect combination of our topic right here. This was you had none of the information to ask him. I’m like, Sure I am. I don’t know what I’m asking him. But, um, can you get me down here I have to get to this vote. Keelie walks up was like, um, we need to get across the other place and do the thing where there’s a boat? Can you tell us how to get to the boat, you know, if you had none of the information and didn’t care? And you were still going to have the conversation, I had all of the information and could not have the conversation. could not take step one. Right? 

And, and that was huge, because like, I wanted to, like solve this problem for you. For our family, like the kid that was the other thing like that was part of the overwhelm was like the kids are in tow looking at dad. And I’m like, I don’t know what that though. And so we filled each other in there. You know, and in other circumstances in other situations, I would have been fine, but wouldn’t have been 10 years ago, because that’s where you have filled me in and you’ve said You know, you’ve helped me to improve those areas of my life and become better in those areas. But then there are times where it’s just maybe it’ll change one day, but it certainly hasn’t changed today. And so make it happen. And I love the fact that we have I feel like we’ve reached a point in our relationship where we can do that. I can say Hey, kill like I will do this eventually. I guarantee you, but it will take two weeks. I’m pretty sure to do it today.

Pretty sure there have been times where I have literally picked up the phone and start I’m making a call that I did not have the information to handle and you’ve been like,

yeah, plenty of times. Yeah.

I just knew if I didn’t start making that call I was never gonna convey, but I didn’t know what to add. There are times where I’m like, Alright, baby, here, do this on your phone, and you’re like, boop, boop, wait, what’s the next thing and I just give me your phone? You know, you’re like, I don’t have Android. What is Android? I don’t have an Android.

I can do things on my phone. Right. And, and, and again, maybe one day, we’ll both you know, improve in those areas, but there’ll be other areas. So we help each other out and do it where the other person can’t, but also teach the other person where we can.

So the end of this episode, we want to give the couples that are struggling with differences, like a little piece of advice. So what’s your biggest piece of advice for a couple of it’s like, oh, my gosh, we’re driving each other crazy. 

One, can I give two? 

Okay. If you’ve got my two, well, my two big things, the first one is would probably be my first piece of advice will in I tell you what, we’ll end every episode with this. And then the other thing, some other thing, the first piece is to be a team. The first piece of advice is, you’re different, that’s fine, be a team. We say that here at the house all the time, whether it’s being Keeley or it’s being Healy, and the boys, we say team reason, we are all on the same team here, we’re not fighting against each other, we’re fighting with each other. So be a team. The second thing is to embrace the difference. Love the difference, right? You, by the way, you married that person, you love them, presumably, hopefully. And so all of the things that make them different from you are the things that are part of that person you love. So embrace those differences, learn from those differences, except those differences. And one thing that we didn’t talk about is like, you know, we’ve had differences that are still there. And we don’t laugh about and are not fun, and all those kinds of things. And we’ve learned to embrace those two, we’ve learned that look, you’re just going to drive me crazy about this thing. But that’s okay. Because I love you more than then that difference?

I think that would probably be my advice is, you know, figure out how to be okay. Yeah, those differences, because I’m gonna tell you, I know couples who’ve been married 5060 years, they still have, I mean, like the same core fights, they have been having their whole marriage. And it’s simply because of these core differences of who they are. 

And it comes up in literally every context. And even if they love each other, and they’re a great couple, they’re still gonna butt heads over these, these things. So it’s really important that you learn how to fight in a way that is productive. But also just accept that, okay, there may not be a real solution here, we’re just gonna have to be okay. 

You know, like, for us, I finally realized that if I wanted to go out and do something, and you didn’t really want to go out and do it, you didn’t feel left out. And that’s a difference between us. So that was actually really freeing, because I’m like, oh, I can’t actually go to this thing, and it’s not going to bother him. But it’s a core issue. And for a long, you know, it’s always gonna kind of be there, and we’re gonna always be dancing around it. So, you know, my advice is just kind of identifying what those things are, and accept them. 

You know, like what you were saying, and, and compromise where you can. So yeah, I have three things. Oh, yeah, three things compromise. Compromise, where you can meet in the middle, you know, it’s a, and I’m thinking of even the stupid little differences, like how you do your toothpaste, fine. Both of you get your own toothpaste, there’s an easy compromise, you know, find those

seeing if we have to, I’d rather just go to the kitchen. Get ready without a mirror. I mean, like, we’ve done it. And we did it for a long time. But we got to sing through, I was like, this is our marriage.

That’s okay. My parents had like separate bathrooms, they didn’t get ready in the same bathroom. Alright, guys, thanks so much for joining us today. And we invite you to check out love of adventure.com We’ve been blogging over there for like eight years now, seven or eight years, somewhere around there, there is so much content on our website, most 700 articles. 

And, you know, you will be able to get a lot of marriage tips on relationship, intimacy, and just date nights, which is something really, really important to us. So go over there and check that out. And also be sure to sign up for our newsletter. And you will always get notified about our latest podcast blogs, and all the other things that are on my mind, which this is like the most exclusive content you’re gonna get because there’s a lot of stuff that goes on that newsletter that I don’t put anywhere else online. 

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