Thursday, July 23, 2009

Do opposites attract?

Well, sometimes it would seem to be so.

After all, as Larry Burkett, the Christian financial counselor once said, "If two people just alike get married, one of you is unnecessary."

There are some things where you will be opposites.

One of you may be a morning person, the other a night owl. That's okay, the morning person makes the coffee and gets the day started, while the night owl makes sure everyone is tucked in and locks the doors and generally shuts things down for the night.

One of you will be cold all the time (hint, it's the wife) and the other will be begging for a cooling breeze as he sweats himself to death.

One of you will tend to want to be early for everything, the other will be late to his/her own funeral.

Other opposites you can have in marriage have to do with which one tends to be neat and which one untidy; one will talk all of the time, the other will just grunt (75-80% of the time it is the woman who is the talker, but not always); your styles of music may only overlap in some areas (e.g. you both love the Beatles, but one of you loves old Cajun music and the other loathes it).

These opposites are superficial. They are part of what makes you two right for each other. Each of you brings a strength where the other has a weakness. You complement each other in these things.

There are some places where it does not pay to be opposites, however. Studies have shown over and over that the more alike you are in some crucial ways, the more likely you are to stay together.

Religion is one of these. Even if neither of you believe in any particular organized religion, you need to be in agreement as to how to handle this one. Especially if you have children someday, you don't want one person begging to take the kid to church and the other resenting it. If you have differing beliefs, that's fine, but work out how you will handle those differences in a mature way.

Outlaws -- oops, I mean, in-laws. Well, you know the jokes about this one. You need to agree in advance how much influence, and when, and in what areas, your in-laws will have. Dave Ramsey, another Christian financial counselor, says to do yourself a favor and be married at least a year before you buy a house together because it takes that long to know how close to your mother-in-law you really want to live. Get a handle on this one early, set good boundaries early. If you let in-laws really and truly control you in one situation one time, they will think they should do it all the time. You be in control of your household.

The above does not mean never taking advice, it means weighing that advice against what is really best for the two of you, and doing what is right for you, not for your parents, or to keep your parents pacified.

Kids -- whether to have them or not, and why, and how to raise them. Make sure one of you is not dying to have a passel of ankle-biters while the other never wants a kid other than a niece or nephew in the house. If you both want them, why? To serve your interests, or to raise them up for the Glory of God and the good of society? How many? When? (Hint, interfering in-law advice to follow, your mileage may vary -- not in the first year, get used to each other first before adding another person to the mix.) Get on the same page here.

The 4th area where agreement is vital is in the area of finances. This one will take up a whole posting of its own, probably more than one. If you can come to an agreement here, and work together on it, it will strengthen and keep your marriage together. One of the main causes of divorce in our society is money fights and money problems. Get in agreement here, and you will have a deep bond that will be a hedge against the forces of society that will try to pull you apart.

Today is:

All American Soap Box Derby Day

Cutesy-Wootsie Day

Feast of Sulis

Fiesta de Santiago, Guatemala

Gorgeous Grandma Day

Hot Enough For Ya Day

Haile Selassi I birthday -- Rastafarian

National Hot Dog Day (Seem to be a lot of these, with different sponsors.)

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day

Soma No Umadi, Japan (Wild Horse Chasing)

St. Apollinaris' Feast

St. Bridget's Day

Birthdays Today:

Daniel Radcliffe, 1989
Harold "Pee Wee" Reese, 1918

Today in History:

Byzantine Empire loses control of most of Palestine to the Arabs, 636
Crusaders attack Damascus, 1148
Battle of Shrewsbury, the Percys against King Henry IV, resulting in the death of Henry Percy (Harry Hotspur) at the age of 39, 1403
Napoleon captures Alexandria, Egypt, 1798
Lou Gehrig, New York Yankee, hits the first of his 23 career grand slam home runs, 1925

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