We have all heard the saying “opposites attract.” And while that is very handy to know when dealing with magnets, when dealing with marriage it is not always so simple. When you marry someone who is your opposite you are inevitably going to come across moments where you feel as though you’re running into a brick wall trying to get them to see things your way.
That is where the tried and true “compromise and communication make a marriage work” theory comes into play. I’m not just talking about giving in this time so that you have ammo to get what you want the next time a conflict comes up. I’m talking real communication about your needs and compromises that work for both partners.
Recently my husband and I were searching for our first home. We are both out of the military and settling well back into the civilian world. But since he got out we have been living in the state I spent most of my life, where my friends, family and church are. I knew when he first moved up here that there was a good chance this was not going to be our forever home but I asked him to please give it a year.
I needed time to finish some college things and I wrap up loose ends from being in the military so a year would be enough time for me to do that. I asked him to think in that year about where he wanted to go next. I told him that if I was able to get my year here to finish things up I would be happy to pack up and go anywhere that he wanted after that. Leaving the East Coast is not something I ever pictured myself doing once I got out of the military, but my husband was so homesick and missed his family so much while he was in the Marines that I prepared myself to be searching for homes on the West Coast.
Imagine my surprise when he told me he wanted to start looking for houses here! In my state, near my family, near my church. I think I asked him a couple dozen times if he was sure while we were looking at listings our Realtor sent us. I knew that moving closer to family was something he had wanted to do so I needed to make sure he wasn’t staying here just for me.
Yes, going from being eight minutes from the beach to eight hours from the beach wasn’t my ideal, but his parents are older and his nephews are out west so I was ready to give it a shot. He knew he’d just have to buy me a pink parka for the new weather. Instead he told me that the year out here showed him that this is home for him too. He just asked that we look at how often we travel to his family.
He did the same thing to me that we are asked to do in the military. Don’t just bring up a problem; bring a solution. His solution to the “to move or not to move” question was as easy as buying a few more airplane tickets each year to make sure too much time doesn’t elapse between visits. We are already preparing for a Christmas on the West Coast and an April visit from his whole family to see our new home.