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Marrying your opposite
04-11-2004, 05:15 PM
Post: #1
Marrying your opposite

I think what prompted me with this was that thread about Bob Geldof in the old forum. The bit where he mentions how people can marry someone way different from themselves, then get fed up with them after a few years.

I was recently reading that it is common, very common, for people to choose their 'opposite' for a partner. For instance a man who is a bit reserved might choose a woman who is very outgoing. They might be dissimilar, but what is happening is that each makes up for something lacking or underdeveloped in the other. The woman might depend on the man to make decisions that need a bit of thinking through, whereas the man depends on the woman to create a social life for them.

The trouble comes after a few years when they both realise that their personal values are all different, and this can lead to a breakdown in the relationship.

Is this as common as it is claimed do you think? I have to say Sandy and I are different. For instance she is much more likely than I am to want to fill up our calendar with engagements, whereas I like to keep it as free as [possible - if it is all boked up I feel trapped!

Anyone else here living with their opposite? Is it a good formula for success or is it a recipe for disaster if you're not careful?

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04-11-2004, 05:36 PM
Post: #2
Marrying your opposite
I think choosing an "opposite" as a partner is a BIG mistake. Certainly, it creates "fireworks" and a feeling of great passion, but as you say, over time the differences begin to grate.

I married my opposite. It was instant romance, passion and desire...but after just three years I realised I could not spend my life with someone whose goals and ideals were so radically different from my own. In the beginning, I thought we'd both learn from each other and compromise - but instead my husband's attitude to everything just made me even more determined to do everything my own way. C'est la vie.

Simon and I are different, but by no means opposite. We complement each other. He is quite reserved and quiet whereas I am very gregarious and outgoing. He is laid back and I am a panicker and a worrier. BUT, we share the same ideals, we want the same things, and we enjoy doing the same things. We are different enough to learn from each other, but no so different that we lead parallel lives and never the twain shall meet.

We also share the same views on where and how to live, children, families and all the "big" stuff.

The only thing we DON'T agree is on is how much money it costs to support me!!
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04-11-2004, 08:08 PM
Post: #3
Marrying your opposite
I think we;'re complimentary rather than opposite.


Whilst we both share the same life goals, we both have differing character traits/skills which mean we can help each other out. Frinstance, he's an entertainer, who makes friends very easily, but sometimes lacks judgement. I, on the other hand, find making friends much harder, but am a better judge of character.

He look after the money, I spend it.
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05-11-2004, 08:16 AM
Post: #4
Marrying your opposite
floopy Wrote:Frinstance, he's an entertainer...
"Frinstance" - did he get teased a lot at school?

I'm with Floops and Ceri. Same goals in life, same belief system. Different strengths and weaknesses.

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05-11-2004, 08:44 AM
Post: #5
Marrying your opposite
Yes I'd agree with Ceri, Floops and Blink too. Mr V and I differ in lots of ways in terms of personality but we tend to balance each other out. We do however share core beliefs/views about what's important, life goals and we laugh at the same things.
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05-11-2004, 11:16 AM
Post: #6
Marrying your opposite
Ah - we don't laugh at the same things. We laugh at each other.

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05-11-2004, 11:26 AM
Post: #7
Marrying your opposite
floopy Wrote:I think we;'re complimentary rather than opposite.

Not sure if there is much difference though, main point being that one person makes up for what is not present in the other one?

Anyway, so far nobody seems to think of it as a problem that they and their partner's characters are different.

Have to say though - I'm not entirely sure about this 'sharing life's goals'. What does that mean?

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05-11-2004, 11:31 AM
Post: #8
Marrying your opposite
I would say "life goals" are the big stuff...like your ideals/morality, do you want children, where do you want to live and in what manner, when do you want to retire, how do you want to live (scruffy or spotless, quiet or loud, town or country), religious beliefs, and attitude towards each other's family/friends.

I think if you have those things in common you won't go far wrong, no matter whether one likes rock music and the other classical or whatever.

Equally, you share the same personality traits (e.g. gregarious, reserved, etc) and hobbies, but if the "big" stuff doesn't fit I would say you have no hope.
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05-11-2004, 11:39 AM
Post: #9
Marrying your opposite
I agree that some of those big things are important. For instance the children issue. But as for the rest - surely it would be deadly dull if you agreed on it all and set it in stone. Surely it's the differences, and the willingness to change, that make things interesting?

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05-11-2004, 11:57 AM
Post: #10
Marrying your opposite
I wouldnt say so, not unless you thrive on conflict.


Quote: Originally Posted by floopy
I think we;'re complimentary rather than opposite.

Quote:Not sure if there is much difference though, main point being that one person makes up for what is not present in the other one?

There's a very definite difference imo. Pink and mauve are complimentary, whereas red and blue are opposite.

Pink and mauve share the same fundamental components, but with differing quantities of each. Red and blue are strikingly different and will often clash.
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