It’s OK If You Aren’t “On The Same Page”
If you have been following me for a while, you know that my husband and I are complete opposites.
I’m not talking about “we don’t agree on the way to load the dishwasher” kind of opposites, I mean fundamental ways that we view the world, deep core beliefs kind of opposites.
We disagree about money, sex, parenting, spirituality, home organization, the kinds of cars we buy, where we go on vacation, the color of our walls. We’ve even argued once about whether or not he should have an opinion about my hair.
I’m an eternal optimist and he is a perpetual pessimist. I am messy and he is organized. I am artsy and he is utilitarian.
We spent the first 10 years of our marriage in a constant cycle of being angry and hurt when the other would do something that annoyed us, arguing, trying to change to appease the other, feeling horrible resentment that he couldn’t accept me as I am (and vice versa), trying desperately to convince the other that our way was the right way, and then getting angry and hurt when they didn’t.
I know that you have done the same things with many of the same issues. I see you, my friend.
The thought that changed it all for me was this:
It is all OK.
It is totally OK that my husband and I don’t agree about any of those things. We don’t have to be on the same page. It doesn’t mean that we have a bad marriage or that he is a terrible person or that I am a mess.
It just means that we have different ways of approaching all of those areas of our life together, and it is totally OK.
Here is how that change in my thinking has played out over the last 6 years.
I spend money the way that I want to, and sometimes he doesn’t like it and gets upset. I recognize that it is OK and even normal for him to feel that way, but it doesn’t mean that I have to spend money his way. And he can spend money the way he wants to, even when I get upset about it.
It means that we are intentional about that vacations we take. We plan it so that we spend time in the mountains like he enjoys, and someplace warm with a beach like I enjoy. We both get what we want.
I get to be optimistic and he gets to be pessimistic and we both listen to the others point of view respectfully, without feeling like we have to change ours. I don’t think that he is a downer and he doesn’t think that I am naive. We know that we are both right, in our own way.
Sometimes he gets annoyed when I leave my makeup on the bathroom counter and it is OK. Sometimes, I get annoyed when he lets the kids get away with things that I wouldn’t, and it is OK.
So maybe you are asking, how did we make the switch?
We had a lot of honest and open conversations (so so many) where we decided to let each other be exactly who we are, and to love each other anyway. It was a conscious choice to let go of the need to change each other.
This wasn’t easy, but it was pretty simple. We intentionally looked at each of those scenarios and consciously decided to let each other be. It is vulnerable and terrifying to let yourself be seen in that way. It is also deeply and fundamentally empowering to be yourself so completely with the one person in the world who sees it all, unapologetically.
It requires a deep love of self to say, “This is me. I love me and I am inviting you to love me too.”
It is in that vulnerability that we access real emotional intimacy. That foundation helps us remember that none of the other stuff really matters. It doesn’t matter at all that he hates the way I squeeze toothpaste out of the tube, because he knows that I have seen him completely and love him in all of it. The little stuff becomes insignificant. And when it doesn’t really matter, it is easy to find solutions that work for both of us.
It is something that we work at everyday. Sometimes we go back to old patterns of thinking, but we support each other as we find our way back to the happier way.
Believe me when I say that if Eric and I can figure this out for our marriage, so can you. Through years of figuring it out in our marriage, research and study, getting my degree in Marriage and Family Studies, getting certified as a Life Coach and Marriage Educator and helping my own clients, I have figured out the steps to make it happen for you much faster than it did for us.
So you have a choice. You can stay in that place of anger and resentment and loneliness, or you can change and make it happen for you too. I can show you how.
One of my favorite things as a coach is to see my clients get here too. I don’t want to be the only one with this kind of marriage! It is way too good and I feel an intense desire to share it with every person that I can.
So come with me and I will show you the way. I’m taking clients right now. I will support you and make it happen for you too. And bonus, we will have a lot of fun doing it.
Just click below to get yourself a spot on a consult call and we will come up with a plan designed just for you. I would be honored to be your coach and help you make it happen.