opposites attract

Are You Married To Your Opposite?

A frequently cited statistic – that nearly half of marriages end in divorce in the United States – has an emotional pull on the intuitions of many.

Recent data suggests, however, that the 45- to 50-percent divorce rate is not presently accurate, as our divorces apparently have been lowering in numbers since the 1990s. Does this mean that we are becoming better with our relationships and making our marriages work?

There is an important caveat, as a study from Pew Research Center shows that fewer people are getting married. In fact, it has been shown that around 50 percent of adults are married today, compared to 70 percent five decades ago.

People are now waiting longer to marry – if they marry at all. More couples are opting to simply cohabitate without making their relationship official. Better birth control is preventing unwanted pregnancies and resulting in fewer marriages, so if and when couples split it doesn’t show in statistics.

Marriages and other long term relationships can be difficult for many of us, despite mutual love and affection. There will surely be conflict with our differences in temperament, values, goals and much more. It is no secret that life-long marriages are not guaranteed, and that if our differences prove stronger than our understanding or commitment, we’ll wind up in divorce. My book “Master the Mystery of Human Nature: Resolving the Conflict of Opposing Values” (www.masterthemysterybook.com), lays out the nature of marital relationships, and how couples may be happier together with some basic understanding of themselves and their spouse.

  • In terms of personality and temperament, consider that you may be married to your complete opposite. After I was married, it became increasingly clear to me just how different my wife and I were from each other. Everything became a conflict between “my way” and “her way.” In such a dynamic, even if you get your way, your spouse loses and you have to live with them being unhappy. This scenario doesn’t help your relationship in any way. I realized that my wife is someone who processed life mostly through her feelings, whereas I was someone who filtered life through logic and reason. The diagnosing of this dynamic was critically important to move forward. He learned there are other preset dynamics that set up reasons to have conflict.