When Opposites Attract

I’m usually described as “bubbly” and “a people person” by most, even if they’ve only met me for a moment. My husband however is harder to read; he’s a hard working, high achiever who doesn’t show his mischievous sense of humour to people until he’s spent some quality time with them. We’re polar opposite in a lot of ways…I’m a big picture person, he’s a details person. I’m an impulse buyer and he’s a saver. I’ll try any food once and he’ll usually stick to what he likes. And yet, because of our differences, we keep each other interesting. Our differences are usually complimentary; his strengths compensate for my weaknesses and vice versa. In fact, it’s usually the differences that attract people to each other in the first place.

When I meet couples for the first time I like to observe which half is the more chatty, who is more interested in the details and which one is more “creative” out of the two. If you think about your own partner, I’m sure you could answer these questions straight away. Each couple is different, and I find it fascinating.

But the big lesson for me after the wedding was discovering that knowing (and liking) how my husband was different to me is a whole seperate thing to living with those differences. Why do you take so long to make a decision? Why do we need to wait until next month to purchase the household item that I need RIGHT NOW? And why when you say “later” does it seem to mean a completely different time frame to the one I had in mind? All those opposites that originally attracted were now the things that drove me crazy.

I often share a story from our honeymoon, when we were trying to get a train in France from Carcassonne to Lyon, but no one spoke English and my French hadn’t cut it to get the information we needed. But given the information I did have, I had figured out which train would get us to our pre booked hotel in Lyon that night. But George wasn’t convinced. Was I sure I had the right train? What if it was the wrong one, or heading the wrong way? What would happen if we got stuck in a different city for the night in a country where he doesn’t speak the language? But I was sure. And we got into our first wedded fight right there on the train platform about whether to get on the train.

In the end, we did get on the train, and it did get us to Lyon. But we discovered that I make quick decisions well, and George makes detailed decisions well. So now if we’re in a similar situation, he’ll ask me one clarifying question: “How sure are you?” If it’s anything above 90% then he’ll trust my judgement. If not, he’ll look for more information. But that clarifying question has prevented further awkward public moments over the years!

So what does all this have to do with weddings? Well, for someone who goes to hundreds of weddings I’ve seen plenty of strong and opposing personalities unite, knowing that as they express their love and commitment on that beautiful day that there will be conflict somewhere down the line. It might not be on a train platform, but it will be there somewhere throughout your married life. And one of the reasons I love working in weddings is because I love marriage. Marriage in my opinion is a key building block of society and family. It’s something that is valuable and important. And being prepared to learn to work with that different (and slightly baffling) human you say I do to is part of the deal. Some couples have been together for years, they’ve had their share of difficulties and disagreements already. Some have had less time to face life together. But either way, starting your marriage off knowing that there will be some give and take, some learning and compromises, means that when your wife wants to watch a RomCom when that new Bourne movie is on, you’ll have what you need to sort it out.

As always I say, my wish is that your marriage may be as beautiful as the big day that started it all.

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