Opposites attract. Most relationships are a balance of combining the biggest aspects of two personalities to make one stronger unit. That’s why relationships work. It’s common to hear people say “I married my complete opposite”. Somehow we find mates whose strengths can level out our own weaknesses (even if we are too proud to admit they are weaknesses). My own marriage is an illustration of this fact. We are opposites in every way, from how we make decisions to how we communicate. An introvert married an extrovert and it shows in so many aspects of our lives.
When I discovered OneWord 365 I immediately knew what my word for the year would be. I eagerly shared the concept with my husband and in typical fashion launched into a long-winded story detailing my grand plans for the year ahead. I asked him to choose his own word, not knowing that he had already done so. I was excited to share this process with him in the coming months. I assumed that our words would be similar, since we have similar goals for ourselves, our family, our home, etc. I assumed that we would be traveling the same path toward our shared goals. I shared with him that the word PEACE had spoken to me as a guiding principle for the year ahead. I yearned for peace in making decisions, peace in the hard work ahead as we made changes, peace in the tackling of our to-do lists.
He started to laugh.
It began as a giggle and grew into a loud chuckle. I couldn’t imagine what was so funny and my feelings were hurt. I began to get angry. I thought he understood the goals I had for our family. I thought he understood the PEACE I was craving in my soul, in our home, in our daily lives.
Seeing my hurt he quickly stopped laughing and explained that he found my word funny because the word he has chosen was ATTACK. I was horrified! Here we were, a couple planning major life changes and supposedly working toward a common goal yet our words for the year were PEACE and ATTACK? How far apart could we get? Our differences smacked me in the face. I was so frustrated I could scream.
Until he explained why he chose the word ATTACK.
My kind husband explained how he wanted to attack each day with renewed energy. Attack each task head-on instead of analyzing how each step of progress needs to be made. Attack our growing to-do list so that I don’t get overwhelmed with the mountain of work to be done. Attack instead of procrastinating to ponder, plan, prepare. Attack, setting aside his usual habit of addressing worries and concerns before acting in an effort to make our dreams happen as quickly and efficiently as possible. His plan to ATTACK was a gesture of love not only for me but also for the future of our family. My frustration faded into gratitude. Although we are as different as night and day in our approach to life, we are both working toward the same goal. We can use our strengths to encourage each other and follow the plans God has for us.
PEACE and ATTACK may sound opposite in many ways, much like my husband and I. The definition of our words may be at odds but the spirit of our words could not be more similar. These words can serve to remind us that we are working toward an action plan, but we don’t have to be in “lock step” to accomplish it. We can work in our own ways toward our goal without negating each other. I try to be grateful each day for the support and balance being opposite brings.
Are you and your mate “opposites”? What perspectives can you gain from embracing the opposite personalities around you? Does having a balance in your relationship make difficult circumstances easier to navigate? Share your thoughts here to encourage others to recognize the balance opposites can bring.