The other day, I was contacted by a wife who was upset because, during a disagreement, her husband blurted out that he wasn’t sure if they were compatible or were the same type of people anymore. This was very disturbing to her because it came on top of him becoming increasingly distant, cold, and critical. She suspected that much more was going on here than him just feeling like they were different personalities. In fact, they had also been the sort of opposites who attracted and her husband used to love this about her, so why was this a problem now? She also wanted to know how she should respond to this and what she should do to improve the marriage in the meantime. I’ll tell you what I advised her in the following article.
Often A Man Will Mistake A Lack Of Compatibility With A Non Conducive Environment: I advised her to not dwell so much on his compatibility comment. It was likely said in the heat of the argument with an intent to wound and I felt that she shouldn’t cling too tightly too this and should instead focus on improving things so that these type of comments no longer come up. She had a hard time buying this because she had to admit that their differences had become more noticeable lately and were more grating. Deep in her heart, she was sad to wonder if her husband was right. I suspected that this wasn’t the case because he had loved their differences before, when the environment was conducive to harmonious behavior.
What I mean by this is that when two people are “falling in love” or dating they are both on their most special behavior. They become great listeners who pay intent attention. They become thoughtful partners. They make more than enough time and effort. They think up all sorts of fun and exciting outings where the two of you can enjoy each other. How many chores did you do on your dates? Not many right, because this is just not much fun.
What I’m trying to show you is that it’s very likely that it’s the environment that is incompatible now and not necessarily your personalities or your marriage. You have so many things to worry about right now rather than just each other. But this shift in time and priorities deteriorates your bond and the stress and distance magnifies your differences and shines them in a quite different, and not so flattering, light. So your focus should be not on changing or toning down your personality or trying to change his. In fact, you should not even consider this because one thing that contributes to feeling “in love” is knowing that the other person “gets” you and yet loves you anyway. What you should try to change is the environment.
Changing The Environment Of Your Marriage: Many women will ask me if they should tell their husband about these changes. The answer is probably not. He will likely hear you telling him that you’re going to “work on the marriage” and that’s all he’s going to need to hear to begin to tune you out. Just begin making changes within yourself and your environment. Schedule time for spontaneous fun. Now, you may assume that your husband is going to resist this. He may at first, but over time he’ll begin to realize that you aren’t asking much from him and that he’s really going to enjoy this process because the outcome is going to greatly benefit him.
There’s often a sad irony in marriage. When you are dating, you scheme and dream and promise each other that when you are settled and obtain more money, you’ll travel and do all these wonderful things together. But, when you accomplish many of your goals and you have the money, then you put things, and one another, off. You’re often now in the position to live your dreams because you have the stability and means to do so, but you no longer have the drive because you’ve neglected the time requirements of the relationship. The time to change this is now. Eliminate those things that tax your marriage and focus on those things that strengthen it. I promise that when you do, your differences will again become a positive rather than a negative thing.