Monday, September 30

Opposites attract? Yay or nay?


"Stable and satisfying marriages usually involve two people who are very much alike.” -  eHarmony.com

Duane and I were so very opposite that some of our best friends were betting on the longevity of the marriage—and most of those bets weren’t of the positive variety, unless you count a lot of people being positive it wouldn’t last.
Forty-some years later, we’re still together and are still polar opposites. This has led to many, many noisy dialogues or prolonged angry not-talking-right-nows over the years. Even now, I will walk out of the room in stiff-as-a-board silence if we make the mistake of discussing politics. He’s a non-practicing Catholic, I’m a Methodist who returned to the fold; I was a 30-year union member, he was a company man nearly that long; he likes his weather hot and steamy, I like mine every way but that. He grew up city; my idea of metropolitan was having more than one stoplight. Our politics are…well, no, I’m not going to talk about them here, either.
The other part of that long story is that he’s my favorite person in all the world and I’m pretty sure I’m his, too. I laugh because he is paranoid about things and I’m actually pretty fearless, but the truth is that if I’m fearless it’s because he always has my back.

I don’t think I write books that way. Exactly. But I know I love reading about them. Which brings me to my question. What do you think—both in real life and in the books you read and write—of opposites attracting? And staying attracted? 

12 comments:

  1. great topic, Liz! I'm a fan of opposites attract - in real life and in books. RadioMan and I aren't exactly *polar* opposites, but we are very different. When people are are different I think the key is that, despite the differences, they choose to be together. To have one another's backs, as you said. To overlook those differences because, in the long run, who you are together is more important than who you are individually. If that makes any sense at all. Man, that's a long comment!

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  2. LOL. I think you're right, Kristi. Duane and I have talked about that "choice" thing before, and are happy that we have chosen to be together because, truth is, sometimes it would be a lot easier not to be! Thanks for coming by!

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  3. Wes and I are pretty opposite, too, and we've been 30 years, so I guess it works for us.
    Writing someone so opposite? Don't think I've gone to that extreme.

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  4. Jim and I aren't exact opposites, but we're different enough in so many ways that life is always interesting and has been for 40 years. Like and Duane, we don't talk much politics and I love to travel to new places while he'd rather stick to home or the lake (also home, really!). So we work that one out by me going when I need to go while he keeps the home fires burning. He is my "soft place to fall," so what else is there really? Great blog, Liz!!

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  5. My husband and I have very different temperaments but share many interests, so at least we don't think the other is completely crazy. You're right - knowing your partner always has your back allows you to be fearless (I'm the fearless one too, Liz!)

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  6. D'Ann, Nan, and Alison, we all have many, many years with the ones who think differently from us, so we're lots of evidence in and of ourselves that opposing halves of an equation can be a good and working thing. Thanks for coming by!

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  7. My husband and I aren't polar opposites, but he was always the talkative one and loved to socialize, while I'm quiet and a homebody. I've always been a reader and I don't think he'd know what to do with a book. lol But we also share a lot of interests and have even acquired some of each other's interests over the years. Married 32 years last May.

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  8. I'm the oddball - married twenty years then divorced when we finally admitted we had nothing in common and no reason other than stubborn persistence for staying together. However, I realized neither of us had cared enough about the other to make a go of our differences over time. So do opposites attract and can they stay together? Absolutely, but only if their love is strong.

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  9. @Susan, Duane and I have the same core values, which is a good thing. And you're right, @Ashantay--I've always said my worst day with Duane is better than my best one without him. As long as we feel that way, I think we're good. Thanks for coming by!

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  10. I love to read about opposite's attract or even write about it. It creates wonderful conflict and sparks. As far as real life, I don't think my ex and I were from the same planet-we were a little too opposite, I guess. But it's great that it works for you and others. The bottom line, you both have to want it to work, regardless.

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  11. When hubby and I got married, people were betting it wouldn't last a year. Well, here we are 25 years later. We are alike on issues like politics, but are very different on almost everything else. He won't admit it, but when we first married he was a big chauvinist. I was a die hard feminist. That usually turned who was going to cook and clean the house a into a heated argument. He's an extrovert, I'm not. He's bossy. I won't have it. Through the years, we've learned to pick our battles. But in the end, he's always got my back and I've got his. Wouldn't trade him for anything in the world.

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  12. You're right, Debra. That whole thing about marriage being 100% and 100% as opposed to 50-50 is right, whether you're opposites or not.

    Sounds familiar, Shawn! :-)

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