5 Reasons Marriage Compatibility Doesn't Matter

5 Reasons Marriage Compatibility Doesn't Matter

Marriage compatibility might not be as important as we think. Everyone is always wondering, "Are we compatible?” or considering splitting up because they think they’re just not a match. Sure, having things in common with your partner helps you get along, but on average, marriage compatibility isn’t the game-changer everyone thinks it is. In this article, I'll explain why. 

What is marriage compatibility?

Marriage compatibility refers to how well matched a couple feels they are when it comes to their values, likes, dislikes, and temperament. Not feeling compatible is a common reason for couples to end their relationship.

Five Reasons Why Marriage Compatibility Doesn't Matter

1-It’s normal to notice differences over time.

Even if you think you’re on the same page at the beginning, as time goes on, you’ll start noticing where you don’t see eye to eye. It’s normal in the early days to only see the things you share, like both loving mangos or enjoying afternoon naps. You get excited about these little things and think, “Wow, we’re meant to be!” But the longer you’re together, the more you’ll naturally start focusing on the differences. So, don’t stress too much about how compatible you are because over time, your mind tends to zero in on what you don’t have in common.

2-How you deal with areas of incompatibility is most important.

It’s not about how compatible you are; it’s about how you deal with areas of incompatibility. So, how do you handle it in your marriage? Most of the time, we get frustrated, we judge our partner, and we end up dismissing their preferences. We tend to fixate on how incompatible we are, and that’s where the trouble begins. Instead, we need to learn how to deal with those differences in a positive, pro-social, pro-marriage way. The key is not about the level of compatibility, but about how you navigate through the incompatibilities. 

3- Learn to respect and embrace the differences you have with your partner. 

Have you accepted that your partner is wired differently from you? They have their own unique experiences, different genes, and many reasons why they’re not a carbon copy of you. They see the world through a different lens, they operate in their own way, and that’s not going to change. It’s tempting to try and mold them into a mini-version of yourself. You might think, “Life would be so much smoother if they were just a bit more outgoing or organized like me.” and then you try to reshape them. However, that’s not going to work. They can’t change you and you can’t change them. So, instead learn how to navigate these differences respectfully and find ways to collaborate despite your differing perspectives.

4- Learn to compromise on areas where you are incompatible. 

Now that you're not trying to change your partner, you need to learn how to compromise between your preferences and theirs. Marital problems usually kick in when one partner imposes their preferences on their partner. It could be about how to spice things up in the bedroom, how to handle emotions, how to organize the house, how to parent the kids, or how to manage money. The key is learning how to compromise on all important areas in your relationship where you have differences. A successful compromise means neither of you will get exactly what you want but some of what you both want will be included in the solution.

5- Remember your differences are actually a good thing!

Those differences that might sometimes give you a headache or drive you nuts are actually a good thing. You and your partner are stronger together than apart because you each bring a unique vantage point and skill set to the relationship. 

In the beginning of my own marriage, like most love stories, I was blind to the differences. All I could see was how we were soulmates with high marriage compatibility. But as time rolled on, I started noticing all the ways we weren’t alike and it created tension. Most of it came from both of us not respecting our differences and trying to shape each other into our own molds. Of course, that didn’t work. So, when I got off the “change my spouse” train and just accepted how she was wired, things started looking up. Same goes for her – accepting my quirks made a world of difference. Things really hit the sweet spot when we began to acknowledge, “Hey, this is how you're wired, and this is how I'm wired, Let’s meet in the middle.” For example, I’m the extrovert, always yapping away. My wife, however, is the quiet introvert, needing her downtime. Talk about a contrast! But instead of turning it into a battleground, we learned to find a middle ground by having designed quality time each day for us to talk. That way I'm not constantly disrupting her solitude throughout the day and she's providing undivided attention and conversation for me during our quality time. That’s the secret sauce right there.

Here's another example– I’m a bit of a neat freak. I thrive on everything being organized, nothing on the floor, a place for everything, and everything in its place. My wife, on the other hand, is less conscientious and tends to leave piles around the house. Yep, you guessed it – a recipe for tension right there. But over the years we’ve figured out how to hit that middle ground. It’s not just my way with constant organization, and it’s not just her way with perpetual clutter. We’ve had to do a lot of give and take and strike compromises. She's learned to become neater and help with house chores more and I've learned to be OK with some clutter and disorganization.

A third example is parenting. I’m all about justice, setting limits, and letting natural consequences do the talking. On the flip side, my wife’s the softy, giving grace with no limits. That’s her natural bent, and I’m not changing her, and she’s not changing me. However, when it’s all her way or all my way, our parenting is compromised because children need both limits and love, not one or the other. We've had to work really hard at going behind closed doors, negotiating a compromise on a parenting decision, then presenting as a unified front to our kids. This approach creates a sense of teamwork as a couple and it's best for our children's development too. 

So, there you have it – five reasons why marriage compatibility is not the be-all and end-all. One, it's normal to notice differences over time. Two, how you deal with areas of incompatibility is most important. Three, embracing and respecting differences is crucial. Four, mastering the art of compromise is the key. And five, you're stronger together than either of you are alone. 

Further Reading:

5 Steps to Accepting Your Partner

Dr. Wyatt Fisher

Receive my FREE PDF on 4 Steps To Better Communication. Click here to get it! 

What are some areas of marriage incompatibility that could strengthen you as a couple if you learn how to compromise in those areas?

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