Post # 1
My SO and I have dated for about a year. This is both of our first serious relationshop post divorce of previous long term marriages. We have many differences on politics, money, and how religious we are. He is a socially liberal Catholic, who is a very successful, driven doctor that owns 2 businesses. And although is well off, he is very frugal. I am a conservative Baptist, a nurse, laid back and talkative. Hes a very caring man, with great character has never raised his voice to me. We try to avoid tpoics we know we disagree on, but at times thats hard to do, and we both get frustrated but never, get really mad. We both admit it would be easier if we had more of the same views on these things, but we love each other very much, and try to meet in the middle. Money is harder, as he is frugal and lives a debt free simple life. He loves traveling, as do I, and doesnt mind spending for it. He has a few things he spends on, and is good to take me out. But he saves on the little things, and does things himself. I don’t waste money, but think if you work as hard as we do, it doesn’t hurt to spend your money on some nice things, but not be extravegant. I think nothing is wrong with a nice home, nice clothes, and a nice car within reson. As long as you can save enough also. He thinks a small house is fine, will never own a luxury car. I have come to see the reasoning in this and understand you can’t have it all. He really wants to retire early which would be very nice, and know we have to conserve to go that. I though would rather have a few nice things to retire with like a bigger home, and retire a year or two later. But we can compromise on this. We are at the point of moving forward and know marriage is the next step .We are both scared of another divorce, and dont want our differnces to later come between us and end up resenting each other. Bottom lne is we are scared. We love each other very much, and for the most part agree on more than with disagree. I do wish he was more religious, but he is willing to go with me to church and does usaully go when I do.That is probably my biggest thing. His biggest thing Iam sure is he wishes I was more frugal, and more conervaring of money, energy, and water. In general over time we are both compromising more, and our issues we disagree on handled better. So I am wondering how do those of you that are very different deal with it. How did you decide longterm it wouldn’t be an issue, and plunge on into marriage. Does it seem these things will build up and come between us, or we will just deal with them better?
Post # 2
I’m probably very young in your eyes so feel free to take my advice with a grain of salt. Every couple has their differences. If you were dating yourself it would be unbelievably dull! If you guys are compromising well and are making adjustments to yourselves for the better for the benefit of the other, I say you’re doing it right. If you’re comfortable with compromise and you’re in love and happy, I say move forward. I hope all works out, whatever you both decide!
Post # 3
Thanks I appreciate that! And both of us are close to ppl in their 20’s, and still value their opinions! I am 41 and he is 47. He is hoping to retire by 50-52. Not that far away. So this is a big driving force in much of what drives him, and makes him want to save so much. I hope we work it out too! I can’t imagine not being with him!
Post # 4
twu123: then I think you’ve answered your own question. 🙂 if you legitimately can’t imagine your life without him, I think it’s worth it to move forward! My favorite line from my favorite romantic comedy is something along the lines of “I’m not here to say I can’t live without you. I can live without you. I just don’t want to.” Honestly, I think that if those are your feelings, and those will remain your feelings, you’ll battle through the differences. 🙂
Post # 5
I think in all relationships, there’s always going to be a time when you have to agree to disagree. My fiancé and I are not always on the same exact page when it comes to politics, but we have always been able to come to some kind of agreement. By talking things through, we realize we are more in agreement than we thought, it just takes more time for us to see it. I also think there are more important things to think about, such as, does this person have qualities that make a good spouse for me, do I want to share money and have financial responsibilities with this person, is this person going to be a good father (if you want kids), etc. Really, the only person who can decide whether your differences are okay or not is YOU. If you decide the differences are small in comparison to the love you have for each other, then you’ll be just fine! Best of luck to you.
Post # 6
Dh & I are different in temperament, but very much the same at the core. Our values & politics line up beautifully. Our differences are complimentary. Where I slide into victim mode, he’s a natural problem solver.
As for money. He can sqeeze an incredible amount of value out of a dollar & I’m a spender. But, he’s always generous with me. I want to make a lot more income than he cares about–a bit of a sticky point, but manageable.
Of all a couple’s differences, the one that causes the most trouble is money. Do you feel your different views are negotiable? If not, is he open to counseling?
Opposites attract. It sounds as if you’ve made it work with your differences. Just watch out for the money issues that could trip you up.
Do you genuinely like each other? If you weren’t lovers, is he someone you’d want in your life as a friend? If so, I’d think you’re in basically good shape.
Post # 7
twu123: My SO and I are very different on a lot dimensions–race, culture, religion, temperament, etc. It works for the most part but there are definitely challenges particularly when it comes to dealing with the conflicts between us. We are doing a lot of soul-searching and researching before taking the next step. One book I found particularly interesting is Mixed Matches by Joel Crohn. It’s a bit dated, but is one of the book that definitely spoke to me.
We also plan on working through a premarital education workbook before getting married. I would like to do counseling too, but have had difficulty finding one that’s not too religiously orientated.
On the money issue, your SO sounds like mine and I’m definitely one that enjoys nice things on occasion. Over the years, we’ve definitely moved more in his dirction than mine, but that’s okay with me as I realize a solid foundation and freedom to do what we want is more important to me than stuff. We also have found a way to divide things such that I can do what I want with a set amount of money. As long as he doesn’t know exactly what those boots or handbags cost it doesn’t seem to bother him as much.
Post # 8
Thanks everyone! The money is a big issue and we are dealing with it. I admit for a while neither of us were sure. It had made it hard because he is so well off, so for me to be a spender it has been hard to know all this money is there but dont touch it and accept that is how it will have to be. Although he has let up a bit over time, and is not as hard nosed about it. The same with him wanting to immediately clean up as soon as dinner is over and clean the house spotless before we go anywhere. It was difficult but I have just gotten more to where I fall in line with him, and he has let up and isn’t as anal about it being so immediate anymore. lol Every now and then the political issues get frustrating as do our differnces on social issues but we both realize we each have good reasons for the way we feel about these issues. More and more we have learned to let stuff go, and if it begins getting heated its best to shut our mouths and realize its going nowhere good. Sometimes we go months without these talks and others they come up every few days. We honestly try not to watch the news together because thats is usually the trigger. We both realize life is easier if you agree on everything, but we fell n love with each other and now what do you do. I think what makes it hard is I married my high school sweetheart at 19. We grew up together and formed our opinions together, so these were never an issue in my previous marriage. Although my 1st husband had bad anger issues, and was really hard on our kids at times, and was so difficult to live with. My SO now is so the opposite of that, which I LOVE more than anything. He is so patient, never yells, never cuts me down, is always encouraging, and has such a heart for others. He isi the type that never sees a person in need without helping them. I admire him so much, as do his 80 employees. I see letters and cards all the time where they are thanking him for one thing or another or helping, and what a great boss he has been. He actually got a fathers day card from one saying what a great influence he had been to her, and how he was like a father to her. On his side his ex wife and him went to liberal colleges and they somewhat formed their opinions together, with being liberal minded. He has told me they never fought, they agreed on most things, and neither had anger issues. But after 10 yrs she just left and he was devastated. Never knowing why. He was still so in love with her and wanted her to be financially set agreeing to give her MUCH more money than she deserved. Then the day after their divorce was final she puts pics all over her facebook with his best friend! She also just started to blow his money like crazy once they were separated and just living this whole other life. He realizes now he never really knew her. It seems she resented this simple life they lived, while his income grew so much, and him for pushing it, when she wanted to live more extravagant. Not sure why she just never talked to him about it. So we both are carrying baggage we have tried to work through but it still affects us. We both went through so much we just dont want to end up hurt again. But I feel we are both so aware of these things, and try so hard to commicate when thing come up that we can work though it. We do both trust each other amazingly considering what we have been through. It is just a scarey thought. But we dont want to miss something wonderful out of fear.
Post # 9
twu123: Ha, your husband is my perfect mate on paper!
I’d deal with each of these seperately:
Politics – since neither of you are active in politics, I don’t think this is a big deal, as long as you both honestly respect the other’s opinon (sounds like you do). If i thought my DH was a racist, for example, I couldn’t respect his opinion and that’d be a real problem. The key thing to remember when it comes to politics is that most of us want the same thing – a safe environment and a healthy economy where people can pursue happy, productive lives. We just have different ideas about what policies and decisions will get us there.
Money – this is a big one for me. I could never marry someone who didn’t share my values around money because they are something so strongly engrained in me. I want to be able to pool my resources with my partner and trust him completely. I’ll bet your DH feels the same way. You two should come up with a joint set of goals and a plan to get you there. Sometimes it works well for couples to create an “allowance” for each spouse that they can spend as they like. You would spend your allowance on nice clothes (or whatever) he would probably save his up. On the big ticket items you’ll have to come to a compromise you can both live with.
Religion – I’m not religious so it’s hard for me to weigh in, but I give him credit that he’s willing to go through the motions with you. If you are deaply faithful and he is not, I can easily see how it’d be a deal breaker. If you are more the type to buy into the general idea of the religion and get a lot of benefit from contributing to the community, I can see how he can participate along side you without having a deep faith of his own.
On the general personality styles – ying and yang is a great thing and is probably why you two love each other so much. You bring levity to his life, and he is your solid rock. Sounds great.