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November 11, 2016

Agree or Disagree?

My husband and I are completely different.

I think about this when one of us is driving and the other is a passenger. We have different ideas about speed, lane changing, and distance from other cars. We have very different ways of choosing a parking spot.

Our differences are obvious around the house. We don't wash dishes the same way, and don't stack the dishes to dry the same way. If we are using the dishwasher, we don't load it the same way.

We don't even seem to agree on what is recyclable and what is just trash. We have two containers in the kitchen, and very odd things appear in one or the other.

So I was surprised a few weeks ago when a friend commented that we agreed on nearly everything.

Really? He likes thin-crust pizza and I like deep-dish. He likes riding in a convertible with the top down, and I'd rather not. The last time we were on vacation, I had to buy toothpaste because I couldn't stand the stuff he brought.

However, what our friend was talking about was something that transcends thermostat settings and ice cream flavors. She was talking about shared values.

Values are the core beliefs that guide us through life. They determine who we really are and what direction we will take in life. They help us discern right from wrong and tell us how to treat others. Our values are reflected in our accomplishments, our failures, and the major decisions we make.

Over the course of our marriage, we have been in agreement about the kind of people we want to be and the kind of life we want to live. Sometimes we have to negotiate the details, but overall we are facing the same direction. Choosing between country music and blues, or thousand island and honey mustard won't make any difference in the course of our lives. But having a shared vision of the future and how to achieve it means that we will get there together.
 

2 fabulous comments:

  1. "But having a shared vision of the future and how to achieve it means that we will get there together." Yes! I really resonate with this, having recently broken up with someone with whom I didn't share these things. A complexity is when you start the relationship sharing a vision of the future but then one or the other of you changes their mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's true, sometimes people do end up changing their minds over important issues and there may be no way to reconcile those differences. Nevertheless, finding someone who shares one's core values offers the best chance that a relationship will last.

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