Skip to main content

My Husband And I Are Opposites

Sharilee Swaity writes on family and marriage issues on her blog, Second Chance Love. She has written a book on the topic of remarriage.

We are Opposites

My husband and I are opposites. Without a doubt, it's true. But we are happy. Don't believe me? Ask my sister. Or the kids. Or the neighbours. (They used to hear us fighting.)

My husband and I met in that most modern of ways: online, on the Internet. We were both "kind of looking," with one foot dipped cautiously and tepidly into the pools of dating, both still too nervous from our prior relationships to pursue the possibility of a love interest too vigorously.

In fact, after I sent a "smile" in his way on that silly matchmatching site, I swore I would swear off Internet dating sites forever. It was wasting my time, which could have been spent any number of more productive ways, like cleaning my house or going to the gym.

When he smiled back and left a little note, I was intrigued. What was someone 1000 miles away doing responding to my advertisement? And he actually looked normal, and not slightly creepy.

Dating Online Is Risky

People are not always what we expected they would be after talking to them online.

People are not always what we expected they would be after talking to them online.

At First, We Seemed to Have A lot In Common

Our first conversation did not reveal the fact that we are opposites. At first sound, we seemed to have a great deal in common. We were both believers. We both worked hard. We both loved kids. In fact, for that first month, we actually talked for hours on the phone. I had not talked this much to a boy since being a teenager! I was high, thrilled. All my defenses were going out the door, and I hadn't even met him yet!

And I did not know yet that we were opposites. That would come after a few conversations. The first hint of being opposites was when he talked about his music. He mentioned something about a song by Ozzy Osbourne. I had to check my earpiece to make sure I wasn't hearing things. "You like heavy metal?" I asked, in confusion. "How could he? How could I like someone that listened to this music?" I thought, as I listened to a Johnny Cash song on the radio.

My Husband Never Misses Wrestling

My husband loves wrestling. I hate it. Yet we still coexist peacefully.

My husband loves wrestling. I hate it. Yet we still coexist peacefully.

He Never Misses Wrestling

And then other clues started to emerge. During one of our first conversations, he said that he wasn't a big sports fan. I was elated, of course. I mean, how often can you find a guy that doesn't like sports, like me?

But then, one Friday, he mentioned how he had been watching "Friday Night Smackdown."

"Pardon?" I asked, meekly. My phone seemed to be acting so funny lately.

"Yeah, Friday NIght Smackdown. I never miss it."

"Oh," I sighed. "I thought you said you weren't really a sports fan."

"Oh, I'm not, really," he replied. "I've just always watched wrestling, since I was a kid. It's my soap opera, you know."

And then a few more hints ... cracks in the polished veneer of our mythical togetherness: I wrote him a letter and he calls, saying he's not really much writing. I tell him of my love for nature and he sounds surprised. I mention cats and he sounds disinterested, even stating he's not really an "animal person."

And some more serious differences: he drinks. I don't. He smokes. I don't. I go to church. He doesn't. I'm lonely. He's sociable. I've had lots of jobs. He's had one since he was twenty-one. I'm indecisive. He's a rock.

Scroll to Continue

It went on and on ... maybe it wouldn't work. We were very different. We were opposites.

Must Love Cats

He said he wasn't really an animal person. I loved animals!  (Picture of two of the cats we have now.)

He said he wasn't really an animal person. I loved animals! (Picture of two of the cats we have now.)

He Helped Me Move

My husband continued on in our Internet dating, in spite of our differences. In spite of my concerns. I had just finished a contract up North and had signed for another one at a different school. I had lived in his city before and made the leap to move to his city. We had known each for only a short time but the timing seemed right. I knew his city and lived there before, years ago. It was either move now, or wait a year.

I decided to move. I was scared out of my wits but we made it happen. In fact, my future husband even flew in a plane 1000 miles to come and meet me, and assist me in my move. He came, he helped me pack, and we drove the 1000 miles in a pickup truck and a U-Haul trailer with back lights that didn't work. What a gentleman!

While we were travelling, the concerns of our incompatibility seemed even more poignant. We were strangers, virtually, and every difference seemed to be a glaring zit staring me in the face. A blemish on this supposedly great love. But we ventured on.

The trip home was fun and after that, we dated for a while. During that time, we fought about almost everything. I had rented a room with his family, and so we were in closer quarters than we should have been. We even broke up for a few months, both convinced we could not make a go of it. It was evident we had nothing in common and when I broke it off with him, I had wondered how we had ever gotten involved.

From Our Cross-Country Trip

My future husband fixing something on the truck.

My future husband fixing something on the truck.

I Would Google, "My Husband And I Are Opposites" Into the Computer

We ended up getting back together and getting married after a few months but soon after, the fighting started again. It was over housework, over work, over the kids, over friends, over values, over how we would spend our time, over what he said, over what I said.

We are opposites, like I said, and those differences were never so evident as in our first two years of marriage. We came close to divorce quite a few times. I am telling you, this was no pretty picture.

I used to sit at the computer and google, "married to my opposite," and "my husband and I are incompatible." I was desperate. So was he.

We Went to A Counsellor

During our second year of marriage, we were fighting so much that I insisted we talk to someone. We needed help and we needed it now.

The first place we went was to a couple from our church whom my husband knew and trusted. They are an older couple who had done a fair bit of counselling in their time. They allowed us to come to their house several times and they listened to both of us.

They showed me that i was getting too hysterical and emotional. They showed my husband that he was being harsh. And they did one more thing. They directed us to a professional counsellor. And we went. She changed our life around.

We went to this woman counsellor and we started to learn how to communicate. We started to learn what we needed to do to love the other person. And we started to learn that this marriage was possible.

We were opposites but these two opposites could learn to love each other.

We Began To Complement Each Other

Our third year of marriage was the best. Finally, the things we learned from our counsellor and our couple friends, and the books we had been reading, started to click in. We were opposites but that was okay. I finally started to realize that my husband did not have to be the same as me, in order for this relationship to work. We could "live and let live. "

And an even better thing started to happen. We started to learn from one another. Now, I had heard this could happen but I hadn't believed it. But it was true. We actually complemented each other. (And no, that doesn't mean to tell the other person they have nice hair: that's compliment.)

The dictionary defines complement as "Add to (something) in a way that enhances or improves it; make perfect." And that is what began to happen with us. Our differences actually starting to become our mutual strength and we began to learn from each other. And it was a beautiful thing!

How It Works

As I said at the beginning, my husband and I are opposites. In so many ways. But we are happy. Here's how.

Both of our individual strengths combine to make a strong whole. Here are some ways that this has worked:

Table of Our Differences and How It Works

These are some examples of how our opposite characteristics have actually worked together to make us stronger as a couple.

My HusbandWife (Me)Our Marriage



Balanced: My husband has learned to think things over. I have learned to take action sooner.



Balanced. We walk together now. I have started to lose weight. He has learned to discuss deeper things.

Stable Work History

Variety of Jobs

Balanced. He has learned to have a life outside of work. I have learned to settle down.

Loves Wresting

Hate Wrestling

He watches wrestling. I have unguilty time for hubbing. I have learned that wrestling's silly but not that bad.

Drinker/Liked to Party Sometimes

Teetotaller/Never Really Partied

He has stopped drinking. I have learned to have more fun and not take life as seriously.

Hates Writing

Love Writing

He doesn't write himself but he supports me in my writing dream with lots of encouragement, even sometimes listening to something I have written.

Not An Animal Person

Animal Lover

We have three cats. He has learned to love them very much and the cats add peace to his life.

Very Extroverted

Pretty Introverted

Balanced. I enjoy his exuberance: it helps motivate me. He enjoys my peace. It helps calm him down.

Extravagant With Money

Frugal With Money

Balanced. He spends less frivolously. I am less afraid to spend.



Balanced. He helps me focus on day-to-day realities. I help him to dream of something beyond the day-to-day.

Rabbi Shmuley Helping A Marriage

Accept Instead of Control

If you are in a incompatible relationship, don't despair. It is possible to be married to someone to whom you are opposite. And it can work. Ours does.

As Schmuley Boteach, says, in his article, Compatibility is Over-Rated: "... love, attraction, and affection, not compatibility, are the glue that keeps a man and a woman together." After all, men and women are different, period. It is in fact, the differences between the genders that provide our provide such great pleasure and satisfaction.

We can live with difference if we learn to love them instead of trying to change them. To accept instead of control. It's not easy, but it's possible. And if you can get beyond your differences, you can have a marriage beyond your wildest expectations. Where you meet each other's needs. And enjoy each other's company. And when living with your opposite is the best thing that ever happened to you.

For more about this topic, including some of the sources that I found during my lonely, frustrated Google searches, see the resource box below.



Daniela on August 19, 2020:

Thanks for sharing your story, Sharilee! We're so similar!

Mitsi on August 17, 2016:

This article was very helpful to me given that I needed to hear that I'm not alone in my quest to accept and learn to live life with my opposite.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on November 28, 2014:

@Techygran, thank you SO much for your encouraging comment. That is such a good way of putting it: seasons. Wow, 44 years is awesome ... and you guys be blessed, too! And I am sure you still have plenty of surprises, don't you? Take care!

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on October 15, 2014:

Very interesting, well-presented hub! I have to say there are "seasons" in marriage, or at least that has been our experience over the past 44 years-- times when you want to run away, times when you are fearful of ever being apart, times of being the best of friends, and times when you wonder who this stranger is... I read or heard that if you can hang in for 35 years, it is all worth it! For us, both coming together in Christ was huge (it took me 23 years). May God bless you both! ~Cynthia

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on September 01, 2013:

@Shaddie, I am so glad! Counselling is definitely worthwhile, especially if you can find someone who is fair to both of you. Men are sometimes reluctant to go, if they feel they will be bashed. Our counsellor strove to understand both of us.

You are married now, so people saying it won't work, doesn't help! I wish you all the best in your marriage. I have been there, and know it can get better. It also takes the two of you finding the things in common, that first drew you together. Take care, and thanks so much for the comment!

Shaddie from Washington state on August 31, 2013:

This Hub brought tears to my eyes. I am in a similar relationship, with fairly frequent arguments and the constant awareness of each others' serious differences. We are different religions, different mentalities (he is loud and outgoing, I am quiet and shy), different interests, even physically we are vastly different! My mother's words (she is a psychologist) always torment me and echo in my mind: opposites don't really attract - statistically it is better odds for two people to be similar. Needless to say, it has worried me and continues to worry me, wondering if we have what it takes to basically beat the odds and persevere in a relationship...

This Hub gives me hope! :) Thanks for sharing your story and some great coping mechanisms. Counseling is something I am definitely interested in. I think it's just down to the matter of convincing the SO it won't hurt him.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on June 24, 2013:

@Victoria, thank you so much! And yes, the love of cats was definitely an acquired taste, for my man. Nice to see you again!

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on June 12, 2013:

This is wonderful, girl! Oh, I know that a man will love our cats if only he is around them. LOL. My boyfriend loves mine, too, even though he's never had one himself. I really enjoyed reading this. This is so neat!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on July 28, 2012:

@Rema, you are so right. It is common to see that and many of us make it work. I think people need to know that it's possible.

Thank you SO much for your kind words of encouragement. Blesssings to you, as well! Take care.


Rema T V from Chennai, India on July 27, 2012:

Wonderful hub. It is very common to see entirely opposite character in a couple yet it is very much possible to live together and love each other. You have proved this and hats off to you prairieprincess. My best wishes and blessings to you both for many more years of happy married life! Cheers, Rema.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on May 10, 2012:

Tina, thank you! Yes, we definitely struggled to start with but I'm glad we kept working at it. You are so right that people who are different can learn a lot from each other but it does take time!

I appreciate your support and kind comments. Have a wonderful night!

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on May 09, 2012:

This is a great article and I was immediately captured! I think it is healthy for a relationship if there are some differences and if there is respect and love between the two, it should be all right. But it sounds as if it was a struggle to get it right! People who are different can learn so much from each other and it also tell us that our way of thinking isn't the truth for everyone. Great article, loved it! Voted up, interesting and shared


Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 11, 2012:

abirdandafish, I am a stepparent to his two sons and parenting/stepparenting has been a challenge.

It has been a journey for us but one thing that we have learned is that we have to talk things out away from the kids. If you are starting out (not stepparents), I would suggest really talking out your parenting ideas beforehand. The more you can talk about things before they happen, the better.

Another thing that it is really important is to always show respect for each other, even when you disagree. Thanks for the comment and I wish you all the best in your relationship.

abirdandafish on April 11, 2012:

Thank you for writing this. Been with my guy for 3 years, and we are very much opposite and so far we're doing ok, still a bit bumpy when it comes to disagreement (sometimes we get into ridiculously long convos/arguments). But I often worry what it will be like when we have kids, when it came to your parenting styles, how did you make it work?


Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on February 21, 2012:

Jaspals, thank you so much! And you are so right in that regard: many of the differences are gender-related, and that is a good thing! Thanks again for an insightful comment. Take care.

Jaspal Singh from India / Australia on February 21, 2012:

You managed things in a very systematic way. It's also very true that nature had made two genders with a lot of differences and to run a smooth relationship we should accept differences. Your writing has explained topic very nicely. I enjoyed reading. Voted up.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on November 01, 2011:

Ocean, thank you! I understand: it is challenging, isn't it? You have to work a lot harder to "get" each other when you are very different. It's nice to hear of another couple that have made it work, too. Thanks for your support and have a great night!

Paula from The Midwest, USA on November 01, 2011:

Wow Prairieprincess, this is an insightful, open, and encouraging hub! Thanks for sharing your story with us. My husband and I are very very much opposites. Its been tricky over the years how to make that work when its not easy. So happy for you, loved your photos and story very much. So happy for you guys and all you have learned along the way. You are an awesome tribute to how much work can be put into a marriage. A very worthy cause!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on October 28, 2011:

Tata, thanks so much for coming by. Wow, I can sure relate! When we are so different, it can truly seem helpless. I know where you are coming from! But I think there is hope for many marriages when they learn some of the tools of love and communication. I hope for the very best, for you and yours, Tata. Take care.

Tata on October 28, 2011:

Have been married 10 yrs. Im in the verge of leaving mg hysband.. We are truly opposites. Maybe there's still hope for us. Tnx for this article. And i completely agree with Ulrike it does take time, commitment and understanding. And yup, the decision to keep on loving our partner. God bless us all.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on October 26, 2011:

AEvans, you are so kind. Thank you! And so many blessings to you ...

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on October 25, 2011:

Ulrike, I love your comment: "It takes time, tonnes of commitment, understanding and the continual decision to love." So true! A good marriage, or any relationship, is not an accident but truly is a decision every day. Thanks for sharing!

Julianna from SomeWhere Out There on October 24, 2011:

He will be with you for many years. You have faith, love, patience and compassion. God has a plan for both of you and trust me when I say both of you will be together for a long time. :)

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on October 24, 2011:

@Gaila, I'm glad you found it funny. I had fun writing it! It's great to hear that you and your husband have worked out a way to live harmoniously in spite of your differences. Great job! Thanks for coming by.

@MM, exactly! It does keep you on your toes to be married to someone who is often "unexpected!" Great comment. Thank you so much!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on October 24, 2011:

Will, completely agreed! Mark Gungor is one of my favourite marriage resources. He is so hilarious and I have actually referred to his stuff on other hubs. I might put that video in the hub or as a link because it's so appropriate. Thanks for your input! That is an excellent link.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on October 24, 2011:

@Alicia, thanks so much for stopping by. I can sure relate! It's funny because we often identify ourselves by our taste in music and media. And we like people to like the same thing as we do! Congratulations on your new marriage and I wish you all the best.

AEvans, you are so kind! I appreciate your warm words so much. I pray that God gives us many years together, too! It took me long enough to find him. :) Take care!

UlrikeGrace from Canada on October 24, 2011:

My husband and I are also oposites in so many ways. We married late in life so have also had to deal with our individual "ruts." Yet everyday becomes sweeter and we take one more step towards a respectful and honoring marriage. It takes time, tonnes of commitment, understanding and the continual decision to love. Thanks for your hub. It is interesting and encouraging. I am glad you are both enjoying each other can only get better! Blessings to you Ulrike Grace

Movie Master from United Kingdom on October 24, 2011:

My husband and I are opposites, chalk and cheese! it keeps us on our toes!

Great hub, thank you for sharing, best wishes MM

gailalovesbijou from Wyomissing, PA on October 24, 2011:

So funny! Love your photos, video, and song. Nice hub! My husband and I are very different, but we compliment each other and have lots of common ground. Very sound advice. Thank you!

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on October 24, 2011:

If we are men and women, we are automatically opposites:

Julianna from SomeWhere Out There on October 24, 2011:

I am so glad that everything turned out so well. Both of you were exact complete opposites, but you weathered the storm and I give you kudos for that. You are a beautiful couple and I wish you many more years. Great work! Thumbs Up! :)

aliciajfarinoli from Fitzwilliam, NH on October 24, 2011:

My husband and I have found a few areas we do not agree in. Such as music, comedy, spending habits, etc. We have been together for three year, married for almost one year. Thank you for the resources and encouragement.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on October 24, 2011:

Listener, it's nice to make your acquaintance! Wow! Thirty-three years is a long time! And I'm sure it has been a journey. Thanks for coming by and take care.

Enlydia Listener from trailer in the country on October 24, 2011:

My husband and I are opposites...we have been married 33 has been a journey. Blessings

Related Articles