I write about marriage occasionally when I come up with something good while being handcuffed to Mr. Hippo. I proposed this post idea to hubby yesterday morning and he granted a hearty chuckle because he knows it’s so damn true. Our opposite personalities in marriage make us stronger as a couple in life.
Before We Dig In…
I need everyone to drop the concept of which one is smarter/better.
We’re just different. A different set of skills for two different kinds of people. So simple!
I don’t know why character differences are not celebrated more.
It’s one of the most beautiful, natural features of marrying someone.
Imagine how boring it would be to date someone identical to yourself.
Cool magical things happen when you get to know someone (platonic or otherwise) as long as you keep an open mind and respect their faults, fails, falls and all.
It’s double-y cool when you’re married because you get to live with your best friend forever. We ran out of fresh jokes and stories to tell each other…like 6 months ago…BUT we still giggle at each other’s jokes and stories that we’ve heard tons of times already.
That’s not a bad thing! (Or maybe we’re just boring people.)
I prefer the comfort of glancing at my husband and knowing exactly what he’s saying, thinking, and feeling. We’re at that level of depth that most people don’t grasp with just ordinary people.
It’s a husband and wife thing, it’s a best friend thing, it’s a roommate thing. It a sharing the same bed for life thing. Marriage is fun because you’re bunking up with your best friend and there’s usually tax incentive to spruce up the deal in the meantime too. Sweet!
On the other hand, since you get to know the person so well, it flushes out the striking non-similarities between two people.
Mr. Hippo and I are very, very different people when it comes to decision making, using creativity, and taking action.
That’s just how things are, we filled these pretty typical roles. He’s reserved, analytical, logical and…comes off dry and boring sometimes 😛 I’m creative, silly, and emotional…but I wouldn’t have much confidence if he wasn’t there to protect, spoil, and coddle me.
(Don’t worry guys, I coddle him too.)
He is a pretty typical engineer with precision, patience, and logic in his veins. He has amazing attention to detail and a high IQ. When he is met with a crossroads, he takes ample time to carefully analyze his options carefully before making a (usually correct) decision to move forward. He makes for a very good engineer.
On the flip side, there are some things he would be very bad at. He does things by the books at his set of very high standards or he’s going to drag his feet through it. Whenever something new pops up, he freezes because it’s new and newness is scary.
He is a little socially awkward. I mean, he went to UC Berkley. Sociability is not what University of California, Berkley is known for. Plus, he’s self admittedly “not a creative person at all” since he has Aphantasia (difficulty forming mental visual imagery.)
If he can’t decide on anything, instead of being spontaneous, he stares at me like a deer in headlights until I decide for him.
His Interviews at Facebook…
My husband interviewed to work for Facebook twice in his life and he was turned down twice by them during the on-site interview phrase.
The first time, it was because he got lost and just gave up. The second time was a philosophical discord. Facebook has a very different work model which (I can’t recall the exact phrase) is something like “move fast, break things” and like “rock the boat, move the moat”…something corny like that.
Basically, Facebook engineers and developers shouldn’t base themselves on perfection but rather innovation – even if they break stuff all the while doing it!
Does that sound like something my Hippo would do?
No, of course not! Even he knows it. He knew he was not getting past that interview!
He takes ample time to consider his decisions and impact. Depending on who you are and how you think – taking an ample amount of time to try to make something perfect or figure out if it’s accuracy can either be a wise thing or an unwise thing to do.
I’m visual like my painter mother. I can chip together a few words to make a conversation and scribble some letter down so it’s engaging enough. One day, my ideas will either bankrupt me, make me a very rich woman…or why not both!
I’m no perfectionist and I definitely don’t have Aphantasia either. For me, his way is not how I do things personally. That cost of time is high, I don’t do it, especially when my gut is telling me to just GO! I try to reason with my brain first but if it’s an impossible and blinded situation, which a lot of life is, I follow my gut.
If my brain isn’t saying anything and my gut isn’t saying anything then I just toss my hands up in the air and LEEEEERRRRREEEEEEROY JENKINSSSSS into whatever it is and hope for the best. That’s why it’s also better for everyone to keep me away from a car steering wheel.
I don’t have much evidence that my method is good but I should have, logically, gotten into SO MUCH more trouble in life.
But I’m not! Now you’re sitting here reading me. Whoopie!
Disclaimer: I don’t really recommend anyone taking my quirk as advice.
I have a tendency to make…ginormous life decision on the fly.
On. The. Fly.
Yes, planning is important. But I also know that life happens, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have a plan!
Just off the top of my head…college, major, houses x2, dating, moving, marriage, writing posts last minute…a lot of big things…I wing.
It took me 2 days to decided and buy our house. It took my other friends over 2 months and my other friend over a year! (Her agent threatened to stop touring her if she didn’t start buying hahaha.)
Before I moved in with Hippo in Seattle, I was still living – dating – and working in San Francisco. I’m not much for the “2-week” notice procedure.
I didn’t tell my mom I was moving out of the state until…AS I was leaving. Literally! ? I told her on my way out because I had to cross the living room/kitchen to the front door.
My Mom didn’t know anything about anything regarding my life (not that I had one.) It’s my fault we’re not close. I forgot my Chinese and they don’t speak English. Plus, I’m full of secrets! Didya notice?
I just told her “I’m going to Seattle” and she stared at me with her eyes widen as I walked out with 2 of my bags. I think she thought I was going for work or just for a few days with Valerie to sightsee.
2 months later she called me after she hunted down Val for an update about me. Valerie had made her worried because she is a crappy liar – which is not a feature you want in an alibi.
Anyway, she was like “Wait….are you coming BACK?” and I said “Nah” and politely hung up the phone.
Disclaimer again: Don’t do that. Keep your family and friends informed. Understand that they probably have more experience than you.
You know how people say you should have a diversified portfolio?
Well, we have a diversified set of skills and personalities. Hubby “bakes the cakes” and I can “whip up a mean steak.”
Besides the fact that we can diversify ourselves to make a full delicious meal (I do the main course and he handles desserts.) We can explore and assist each other in our skill set.
For example, since he is good with precision and patience so I depend on him to cut the vegetables – a chore that is an absolute nightmare for impatient ole’ me.
Hubby has aphantasia and shaky hands whereas I’m pretty girly with surgeon-steady hands so I end up doing the piping work on his baked goods.
Being a perfectionist that he is, he simply doesn’t try to pipe anything. He thinks it’s not going to be perfect…so why try…and that is why his cake piping looks like pink yarn ->
(I said I was girly, these are photos of our old bakes and I…guess I decided to deck it out in pink heart and sparkles for some reason…)
Despite our individual oddities, I think our combination is fairly common in a couple. You have one spouse that’s more analytical and then the opposite partner who is more creative and spirited on the other end of the spectrum.
It’s highlighted every day in how we carry out our decisions as a couple! Even though we are opposites in some core personalities traits, we finish each other and cover for our individual flaws. He lets me know when I’m being reckless and I let him know when he’s being paranoid/overthinking.
That’s why we both believe we’re a good match up with each other. It’s amazing how two people can be so close yet be so different. That’s because even though we’re different, some days it’s funny, some days it’s annoying, we know we are each other’s other half.
Petite rant: I don’t know why people these days think so combatively. We’re constantly trying to level which one is better/worst/rewarded/punished over the other. In a real adult relationship, there’s no better or worst. You’re not here to fight the person. A relationship is about being equal, loving, and sharing wins and losses together. If that’s not the environment that’s being created and no one is dropping their ego, then how would you succeed in letting each other in?
What quirky ways do you differ from your spouse or partner? Do you think personality differences help make the relationship stronger or create more turbulence? What is something your partner is good/bad at that you are not?