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Thread: Similar to your spouse/S.O.?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Similar to your spouse/S.O.?

    I was thinking about this tonight since my son and I are travelling to the panhandle for a long weekend, and meeting RJ's younger son. Beyond being Cyburbians and planners and being the same age, we have a lot in common: way we were raised, like cooking and cooking together, hanging out at the pool and reading all day, etc.

    But there are a lot of dis-similarities as well. I've always thought it's important to have diverging hobbies. He can play golf with the guys, I can garage-sale with sisterceleste, etc.

    LadyBuc and I have a (non-degreed) male co-worker who's our construction manager and married to an engineer (former co-worker). Women's magazines always say these unions are chancey since their backgrounds/educations are so dis-similar. But my dad was a lawyer and my mom a high-school grad and they had a great marriage, maybe it was different 50 years ago?

    What say you Cyburbians?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    my hubby has a gazillion hobbies - he restores clocks, takes care of plants inside and out (well, he's a landscape architect), plus he's a hunter gatherer type - tapping maple trees (they're running, the sap is great this year), hunts, berries, the whole gig - sort of a mountain renaissance man

    I am not as into these things- my free time is usually either spent hiking or reading or baking

    but after almost 19 years of marriage I think I can say that it's healthy to have some things to yourself, but the real important stuff (whatever important means to you) for us, is shared - we basically agree on child rearing, we love to travel and travel real well together, we have similar tastes, like the same kinds of people for the most part so most of our friendships are shared (but not all, and that's okay too)

    I think it boils down to defining what is important, those things that you should agree upon and let the other stuff be separate and happy, without resentment

    we were brought up somewhat similar, though my parents are 10 years older than his so it's a generational thing - we both went to college, that's where we met - we both are cafeteria catholics and basically democrats

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I don’t believe that opposites attract nor do I believe that people who share complete agreement on everything will enjoy a successful relationship. Differences are important to assure individuality—it also adds to the spice in a relationship and in life itself.

    You read more than I do. I watch more baseball than you do. We like to cook together. We enjoy wine together. We don't need to be going someplace or doing something all the time. You sleep more. I sleep less. You’re brilliant. I’m a dullard. You get the picture.

    Now, where the common ground is needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis. I don’t have an answer for that one.

    BTW: are we SOs?

    I'm off to the hot tub to think about this some more.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    LadyBuc and I have a (non-degreed) male co-worker who's our construction manager and married to an engineer (former co-worker). Women's magazines always say these unions are chancey since their backgrounds/educations are so dis-similar.
    Those women's magazines are dead wrong. And it's too bad, because I think some women overlook men who otherwise would make excellent partners because of this perspective.

    My husband went into the military right out of high school, got his associate's degree in his late 20s, and works in a trade. Our educational backgrounds and our jobs couldn't be more different... but he is a wonderful husband and I can't imagine my life without him!

    (awwwwwww)

  5. #5
    Member CosmicMojo's avatar
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    That magazine is crazy. There's no reason people of different educations can't be compatible. It's shallow and focused on material accomplishments rather than root personalities, values, and intellect. It's a horrible assumption to say that blue collar people aren't smart. Just because they don't have a college degree doesn't mean they aren't smart.

    My husband never went to college (small rural village, blue collar family--I think he never thought it was an option for him) and I have a masters. He is very smart; can read a wiring diagram for any motor once and remember all the electrical stuff (that I don't know what it's called). He remembers phone numbers after hearing them once even if he doesn't use them for 6 months. Me, I have to write everything down. We have very different hobbies, which gives us private time to ourselves, one way we're very similar, needing that inwardly oriented individual time.

    But we are the same in our attitudes, our values. Very compatible.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    We are both college edumicated but he is a geek, not much skills when it comes to planning a day, a meal or how to solve a problem. I was the social sci person so I keep our day to day life going.

    Oh and I am the one to figure out whats wrong with anything with moving parts
    He does the cooking, I burn the house down.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  7. #7
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    The GF is calm go with the flow type, very relaxed and practical. She is more the type to wear jeans and a t-shirt. She does not like watching TV or movies, and she does yoga.
    As for me, I have to have a plan of attack for most things, maps and knowing exact directions before we leave is essential. I spend more time getting ready in the morning than she does, even if I do not have to work. I love watching sports, movies, and FOX news.

    We have some things in common, but our opposite personalities help to balance each other out.
    The most foolish thing one can do this fall is to vote for Clinton or Trump. Wake up, get out of the matrix, and send a message to the political establishment that you won't play their game.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CosmicMojo
    We have very different hobbies, which gives us private time to ourselves, one way we're very similar, needing that inwardly oriented individual time.

    But we are the same in our attitudes, our values. Very compatible.
    I agree - the basis of every good relationship is a common set of values and morals. Those are the things you can't get past when there is a disagreement. I also think it is good to have different opinions, hobbies, etc.

    My husband and I are very much alike as far as our attitudes go - both quite outgoing, passionate, stubborn, etc. but that isn't always a good thing. We have had some hellish fights that lasted way too long, only because neither of us would compromise. I'm talking about stupid stuff, like what side of the bed to sleep on. We are slowing adjusting and learning to compromise better, learning to pick our battles so to speak.

  9. #9

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    I don't know. Everyone who didn't know my ex and I very well thought we were an ideal couple. Things seemed so smooth on the outside because we both worked hard at keeping them that way. But it was truly miserable much of the time. We weren't opposites in every way because we enjoyed a lot of the same activities, but our F and T really clashed, and my intensity level was very hard on her.

    Karen are both intense, INTP/J's, who are frighteningly alike in many ways. I don't know if would work without the big age difference, but I can't imagine it any other way. I feel like I have always known her. Things do get intense, and what people say about us is not how smooth it is ('cuz it isn't, and that sometimes shows), but how much fun we have together. Which we do.

    I suppose the only lesson is that everybody, and everybody's relationships, are different, but it is clear to me that "opposites attract" is not a universal rule.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Big Easy King and I are similar in a lot of ways, aside from the obvious of us both being planners. We're both typical New Orleanians - raised Catholic, went to Catholic schools, close to family, love to cook and eat, celebrate any occasion, never miss Mardi Gras, hardcore Jazz Fest attendees, etc. etc. We differ in temperment. He gets heated very quickly whereas I don't.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  11. #11
    Member CosmicMojo's avatar
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    In some categories, I think opposites are good 'cause they give balance, like mike said.

    For example, even though it causes some conflict, I think saver/spender is a good oppisite dynamic. All spenders need a saver to rein them in and all savers need a spender to influence them to treat themselves sometimes. This works well as long as the saver is in charge of the checkbook.

    I'm a saver and my husband is a spender.

  12. #12
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I think it's important to differentiate in what ways couples are similar or different before saying yes or no to the age old questions of whether 'birds of a feather flock together' or 'opposites attract'.

    It's a fact that the large majority of couples on earth marry someone from within their own cultural, socio-economic, or ethnic background. That said, everyone knows someone who they can anecdotally point to and say 'oh yeah, what about so-and-so and whatshisname?' They come from very different cultural backgrounds and they seem to do quite well together. True, but I'll bet the reasons they do well together have much more to do with the dynamics of their personality charcteristics. Whether or not two 'hotheads', for instance, can make it work in the the long run will depend entirely upon whether one or both possess some attitude/personality characteristic to counter this potentially relationship-killer tendency e.g. do either possess a forgiving nature or willing to make concessions?

    Having different interests can be rewarding and a good growth experience. Having different abilities/skills is a very good thing as both partners can complement each others and make up for potential individual weaknesses. Having wildly different values, though, is a recipe for disaster IMHO.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  13. #13
    Member CosmicMojo's avatar
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    I don't buy that culture clap.

    I am sure if you crunched the numbers, you'd find that divorce rates for homogenous couples are no lower than for diverse couples.

  14. #14
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CosmicMojo
    I don't buy that culture clap.
    http://www.apa.org/releases/attraction.html

    That 'culture clap' isn't something I just dreamed up myself. It's a pretty well documented phenomenon.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  15. #15
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Things the Mrs. & I have in common:
    education level, though I'm working on a grad degree now
    graduated at top of our respective departments
    outdoorsy people
    like to cook--the ways we like to cook compliment: I like to grill and slave over a pan--she likes to bake
    love dogs
    family values
    both value stability
    like same kinds of entertainment
    we're both tight with money, though she is worse than me.

    Different:
    I'm a city boy and she's a country girl
    I'm competitive and and she's not
    I'm a free spirit and she's more practical
    My parents were white collar and her's were blue collar
    I'm a Southerner and she's a Midwesterner.
    She likes to ride in the boat while I prefer to be behind it with a plank or two on my feet.
    I like to golf and she hates it.
    She like to go to market days and crap like that and I don't
    (based on that, you can probably guess when I go golfing with the buddies)

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  16. #16
    Member CosmicMojo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    http://www.apa.org/releases/attraction.html

    That 'culture clap' isn't something I just dreamed up myself. It's a pretty well documented phenomenon.
    Ending up together, sure, simply because we meet mates at church, in the neighborhood and other places that self-segregate.

    But I'm saying it doesn't affect compatibility. Homogenous couple are just as likely to find they aren't compatible and divorce as mixed marriages.

    In fact, mixed marriages could be a step ahead because they're already established that personality is the attraction since homogeneous culture is clearly not the attraction. They probably already been through some bad comments, racism, bigotry when people see them together and if they're weathered that, they've proven they can get through rough times together and transcend them.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    I would say that we are similar in temperment (and some interests), but we have incredibly different backgrounds

    Me:
    -- Los Angeles-raised in wealthy family (white collar, tennis court in backyard, big house on hill, etc.)
    -- University degree

    Spouse:
    -- Rural Nova Scotia-raised w/ blue collar parents (many years lived in trailer with no running water)
    -- Some college education, no degree

    But oddly enough, we have very similar values and we have the same future goals in mind. We complement each other well, in that I am organized and goal-oriented so I push us a little, and he has patience and is detailed-oriented. I have background in finances, so I do most of the financial planning/bill-paying/investing. He has good technical knowledge and can fix most anything in the house (or easily learn how to do it).

    We both love movies, the outdoors, traveling, etc., which makes it fun to spend time together. But we also have separate interests that keep us both growing in our own ways.

    Personally, I think that it doesn't matter how divergent your backgrounds are, as long as your collective aspirations and values are similar.

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