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Number of posts : 305
Age : 69
Registration date : 2007-10-04

PostSubject: APPRECIATING EACH OTHERS DIFFERENCES   Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:09 pm

Appreciating Each Others Differences
By Tony Thomas

Men and women are different. Yeah, I know that's not an earth-shattering revelation. However, it is a simple but deeply revealing concept that should be understood. It could mean the difference between being in a great relationship and being without one.

Being married for many years, I feel as if I've experienced nearly everything there is to experience when it comes to making a marriage a winner or a loser. Unfortunately, most of what I've gleaned has been through the school of hard knocks, not by shear and immediate wisdom that struck me like a lightning bolt. The very definition of wisdom is “the application of knowledge.” People can be smart as a whip, but when it comes to wisdom, as clueless as they come. By applying what we learn about and what we "catch" about our significant other and making sure we put a positive spin on it, we will win. We need to be observational.

Every person is made differently and they have a good mix of strengths and weaknesses. We have all heard that opposites attract. It is so true. People tend to be attracted to a lover that makes up for what they lack and visa-versa. Not intentionally, of course. That's just the way it seems to happen. And ultimately, they complete each other. So many people wander through life, searching for that other person that is exactly like them. They want to find someone that likes the same kinds of movies, likes the same genre of music, enjoys the taste of the same foods, and, and, and. On the surface, that would be the ultimate relationship, but, typically, we would stay the exact same as we've always been.

Now, we all have great qualities, but if we are truly honest with ourselves, we all have a great deal of growing to do. Falling for someone that is the opposite of us has a way of coming full-circle and completing us; of growing us.

Being with someone who is an opposite oftentimes makes things difficult and can put strain on a relationship. But, everything in life is what we make it. It's not what happens to us, but how we react to it. Not all differences are major disturbances in the solar system either. Does he leave the cap off the toothpaste? Does she slurp her coffee? So what! We have to pick your battles. Something that makes no difference, makes no difference. We may have to learn to compromise on things. Take turns with the remote, go out to dinner sometimes, stay in other times. Is she out-going? Is he a stay-at-home type? Compromise. It forces us to have to be a little less selfish. We could all use that. We have to face the cold, hard fact that perfect people do not exist.

Trying to force someone into an unrealistic mold that we create only makes things that much harder for us and them. We have to learn to appreciate the other persons differences.

Growth is painful. I liken it to a large rock shard that is chipped away at until it finally reveals a tremendous statue. Hardship brings growth if we choose to let it run it's course and complete it's work. A relationship takes that kind of growth. It is actually work. But, it is work that pays off over and over. We can never let a relationship coast. If we do, it won't survive. We must step up to the plate and invest ourselves in that other persons life. We have to make an extreme effort to know them inside, outside and upside down. Know what they like and what they don't like. Know what makes them tick. It shows them that they are important to us. It also helps us understand that we are not the center of the universe. We need to love them for exactly who they are, not what they do or don't do. Love cannot be conditional and based on performance. That is really not love at all. That kind of thing tears people down, manipulates them and makes them question who they are and how they were created. Love says, "I care about you and will stand by you and support you no matter what we go through, no matter how difficult things get, just the way you are." Love is a verb. It's an action and not just a feeling. It is something that we choose to do.

If both people honestly have each others best interest at heart, the thing that we have to know in our "knower," above all else, is that our lover is not our enemy. They are on our side. They want the best for us. Knowing that they would not do anything intentionally to hurt us, leaves us both open to communicate about things.

Relationships should not be fragile, but built on solid ground. They should be cherished. We should be able to trust one another completely with our deepest, darkest secrets and never fear that it will be used against us. We must learn to love each others differences.

Men and women are so very different and that's a great thing. They were made that way for a reason. Not only to exercise their individuality, but, when they come together in a relationship, to complete that other person and allow them to be totally who they are. Accept and love each other.

You'll be together many decades if you do.

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