Should Opposites Attract?

Should opposites attract? Should they date? Marry? Can two people who are opposite in personality have any chance at a happy and successful marriage?

In J.K. Rowling’s latest interview, she revealed to the world that she believes Harry and Hermione should have gotten together and that Ron and Hermione would need counseling. In short, they are too different and she only put them together for the sake of the plot, but in real life, they would never have had a chance at a good relationship.

First, as a writer, I echo the thoughts of my friend: Author, stick to your guns. If this is how the story played out, and this is how you envisioned the end, stick with it. Don’t keep changing afterwards. As your readers we enjoy hearing how you came up with your ideas, but not your second thoughts years after the story is finished. There is a reason you ended it the way you did. It is a good ending. It is now time to move on.

Secondly, just because Ron and Hermione are different doesn’t mean they would need “relationship counseling”. Yes, people who are opposite have a greater predisposition for conflict, but they also have a greater propensity for becoming more than who they are alone.

Case in point: my husband and me. When we became engaged, we took the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis to see how we matched up. When we walked into the counselor’s office, he showed us Dan’s graph. Without even picking up mine, he simply flipped Dan’s and said that was mine.

Dan and I are complete opposites. In the DISC personality test I am a C, he is an I (“C” is slow paced, task oriented and “I” is fast paced, people oriented). Even in the Myers-Briggs we are complete opposites: I am an ISTJ and Dan is an ENFP. Yes, every letter is different 🙂

We had a lot of conflict at the beginning of our relationship and marriage. But we worked through it. We realized we each view the world differently, have different strengths, and have different weakness. We learned before reacting to sit back and look at each other’s perspective. Then to talk about it. Sometimes I had to walk away and calm down before I could talk about it.

Through the struggles brought on by our different personalities, we each grew as a person. I learned how to see people as more than projects. Dan learned how to be more responsible and why that was important to me. When I worry, I see his confidence and draw strength from that. When he doesn’t see a way to make the money stretch, I show him how we can save in small ways.

After twenty years of friendship and fourteen years of marriage, we have rubbed off the rough edges. Instead of letting our differences drive a wedge between us, we have let them bond us together like two puzzle pieces.

Do we still fight? Yes, just ask our kids. Do we still experience conflict from our different personalities? Yes. But really, who doesn’t? Even those couples with the same disposition still fight.

I believe I have become a better person by being married to Dan, and he has become a better person by being married to me. We have each been stretched beyond ourselves and learned to see the world differently, and that is a good thing.

So can opposites attract? They do all the time. Can they have a good relationship? Yes, and experience life a whole new way through their spouse.

 

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2 thoughts on “Should Opposites Attract?”

  1. Excellent post, and I wish more people would talk about this.

    My wife and I never took the test, but we’re clearly very much opposites. In a way, I think we rein in the traits that, left unchecked, would lead to spiritual disaster.

    I’m goal-=oriented, with an attitude of “improvise, adapt, overcome”. She’s process-oriented, feeling that she should plan her work and work her plan.

    Yes, it’s brought collision (and a divorce, followed by remarriage). But I could not imagine being married to someone like me. One of me is quite enough.

    I am, intrigued by Rowling’s second thoughts, though. I kind of like the reanalysis, though I think her conclusion about them needing counseling is all wet.

    Couples improvise, adapt, and overcome all the time, right?

    Oops…

  2. I love your insight into your relationship. I wish I had known about personality testing before my marriage. Learning your letters, colors etc. really gives you perspective on all your relationships no matter how casual or intense.

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