More thoughts on marriage from someone who has been married for a whopping 4 years…
Thought #4: People Have Different Values
People have different values. I don’t mean “I value honesty”. I mean “I value having a comfortable home that reflects my style”. Or “I value taking my kids on road trips”. What one person values isn’t necessarily important to the other.
The above are good examples. I value the home that reflects my style (once I figure out what that is!). Jeff values taking road trips (when the kids are older, of course). The problem is that I’m not so excited about road trips. Now I can handle road trips as long as he means “drive 3 hours to Kansas City where we’ll spend the long weekend watching baseball games and visiting amusement parks”. But if it means “drive 24 hours over the course of 2 days visiting different destinations along the way”, then I’m not excited. At all.
Same goes with Jeff. He’s okay with remodeling the house as long as it means “we hire other people to do things and we spend a little bit of money.” But if it means “we do everything ourselves and everything is a mess for a long time and we spend lots of money”, then he’s no longer excited. At all.
So, we compromise as best we can. I’ll get on board with road trips, little by little because it’s important to him. He’ll get on board with remodeling if I can put a real plan together, we can pay for it in cash and it doesn’t impact too much of our other financial goals.
But some things don’t have an easy or obvious compromise. And that makes things tough. But if you’re in this for the long haul, you keep working on it. You mess up. You pick yourself up and you keep at it.