Managing a marriage can be hard. It is made even more difficult if the two partners have little in common and struggle with incompatibility issues. The good news is that many times incompatibility in a marriage can be overcome if both partners want it to happen.
By making use of a few practical steps, marriage partners can work together to become far more compatible. Even if your partner is reluctant to do the work at first, take the lead and he or she will probably follow if the commitment to the relationship is still strong.
Make a list of what your spouse enjoys. Take your time and jot down the types of activities that your spouse likes. List his or her friends along with a general idea of the type of people these friends include. Include in this effort favorite foods, restaurants, books, and travel modes and destinations. This list will give you a good picture of what type of person that you have married.
Make the same type of list about yourself. Compare the lists. Look for similar items or interests. You will be wise to read between the lines on your spouse’s list to see if there are things or people that you might enjoy. Consider even that there are items on your partner’s list that may not be so far removed from things on your own list.
If your spouse is not already involved, share your work with your spouse. It is even better if you can get your spouse involved from the beginning. Discuss the reasons behind various interests and friend choices. This discussion should help you and your significant other to uncover possible areas of compatibility that were masked by all of the differences between you.
Expand the work to include wish lists or bucket lists. It might be surprising how many areas for potential things to do together emerge from this effort. Often people are limited by time or money to do only those things that are easily reachable. By expanding the horizon of your interests and wants, you open up new areas of common interests to be explored as a couple.
While you are talking, take on other issues of known disagreements. Compatibility is also about having things that you agree about or have made and agreement to disagree without arguing. These are things like politics, money, family power, in-laws, and personal accountability. Work your way through any of these areas and learn to use them as sources of future conversations. You just need to learn to talk about the areas that you disagree about without it deteriorating into fights.
Decide how much togetherness each of you need for the marriage to survive. Personal space can be at a premium in some marriages. When a person who likes perpetual togetherness marries someone who likes freedom, you have set the stage for problems. Together, you need to discuss how to allow enough personal time to each other to reduce most of this type of conflict. Find unique ways to communicate that are not confrontational. Notes on the refrigerator, text messages, and possibly some other ways that appeal to each of you. These memos are not intended to replace conversation, but to offer you, as a couple, a way to know what each partner is doing right now.