Embracing Each Other's Differences: Brian

You probably have heard in wedding vows or cheesy love stories that a person has finally found their counterpart. One person is loud and the other is quiet; one is a free-thinker and the other is technical. Whatever the differences may be in a relationship they allow partners to learn from each other. It is likely that partners in a relationship have just as many opposites as they do similarities. While having differences may make the relationship challenging at times, dealing with them in the right way can bring you closer together.

For those who know me, you may have recognized one of my flaws is the inability to make reasonably quick decisions. It may be due to my need to have a little taste of everything or my desire to please everyone. I have a few friends and family members who have pointed out this flaw in the past, but I have my wife to thank for showing me the light. It was apparent from the beginning of our relationship that I was indecisive and she was the opposite. Leslie is one who knows what she wants and does not overthink her decisions. I have no doubt that this is one of the most frustrating differences between us. I have come to understand why making quick decisions is better for me at work and in every day life. I still ponder frequently, but when I am able to decisively answer "YES!" to a question I know I have made us both proud.

One of my best qualities is that I am rarely upset, angry or anxious. I simply don't enjoy those feelings. When I am presented with something that should upset me I get over it quickly and tend to make the best of all situations. This is something that most people cannot understand about me. Leslie has come to appreciate this trait and has allowed it to shift her way of being. She can get nervous and at times plays a game of "what if," running through negative outcomes in her mind. I have helped her to understand that no matter what happens, everything will be okay. Over the years, she has adopted this mindset which has helped her personally, professionally, and in our relationship.

A relationship grows stronger if you can deal with your differences by learning from one another. In our relationship, things are best when we are able to meet in the middle and grow from each other's strengths. However, it isn't always this way. We all know that partners will inevitably have different interests, likes, and hobbies that the other will never enjoy. So maybe I will have to put up with some reality TV shows every now and then. I will make the best of it by commenting on the absurdity of the Kardashians and enjoying Leslie's reactions. 

- Brian Jay