Focus on the Family

Treasure Your Spouse’s Differences

Treasure your spouse's differences - photo of Greg and Erin Smalley walking while holding hands
Jen Lints Photography
A marriage insight from Dr. Greg Smalley

My family and I went on a road trip. I was driving, and my wife, Erin, was next to me. I was thinking, Everything is so nice. I’m with my family. We’re enjoying the beauty of God’s creation around us and don’t need to say anything. I was completely content.

“Is something wrong?” Erin asked. “You’re not saying anything.”

That took me by surprise. She thought I was upset because we weren’t taking the time to connect. But nothing was wrong. Our communication styles were different, which can be annoying or treasured between spouses. Our differences, whether in personality or perspective or even communication, can be good for our relationship.

To help me when Erin and my differences irritate me, I wrote a list of what I loved about my wife. I thought about her personality, her character and some of the ways we differ. Many of these attributes are what initially attracted me to her.

Now if we have communication misfires, I can pull out that list and be reminded that God created Erin as a wonderful person with unique qualities. When I choose to value those differences, I am better able to talk about my irritations with an open heart.

Other ways to treasure your spouse’s differences:

Do you want to treasure your spouse’s differences but feel that you have drifted apart? Learn how to overcome the busyness and distractions in your marriage in the broadcast “Reconnecting With Your Spouse” with guests Dr. and Ms. Greg and Erin Smalley.

If you’re looking for more insights on this topic, Dr. and Ms. Greg and Erin Smalley have also written a book about this topic. Get practical ideas for drawing closer to each other in the book Reconnected: Moving From Roommates to Soulmates in Your Marriage.

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