by Merritt on April 18, 2012

In my 20s there was this simple list of things I heard people talk about related to marital compatibility–and it seemed they all were about personal preferences. Whether or not you put the cap back on the toothpaste {yes, you should}, which way the toilet paper should go {over, of course} and which side of the bed you sleep on {if lying down, I’m on the left}.

It may have been these kinds of topics that made me think living with my boyfriend would help me determine if we’d be compatible for marriage. I mean if we could work those things out, what COULDN’T we do? Right? But with two different boyfriends, two living-togethers {yes, at two different times}, neither relationship resulted in marriage. And it had NOTHING to do with how well we managed toilet paper or toothpaste.

I’m oh-so-much-the-wiser now. Playing marriage didn’t help me understand what it meant to be married. It took BEING married to help me with that. And I learned it’s about so much more than compatible preferences.

Still, we’ve both definitely got our preferences. I’m slow to throw things away; he’s quick. I like to let the hand-washed dishes dry on the counter; he likes to grab a towel and dry them immediately. I don’t mind clutter; it drives him crazy. He could eat the same thing for lunch every day for a week; I like a little more variety. I make emotional decisions; he makes practical ones. He prefers a firm bed; the squishier the better for me.

Despite our different preferences, we’ve got a pretty good marriage. Some of this stuff drives us crazy about each other, but that’s where learning to be patient and forgive often has made all the difference.

What preference differences & similarities do you notice in your marriage? 

Photo Credit: © Adambooth | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jody April 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Granola: Him- clumpy me-little pieces
Sleep- Him- stay up late get up late, Me- go to bed early get up early
Laundry-: Him- do a load as needed Me- get every single speck done and out of site
Time: Him-always late Me-being 10 min early is late……..
Just a few : )


Merritt April 21, 2012 at 10:33 am

Oh my gosh…I’m more like your husband! Except when it comes to granola. 🙂


The Hopeful Romantic (@TheHopefulRom) April 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Hi Merrit, It’s funny isn’t it – as time goes on you slowly realise and define what really is and isn’t important. i think I am just getting to the stage of knowing what i really need over and above what i want. Thanks for this post 🙂


Merritt April 18, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Oh gosh yes. It takes discipline and wisdom to decipher needs from wants (and it takes patience with myself and others when I get mixed up and backwards about these things). Thanks so much for your comment!


Susan Criddle April 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I feel blessed to have a husband that has different (and similar) preferences.

It makes our marriage and life dynamic – how boring if he thought like I did, preferred everything I did. I have learned to appreciate his love for the outdoors (you truly see God’s beauty when you go fishing).

He is trying and has made progress on learning to live by a budget – but I gladly take on the role of checkbook balancer and excel spreadsheet – quickbooks admin. And I know he does it FOR me (and us).

It is much more exciting to see another way (while always knowing and resorting back to THE WAY found in the Bible).

No I enjoy our differences have learned a lot about patience and marriage with learning to blend our preferences.

Thanks again Merritt for the great message and thoughts!



Merritt April 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm

You are so right, Susan. How boring would it be if we were exactly the same and liked all the same things! (We’ve never gone fishing together, but I bet you’re right about seeing so much more of God’s beauty if we did! Especially here!) Thanks for your ongoing encouragement my friend!!


Katie April 18, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I tend to make decisions rather intuitively while my husband is a spreadsheet maker and data cruncher. Usually we wind up at the same conclusion, but it’s fun to see the different roads of getting there!


Merritt April 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm

And I bet you both learn a lot in the process as well!


nutschell April 18, 2012 at 11:37 am

I am glad your marriage is working really well 🙂 Sometimes it just takes love and patience to make it work.
Happy A-Zing!


Merritt April 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Thanks Nutschell, Glad you stopped by today!


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