Thursday, September 09, 2004

Different but the same...

This is another reflection on marriage... 9/4

Background: those who know what Myers-Briggs (MBTI) is,
Elesa and I are polar opposites...especially, when it comes to
the T vs F. I have consistently through the years scored a
perfect T (rational Thought as the basis of my decisions) while
my significant other of the appropriate sex, (I'm told a that's
the new phrase) is a pretty much a perfect F (irrational Feelings
as the basis of decisions). This, of course never causes conflict but...
Sometimes we (as in my wife and I) get into a discussion, it
basically goes like this:
We don't have anything in common
Yes we do
Like what
Well, the kids...
But what happens when they leave.
We like to read
But you don't like the same books I like, and if we both sit here
and read that's hardly interaction
Well, we play games...
and the discussion dwindles away...we're both working on a book :)

Anyway, I've recently noticed that we have way more in common
than we sometimes imagine and that MBTI covers just a small
facet of our personalities.
Over the summer time, a number of families move into/out of
the embassy communities. We came here on the same plane as
another couple. Similar age, family situation, kids, dog, etc.
We've watched them adapt to life here, find a house, get the
kids in school, wait for their "stuff", just as they've seen us go
through the same.
The things that cause them stress, the things they choose to
complain about are so very different from what stresses us,
what we complain about.
Sometimes, after hearing one of their "whines" as it seems to
us, we just look at each other and we're both thinking (because
after 20 yrs, we KNOW what the other thinks, except of course
when we don't) "can they be serious? I mean who could possibly

Our threshold for what is worth complaining about seems so
different when we're by ourselves, and have a complaint about
each other. Yet, once we look outside our (I'm struggling here to
avoid the 'R' word) ....we'll just skip the 'our'...Yet, once we look
outside, at others, their complaints, stress points etc. are truly
different. In that light, it is easy to see how much Elesa and I
have in common.

Battles others engage in so earnestly, are battles neither I nor
Elesa would ever choose to fight, and I'm sure others look at us
in a similar manner, as we fight battles, or avoid them, there
are other couples are looking at each other, knowing their
partner is thinking..."can they be serious? I mean why let
themselves be taken like that?"

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