I love this quote by Robert C. Dodds
“The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.”
Many couples love to think alike (at least I know I do).
We like to share the same opinion with our spouses..or rather we like to have our spouse share our opinion.
But we struggle when it comes to thinking together – spurring each other on, growing and thriving when we have differing opinions and thoughts.
Granted maintaining unity and connection in marriage when you disagree is not easy.
But to thrive and grow in marriage, we need to learn how to pursue unity and harmony even when we think differently.
Here are 4 ways we can think together even when we don’t think alike.
1. Seek to think first
In marriage, 1 + 1 = 1.
It’s mind-boggling mathematics really but it’s one of the mysteries of marriage – you can’t bring half of yourself into marriage and expect to be complete as a couple.
You got to be all there, in order to make a complete whole.
That means cultivating a “thinking lifestyle”, something my friend Dan Black shares in detail in his upcoming Leadership book (out in October 2013.)
He says “Those who engage in the right kind of thinking will have competitive advantage and always be in demand”
The act of thinking and understanding your thoughts before you speak them helps you communicate better and improves the quality of your marriage in imperfect moments (Share this)
So train yourself to come alive in your marriage.
Never come to a place where you expect your spouse to do all the dreaming, all the thinking or planning or decision making.
2. Learn to accept each other…even when you don’t accept each others opinions
I remember one hot debate my husband and I had three years ago (it was that big, I remember it to-date : ) ).
It started off as a minor disagreement which however spiraled out of control when we began to press each others pressure buttons.
We didn’t understand that in order to think together, to grow through conflict instead of allowing it to drive us apart, we needed to make each other feel accepted, even when our opinion was not.
Rejecting your spouse together with their opinion will have you chasing shadows.
Our debate lasted forever because we were smarting from rejection. A wounded rejected spouse will never bring their best side into hot situations.
To come out stronger, to think together even when you don’t think alike, learn to go for the heart of the matter – which is issues, not your spouse .
3. Understand differences can make you stronger and better
The bible says “iron sharpens iron”.
Differences don’t have to divide you, they can make you stronger.
That big fight three years ago? It felt like the end of the world for me.
But once the raised voices and tempers cooled down somewhat, we got an opportunity to practice something we had been taught by our mentors.
Being civil and nice even when we don’t feel like it.
Tough situations provide opportunities to glue your marriage in deeper and better ways.(Share this)
You don’t know what you are made of until you pass through the fire and come out in one piece.
Just because you don’t see things the same way does not mean that all is lost.
Learn to wrestle and work through issues, maximize on the experiences and use them as stepping stones to the next level in your relationship.
4. Understand that sometimes you’ll never really think alike… and that’s okay.
I struggle with this because I like winning – and to me winning almost always means “hubby-agrees-with-me”.
The reality though is that a husband and wife will not always agree on everything in life.
While one spouse can choose to go the extra mile for the other, i.e give up their opinion and preference, it’s not something the other spouse can (should) enforce.
Going the extra mile is a personal choice.
Letting your spouse be is almost always a matter of maturity.
The more you grow up the more you realize that the world doesn’t revolve around you and you can be peaceful and happy even when you don’t get everything you want.
The good thing is that sometimes opinions change over time.
You won’t always think the same way. So don’t kill your marriage over some thought that will possibly evolve over time.
Question – What do you think about this quote “The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together” ? How do you keep the peace in your own marriage? Please share in Comments.