The saying, “Big risk, big reward,” has always resonated with me.
I’ve always felt drawn to the riskier path, and never really felt satisfied with the safe bets. I applied for jobs I was underqualified for, I applied to schools when I didn’t quite meet criteria, and I took financial risks that others might shy away from.
And I’ve been lucky.
Things have worked out. And I am married to a man who is the complete opposite. He is calculated in every step, and he wants to always plan for the worst-case scenario. Especially when it comes to money, he refuses to ever go beyond his comfort zone and there is nothing wrong with that, but it’s so different from me.
It hasn’t always been easy to navigate this.
Early on, we couldn’t even recognize this as our pattern. I would make suggestions about certain things and it would cause actual panic in him. I had no idea why and felt like he was just dismissing me.
Like he was rejecting that way I live my life. As if I wasn’t making good, reasonable decisions. Even though I was only suggesting the exact things that I would do myself. It took some hurt feelings and a lot of talking for us to realize something fundamental: I am a risk taker, and he is not. Period.
Learning to celebrate the temperamental differences together
And something even more important about this, neither of us is right or wrong. We just are who we are based on how we were raised, our life experiences, and how lucky or unlucky we have been in the consequences of our decisions.
Coming to this realization has given us a great platform to move forward in our relationship, and I’ve seen it in many other couples as well, for one person to fly in the clouds, another must remain firmly planted.
This is a negotiation we made in order to satisfy two different needs. I could no more ask him to jump into a new venture sight unseen than he could ask me to give up my lofty dreams for a more secure 9-5.
We have to meet each other where we are with acceptance and love
I have to remind myself not to push, and he has to remind himself not to always bring down the logic hammer. Often, we find ourselves compromising somewhere in the middle, and in that, the sum has become greater than its parts.
Ultimately, this is what comprises most aspects of a relationship: acknowledging that just because my partner is not like me, does not mean that they think I am wrong or bad. Just because he prefers the mountains and I love the beach doesn’t mean we can’t take a vacation anywhere.
You take turns, you find the middle, you give and take and you keep doing that because this is the person you love and this is the person you picked.
More often than not, it has been good for me to pause and look at the bigger picture, and to consider long-term consequences. And my husband would say that there are things we have been able to do that he never thought possible before.
And luckily, we have one very fundamental thing in common, we do both love dogs.