Mark: I’m the dreamer in our marriage. I’m the one who has visions of romance dancing in my head. I’m the one who wants to splurge on occasion. I’m the one who has creativity and ideas flowing out of me all the time.

Jill: And I’m the realist. I’m the one with visions of budget numbers dancing in my head. I’m the one who is quick to offer a reason why we shouldn’t splurge. I’m the one focused on what we need to do rather than what we could do.

Mark: Honestly we balance each other well, but I will admit that Jill’s practical logic does feel like she sometimes throws cold water on my fire.

Jill: I’ve written in the past about being a dream-maker or a dream-taker in parenting, but recently I’ve paid attention to how much my practical, realist, black and white mindset can affect my marriage. So last Wednesday night I decided to be a dream maker. We traveled to the Washington DC area area a couple days early before a marriage event we were speaking at on Saturday. When we arrived at our hotel late Wednesday afternoon, we saw there was a Melting Pot restaurant just down the street. We’ve never been to the Melting Pot restaurant because there’s not one in our area and also because it’s rather pricey.

Mark: I’m spontaneous and Jill is more structured. I like to change things up and Jill is fine with routine, so eating at a place like that isn’t usually on her radar screen.

Jill: I decided to suggest shaking things up that night and go to the Melting Pot restaurant for dinner.  Yes, it was outside of our usual date night budget, but we had some money set aside for our DC adventure.  Yes it was not something we planned but we had the time to make it happen.

Mark: I was surprised at Jill’s suggestion but completely game to make it happen.

Jill: So we enjoyed an out-of-the-box (for us) evening enjoying a four course fondue style meal at the Melting Pot restaurant. It was a fun evening to do something different!

Mark: It was nice for Jill to step into my world and I appreciated it.  At the same time, I’m also grateful for how Jill balances me.  My natural freewheeling, easy going style sees more grey than black and white. I can rationalize why we should go off our clean diet, why we should spend money we didn’t plan to spend, or why we should throw the plan out the window and be spontaneous.  Jill helps me stay steady and on-track when it’s important to do so.

Jill: I’m grateful for how Mark balances me, too. I can be predictable and quite boring. He pulls me out of my structured mindset and inserts some fun and spontaneity into my life.

Mark: I used to think that Jill was a kill-joy on my fun, but now I see how God uses her to fill the gaps in my life. And she sees how God uses me to balance her out as well!

What about you? Where do you need to see your differences as a benefit instead of a liability?  Where do you need to step into your spouse’s world a bit? 

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