No two people are alike. We are all as unique as our fingerprints. Yet, most of us manage to find relationships, whether they be family, friends, or romantic partners. How important is it for the people in a relationship to be in sync? Are certain issues more important than others?

Let’s talk about partners. What are the most important ways for two people to be alike? Obviously, it’s specific to the actual sets of people. I know people who would never consider marrying someone who was not the same religion, while others could care less.

But what about politics? Can a democrat and a republican share a bed without the pull of left or right entering into the discussion? Do you lose respect for your partner if they don’t pull the same lever as you do in the voting box? Or in NYC, fill in the same blanks?

How about how you want to raise your kids? Before marriage people may talk about wanting kids, but how often do they ask what the tenets of parenthood are? Can a disciplinarian coexist with a laisez faire parent?

Rural or urban? If one partner dreams about living on ten acres, miles away from anything, can their partner be someone who likes walking two minutes to get a Starbucks? Remember Green Acres? Did Lisa really like living with a pig? If the show lasted longer would she have moved back to Park Avenue?

I’ve seen plenty of home decorating shows where a sparse modern is paired with a cozy Victorian, and I really begin to wonder how many other things are they opposite on.

Which differences matter more than others?

How are you and your partner different and does it cause friction?

How are you able to compromise, or at least reach détente on issues that you don’t see eye to eye on?

How many differences are too many?

Irreconcilable differences is a valid reason for divorce. Is that just a fancy way of saying “We just disagree?”

All comments welcome!! There are no wrong or right answers….it’s just food for thought…


49 thoughts on “Agree to Disagree

  1. Wow, I could write volumes on this. While married, my Ex & I were very much on the same page for parenting, politics, social issues, etc. We had tons of compatibility on core values, but personality issues drove us apart.

    Fast forward to now and an empty nest. I am dating a man who is my political opposite. He is very different than me in his upbringing and education. For me, this never would have worked for a marriage & raising kids, but it does work today for just me.

    I try to look past his politics by ignoring them. We tried to watch Face the Nation yesterday and I quickly had to turn it off when he began spouting his propaganda. We have agreed to disagree.

    Politics aside, he is kind to me. Considerate and respects and loves me deeply. For that, I’m willing to compromise today.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think everyone has their line that can’t be crossed. I wonder if differences get worse as time goes on though. You make a good point though…it’s different when you’re raising kids as opposed to just being with someone…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I have had words with him about politics. What’s funny is that I am the one who will get fired up. I guess because I am doing more reading and listening to “real” news sources like NY Times. He listens to fake news sources. Makes me nutty sometimes! I just have to let it go and not engage. Nobody is changing their mind, so why waste the energy.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Back inside what seems like another life, I fell for a girl who wore a raspberry beret (No kidding). She was Jimmy Carter and I was Ronald Reagan. She voted for Dukakis and I voted for George H. And we debated, like, all the time. And it was great. And she helped me grow not just as a voter but as a person. And while I never came over to “her side”, I did change as a voter and more importantly as a person. We married but it didn’t last, but I don’t regret a moment because I am better for having been married to her.

    That part never changed in me. I still love debate. Good, positive debate. Not the nasty stuff that seems to hijack the scene nowadays. I always loved a difference of opinion. It keeps things interesting.

    As far as religion, I became Lutheran in order to marry her. She attended church regularly and I did not. She suffered my sports fan side and attended games with me all the time.

    Our sticking point was money and how to spend it. There were other issues for certain, but nothing that would have made for a good soap opera. Boring, real world stuff that became significant over time.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I really think that most relationships break down over a bunch of small things, not one big thing. We work through the big, and ignore the small till they’re insurmountable

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Well, for that, both parties should be willing to do that. What I meant to say was that they can be but they may not be. For them to be able to do it, they must both be willing.
        I think nothing is black and white and it usually depends on situations. So, we should aim for a grey ground in most cases anyways (though we may be on one or the other end of the grey area). So, if more people can do this, it should not be difficult.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s not necessarily the number of differences or even what they are, but how the people deal with them and whether they allow them to rule their lives. I think all this can change over time, too. Issues that partners have made compromises on for years may all of a sudden be things that one or both will no longer be willing to give an inch on. Aging could make it more complicated, as you’re beginning to see “the end of the road.”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Person A ignores the differences early on, allowing or perhaps encouraging Person B to believe that their attitudes and ideals are okay with the other.

    Later, after marriage and kids, Person A- having only ever slightly confronted the issues, finds that they cannot tolerate same issues and wonders why they ever believed it was okay to ignore them in the first place.

    Person A acknowledges their part in this, while Person B can only continue to believe that A has changed, A is not the person they married, etc. Person A used to believe in compromise and change, and clearly invested in the idea that change and compromise was possible from Person B as well. It was not.

    Ultimately lack of respect (among many other things) leads to divorce.

    Both sides have to want and be willing to see the other side, to compromise. If that never happens, especially with views that are polar opposites and there is nothing but daily friction in the relationship, then that’s no relationship. You give and take when you are with someone. Person B did all the taking. Person A got tired and fed up with doing the majority of the giving…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you’re on to something. What we gloss over in the beginning gets more irritating as time goes by. What do we do? How do we proceed with relationships? It just brings up more questions

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well… in the case I described, Person A should have stayed true to herself from the beginning, and not been so easily and readily agreeable to focusing on the outside rather than what was truly inside the heart and mind of Person B.

        How do we proceed with relationships: cautiously, slowly, deeply and with extremely clear communication between both parties. Although that’s what Person A believed she was doing… so I suppose the answer is that perhaps you gamble and hope you score with a win?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It all goes back to when you’re dating someone with a habit you don’t like, and you think…is this a good enough reason to not marry the guy? Maybe those instincts should be paid closer attention to

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You know I stumbled on a bunch of divorced, middle-aged women who do online dating in the past year or so and have started reading their blogs, quite avidly. It is incredibly interesting to see how things have changed these days what with all the apps.

    Before I read these people I was clueless about dating in today’s contemporary world, especially for people who are past looking for the one to have a family with. These women, many of them moms of teens or older/college/adult kidsm, are navigating a world that is completely foreign to me.

    Take the apps. They have to put a profile in tinder, hinge and all the rest of them, and describe all the things you mention: wants, needs, likes, dislikes…the app matches them in the hopes that true love will be found and everyone lives happily ever after (and all that BS).

    Well guess what. The women I follow who are VERY particular about what they want or not are all…actively active (dating/sex) but they are not in relationship building. They want to be, but the men that they were matched with seem not interested in exclusivity (even when they seem to say so in their app profiles).

    It’s is so interesting to see how the two sexes (hetero is what I’m reading, not sure how the homo component works) are approaching the profiles from completely different viewpoints.

    I almost get that the men don’t care about what it says on the profiles, whereas the women rely on the details, both their own and that of their matched.

    How does this work for those of us who are in long term relationships? Because as we all know, as we grow and raise families and move houses and change jobs and yada yada yada things can get quite stressful. Do we ever re-visit and take a look at what we wanted and how it may or may not have changed, or evolved?

    Like you said in a comment, a big blowup may break down a marriage/formal union quickly, but it’s the long slog of all the little tiny details that accumulate as they get ignored that do more damage long-term (in my view).

    So I don’t know what the answer is. But I do love to read about the adventures of my peers who are out there dating and subsequently blog about it. 🙂 It provides a heck of a lot of insights to relationships even for those of us who are not dating.

    (sorry about the length…)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Claudette, my new coworker is also divorced and in our very first conversation one of her first questions to me was “Are you dating?” I almost laughed out loud even though I guess it was a valid question. I simply have no interest, no need as I am happy with myself and my life.

      She said that she has dated a bit, but that can mean so many things today. Does she want a new long-term relationship or just sex? Is it human nature to feel we always need someone in our life, a partner to be near, a longing for companionship. Or do we just not believe that we have the ability to live life on our own?

      I bet those blogs are pretty interesting… 😉

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The woman I follow are a wide range of personalities, but oh boy…I do not know if I could be in that same boat. It must be everything from frustrating to heart-breaking to exhausting.

        Some of the women who still comment on these blogs went through it all and found their happy ending, and although I didn’t follow them then, their blog is still there and anyone can read about their adventures.

        I try to keep an open mind. Partly also because I am not in that dating world, but who knows, my kids may be one day. It can’t hurt to know a little bit of what is out there…

        I’m glad to hear there are some, like you, who are simply content with their life. In my own experience, relationships can be exhausting at times… 😉

        Liked by 3 people

      2. What is dating when you’re older? Sex? I admit a lot of my friends who are 50+ and not married are in relationships, but show no interest in living together or getting married. I wonder what it is that wants them to be coupled

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Dating at 50 plus can look different depending on what your life was like up to that point. I know plenty of people who are looking to get married if possible, some who wouldn’t even entertain that idea. Technically it should be easier to find someone you’re compatible with if you aren’t looking to raise children.
        But taking this back to a previous post or two of yours, there’s the baggage of kids and how they feel about your potential new partner.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hubby and I are total opposites. I came from a family where my parents were together for 45 years until my dad passed and always showed each other love and respect. He came from a broken home, abusive alcoholic father and constantly moving because his dad was in the service. I often think that he married me because I had the kind of upbringing he wished he had had. He is extrovert and I am introvert. You hit the nail on the head when you said “respect and communication.” We have gone through some pretty rough times but we’ve come through them because of those two things. Agree to disagree has been used a few times in those communications.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My husband and I are very different; however, we came from similar backgrounds and sometimes I think that’s the key to our long marriage. We disagree fairly often, and I’ve learned how to pick my arguments carefully.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I refuse to listen to his heavy metal music – I mean, c’mon, he’s 71 and deaf! 😆

    We used to be two different political parties, but he’s become more liberal over the years, so that isn’t a big issue. If he watched Fox, I’d have to leave. I can’t intelligently counter propaganda. It’s good neither of us wanted kids. I’ve seen that conflict end relationships.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Wow! This is such a huge topic I hardly know where to start. I’ll try to keep it brief though. My hubby and I married very young. I was 19 and he was 20. At the time we had loads in common and agreed on almost everything. Over the years we both changed as we ‘grew up’ and we started to have less in common but because we hadn’t learned how to have healthy conflict a lot of our differences were bottled up and we didn’t handle them well. It got to the stage a couple of years ago where we almost separated but we ended up getting some counselling and are still hanging in there. There’s lots to work on but like some others have said if you’re both willing I think it’s possible in many circumstances to live with your differences.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Me and my husband are completely opposite. We have very different opinions and very rarely like the same things but we respect each other and listen to each other’s opinions without judgement. We’ve been together for 13 years and married for 8 and it hasn’t been an issue for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My husband and I are different in many ways, but we figured out early what the most important issues were and those we agree on. We know that certain issues we have differing views so we don’t discuss them, our core values and beliefs are enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh gosh, this is a massive subject LA! I could ramble at length but I’ll keep it simple. While there’s a lot of focus on similar backgrounds, I actually think the key is to have the same values. My belief is that with shared values, you can cope with differences in interests, opinion, background, politics, religion, etc. That and the willingness to communicate, communicate, communicate!

    Liked by 1 person

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