Opposites Attract, But Can They Stay Together?
Marriage Magic Mindbody Wellness Tips
Dear Awesome Woman,
A few years ago, my husband took over doing my carpool for the week because I had been down and out with a cold. As I lay in bed nursing my aches and pains, my phone dinged that familiar sound of receiving a text from him. He sent a video of the scene in the carpool—one he had taken at a stop sign. He had the rambunctious neighbor’s children and my daughter dancing and singing in their seats. It was super cute and I had a good laugh.
But I noticed that the neighbor’s kids didn’t have their seat belts on which is the first thing that I have them do when they get in the car. So, of course, I called him and said, “seatbelts please!”
It’s a constant amazement to me how opposite my husband and I are. Our radical differences even show in this small area of life. He’s Mr. Fun so he turns carpooling into an entertainment show. And forgets to have the kids buckle up.
My husband and I have known each other for 30+ years, since being teens in college. Back then in the vast cornfields of Iowa (we went to Grinnell College in the town of Grinnell, Iowa), I actually thought that we were quite similar.
Hah! It takes marriage to prove how wrong you can be!
I always remember to put my seatbelt on immediately upon getting into the car and have my kids do the same. He will never remember. He sometimes even lets that little seatbelt chime ding incessantly and I find myself on the passenger side, staring at him in amazement, wondering how the noise doesn’t bother him (it doesn’t!). I count the seconds before saying, “I’d love that noise to stop.” And then he deftly reaches over his shoulder and buckles the belt.
Our other differences are apparent as well. I like getting to the airport early and he likes getting there with the least amount of time to spare. For me, a good 2 hours before the flight is perfect. For him, he can only tolerate sitting at the gate for about 10 minutes. This means we both need to compromise greatly before each flight, though in the past few years, he has become more and more understanding of my need for feeling safe and leaves earlier to provide comfort for me.
In most areas of life, I am consistent. He is only consistent in being inconsistent.
I’m an introvert and highly sensitive person (see my article on this: For Empaths—How to Avoid Overwhelm in a Very Busy World) while he’s an extrovert. He can juggle phones ringing, people interrupting him, and noise in a way that defies my logic.
I am on social media but feel most at home on Facebook with its slower pace and ability to choose friends (the more introverted approach). I share inspiring somatic healing tips, relationship advice, and spiritual wisdom (as well as nature and family pics) a few times a day. He is on social media with Twitter being his home. He is a marriage and family therapist (Couples Workshop) and tweets out Kabbalistic wisdom and relationship advice 20 times a day. He engages constantly with his followers who love the wisdom he is sharing, letting him know that he is the most influential in his field on Twitter.
My revelations? We are so opposite. And I notice a lot of my friends have marriages like this as well—they are matched up with spouses who are mostly their opposite—those who never put on the seatbelts matched with those who always do.
G-d has a great sense of humor because as much as we may have sought out these differences when we were in pursuit of our soulmate, we never expected the challenges that can result from these differences. What I’ve come to understand as a result of many years married, many hours spent on my own self-help journey through life-coach/master mindbody trainings, as well as relationship trainings (and just wise old age), is that we seek out these differences in partners as a way to retrieve our shadow parts—those parts of our personalities that we have rejected since childhood. But the funny thing is is that as much as our subconscious wants to retrieve these shadow parts, our ego wants to reject them.
And reject them is what we do in the form of negatively judging our spouses. When we blatantly see those shadow parts in our partners, we get emotionally triggered and wind up rejecting the human with those shadow parts—our partners.
And this keeps us from being whole.
The best way I’ve discovered to own our shadow parts and stop rejecting them in the way of rejecting our partners is to take the time to do an exercise I call— Owning Your Shadowself—and I share it below. It’s taken from my full article—Thrive in Your Marriage and Become Whole! And because it’s so important not to suppress or ignore your emotions, I also encourage you to use the ROAR! Process when you’re feeling emotionally triggered. I developed it as a somatic release exercise for processing resentment, hurt, frustration, trauma, and grief.
OWNING YOUR SHADOW SELF:
When your mind is saying things like this:
He is irresponsible.
He is lazy.
He is so selfish.
He is so impractical. How could he think that could work?
He is inept at his job.
He makes bad decisions.
1) Notice the tension inside your body—where do you feel it? Just notice it.
2) Now, put one hand out in front of you, palm up and say: “I am ___________.” Fill in the blank with the judgement word that you have pasted on the other person. Find in your life where you are not perfect and where you do exactly what you’re complaining about the other person.
3) Take a deep belly breath in and release.
4) Now put the other hand out, palm up and say the opposite of that judgment word.
5) Take another deep belly breath in and release.
6) Now with both palms up say: “Sometimes I am _______ and sometimes I am ________. I am both. I am willing to own all my parts.”
7) Notice if the tension inside you has relaxed a bit.
With the earlier sentences, it would look like this:
One hand out, palm up and say: “I am irresponsible when ….” — find circumstances where you acted irresponsibly. Breathe. And then the other hand out, palm up, say: “I am also responsible.” Breathe. Then with both palms up, say: “Sometimes I am responsible and sometimes I am irresponsible. I am both; I am willing to own all my parts.”
One hand out, palm up and say: “I am lazy when….” Breathe. And then the other hand out, palm up, say: “I am also not lazy (or I am also productive).” Breathe. Then with both palms up, say: “Sometimes I am lazy and sometimes I am productive. I am both. I am willing to own all my parts.”
One hand out, palm up and say: “ I am selfish when …” Breathe. And then the other hand out, palm up, say: “I am also generous.” Breathe. Then with both palms up, say: “Sometimes I am generous and sometimes I am selfish. I am both. I am willing to own all my parts.”
One hand out, palm up and say: “I am impractical. I did this ….and those things were very impractical.” Breathe. And then the other hand out, palm up, say: “I am also practical.” Breathe. Then with both palms up, say: “Sometimes I am practical and sometimes I am impractical. I am both. I am willing to own all my parts.”
One hand out, palm up and say: “I am also inept when ….” Breathe. And then the other hand out, palm up, say: “I am not inept. I am competent.” Then with both palms up, say: “Sometimes I am competent and sometimes I am inept. I am both. I am willing to own all my parts.”
One hand out, palm up and say: “I make bad decisions when ….” Breathe. And then the other hand out, palm up, say: “I also make good decisions.” Breathe. Then with both palms up, say: “Sometimes I make great decisions and sometimes I make bad decisions. I do both. I am willing to own all my parts.”
Get the drift?
This little exercise may sting a bit and that is the ego letting go of its self-identity. It’s dissolving and that can feel uncomfortable at first. But when you get into the habit of owning all your parts, it’s extremely freeing, releases tension in your body and improves relationships with others. Your husband will especially appreciate and feel emotionally safer living in a judgment-free home.
So, to respond to the question: Opposites Attract, But Can They Stay Together? The answer is yes, they can! Because when we decide to really embrace all our parts, which often comes from noticing in ourselves the part that doesn’t put the seat belt on, or the part that can also get to the airport late, then not only do we have less judgment and a lot more respect for our partner but a lot less judgment and a lot more respect for ourselves as whole people. And this respect, peace, acceptance, and wholeness makes for a healthier home, with the additional benefit of vibrating out to the universe 🙂
Need a helping hand? As a Somatic Healer, Relationship Expert, and Clarity Coach, I help empower women to trust themselves through the wisdom of their bodies and intuition. Stress and pain relief, trauma processing, marriage magic, dating help, career shifts, Narcissist/Borderline-relationship detoxing, and goal setting can all be accomplished through Mindbody Soul sessions (by phone).
Each session creates quantum energetic shifts for healing, insight, and transformation. You have so much wisdom and it’s all within you. Schedule your free 20-minute Clarity Call today. Looking forward!
Download your free gift e-guide: “3 Secrets to Solve Burnout and Get Energized the Mindbody Wellness Way” (also gives access to your free download of “Escape from the Borderline/Narcissist’s Web”).
If you’d like more connection, emotional safety, peace, and fun in your marriage, download your free gift e-guide: 6 Simple Tips to Up the Vibe of Your Marriage Today!
If you’re dating, there are beautiful resources for you as well (and they include the red flags to look out for to avoid the narcissists!).
Sharing a few testimonials from clients whose lives have been transformed and you can check out more @ Client Love:
“The healing work that I experienced with Miriam’s somatic therapy gave me confidence. Miriam offers generous time to support a process that shifted my energy. When I think of describing Miriam several words come to mind, here are a few: kind, funny, real, insightful, and empowering. I appreciated her language, attentiveness, and ability to create space to understand the process. Many thanks to Miriam Racquel and consider working with her, I’m glad I did. “ – R.K, New York
“I reached out to Miriam Racquel shortly after I had just gotten married as my marriage was not turning out to be the fairytale I had always dreamed it to be. Within just a few sessions I began feeling so empowered to make positive, lasting changes in my marriage that I had control over, and the wisdom I have accessed through Miriam Racquel’s help has truly transformed my marriage into the playful, passionate one that I have always desired. I love the mind-body healing work that Miriam Racquel infuses into her sessions. These practices have allowed me to release my emotions in a powerful way and give me a great sense of relief, validation, and confidence to help me move forward with love.” – N.C.G., Atlanta, Georgia
Client from Couple’s Workshop:
“Dovid, I want you to know that after working together with you and Miriam, my marriage is just so much better. I feel more secure, more loved, and more connected to than ever before—even more than while we were dating.” – A.S., Michigan
Love and blessings,