Square Pegs and Round Holes

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Square Pegs and Round Holes
Sat, 07-19-2003 - 11:56pm
Q: My boyfriend and I are thinking of getting engaged, but from our discussions of the future, we increasingly seem to be mismatched. I am pretty ambitious and want to work hard to create a good life, including condos, cars, etc. My boyfriend, however, wants a simple life and is satisfied without material rewards. My friends tell me how lucky I am to get such a down-to-earth guy, but I find myself wishing he had more drive in life and ambitions that match mine. I'm tired of being the leader in this relationship. I know we both love each other dearly, but is there really any future for two people with such different outlooks on life?

A: Two people can love each other dearly, respect and admire each other and yet not be suited for a marriage. The most important aspect of a good, long-standing marriage is having mutual goals, values and directions. That ensures that the two of you will be moving in the same direction and will be able to offer each other companionship and support (not opposition) along the way.

Many people decide to marry hoping that they will change the person, or that in time, because the person loves them so much, they will decide to change themselves. This seldom happens. Sometimes a person does grow or change, but never because someone else wants them to. Personal growth and development only arise from an individual's experiences and can take many years to unfold.

To enter marriage -- or any long-term relationship -- with the hope of changing your partner is a great mistake that can cause friction, conflict, and frustration within the relationship and feelings of low self-worth for your partner. When you feel your mate is not the kind of person you want to be with, the other person feels that nothing they do can ever make you happy. But there may be nothing basically wrong with your mate -- just with this particular match. In fact, your mate could very well make someone else quite happy, and you could be satisfied as well with someone who had more of the qualities that you want in a relationship.

What you need and want in a marriage is not there in your present situation. If you realize this now, you will save the both of you a lot of grief and struggle later on. Make sure you let your partner know that this has nothing to do with your love for him but that your life forces are pointed in different directions. There is a beautiful saying that goes, "Love is wanting for the other what he wants for himself, even though you may not be the one able to give it to him."

"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2003
Sat, 08-30-2003 - 7:13pm
You dont have to be exactly alike in all facets in life. I am into hard work and motivation and my husband is very layed back and casual. I like lots of things like big house, nice cars, diamonds, you know the usual. He doesnt care about any of that. So I work hard and buy lots of cool stuff and he lives in it, he doesnt care either way. Thats good because I can do what ever I want and its always good.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2003
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 4:51am
I agree with indobear.

I'm the more motivated of the two. Husband is satified with anything. I help him, because he would like to be more like me, but has a hard time with motivating himself. I help him. I'm his coach. I, on the other hand, need to chill out sometimes and he helps me do that. I think we're good for each other that way. We balance each other out.

Somedays he bugs the crap out of me, because he's less motivated than I am. But, that's rare. Usually I'm able to see that he's good for my health. If I didn't have him I'd problaby have heart problems or something!!


Best advice I could give is: do what your intuition is telling you. If your intuition screams, "DON'T DO IT!!" then don't. If your intuition says, "I'M SCARED, BUT I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!" Then, well, you know what to do...

hug, kerri