Understanding Individual Differences In Relationship
Life is a relationship. Just know that is the basic.
Relationship only comes to mind when we talk about dating, but really, life itself is a relationship
You can have a relationship with your shoes.
Of all the shoes I own, there is a particular one I love to wear the most.
That is a relationship
However, these things are inanimate. They cannot return my relationship back to me.
It is only living things that have the ability to reciprocate whatever is it, E.g. A man and his dog.
When a man gets back from work, as soon as the dog hears his voice, what does the dog do?
The dog runs, wags its tail and meets its owner.
There is reciprocation.
Reciprocation of emotions and feelings is because the dog has a mind.
Now, that is an animal. Let us bring it to us as humans. We have minds of our own. I have a mind of my own.
You have a mind of your own. So, you can think. You can act in a way that you are.
If I slap you, you can slap me back. Yes or No
Alternatively, you may choose to overlook it.
My name is Opeyeoluwa. According to Tim Lahaye's book, “WHY YOU ACT THE WAY YOU DO”, I am melancholic in nature. This means I like to keep to myself. I am a perfectionist.
I am prone to depression. I love music and arts. I am courteous by nature.
Now, I've always known these things about myself.
There was a time my mum used to call me sluggish. I accepted I was sluggish.
Much later in life, I knew I was not sluggish, which was my mum's interpretation of something that she saw in me.
I read that book by Tim Lahaye around 2015. Trust me. I wish I read it earlier. It was as if Mr Lahaye described me.
I am not very good at mathematics.
Nevertheless, when it comes to English, I am a champion.
I won prices for English language twice in my secondary school
I was attracted to Press Club.
I do not like dirty places. If a place is dirty, I cannot concentrateREAD MORE
See all these things, they are my natural make up. I did not create myself.
However, certain things influence my makeup. We will get there
Therefore, I have three siblings, a sister, and two brothers.
My sister is directly after me. We are very different.
I am the first child. She is the second.
We are different in stature, height, speech, and temperaments.
I am tall, but she is short and has a very small stature, but we share the same parents and the same blood.
I am sure many of us here also have such differences with sisters or brothers
My sister is kinder, more tolerant and really does not care about things.
She is very free-spirited
My two brothers, they do not look alike. They do not act like either. One is fair. One is dark.
My sister's carefree attitude gets me angry sometimes. Trust me. I cannot stay in a dirty room. I like things being in order. My sister could not care less. Even if rats are living there, it is definitely not her business.
We are different like that.
Now, these are my siblings.
And I lived with them for more than 20 years before I got married.
I did not send them packing. I did not pack out because of their differences.
I am not trying to bore you with my family makeup. I am just trying to paint a picture.
Now, let me use a more public example. P-SQUARE
These two brothers, Identical twin brothers shared the same womb at about the same time.
They lived in the same house, grew up together, did things together.
They share the same talents.
In fact, people did not know the difference between them facially.
One of them had to dreadlock his hair so that we can differentiate.
Although, some people now have an idea of the difference between themselves. It seems one is calmer. Whether Peter or Paul, I do not know
The duo that was expected by all to be able to put up with each other separated a year ago.
All of a sudden, they told Nigerians that they were no longer PSQURE and they went solo due to irreconcilable differences.
Now, these are brothers and siblings. I have explained differences in my siblings too.
We grew up with the same parents. Same teachings and principles, same church, same food
Yet, we are different.
So, what about my husband whom I did not grow up with, or share the same parents with and the same blood?
What about that your boss at the office?
What about that your boyfriend or girlfriend or fiancé like I like to put it?
Obviously, you did not grow up together. You do not have the same parents. You did not share the same womb.
Why is it that you are yet to de-brother that your very annoying brother, yet you can't tolerate your landlord
Why haven't you dissolved the relationship between your troublesome and disrespectful sister and yet you cannot tolerate being disrespected by your colleague at work.
Individual differences are brought about by certain factors.
One of which is Environmental
For example, a woman that stayed at Mushin and someone who has lived all his life in Maryland.
Imagine them coming together in a relationship. Some things would be different.
I am the first child of my family. My husband is the last child in his family.
All my life, for 20 years plus, I have led my siblings. I have commanded them.
I have acted as an example to them. I have given instructions.
And then, I now got married to a last born somebody.
Can someone just help me imagine.
Sometimes, of course, I dish out instructions as if I am talking to my younger brother
The both of us are totally different on that level
Individual differences also come from INHERITANCE.
I told you I could be a perfectionist. I got that from my dad
My dad, even up until now is still perfectionist to the last letter.
I have a tendency to get angry at the slightest provocation. Got that from my dad too
I remember a few months to my wedding; my dad was giving me some advice.
My dad and I share the same similar personality traits.
I am strict like him and I have little tolerance level
He said to me, I know you are like me, you are impatient and you get angry easily, but I want you to know that you are a woman and I'm a man. What I would do to your mother should not be repeated to your husband. You should learn to be tolerant, patient and slow to anger.
These were my dad's words to me, and I'll never forget them.
He was very right.
Myself and Olawale Perfect had issues while we courted because of issues relating to what my dad had told me
I wished that advice came early.
From the day my dad said those words to me. I adjusted
I'm still adjusting
Individual differences are a lifetime managing technique until our characteristics begin to align.
Individual differences come about by self-training. You see a character in someone and you just want to imbibe it.
Over time, you develop the habit.
Now, to understand individual differences, you have to do First things first.
I started by telling you a bit about myself
KNOWING YOURSELF is the most important tool for understanding individual differences
If you know yourself, it makes it easier for you to be able to understand that you are different from someone else
I was confused about my identity. Knowledge of who I was helped me to understand that this is who I've become.
Secondly, always remember that the other party was not born, raised or trained like you
Always remember that you did not go through the same life processes.
Even PSquare who both went through the same life processes acknowledge that they are different.
We did not grow up together, go to the same school.
Even if you did, you do not share the same parents.
Even if you did or do share the same parents, God has wired you differently.
Therefore, we can't have the same favorite food or color.
I wrote a book titled DON'T WALK ALONE.
In it, I wrote the book because I wanted to understand why God created relationships
Just imagine if everyone in the world acted the same way
Imagine if we all had the same talents.
Imagine if we all had the same best food.
The world would be a big boring place.
God, in His infinite wisdom created us with differences to make the world a big, happy, interesting and interdependent place.
When you fall sick, you can meet someone who studied medicine because his IQ could carry that ability. The person helps you recover.
Our individual differences should be celebrated and tolerated.
Simply because it helps us complement one another. As simple as ABC.
If me I'm impatient, but my husband Olawale Perfect is patient. All balanced
Now, the fact that he is patient does not mean I shouldn't work on myself. No
We must learn to work on our character deficiencies.
If you have a character deficiency, do not deceive yourself. Don't say, that is how I am
Bros. Babe. Work on yourself
I am melancholic. Prone to depression.
It does not mean I should get depressed every time.
Even Tim Lahaye gives a piece of advice that I should practice rejoicing every time.
So yes. What do I do?
So, know yourself. Work on yourself.
Remember that differences should be celebrated
Look for the good sides of that person.
Marriages in the days of old lasted because people were more tolerant of one another
They were different. Even though some were negative, but they were managed.
We need to say goodbye to IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES
However, if your partner is abusive, or a pervert, that is not the kind of difference we are talking about o
We are talking about character and personality differences
Please, walk away from such abusers.
Above all, there this wonderful Bible passage 1 Corinthians 13:4 says, Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity there refers to love.
The Bible says that life never fails.
Practice love in addressing that individual.
Show your girlfriend some love.
Try to help her.
Show your fiancé some love. Help him see from your own point of view.
That is what love is. It is a great commitment
It is my simple answer to understanding your difference with your partner.
I love my siblings. I have not disowned them.
Even with their annoying tendencies.
So, I transfer the same love to Olawale Perfect. He's my brother. I call him my big brother.
I will not disown him because he snores (just an example). He doesn't snore.
Neither will he disown me because I'm impatient or can't cook
Love covers a multitude of sins and imperfections.
The love you have for your spouse or partner is even totally different from the one I have for my brother
If I say 'for better or for worse', then, it is a serious acceptance of individual differences o
But note, as I wrap up; if while you're dating or courting, you notice that these differences are things you can't tolerate. Or won't be able to tolerate, I usually advise to cut the relationship
For example, I once dated someone who used to tell me certain things that were not part of my beliefs.
Like. Let's say. He would say the Bible did not say couples should pray together
Now, I already know that in marriage, this one will not or never pray with me.
I can't tolerate that. If I try to persuade and I see no shifting of grounds, I move
Know your deal breakers
There's just so much to say about understanding our differences as individuals
But really, if you could live with your siblings for years, why not cut that brother or sister some slack.
I pray God will restore every unstable relationship here in Jesus' name. Amen.
Thus far has the Lord helped me.COLLAPSE