Remaining Compatible as you Change
Compatibility is highly overrated and misunderstood. Many people believe that compatibility is what determines whether or not a couple will have a happy marriage. They believe that it is something that you have and not something that you can work towards. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Compatibility has more to do with a couple’s willingness to negotiate than their personalities. In fact research suggests that most married couples – both happy and unhappy ones – have a similar amount of irreconcilable differences or areas of incompatibility. What determines whether or not a couple is going to have a happy marriage is their willingness to work towards it.
Improving Compatibility in Marriage
Step 1: Identify areas of incompatibility
The easiest way to identify areas in which you are incompatible is to figure out what you argue about most. Write down the issues that keep coming up in arguments.
Secondly, ask yourselves which of your personality traits cause the most conflict in your marriage. Keep in mind that compatibility has nothing to do with similarities. Similarities can create compatibility in some areas and cause conflict in others. For example, if both of you have a short temper, you are probably going to have more arguments than you would if one of you was slow to anger.
If you still can’t think of anything after the first two steps, take a marriage compatibility test. There are thousands of them on the internet but make sure you choose one from a reputable source. Also, don’t be discouraged by your score; remember, compatibility can be improved.
Step 2: Negotiate
The best way to reduce areas of incompatibility in your marriage is to negotiate compatible alternatives. The negotiation process must be fair and take into account both of your feelings, interests and opinions. Both of you can make requests and suggest alternatives that you are comfortable with but don’t make demands. Keep doing this until you come up with an alternative that you are both comfortable with. This process may be a little difficult the first few times but once you get the hang of it, it becomes much easier.
You won’t need to change your personality in order to improve your compatibility with your spouse but you may need to change your attitude and behavior. If you want a happy marriage, start working on your compatibility today by following these marriage tips.