Recently I was making lemon bars in the RV oven. I came inside to smell burning. Lovely Lori was on the couch ten feet from the oven (in an RV everything is within a few feet), oblivious to the smell.
Now I know my wife’s sense of smell is sub-par. Her nose is less sensitive than many men’s noses. My nose on the other hand is very good, every bit as good as most women’s. Lori was not ignoring the burning; she had not yet registered it. Blaming her for not smelling it and saving the lemon bars would have been wrong because she is not “equipped” to have smelled the burning yet.
In this example the difference in our ability to smell is clear and well known by both of us. My wife will often ask me if I smell something because she trusts my nose more than she trusts her own. She accepts our difference, and chooses to benefit from my better sense of smell.
There are many, many other areas where Lori and I differ. Some are rather obvious, some are not. The same is true for you and your husband.
The trick is learning to understand where it’s an inherent difference. It might be a biologic difference or limit, or it might be a matter of brain function. It could be a difference based on experience or past emotional turmoil. Regardless, if it’s a valid difference, neither of you is wrong and neither of you needs to change to become like the other.
The next step is learning how to work with these differences. Accept each other’s limitations with love and grace. Learn to depend on him where he is better able to do something, and don’t begrudge him doing the same where you are stronger. Learn to think “Not wrong, just different”.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I really like some of my wonderful wife’s differences!
Related Reading: Not Wrong – Just Different! from Emerson Eggerichs’ blog Love and Respect.