Does Your Spouse Ruffle Your Feathers?

(Photo courtesy of Andrea Miller)

A friend posted this adorable picture on Facebook of her pet ducks.  Almost immediately I thought of my sweet hubby.

Danny loves ducks.  It was one of the very first things I learned about him when we started dating.  He owns all sorts of different duck calls.  Wood Duck.  Mallard.  Pintail…

My very first Christmas gift to him was a scripture-bearing coffee mug with two beautiful geese painted on the front, which I originally thought were ducks at the time— oops.  I was still learning, and he still appreciated the sentiment.  Even his Xbox username is “DancesWithDucks.”

Yep, Danny loves ducks.  And I’m “one lucky duck” to be his wife.

You know the saying “birds of a feather flock together?”  It comes from an old English proverb, and it basically implies that people who share similar interests and lifestyles inevitably end up hanging out together.

What happens when birds AREN’T “of a feather”?

Danny and I have flocked together for nearly 13 years now, but our feathers are far from the same.  For the most part we are polar-opposites of each other, which can sometimes lead to ruffled feathers and rippled waters.

Danny loves cold climates.  He is hot natured.  I love warmer climates since I’m cold-natured.

He sleeps on top of the covers with just a pair of shorts, fan blowing on him at full speed.  I need to be under a pile of blankets.  I call him my personal “electric blanket” since his skin is always nice and warm.

Danny likes a firm mattress.  I like a softer one.

As a first responder, Danny has become accustomed to eating incredibly fast (the food is gone in seconds!), but I eat super slow, savoring every bite… which keeps him waiting… and waiting.

Danny enjoys camping outdoors and really “roughing it,” especially when it’s cold outside (remember the climate thing?).  I prefer to “camp” in a cabin with the comforts of running water, heat, and toilet paper.  Yes, toilet paper is a necessity for me when camping.  Danny says, “that’s what leaves are for!”

Danny’s a spender.  I’m a saver.

Danny likes to arrive 15 minutes early.  I tend to arrive 15 minutes late.

I’m a night owl.  Danny’s a morning person.

Danny’s goofy and outgoing.  I’m much more reserved and private.

Danny is extremely gifted with numbers and mechanics (among many other talents), and I’m more gifted in the arts.

Danny would like to go sky-diving.  I would not.  Period.

When it comes to making important decisions, I tend to over-analyze all the available options, which usually causes delays or even inaction.  Danny on the other hand can be a bit impulsive.  He sometimes makes hasty decisions and dives into projects without abandon.

Our differences go on and on…

Yes, we are opposites.  But opposites attract.

Before I met Danny, I would often imagine what my life-long mate would be like, and he is NOT the type of person I envisioned for myself.  I was looking for someone more like me, someone with my interests, personality, and communication style.

Boy, was I surprised when God sent me Danny.  And I am SO THANKFUL He did!  I can’t imagine my life without him.  Our differences drive each other crazy sometimes, but it’s also what we love about each other.

More importantly, we’ve learned to appreciate and celebrate our differences.

Where I am lacking, he fills a need, and vice versa.  Just like the beautiful “V” shape that ducks form when they fly, the formation that allows them to take turns flying against the strong wind, Danny and I each take turns leading and following in our own relationship.

I need his help, and he needs mine.  Our own strengths compensate for each other’s weaknesses.

Danny has helped me become more adventurous and risk-taking.  He’s also encouraged me to become more assertive with sharing my feelings versus bottling them up.  I’ve helped him become more level-headed and patient, and I’ve encouraged him to soften his tone and to choose his words carefully when speaking.  Danny has opened my world to brand new experiences, and I’ve helped him open his mind to other cultures and differing viewpoints.

We make a good team.  Our relationship is not always easy, and it’s far from perfect, but it continues to mature and change, and we’ve learned how to “comb back” the feathers when they get ruffled.

Because they still get ruffled from time to time.

I said before that our feathers are very different from each other, but we do share lots of similar interests as well. 

We love each other.  We love our family.  We enjoy travelling, spending time together, and trying new things together.  We both have a heart for service and ministry.  We love holding each other’s hands, being in each other’s presence, and just “being us.”  We value our marriage.  We are committed to staying together, in the good times and bad, the highs and lows.

And most important of all, the feather that truly binds us together is our FAITH and love of Jesus.  It is the feather that first brought us together and how we developed our initial friendship— and soon after, courtship— 13 years ago.  And one feather quickly led to another…

Do you and your spouse ruffle each other’s feathers sometimes?

Do you share more differences than similarities?

That’s ok.  God paired you together for a reason.  Every night needs its day.  Plants need both sun and shade to grow, just like your marriage needs both of your unique strengths and gifts to nourish it.

Celebrate your differences.  Let them be complimentary instead of conflicting.  Support one another while taking turns leading your marriage during life’s strong wind currents.

Above all, keep God in the center, and He will help you stay flocked together, ruffled feathers and all.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”  Ephesians 4:2-3

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. […] Live in harmony with one another.”  Romans 12: 6,16.

– Amy


  1. It’s interesting that when you first meet your future spouse, you discover and delight in all the things you have in common with each other. You feel that this person is the one because you enjoy so many of the same things and think similarly on the same topics.Then, once you are married, you start discovering all the ways that you are different from each other and sometimes wonder, “did I marry the right one for me?” Your comments on this topic are so insightful and helpful. Many marriages could be saved if couples could learn to celebrate their differences and learn how to complement each other with the unique qualities they bring to the marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

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