Does Your Spouse Ruffle Your Feathers?

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

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 implies that people who share similar interests and lifestyles inevitably end up spending time together.

But 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.

Allow me to share some examples…

Danny’s hot-natured.  I’m cold-natured.  His ideal “vacation destination” is somewhere with snow-covered mountains, whereas mine is the beach!

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.

I’m a saver, and Danny’s a spender.  Sometimes it’s hard for us to see eye to eye on the budget.

Danny likes to arrive 15 minutes early.  I tend to arrive 15 minutes late, which drives Danny crazy.

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

Danny enjoys camping outdoors and really “roughing it,” especially when it’s cold outside (remember the hot-natured thing?).  I prefer to “camp” in a warm cabin with the comforts of running water, a comfy bed, hot chocolate, a good book… you get the picture.

I’m not super competitive, but Danny is.  He plays to win, whereas I play to have fun.

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

I love to watch musicals!  Danny cringes at the thought of them.  He has outlawed the movie “Frozen” in our home (at least when he is home).  But no worries.  I’ve learned to just “let it go”.  

I enjoy “date nights”, trying out new restaurants, and socializing with friends.  Danny prefers a quiet night at home, especially if a football or baseball game is on.

Danny is skilled at gardening and landscaping.  I can’t keep a plant alive, even if I tried.

I love to read books.  Danny prefers to watch the movie version or listen to an audiobook.

I’m indirect and passive.  Danny is direct and assertive.  He likes to “fix” problems, and I just want my feelings heard.  The fixing can come afterwards.  

Our differences go on and 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 first feather that brought us together and started 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.

God made each of us uniquely and differently.  Our differences— which sometimes conflict with each other— are opportunities to extend God’s unconditional love and grace towards one another.  They’re opportunities to become more like Christ and to see each other and value each other as precious children of God, heirs and heiresses to His kingdom.

No marriage is perfect.  And no one person is perfect.  But a marriage founded in Christ is where two imperfect people can intimately and graciously practice God’s perfect love.

Celebrate your differences.  Let them be complementary instead of divisive.  Support one another while taking turns leading your marriage through life’s strong wind currents.  You are stronger together than alone.

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

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.” 1st Corinthians 13:4-8

– Amy

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5 comments

  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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