The New Wifestyle Profiles | Kendal
today is an extra special day because you shall being hearing from my very own little sister about her marriage, one she deems consists of being ‘opposite soulmates!’ i really love that she took the time to do this because she shares so much insight into making their differences work! i keep convincing her that she needs to start her own blog entitled ‘extreme desert living’ so give her some love and support because she was feeling some pressure on this (though that was unnecessary because she rocks)!
Hello fellow New Wifestylers! I’m Kendal (with one “L”) and I currently live in Phoenix, AZ with my outdoorsy husband, Kyle, and our zoo of animals (two dogs, a turtle, a tortoise, a snake and a decorated fish tank ready to be filled). As some of you may know, I am Chelsea’s younger sister, so to say I am feeling the pressure to produce a quality guest post on her site, is an understatement…
Anyways, here’s a little background on me. I grew up in Colorado and moved to Arizona to go to college at Northern Arizona University (Go Lumberjacks! – yes, that was our real mascot and it was awesome). That’s where I met Kyle through a friendly competition between him and a bartender getting girls’ phone numbers while my friends and I were out for a girls’ night; naturally for the first couple months we dated his name was “Kyle The Bartender” not only in my phone but to all of my friends. Fast forward six years and we are celebrating almost a year and a half of marriage! You never know when or where you might meet your soul mate so remember to keep your heart open and rock sparkly lipgloss!
We fulfilled my dream of living in South Carolina for a year while I earned my Master’s degree in Social Work and now I am currently working in my second year as an elementary school social worker which is wonderfully challenging on a daily basis. Despite the sometimes unbearable mugginess, living on the coast meant we were able to have a magical beach wedding before moving back West for Kyle to focus on his career goals as he works toward earning his Master’s degree in Geological Science with an emphasis is Planetary Geology (smarty pants, I know!). As we like to say, “He’ll save the planet and I’ll save the people.”
Now down to the nitty gritty. My parents got divorced when I was very young and while I’m sure any divorce consists of many complicated reasons for ending the marriage, my basic understanding is that they are just very different people. As their daughter, I genuinely love the differences between my mom and dad, as well as the addition of my awesome step-dad, because it has helped shape me in to the well rounded woman I am today. Thinking about what personality differences mean in a marriage however, was definitely a point of concern for me leading up to my own marriage.
As much as Kyle and I are similar in a lot of ways, like being academically goal-oriented animal lovers, I would consider us “opposite soul mates” (I like the beach– he likes snowy mountains; I’m the last to finish a test—he’s always the first). While the saying goes “opposites attract,” it is important to note that a marriage does not last simply on attraction. We work hard at appreciating what makes us different and made sure to talk BEFORE getting married (and continue to talk) about the important values that need to align to make our marriage not just work but be the loving partnership we both signed up for.
First let me lay out some of our differences so I can better explain why this can be a great (and sometimes challenging) thing to be in a relationship with your “opposite soul mate,” and more importantly how our values align where it really counts.
Food: I am a super picky eater (I don’t even like salad dressing… I know I’m a weirdo) who has a major sweet tooth, while he is the king of flavor who prefers spicy over sweet.
How it’s hard: Kyle does the cooking in our house and he typically has to separate out some plain stuff before he spices his up and we can rarely share a meal.
Why it’s great: He actually enjoys cooking and has gotten in the groove of what that means for both of us and when it comes to sharing treats, I get more cookies, while he gets more salsa.
Careers & Politics: I am a democrat who enjoys group gatherings, is interested in the social sciences and cares about social justice (“people issues”). He identifies as a republican, is interested in the field work of geological sciences and avoids (at all costs) being consumed by societal norms and trends, like excessive social media use (yes, we discussed this guest blog post a lot).
How it’s hard: We grew up in families that also carry these opposing political views so some ideas and values run deep within us which can occasionally cause tension when we have very different opinions about current events or “hot topics.”
Why it’s great: Above all we are both very open-minded people so when our opinions are different, it can be helpful to discuss the topic to try to help the other person understand our rationales through a different lens. This helps us grow individually and together.
Astrological Stereotypes: While I truly am NOT a big follower of astrology (so stay with me on this one) I do find us to be stereotypically true to some of our “respective sign” traits and I appreciate being able to lump together some personality traits into two single words: Taurus and Leo. I am a Taurus: “dependable, generous, fearful of the unknown, and stubborn.” He is a Leo: “king of the jungle, confident, loyal, and stubborn.”
How it’s hard: He is often pacing around with a lot more energy than me to get out and do something when I would rather have a plan in place or stay in to cuddle; our stubbornness can also get the best of us in something similar to a “nuh uh, yes huh” type of battle during disagreements
Why it’s great: We create a really good balance for each other in encouraging the other person to try new things and have become pretty good at compromising and taking turns because we know we enjoy different activities.
Where our stars align:
Commitment: We wrote our own vows at our wedding that were full of inside jokes and reasons why we love each other. We take those vows seriously and are both committed to choosing each other and our love, every day.
Kids: We both love kids and are excited to raise them together through a partnership that promotes teaching our kids to earn rewards rather than expect rewards and enjoy playing outside over playing video games.
Priorities: We make an effort to spend time with each other and agree family is the most important thing in life. To clarify, this does not mean we are attached at the hip, we are both still individuals who have our own hobbies (crafts for me, hockey for him) and friends (girls night anyone?!) but we always make sure to make time for one another to talk about our day, what’s on our mind, our future, or just simply be together.
My advice for getting the most out of a relationship with your “opposite soul mate”, is to use those differences to help you grow individually and balance each other out. Your differences should compliment each other to create a stronger partnership; just make sure that your stars align on the truly important values that will make your marriage the forever kind.
- How are you and your spouse/partner different from one another?
- What are the most important values to you to agree on in a relationship?