Opposites attract. We’ve all heard it before, and we know it happens. A lot. But what happens when we find our opposite, fall in love, and marry that person. There isn’t another witty saying out there for how to handle the day to day living with your opposite. And since we all come with our pre-programed way of doing things, going through life with an opposite can be tough!

My husband and I are no exception. I’m a messy. He’s a neat freak, though I have learned one way to help ease disagreements from that difference is to remove “freak” from the moniker. While he likes a break every now and then, he can’t allow himself to rest if there are still things on his list to complete. For me, the more items on my list, the more I need to take a nap. And I do. Andy doesn’t know a stranger. I mean, he knows everyone and if he’s met you, you are friends. I’m a little more particular about using the word friend to describe someone. (I don’t particularly like acquaintance either. Can someone come up with a word between the two please?) I may have met you a thousand times, but it is still entirely possible I won’t remember your name. So, I definitely won’t remember your sister’s friend’s dog name either. Give me a minute. I’ll have to consult with my husband who most certainly will know little Fluffy and even how many times she has been to the vet in the last year.

Who’s right? Who needs to change to be more like the other? What are we supposed to do when our differences put a chasm between us as we try to raise our children, minister to others, or simply live our lives together?

LINKED for Couples Quick Guide to Personalities: Maximizing Heart Connections One Link at a Time by Linda Gilden and Linda Goldfarb is the newest tool in my toolbox for tweaking things when the glue holding our marriage shelf together starts to fall apart.

While the full title and subtitle are a mouthful, the book itself is exactly what it claims. It is a relatively short book. It’s easy to read, understand, and apply. And it’s packed full of substance. Think of it as a relationship superfood.

What the two Lindas have done is provide readers with information to help us understand ourselves and our spouses better through the lens of an easy to complete personality assessment, examples of how different personality combinations work in us making us unique, and practical tips to help us learn how to work together with our spouse’s personality to enhance our relationships instead of letting differences tear us down.

Two of my favorite parts are discussions about speaking our spouse’s heart language and understanding a couple may even hear the same thing very differently because of our personalities. These along with the other concepts in the book don’t box us into particular behaviors and attitudes. They don’t excuse bad behavior because it comes naturally. But they do free us from taking everything that’s said or done personally. They show us how to bring out our spouses’ personality strengths and remind us to work out of our own all for the purpose of making our marriages what God designed them to be.

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