Similarities

Yesterday I was walking with my daughter down the stairs and she looked up at me with this big grin, and I was immediately brought back to just about a year ago. But instead of my daughter I was looking at Meredith’s daughter. Although our children are almost a year apart, and have no shared relations, when you compare photos of them at the same age it’s almost impossible to tell them apart. 

They look so similar it’s creepy. Even our friends that have seen the photos think it’s weird. Yes Meredith and I worked together, we share similar personalities and interests, but how did our kids end up looking like sisters? It still blows my mind to think about. 

Then you have other similarities too. We both have doctor spouses. Both women have a Lutheran upbringing. Meredith and I are both introverted intuitives, and our spouses are extroverted sensors. We both ended up in the same department in the same company. We both moved away for our spouses for school. Both husbands grew up in small towns and the wives are city girls. The list goes on. I wrote it down once but I can’t find it. It’s just all so strange. 

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25 thoughts on “Similarities

  1. Not to be the constant naysayer, but just because you experience these similarities doesn’t mean you should be together. Twins experience these congruences all the time.

    My sister’s children and mine could pass for siblings (even twins) in some instances. Does this mean I should run off with her husband?

    Just take it all with a grain of salt and proceed with CAUTION is all I’m saying. You know I’m on your side!

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    1. Oh yes I know. Actually when we made the list of similarities was when we were hoping for mutual close family friends and we thought it was great that our families shared all these similarities. The girls looking so similar is a little crazy, but at the time we thought if they grow up as close friends it’s nice they will look like sisters. Now when I get those glimpses it just stops my heart because I am pulled right back to my time with Meredith.

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  2. Two peas in a pod. Yet to be together could be disastrous for opposites attracts and complements. Similarities are great to bond but remember her weakness is also yours. Your worse traits are also hers.

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    1. We spent a lot of time talking about just such a thing. We are very much alike and Wife and I are quite different. I think the opposites attract makes a nice sound bite but there is evidence that more similarities can work our better long term. It kind of makes sense too. Within my house now it’s difficult for me to enjoy the activities I like because Wife does not enjoy them. She has too much energy and will destroy the quietness I created. In turn I also end up dragging her down and keeping her from getting out and enjoying people. Yes we are opposites. We probably end up doing more people activities than if it were just up to me and our household is quieter then if it were just up to her, but in the end neither of us are really satisfied.

      I think there are pros and cons each way. We would need to be very cognizant of it weak spots and work to minimize those. Good news is that we would work on those diligently which is hard to do today.

      One more thing. Meredith is the same personality type as her mother. Her step father is the same type as me. They have been married for nearly 20 years and are very happy. Yeah they have ups and downs but it’s a good sign in my book :).

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      1. Marriage is about compromising and working out problems .
        If you can’t sort out issues in this marriage how will you fare in the next?
        Admittedly you both might think along the same wavelength and thus might be easier? still you’d still need that skill to be successful?

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      2. I don’t know how I would fare in the next, but not all these issues are for me to solve. I have pushed gently for years, but my wife can be quite steadfast on certain things. Meredith and I have a connection that is more fluid, similar and willing to discuss ideas. I can’t really discuss ideas with wife. The world is black and white. Also I made it 14 years and have improved immensely in how to be a husband. I just feel I’ve run out of runway.

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      3. Thought I replied to this already but I don’t see it. Yes I am INTJ. Wife is ESFJ and Meredith is INFJ. I love studying and talking about personality types. So does Meredith. Wife just thinks it’s cute.

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      4. Ha! We are quite similar although I am an extrovert. ENTJ here, so natural born leader. Same as Steven Jobs but I wouldn’t say I am that ruthless. I do enjoy a challenge and will set my mind to anything (and get it done). I don’t enjoy people wasting my time and logic rules my decisions. Although I think with age, I’ve become more aware of the sensitivities of others and how their minds work, their perceptions etc. I think knowing your personality (and your spouses) is nothing but a good thing. Being aware of your personality type, how you operate etc can only be a good thing.

        So I guess my next question is this: does your personality type mesh with your wife’s? Have you ever looked at Meredith’s and tried to decipher who on paper is a better fit for you?

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      5. Oh I know all about ENTJs! My boss for 3 years was one. He was and still is one of the people I respect most in my life. He was a bit younger than me but sharp as a tack. He started at the lowest level of IT jobs in our company and within a couple years was building a regional team, and has hopped around the company starting new teams everywhere he goes. Larger and larger regions to working directly for the CIO of a Fortune 500 company. Also he’s just wonderfully positive and personable. I would work for him any day.

        We were a hell of a pair too. He was loaded with energy and ideas but plowed straight ahead never looking back at his wake. I was well adapted to shore up the projects to make them last. A very dynamic duo and always setting the stage for the next level. OH! I remember we asked what we each wanted as a 5 or 10 year plan and I said “to retire early and young; work in my shop and write a book”. He said “to be CIO.” And he was dead serious. Not only that he’s well on his way to achieving it.

        A lot of entrepreneurs and business leaders are the same type as you. You are my high energy cousin. I’ve never actually met a female version. That would be quite the woman, but hard to handle I’m sure. That has to make the whole issue you are having with your husband that much harder.

        Do I mesh with wife? In many ways, yes we compliment each other. But there are also many ways where we butt heads. The problem is that her forcefulness ends any discussions. She’s not a discusser.

        Let’s see. My laziness, or as they say in the profiles, “conservation of energy” is often taken care of by her manic running around. The house and chores get taken care of because she just does things. Right or wrong. We are both mega planners so that works well for us. My INTP best friend can’t plan the weekend on a Friday. When wife and I are in social situations she often takes over which is ok by me. Generally. She is a really good good woman. Plays by all the rules. Which means I can trust her to be consistent on things. She’s also a great baker. Good at following directions. We sort of take roles of visionary and planner (me) and executer of the plan (her).

        But there are some core things we can’t do. Discuss ideas; play games (I LOVE games with a passion and she will not play; even worse when I try to have people over she talks them into playing stupid social games); the sex sucks; I don’t like rules; I like to get a little wild once in a while; I crave being the leader but cannot do that with her; she keeps a score for us based on every slight we’ve had since the dawn of our relationship which is unfair and gets under my skin; she is extremely defensive to the way I communicate – lashing out at me at least once per day. I realize INTJs can be hard to communicate with. There are a lot of little things. Places we don’t mesh. Most of them have to do with the things you really need with your spouse. We are great friends and roommates.

        Meredith and I talk about that all the time. We think the same. That’s the simplest way to put it. We have a lot of similar interests and can actually support each other. Where our spouses would say “oh that’s nice” we can actually give feedback and appreciation. We have such vibrant internal thought processes and we can explore them together. It’s intoxicating to sit and talk with her about our thoughts. We both get chills. I tried it with wife. Oh boy that ended quickly. “Stop asking me so many questions! I don’t care!” Meredith and I can communicate well. She understands how I speak and never takes offense or gets defensive. She teaches me to be more empathetic. Since I can’t communicate with wife she would never be able to help me there.

        Also the little things. We have similar energy levels. We can sit in a room together reading a book and think nothing of it. We move differently, more gentle I would say. It’s very non threatening to the other because it’s like having ourselves around. We understand it. I can’t understand why my wife moves the way she does. Forceful. Loud. Running into things. It makes me anxious. Meredith never makes me anxious. I don’t know. It’s so many little things from the personalities. Meredith and I have no secrets. She explores my mind and knows the real me. After almost 20 years my wife doesn’t know me. She knows part of me. Maybe a majority but not all of me. She never will. Because I can’t just tell her. She has to go find it, but she won’t. She doesn’t even know how.

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      6. The thing about those sayings, ‘opposites attract’ and ‘birds of a feather flock together’ is they are only anecdotal and fail to describe the complexity necessary for a healthy, successful (and hopefully happy!) relationship. It is vitally important that core values are similar for instance. Personality type compromises can certainly be made and will always be necessary, even with two introverts or extroverts together. There will always be the small annoyances of sharing your life with a person who is simply *different* from you, but when you share the same values and have a shared vision of where your life is going and how you want to get there, THEN that person’s differences can enrich your life. Rarely if ever can this take place when two people’s values and/or vision & goals for their future conflict.

        You have already identified ways in which your wife and your needs conflict so I’m not intending to harp on you here, I agree it can be easier with someone you have more in common with. Ultimately though it boils down to values and goal IMHO.

        Best,
        LG

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  3. Honestly having these similarities I would think would make things easier. I’m an introvert. When you combine introverts/extroverts. No one ends up satisfied. It seems one is constantly sacrificing for the other. In your case, mostly you. It can work but like you said, it’s a nice sound bite.

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  4. I think you are just waiting for April. The two of you never really try to be married to your spouses. You have both left home emotionally. I hope you are kind to your wife when you leave her. Don’t bring Meredith into it. That is such a slap in the face.

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    1. You may be right, but I’m not overtly doing that. I did try for years but you probably mean since last spring. Perhaps we haven’t. But we are not actively trying not to be with them.

      Kindness. I have written about this. Or I think I have. I read a lot of blogs for people on the other side of this deal and I’ve learned a lot. I intend to be extremely kind. If at all possible I want my wife to be part of my life without animosity should we divorce. She may not agree but I will do a lot to try to make that happen. I also will do all I can to keep Meredith out of it until I’m free to date. I really love my wife and don’t want to cause her any undo pain.

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    1. Hey it’s ok. I was on a role. You don’t need to respond at all. I really loved your inquisitiveness on personality types.

      That question has a lot of angles. In a general sense No. I don’t want to go through all of the pain. I don’t want to split my family. I don’t want to do that to my wife and our future. Lose our home. Everything that goes with a divorce. Absolutely not.

      But I also don’t want to continue pretending I’m in a good healthy marriage. I’ve seen beyond now and it was … all I thought life could be. It was all that I had begun to think could never happen with a woman. I want to be in a marriage I can be happy and fulfilled as a person.

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      1. Next obvious question…Can you accept her for how she is today?
        I’m a firm believer that some changes can be made…but people are inherently who they are. What you see is what you get etc.

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      2. That’s what I need to work out. I don’t know. I’m with you. She is clearly who she is, and there is no way she can be completely the opposite in many ways. And I don’t feel it’s fair of me to even ask it. Later we just end up with her frustrated with our relationship? Or worse both of us.

        I love her. I really really do, and she’s a wonderful person, and mother. But can I give up my dreams for her?

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      3. I’ll share something really honest that came about shortly after my confession. After knowing CEO, and after experiencing a man treating me like a sex goddess- I knew there was no going back to the marriage I once experienced with my husband. Part of my discussions with my husband is that, “I can’t put the sexy Kate back in that genie bottle. Either you wake up and start treating me like CEO did, or this marriage is over. I can’t be looked at as just a wife and mother around here. There are infinite sides to Kate that you haven’t even explored, yet another man found, nurtured and cherished. If you want this marriage to work, you need to step up. And act like a man trying to seduce a woman again….”

        Sounds brutal but that was the gist. I also said something along the lines of, “If we divorced, would this be how you would treat a prospective date? Hell no! You would be trying so damn hard to impress her, wine her and dine her. You certainly wouldn’t be rolling over in bed, stroke her thigh, fingering her pussy and calling that foreplay. Nah….you try that being single and no chick would ever date you again. Yet you think that satisfies me?”

        It took being brutally honest with my husband and sharing exactly what I had been up to with CEO for his mind to be blown. CEO and I talked about this once and he said to me (kinda telling now that I recall it), that my husband couldn’t fuck his wife the way he wanted to because he respected me too much.

        So maybe having affair sex throws away all those inhibitions. It allows you to be free and not judged. It allows you to create a dynamic you’ve always craved. But the key is working to create that in your marriage.

        Without it, you’re pretty much living a hum-drum existence, going through the motions of marriage. But inside, you know you crave more.

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