Does growing up differently have to ruin your relationship?

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People grow up in extremely different environments and these environments can sometimes shape the way people interact when they get into relationships. 
 
Suppose you grew up poor and had to work for everything and are extremely frugal, but you are in relationship with someone who has had everything handed to them, so they spend money all of the time while you are constantly trying to save it.
 
Suppose you grew up with two parents in the home and your spouse was raised by a single parent, so your views on marriage are completely different because you haven’t seen it modeled growing up. 
 
Suppose you grew up in a family oriented environment where everyone ate dinner together at the dining room table, and your spouse is used to going their bedroom or eating in front of the television. 
 
Suppose you grew up, like me, with Rev. Dr. Freddie Rouse Anderson in a Christian household, where we were absolutely NOT allowed to celebrate Halloween, but then you marry someone who does not think their children should be deprived of participating in the festivities just because you could not. 
 
Suppose you grew up spoiled rotten, where you were not expected to wash dishes, clean up after yourself, do your own laundry or make your own money, but then get into a relationship with someone who worked for every dime they ever made and now expect you to continue spoiling them.
 
Suppose your family goes on multiple vacations throughout the year and your spouse has never been anywhere before and wants to now prevent you from traveling.
 
All of these are real scenarios that happen in relationships, and I’m sure you can come up with plenty more. These are issues that can create friction in your marriage but they don’t have to ruin it. I spoke with a woman who differences in growing up caused her and her husband to divorce.  She grew up extremely poor and began working quite early in life.  Her ex husband’s family was rich and he had never had to work a day in his life. He had a huge inheritance and spent money like crazy, while she saved money like crazy.  When they got married, he expected her to pay all of the bills because he never had to worry about such things. All of his money belonged to him so he decided to spend it on expensive clothes, gambling, and anything else he felt like spending it on.  He took lavish vacations when she was unable to get off from work and this behavior destroyed their marriage.  They ended in a terrible and costly divorce.
 
I was sorry to hear of her story and it made me think about plenty of people in relationships who grow up differently, including my husband and I. But we have determined to use that for the better and not for the worse. I’ll turn it over to Jim and he can explain how we use our different backgrounds to better our marriage.
 
What’s good yall! It’s Ya Boy!
My wife and I definitely grew up differently.  I didn’t see marriage modeled the way she did so if you ask her, she would tell you I was NEVER getting married and I meant it! She was extremely sheltered, while I ran the streets.  She is book smart, while I am street smart.  She grew up going to Disney World as a child and going on vacations every single year while I did not.  There are so many other ways we are different in our up bringing but our marriage will never suffer because of it; it actually balances us both out.
 
When we had marriage counseling, Pastor Peggy taught us that marriage is a designer original. You design your marriage! You get to write your story the way you want to.  And that’s what we are doing, by deciding to blend our differences.  It wasn’t until she took me on a cruise that I realized this is something I need to be doing all the time. There are so many things she has learned from me and that I have learned from her. Our differences actually create a healthy balance for our marriage.  If my wife is being extreme or emotional, she knows she can come to me to balance her out because I’m all LOGIC. She may want to shelter our kids while I may want to give them a little more freedom lol, (maybe NOT)! We will have to keep you guys posted on that.
 
Don’t ever let differences ruin your relationship.  It’s important to be understanding and open minded to how each other was raised and decide if it’s something you want to continue with, remove completely or just come up with your own brand new family traditions. We keep learning new things as we take this journey. Feel free to share your tips with us.
 
Be encouraged!
Until Next Time,
Mr. and Mrs. Holmes
 

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