This is huge. It means so many things.
When we were engaged and talking about our plans for our lives, those plans fit together. The roads which God wanted us to walk were complimentary. Our habits fit together. Our personal preferences were compatible.
Here is a surely incomplete list of examples from some quick brainstorming:
- My wife's career is of the type that might require us to move to a certain place. My career is not: I can continue my career whever we move.
- My wife's career is of the type that might require strict workday hours. (Her current job does not, but it could.) My career allows flexible workday hours.
- We both wanted to have our careers and finances stable before having kids.
- We both wanted two kids. We knew neither of us would be disappointed if those two kids were both boys or both girls and thus change our goal to more kids.
- We both wanted me to eventually be the primary caregiver of kids, and my wife to be the primary breadwinner.
- We both agreed on what raising kids well and successfully would look like.
- We both agreed on what "stuff" we wanted to own, including big things (one house, one practical car, no television, etc.) and smaller things.
- We both agreed on what we wanted in a house: a big back yard, each child having the option of his or her own bedroom, etc.
- We decided, because she likes cooking and I do not, that she would prepare most dinners. I mind washing dishes much less than she does, so I usually wash all the dinner dishes.
- We agree about how to eat healthy and what types of exercise we enjoy, and prioritize these.
- We worked out complimentary roles for household chores.
- We worked out complimentary roles for household finances.
- We want to support the same charities.
- What we enjoy as recreation on the weekends matches.
- What we enjoy as recreation on the weekday evenings matches.
- What we enjoy as recreation on vacations matches.
I surely could go on, but need not. The big point is that in our marriage neither my wife nor I need to make compromises. Our marriage is very relaxing because we have such similar lifestyles. (Recall that what I wrote yesterday mentioned that divorced people list different lifestyles as a reason more often than cheating!)
When my wife and I need to make plans together I never, ever worry that an argument will happen, or that one of us will end up feeling hurt and harboring bitterness because of an unhappy compromise. We can always approach those decisions fearlessly confident that we will happily agree upon the answer, whether deciding where to move, or planning a vacation, or shopping for a car, or deciding on the kindergarten in which to enroll Smiley.
Surely this adds to the stability of our marriage, even though I have never seen any statistics attempt to measure how well people's plans mesh as they build and live a life together. How could either my wife or I ever consider that we could find someone else half as good a match?
Anecdotally, we have had one argument. When we moved Rochester we could not agree about which drawer in the kitchen should be for silverware. I gave in and let my wife have her way. For all the years we lived in that apartment it seemed to me like the silverware was in the wrong drawer. So, yes, I can make a gracious compromise. :-P
Finally, I should add that a whole lot of our agreement is due to our faith. Some of this is because we have divine guidance (such as our careers). Some is simply because of scriptural morals and values. My wife and I have so much agreement because our spiritual walks have shaped us to have that agreement. And that allows us to trust that in the future we will have only increasing agreement.