Compatibility is over-rated
May 5, 2011 Leave a comment
The lesson, say a number of noted marriage researchers, is that compatibility is overrated.113 In fact, focusing too much on the issue of compatibility may be in and of itself a sign of trouble, notes Ted Huston, University of Texas psychology professor, who runs the PAIR project, a longitudinal study of married couples. Dr. Huston’s research shows that in terms of likes and dislikes, happy couples are no more or less compatible than unhappy couples. But a telltale sign of an unhappy relationship is when one spouse or the other starts to fret about not being compatible or begins to overstate the importance of compatibility to a good marriage. When a man or woman says that he or she is “just not compatible” with their spouse, what they are really saying, notes Dr. Huston, is that they just aren’t getting along.
The truth is, compatibility comes and goes and there is no such thing as a couple who is compatible all the time. Sometimes couples get along. Sometimes they disagree about money, sex, kids, and time. Good marriages aren’t about being compatible all the time. People in a good marriage know how to manage their differences.
For Better by Tara Parker-Pope