Luckily for our marriage, Torsten and I have quite a bit in common, especially when it comes to the big things. We have similar views on religion, money, lifestyle, morals, kids, travel, and so on. This makes our marriage very smooth for the most part.
However, there are some things that we don't see eye-to-eye on. Most of these are (as you'll see) quite minor and really more funny than anything else. And in some cases they are actually quite enriching.
1. Rights and freedoms. It's not exactly that we don't see eye to eye on this, but simply that Torsten brings a very German perspective to these things. Germany has lots of rights and freedoms, and is very good about guaranteeing civil rights, but unlike the U.S., they don't value freedom of speech above all else. Much Nazi-related speech is banned, for example, and laws about what you can say in ads (regardless of the fine print) are much stricter. Often we will be discussing something that's happened and Torsten will wonder aloud why someone was allowed to do or say a certain thing. And you know what? I find that what he's saying often makes a lot of sense. Freedom of speech is very important, yes, but I think it's very easy for us in the U.S. to take it too far and argue for free speech even in cases when it's detrimental to the greater good.
2. Movies. I like quiet character study movies, and chick flicks, and period pieces. Torsten likes action movies with lots of high-speed chases and explosions, and thrillers, and Quentin Tarantino. There is basically no overlap here. We do both like animated movies, though. Thank god for Pixar and Dreamworks or we would never go to the movies, ever.
3. Bedtime. Torsten starts work earlier than I do, and works longer hours than I do, meaning by the late evening he's already feeling tired. He often wants to go to bed before 10. I prefer more in the range of 10:30. He also likes to listen to the radio while he's falling asleep, while I need silence to fall asleep. Often the way this ends up playing out is that he will go to bed a bit before me and listen to the radio for awhile, and then I'll join him before he falls asleep and we'll turn the radio off and fall asleep together. Or we'll read in bed together for awhile with the radio on before turning it off and going to sleep.
4. Owning a cat. I've mentioned this one before, and got reamed by a couple of commenters (anonymous, of course) because apparently my desire not to own a cat means that I'm a dictator in my marriage? Regardless, I have a fairly strong aversion to the idea of owning a cat (though I do like petting other people's cats), while Torsten likes them and would love to have one in the house. I could maybe be convinced on this point over time, except that a) my mother is allergic to cats so it would be difficult for her to visit us if we had a cat, and b) Montana has clearly demonstrated her dislike for cats, and we don't think she'd be so happy to coexist with one. And I have to say I'm not too disappointed about these things.
5. Cakes and cookies. Torsten likes dense, dry, German-style cakes and crunchy white cookies made with jam or nougat. I like lightweight, fluffy cakes with lots of frosting and soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies. This doesn't come up that often because we don't tend to venture into the land of cake and cookies regularly, but at Christmas it means that we each do our own baking. (And last year my cookies were more popular than his with my coworkers, so there.)
6. Music. I admit that I have fairly crappy taste in music. I like pop, and some classics, and 80s music, and independent folksy style artists like Regina Spektor, Sara Bareilles, Dar Williams, and Catie Curtis. Torsten tends to like classic rock like Guns n Roses and Aerosmith. We do have some overlap, though--we both like Coldplay, Snow Patrol, etc.
7. Menorahs. The search is on for our family menorah, and unfortunately it turns out that we have totally opposite taste in them. Torsten likes very traditional candelabra-style menorahs, while I like more modern, original designs. So far we have not found anything that we can compromise on. We will continue to look until we do.
What about you? In what areas do you and your significant other differ?
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