Janet and I have small dogs. We just love our little Pomeranians, but one thing that really gets on our nerves is how hard it is to train them not to bark at what’s unfamiliar.

We used to command them to shut up and sit still, but it seemed they just could not obey our commands.

Then one day we learned that the reason for their behavior was that they are feeling anxious when they see unfamiliar people around them.

Now when they get that way, we do two things to address it:

  1. Hold them and reassure them that the unfamiliar is nothing to get excited about.
  2. When possible we will introduce them and bring them closer to the unfamiliar.

There are many resources out there for married couples to become familiar with their spouses differences. I would like to suggest just a few of them.

  • To understand the basic difference between men and women you can read “Men are like waffles, women are like spaghetti,” …. by Bill and Pam Farrel
  • If you want to learn how each of us communicates love differently read “The five love languages,”… by Gary Chapman
  • To learn the four basic personality types try “personality plus”…. By Florence Littauer
  • Did you know there are at least four different communication styles; read “Love Talk” … by Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott
  • There are five different money personalities, check out http://www.themoneycouple.com
  • There are nine different ways we worship God. “Sacred Pathways”…… by Gary Thomas

Of course these are just some of our suggestions; there are lots of resources available out there. And when you come to understand these basic differences you will feel more freedom to explore the unique differences that come from individual backgrounds and experiences. So go ahead, explore, and let go of your anxiety, your marriage is worth it.