When You Married Your Exact Opposite

For years, I believed a big fat lie. I thought to have a good marriage, husbands and wives had to enjoy the same hobbies, foods, and even have similar personalities.

When we married 36 years ago, my husband Rick loved loud cars. He talked about RPMs, MUSCLE CARS and MOPAR–things I didn’t understand.

I loved books and libraries and diagramming sentences.

I kept thinking pretty soon he’ll discover the beauty of literature, antique shops, and brussels sprouts.

I couldn’t change him, but guess what?

Something better happened.

We went to a car show this past weekend in Tucker, GA. This wasn’t our first car show, but this one was special.

Rick delivered a customer’s car he’d restored to the show. A 1967 Camaro.

He’s wiping smudges. Car people do that all the time. 🙂

Richard, my FIL, helping …

Cars, cars — everywhere you look.

Brittany (our son’s girlfriend), Chase (Brittany’s rescue German shepherd), our son Thomas, Richard (my FIL) and Carolyn (my MIL).

My FIL showed me some neat cars–a 1936 Ford.

Rick with his happy customer …

From what I understand, the way a car sounds is really important.


But you know what’s even more important?

Listening in marriage.

After all these years, Rick still loves loud cars.

And I still love quiet words.

Here’s our secret connection.

A few months ago, we started praying for each other.

Every day, I ask God to bless the work of my husband’s hands as he fixes cars.

He asks God to bless the work of my hands as I write.



You don’t have to understand someone to pray for him. Or her.

Is there distance between you and someone you love? Praying this way might bring you closer.






  1. Mike says:

    Brussels Sprouts, HA HA HA !
    Great word today! So what’s new

    • Hey Mike, I saw Richard last night at Thomas’s indoor football game. We talked about how you’d have loved that car show. We’ll remember to tell you when the next local one comes up!

      Yeah, and I had to look up the word Brussels sprouts. I’d have spelled it wrong. 🙁

  2. Mary Wilkins says:

    This is wonderful, as always!

  3. Great message, thanks!

    • Thanks, Tom. And thanks for letting me know you’re reading. 🙂 You know what that means–as a writer yourself!

  4. Anna Haney says:

    This made me cry. You usually do. My daddy loves classic cars and since my mom has been so ill, he sold his prize 57 Chevy and has cut down on his time at car shows to be there if she needs him. When Momma is in her right mind, she is saddened that he has cut down on his time with his car club because she knew he needed and deserved this break. The fact that my daddy did this makes me love him even more. And I know that Momma and Daddy do pray for one another. Thank you sweet friend.
    Love you

    • Ohhh, a 57 Chevy, Anna. He sold it. 🙁 Makes me sad too.

      I love your comment, as always. And that they pray for each other. Still. I’m praying there’s a way your daddy can get to a show one of these days.

      Love you too, Anna.

  5. This made me cry, too. Did you hear that engine? I need a tissue.

  6. Your words:
    “Every day, I ask God to bless the work of my husband’s hands as he fixes cars.
    He asks God to bless the work of my hands as I write.
    You don’t have to understand someone to pray for him. Or her.”

    Powerful thoughts, even more powerful that you and Rick put it into action. You teach me something all the time, Julie. Especially when it comes to marriage. When I grow up, I want to be just like you. ; o )

    • Shucks, B.J. And I want to be just like you!!! You teach me too. Signs of a great friendship.

      And the thing about marriage……it takes SO long to begin to understand a tiny sliver of how it works. Or maybe that’s just stubborn old me.


  7. Your words:
    “Every day, I ask God to bless the work of my husband’s hands as he fixes cars.
    He asks God to bless the work of my hands as I write.
    You don’t have to understand someone to pray for him. Or her.”

    Powerful thoughts, even more powerful that you and Rick put it into action. You teach me something all the time, Julie. Especially when it comes to marriage. When I grow up, I want to be just like you. ; o )

  8. marci says:

    I always get so much from your writings. Yes, I guess we all begin with the feeling that we will get more alike being married, and closer. I heard years ago, “If both people in a marrage are alike, then one is not needed” .. something to think about. I think God puts those together that balance each other. Just a thought. I can relate to having a husband with different interests. My dad also has worked on old cars. His pride is a Model A. which he has told me would be mine “one day”, but I hope to not be getting it for some time to come. Thanks for making me think and for bringing back fond memories. Always a life lesson in your writings that I can ponder. God Bless!

    • You’re so kind to let me know you’re reading, Marci…and that what I’m writing touches your heart. Where would we writers be without our readers?

      For sure–in marriage you balance each other out. I’m pretty much a nerd. Can’t imagine being married to someone like myself. We’d drive each other nuts!!!

      Sweet that one day (hope it’s not too soon either) you’ll have a Model A.

  9. Julie Gilleand says:

    As usual, Leaf Sister, we have even this in common. My hubby Rod and I are opposites. I am a music lover, him not so much. He is a morning person, I’m a night owl, he likes big meals, I like lighter simpler meals, he likes a lot of entertainment and activities, I like quiet things such as taking walks or reading, and the hardest one — I love God, he’s not sure if there is one. Opposites attract, so they say. Early on, these differences were battlegrounds. Some still are, but over time I’ve found that our differences (some of them) fill up where the other lacks. I’ve had adventures I probably never would have if he hadn’t said, “Come on, let’s go do that!” And he has an exposure to the God I love. I’m thankful for the things we both love — old black and white movies, cooking together on Sunday afternoons, playing trivia over breakfast and thunderstorms.

    And by the way — my hubby loves watching shows about restoring cars. He loves old cars. I’m not into that, but I do love seeing him as excited as a little boy about things! I have this photo of him standing next to an old truck (he could tell you what kind it was) in front of an old church where we’d gone to an old-fashioned church supper on an old country road. A mix of things we both love.

    Thanks for sharing. You always remind me of something I need to think on or be reminded of.


    • Leaf Sister, what beautiful transparency in your response. You’re a writer, no doubt about it. I love how you’re thankful for the things that draw you together. That’s so good–so important, I think.

      Talk about car shows… Whew, that happens all the time here. That’s my reading time. 🙂

      And thanks for sharing your thoughts with me, Leaf Sister. Hugging you from here.

  10. Patricia Martin says:

    It was so wonderful to see the pics of you all! I was watching an I love Lucy episode last night where Lucy gets (tricks) Ricky into a camping trip so they can have something in common– needless say it was hilarious!((((: I agree that prayer can and is life- changing, and it is a great way to communicate with God.
    How is Gene doing? Happy almost Summer!

    • Patricia, you’re so kind to remember Gene. He’s doing well. He’s using a walker (even though Mother keeps telling him he doesn’t need it)! We got him a near pair of sandals for Father’s Day. He put them on and walked carefully across the room in them. I think he’s going to love them. 🙂

      Thank you, my friend, for letting me know you’re reading. Praying for your Sociology class!

  11. Oh, the 1967 Camaro, now that’s a car! My uncle had a green one. He allowed me to drive it once 🙂
    Your words are so much more beautiful though than any car, Julie. Beautifully said. Thank you. ~Joyce

    • Isn’t it neat how we remember driving a certain car, Joyce? I love that.

      Thank you, thank you for your comment. Means so much. And the only way I can write is because my husband turns a lot of wrenches. I’m grateful…

      All my love.

      • My uncle turned lots of wrenches too. It was a hobby for him, restoring Packards. That day in 1975 when I drove his Camaro, he was delivering a Packard to a customer (no, I didn’t get to drive the Packard!). Many hours of pleasure for him in the garage he built for himself. Good memories. Thanks for bringing them to mind 🙂

        • I can’t wait for Rick to read your comments, Joyce. He reads them all, you know. 🙂

          He’ll understand, for sure~~~

          • 🙂 Well, for Rick…. my uncle is a retired structural engineer, who ran his own successful business for many years, and did consultant work until age 80. He built the three stall garage himself, with a pit rather than a lift. I lost track of how many Packards he restored. He drove a couple of them, sold some for parts, and eventually (I think) he stopped working on them. It was a lifelong love for him, classic automobiles.

        • Hey again, Joyce. Wow! I’m impressed and I know Rick will be!

          Thanks again, my new friend. 🙂

  12. What a precious reminder! Gary and I are opposites, too. I wasted many years trying to make him be like me. But the truth is, two of me would be a horrible mess!

    And now that I respect who he is, it’s amazing how much more I love our differences!

    • Isn’t it the truth, Vonda! And we really believed, One of these days, I’m going to change him.

      How foolish I was! You’re absolutely right. I love the differences too. It wouldn’t work if Rick were like me. Two nerds?!


  13. Kathryn Richardson says:

    This hits home. My husband was in the car business. Lots of classics and collector cars. Went to a lot of car shows and races. I know all about those things. He is deceased now, but, his father before him also worked with cars. He was parts manager for a Packard dealer in MPLS. My oldest son is now in the business. It goes on and on!

    • Ohhh, Kathryn. Felt my heart flip over when I read this. I’m nodding my head with you. Sending you a hug.

      My son is working with his dad now… at least for now.


  14. Sandra Walker says:

    Over 44 years Paul and I have learned to enjoy things together that the other one likes and not try to change the other one. Or do some things separately such as me reading while he watches a sporting event on TV. Seems like by the time you learn these things there is not much time left! We both loved this post! Paul loves old cars too, and he really liked getting to hear the 67! He never did get the 65 Mustang he wanted. I’ve even prayed the Lord would give him one. Paul is the best husband!

    • You’re exactly right, Sandra!!! And why don’t we learn these things early in marriage??? I probably wouldn’t have listened though…

      You’re such a dear wife, praying for your husband to have his heart’s desire. Maybe…just maybe…


  15. I love your prayers…and your exhortation to pray for someone if you don’t understand them. Wonderful…and the cars are so much fun- will let Rick’s BFF HEAR the loud car! xo

    • I know, Robin. I loved that particular sentence in the blog. And I didn’t add it until after it went live. I was walking, thinking like I do, and it hit me. THAT’S what the blog is about.

      Tell Ricky’s BFF hi! From both of us! xo

  16. Tricia says:

    Thanks for sharing Julie!

  17. Ruth says:

    My husband & I too, are very different. And I am going to start praying that God will bless his hands in the work that he does. Have not prayed for him like that – have prayed in other ways like, please God let him see things my way! Ha ha! Maybe not in those exact words, but the meaning could well be taken that way.

    Also, I so get that – about the sound the engine makes! My husband got a new truck & one of the first things he changed was the pipes. He got a new motorcycle & again it needed new pipes. It’s all about the sound for sure! Loved this post. Thanks

    • Ohhhh, Ruth, I love reading your comment. And I so understand. I tried it that way for years. Didn’t work–no surprise there. 🙂 Let your husband listen to the Camaro. Bet he’ll love it.

      Thanks so much for letting me know you’re reading, and that you understand.


  18. Hi Julie,
    Long time reader of you and your Mom in the Daily Guideposts. I recently read your anniversary post in the DG. My wife and I celebrated 34 years in May. She has just gone to work full time, as I only work part-time. Thanks for the reminder to pray for her everyday.

    • He David, So nice to meet you. 🙂 Thanks for letting me know you’re reading. This praying for each other daily–wow–it’s powerful. Don’t know why we waited soooo many years!

      Blessings to you and your wife.

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