My former wife's comment that we were "mismatched" was generally prompted by the idea that I wanted to be able to discuss the difficult issues together and she was unwilling to. My personal opinion is that you will be mismatched with pretty much everyone if you can't communicate verbally about the difficult issues or the things that cause pain between you. But leaving that possible controversy aside, let me pose the question of whether some people are so different from each other that a marriage between them cannot succeed. A related question is how much emphasis should you give to compatibility when choosing your dating relationships?
"And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18).
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2.)
Notwithstanding their differences, Adam called Eve "bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh[.]" He decreed that, thereafter, "shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." He emphasized their love and unity more than their differences. His thoughts were not dwelling on how they were different, but how they could be united.
I also believe we can understand this passage in a metaphorical sense. I think it is very interesting that the scriptures describe sex as knowing. For example, ”Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived[.]" (Genesis 4:1.) Sexual intimacy and emotional intimacy go together to create a deeply connected whole. Being "naked," means being exposed. My wife is the only person who sees me completely unclothed. She is also the person in whom I confide my fears, embarrassments, despair, and my deepest hopes and dreams. And because we are together in this way, I am not alone and she is not alone. Being naked and not ashamed certainly refers to being completely exposed in our physical bodies. I think it also means being fully exposed in our hearts and souls. It wasn't until after the fall that Adam and Eve were shamed into covering themselves with fig leaves to hide. One of the most monumental consequences of the fall is the introduction of shame into the world.
I actually love both sports and poetry. Cathy and I don't watch a lot of football together. At the end of the day, not sharing that in common is not all that important. I can watch a good game with my guy friends. Cathy might come to the party and enjoy the snacks and the company. But when the game is over she's going to ask me who won, because she has not been following it.
I think compatibility is something you need to look at in terms of the issues that are really important to you. For example, if one partner wants sex twice a week and the other wants it twice a year, they are probably going to have trouble. I'm not saying it couldn't work. But I think both of them are going to have to massively adjust their hopes and dreams.
We could come up with other examples. My point is that compatibility is an important factor on the issues and subjects that are most important to you. You should not compromise your core values to make a relationship work. However, you can compromise pretty much everything else--and you probably ought to.
I want to offer you the perspective that having those moments where you don't understand how your partner could possibly think the way they do is an opportunity to know your partner more intimately. You do that by seeking understanding, rather than seeking to blame or judge. Then, how you use that privileged information will make all the difference in deepening or destroying your relationship.
I mentioned my former wife. Her parents are a great couple, and yet they have almost nothing in common the way we think of that in dating. (Of course they have kids in common and a house in common and the life they have built together in common.) My former father-in-law is relatively serious. He enjoys reading books and watching war movies. He was a military man all his life and he has a military bearing and way of going about life. My former mother-in-law doesn't enjoy intellectual pursuits. She reads romance novels and watches romantic movies. She laughs a lot. At face value, they don't seem to have much in common. Their relationship is not perfect, but it works. They love each other and they are happy together. I'm glad they didn't decide they were too different to be together. In their core values they have been united. For them, family, church, and togetherness are the things that matter most. Because they have been united in their approach to those things, they have a marriage that I believe will be eternal--vast differences in other areas notwithstanding.
"While marriage is difficult, and discordant and frustrated marriages are common, yet real, lasting happiness is possible, and marriage can be more an exultant ecstasy than the human mind can conceive. This is within the reach of every couple, every person. 'Soul mates' are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price."