I have been married to my wife for 50+ years now. I think I've come to understand how that is possible. On the one hand, I think it's a typical marriage - we disagree on many things and are prone to criticize each other more than we should, but somehow, it all works in the end.

I think what is unusual about our relationship is that we are very unlike each other. In general terms, she is right-brained, and I am left-brained. She is very social, uses images to remember things and is far more artistic than I can imagine being. I, on the other hand am somewhat of an introvert, pride myself on being logical and forget people very easily. So, you ask why is this good, why does that work. Unbelievably, even with our different approaches to life and thinking, we come to the same conclusions. Ultimately, I think the way we complement each other, and I must admit, tolerate each other, is the reason for our success.

There are many examples of how this works. For example, when laying out the furniture in a room, she wants it esthetically pleasing, I want it functional. We usually find the right combination that satisfies both our needs and produces a superior result to either of our individual solutions. This works with almost everything where we are both involved in the decision. I suppose you could call it compromise, but first you must be willing to hear the other opinion and then recognize the value of that opinion. I think we've accomplished that.

Oh, there are exceptions. There are times, when the social takes precedence over the logical and vice versa. This is where intelligence comes in. I think you both must be at or near the same level of intelligence. Being able to listen and learn contributes to the ability to compromise and that's the key to resolving strong one-sided positions.