Marriage Letters: Opposites Attract

Join Joy, Scott, Seth and me as we stake a claim in our marriages by writing Marriage Letters every Monday.


Dear Seth,

I’ve seen black widow spiders all over this property, dime-sized and plump, put my hand right next to their chaotic webs on the rock. I wake in the night, and I know in a sudden that they inhabit all play areas outside. They lay slow like mindless fungus but arch ready to strike at my babies. I just know it, like I know the limbs will break, and they’ll shoot their eyes out, and they’ll get catch tularemia from a squirrel.

You. You are not like me in the way of worry. Not at all. Everyone else in the world might say it’s not a good idea to eat raw chicken, but you say, “Don’t worry! We’ll be fine!” I wonder sometimes how our balancing act works, a tad reactionary maybe.

I wonder sometimes if we aren’t a see-saw, and our fulcrum is the truth. We bat around ideas like tether ball, standing as far as we can from each other, until finally in the middle, the ball wraps around.

We never were much alike, as a key is much unlike the lock.

We aren’t alike, but when we went to bed last night, I told you: we aren’t opposites – you as you got in bed and ruffled the covers all up next to me, who smoothed it all out. I haven’t seen you as my opposite in a long while. But if anything were opposite of us, it would be that I take when you give.

I didn’t know it at the time, but when we got married, you were still so much boy, had barely grown into your own head. I didn’t know it. I loved your guitar and how you scribbled lyrics on napkins. I loved how you processed and decided and stood firm, and I had no idea how you would grow to be a man who gives.

I get so frustrated, and I’m quick to snap. You stay cool, not unpassionate, but you give like a ship moved forward by a sail. I have a hard time not thinking in mixed metaphors, and you see it straight. The things that are different about you are still becoming the things that I trust.

It’s been a slow learning, to let go with you, not work against you.

I love how unity doesn’t mean that we aren’t different.

Thank you for making the coffee.



About me


Marriage Letters: On New Seasons
April 06, 2015
Absence Makes the Heart Grow: A Marriage Letter
March 02, 2015
Marriage Letters: What You Call Holy
February 02, 2015
On Healing and Wholeness: a Resolution and a Marriage Letter
January 26, 2015
A Fifteen Year Anniversary: a story of my body
November 13, 2014
Marriage Letters: How We Co-labor
May 05, 2014
Marriage Letters: Once Upon a Time
February 03, 2014
How and Where to Undo the Chains
October 18, 2012
Marriage Letters: On Outside Influences
April 29, 2012


Jessica Y
Reply February 6, 2012

I could have written this letter to my husband. Coffee and all. Except it isnt spiders or squirrels for me, its ticks.

    Reply February 8, 2012

    Funny. Ticks don't scare me a bit. Jessica, we're like long-lost twins every once in a while, it feels like.

Reply February 6, 2012

i love this series, amber - how you and seth tell your truth so plain. it ministers, knowing there are others out there batting the tether ball around and waiting for truth to pull it all together.

    Reply February 8, 2012

    KeLi, I reeheheheally hope you keep doing this with us. I love to read everything you write.

Reply February 6, 2012


love your letters... I totally understand what you mean by "I take and he gives." Thanks for starting this marriage letters link up.. it's really good for my heart!


    Reply February 8, 2012

    Mollie, me too.

    Thank you so much.

diana trautwein
Reply February 7, 2012

Lovin' these letters, Amber. Thanks for having such a grand idea and for faithfully contributing them to the blogosphere each week. You gotta good thing goin' here - keep nurturing it. (Been at it myself for a long, long time - but we don't do love letters. I sorta wrote one today, more a reflection than a letter, though. And my husband doesn't write much. But he lives it really well. For that I am increasingly grateful.)

    Reply February 8, 2012

    Thank you, Diana. You really do always encourage.

    It is ALWAYS good, too, to hear of a man who lives it out.

Reply February 7, 2012

enjoy these letters. :) i married my polar opposite, though i didn't really know it at the time.. will anyone ever marry and not find all the things that are totally different about each other?

i don't comment often, but with two wild and crazy boys over here at my house, i often remember you and your four -- and then i pray for your sanity, because mine's hanging by a thread!

    Reply February 8, 2012

    Oh Jamie, the thread feels so thin sometimes, doesn't it?! But hey, we're still hanging.

    I know that it just wouldn't have worked for me to marry anyone too much like me.

    Thanks for commenting, seriously.

Shelly Miller
Reply February 7, 2012

I haver really enjoyed these letters on marriage. I can relate, yet I am inspired as well. I linked up a recent post on marriage. It isn't a letter but it reveals how our differences have changed me, how love changes everything. It seems that men often have a greater propensity to rest in faith while women worry about the details. Seems to be a common echo I hear in the comments.

    Reply February 8, 2012

    So true, Shelly. I wonder if it's the Eve in us, the worry.

    Thank you for linking up. I love your post.

Reply February 7, 2012

what loveliness! i just stumbled here today, and i immediately started writing my own letter to my husband, my opposite in so many ways. thanks for the courage and honesty to share your hearts. i hope to push publish on my own soon. :)

    Reply February 8, 2012

    Kim! Did you do it? I clicked over to your blog. ETHIOPIA! Oh my heart. This is a long wait for you. Praying now for your little ones and for your Mama heart.

      Reply February 8, 2012

      My link has been added!

Reply February 8, 2012

You write such beautiful letters! Thanks for sharing.

Reply February 8, 2012

Amber, I'm so glad my wife showed my your blog. It's great. I'm glad to be participating in the marriage letters. I hope people will be encouraged by it all. By the way, your writing is great. I can't get enough of it.

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