THE BLOG
09/16/2014 08:08 am ET Updated Nov 16, 2014

What Sadly Happens When A Creative Type Marries an Engineering Techie Type

You have probably heard of that book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. In my household, it is very likely that my husband and I come from different planets, because we have discovered that our brains are wired very differently.

I am one of those creative types. My creativity is mostly centered on writing, but I dabble in other things like crafts, and I have tapped the same side of my brain for some very clever advertising and PR campaigns, poetry, and many other creative endeavors.

Unfortunately, the disproportion of creativity flowing through me has made me a right-brained type person. Simply put, most technical, mathematical, and sometimes even scientific information does not compute in my brain. My left side which controls all of that math and science is severely lacking, overpowered by the other side, or maybe it just has a bunch of cobwebs from lack of use.

My engineering, techie-type husband, who as you might have guessed from the title, is the polar opposite of me. With the exception of being good at photography, which if you think about it is actually highly technical, he is what I affectionately refer to as a geek. When called upon for something creative, he depends on me for helping him to get a clever speech written, poems for birthdays, and the like.

In turn, I ask him to take care of all technical related matters, particularly those on the computer or cell phone. Each time I do this, I get one of two responses: he will do it, but he will try to explain to me what he is doing, so I "learn how to do it for the next time." Or he challenges me to figure it out on my own. When I got a new sewing machine, he actually wanted me to read the instruction manual! Excuse me, but there is no way that I am reading a dreaded instruction manual. He wanted me to do that to set up my SIRI, but we all know how that turned out.

My husband loves to figure out the workings of things and that's why he finds instruction manuals enjoyable, and he reads things that I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole like tech websites and tech magazines. He leaves me articles to read on things he thinks I should know about, and he had the nerve on several occasions to hand me a manual expecting me to not only read it, but then comprehend how to work a gadget afterward! As if!

I compare our differences, such as when we are watching a magician. I have no desire to figure out magic tricks, enjoying the artistry and the wonder of it all, and can even see the same trick over and over and still be enthralled. My husband wants to try to figure it out.

When my husband tries to explain any new tech thing to me, my brain automatically tunes out to focus on, say, a lyric to a song that I haven't heard in 20 years. To put it into technical language that he can relate to: it is like the radio-that-is-my-brain auto-tunes to another channel when faced with technical information. Technical information is like hearing a bunch of static in my brain.

He can tell when I tune him out too, and he always impatiently asks, "Don't you want to become smarter, more knowledgeable in things you don't know anything about?" Well, when he puts it that way, trying to make me feel small because my brain is wired differently than his, then my answer would have to be... NO!

He probably wouldn't admit it, but he tunes me out too when he is not interested in the topic.

I have to say; lately I have found myself marveling at the miracle of certain techie gadgets, but the bottom line is that I can appreciate these gadgets without knowing the intricacies of what makes them tick. In fact I reject learning how they work. It is as if my poor brain will explode trying to understand such things.

In the past I have had some success in playing with things to figure out how they work, like my smart phone, but this is through hands-on trial and error. I can even upload photos and know that downloading is different from uploading but am I interested in learning how they differ? NO.

My husband gravitates towards the complex. I go for the flowery, the emotional, the artistic, or the funny.

We are opposites, but it works well for us, except for these minor misunderstandings where we don't understand how the other's brain is wired. Other than that we are really happy together. I respect him for his qualities -- and boy does he ever come in handy! He is my biggest fan and cheerleader and believes in my talent, even if a creative brain confounds him at times.

Which brings a scientific type of conclusion that even I can use my wisdom to produce (see I am not hopeless): Opposites do indeed attract.

Read my regular blog at www.arlenelassin.com

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