Peanut Butter and Jelly

Girl Ninja and I live in a very unique neighborhood. About 20 years ago a couple decided to begin a marriage Bible study in their home. Over the last two decades that Bible study has exploded. There are now over 60 couples (spread out across 10 different bible studies) that meet together each week. As I’ve mentioned before, Girl Ninja and I joined the “young couples” study. Last night we had the opportunity to attend a marriage seminar. And let me tell you, It. Was. Awesome.

The speaker said some really profound, insightful, and down right funny things. There were some incredible nuggets in his message and one of them was this… “Your spouse will never be you, and you will never be your spouse.” Seems pretty simple right? Well, if you’re anything like me, you often forget that.

Girl Ninja and I are completely different. I’m loud, obnoxious, impatient, apathetic. She is compassionate, reserved, and gentle. While our personalities are different, I’m convinced we are perfect complements. Like peanut butter and jelly, we are unique creations that work together to form a divine combination.

Last night was a much needed reminder that I am peanut butter. Girl Ninja is not. And as much as I want her to be peanut butter, she is jelly. She will always be jelly.

So what does this mean for us financially? It means that while I may be an excessive saver, it would be ignorant of me to demand Girl Ninja share an equal zeal for investing, saving, and all the other nerdy PF things I love.

We shouldn’t be trying to CHANGE each other, but instead work towards COMPLETING each other. She teaches me to give money, so we aren’t bound by it. She reminds me that we save money, so we can spend it. She is my perfect complement. She is my jelly.

How has your significant other impacted your personal and financial life? Is your partner your jelly? Any peanut butter with peanut butter relationships out there?

p.s. Men, never call your woman jelly, I don’t think it would go over well.

26 thoughts on “Peanut Butter and Jelly”

  1. Yep, he’s my jelly all right.

    As long as you share similar morals and values, you know, about the deeper issues and whatnot, opposites in other areas can work just fine 🙂

  2. I’ve always been super driven to get out of poverty. It led to years of workaholic, working 80-90 hour a week type existences. My husband reminded me that I need to live a little and work less (especially when I became a salaried employee). Yeah, working a lot will get you more promotions, but the higher up you go the more you have to work. I really hit a turning point where I finally got a big project done and I was rewarded by no..not a pay increase, but more responsibility.

    I’ve done a complete 180 and now am trying to figure out how I can work for myself and control my schedule even more.

    He’s also less frugal. He spends more freely and makes me not worry as much about every nickel.
    Lastly, debt doesn’t bother him as much so he likes to have more liquid funds than I do.

    He is a good balance to me and I’m very thankful I’ve found such a great mate.

  3. My Wife is my Jelly. I’m the spender in the family, She is the saver. and she can keep my wild spending ways under control for the most part. She completes me to steal a line from a movie. I know that is sappy but we have gotten so much further in life as a couple then either of us was ever doing single.



  4. This title made me think of my days after college where I moved out and lived off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I was dirt poor and this was the meal that I could afford.

    But to your point, yes, my wife and I are opposites as well. I am the peanut butter, she is the jelly. I wouldn’t have it any other way though.

  5. Hubby and I are definitely a team and compliment each other very well; with the help of some past lessons learned, I realized that I will never be able to change someone, and really, if I felt I had to change them, why would I want to be with them in the first place? I’m VERY picky about who I spend my downtime with, and I can honestly say that I really enjoy just being with.

    We know how lucky we are to have found each and share many of the same morals and values, but the differences in our personalities are enough to make our relationship interesting and fun. I feel bad for people that feel they really have to work at there relationships with their spouses/significant others, because my marriage is one of the easiest things I’ve got going on right now.

  6. Our spin on this idea is that DH’s head is always in the clouds (he’s always very optomistic about the future, money, etc.) and I am much more “grounded” by nature (as in, I’m not a pessimist, but would prefer to prepare for the worst, just in case). Hence, we say I grab his ankles so he doesn’t float away, and sometimes his buoyancy lifts me off the ground so I’m not so stuck in reality all the time. This is a long winded way to say that I would prefer to save a lot, and he would prefer to have fun a lot. Somehow we’ve struck a good balance between these two extremes. It really is the joy of being in a committed relationship-you learn about yourself through the other person, and you stretch to consider different ideas.

  7. We are quite different and appreciate each others differences (I am probably more “different” than my wife is). I think it was Larry Burkett who said, “If the two of you are exactly alike, one of you is unnecessary.”

  8. Great post today! It’s good to be reminded how much I love the Jelly in my life.
    We have been married 4+ years and over that time I think our extremes continue to merge closer together. He’s much more carefree and spontaneous; I’m a bit tightly wound. He learned the benefits of saving from me and I learned from him the joys of occasional guilt free spending. There are times when our perspectives clash, but those are opportunities to work on communication & compromise (btw, as an only child this means a lot of learning on my part!). I think we’re becoming more like the PB & J that come in the same jar than two individual containers.

  9. How funny, though I’m not married, this is a lesson I’ve been working on with my bf. He is very “laxy daisy” I’m very literal. However we are learning to compormise. I do not know how often we say that word to each other when there is something we disagree on lol. Since we have been together I have noticed changes not necessarily in who we are but more so in our considerations of the other person. I’ve learned more patience and he’s learned to express himself to me. Now if I can only get him to “compromise” the hat he wears all the time 😉

  10. I completely agree about not calling a woman jelly…no matter what your intentions are.

    I would say that my girlfriend and I are peanut butter and jelly. I think Im more of the jelly though and shes the peanut butter. I’m really easy going and willing to jump into something without knowing the consequences of my actions sometimes. She definitely keeps me grounded because she tends to be the opposite. She’ll research, analyze, and organize before doing something like that. Financially, I just call my bank once a week to just make sure I still have some nickels and dimes in my account, but she has a rainbow of an Excel spreadsheet. She prides herself on knowing where every penny is.

    So I would definitely say that we compliment each other. Im trying to get her to lighten up sometimes and not be so hesitant at times. On the other hand she is definitely holding me accountable for everything I do. She is the one and only person that has brought me the balance I have neeeded in my life and couldn’t be more grateful for that.

    ps. We do have our jelly/jelly moments though…we can both tend to spend money shopping.

  11. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing – but my guy and I are peanut butter and JAM. He’s the chunky/crunchy peanut butter to my homemade, no-sugar-added raspberry jam (or Apple Butter). Although we haven’t yet pooled finances (waiting for marriage), he and I definitely compliment each other. And at times struggle to remember we aren’t each other.

    And although I’m a smooth peanut butter kinda gal, and he prefers the sugary blueberry jam sometimes, we wouldn’t have it any other way =)

  12. You may think you and girl ninja are peanut butter and jelly, but I think you two are just Goobers.

    (see my website if that went over your head)

  13. I don’t know about peanut butter and jelly. I don’t usually think that way. I know that my wife and I lean on each other, compliment each other, help each other constantly. We don’t try to change each other and we’re not critical of each other. We’re a team. Have been for nearly 25 years.

    The statement that you will never be your wife and she will never be you is absolutely true. I have always felt that the key to our success as a couple has been the fact that we love each other for who we are, warts and all as the saying goes.

  14. My man and I are definitely peanut butter & jelly, even in regards to finance! Funnily enough, I’m the one who reads PF blogs and obsesses over it, but he’s the one who is just naturally really good at being CHEAP, for lack of a better term haha. I have learned a lot from him in that regard, and he’s learned from me that simply not spending money isn’t the most responsible way to deal with it all – it takes tracking, knowing what you have, what expenses are coming up, saving for goals, and everything in between. So we’ve definitely taught each other quite a bit about money, and it compliments nicely, if I do say so myself 🙂

  15. For us it depends on the situation and time of the year (football season, holidays, etc.). By in large I am the spender…hubby is the saver. However when I do buy I tend to be more frugal. Conversely, hubby tends to be a bit more willing to part with big amounts at one time.

    For a long time it bothered me that he was not “like” me. Finally I heard a wise older man who had been married for years relate the same message…you are two people and will never be able to be exactly alike. I am very type A so that message was tough to take. I didn’t want to change him, I just wanted him to be more like me. 🙂

    After getting the message, life has been a lot easier now we can strike a happy medium easily. However there are times when hubby has to remind me to slow it down. And when I remind him that there is a such thing as a sales price.

  16. That does sound like a complimentary pair! It’s hard sometimes to remember that we are cut from different cloths. I think the more we remember that love, relationships, family is all about acceptance and growth, the more we will thrive with our connections.

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