The exact name of the article that ran in the Omaha World Herald was, “Opposites may attract, but the happily-ever-after takes work”. It talks about a couple that had love at first sight, and how the couple had some differences in their personalities as well as their backgrounds. And they began to “bump heads.” An important line in the article: “the more important a value is to someone, the more it is that his or her partner shares that value.” And I also agree with the statement: “They need to discuss their differences to find a solution that works…” (The article ran on 2/7/2017.)
So how important is it that couples be alike? That is a difficult question to answer, and the best answer probably is something like, “It depends on the couple.” There are many couples that are very different in some ways, yet they work it out. And there are couples who are alike who don’t. Perhaps what is most important is how they make room for the other’s ideas and values, and how they are able to maintain their own sense of values while working through issues that come up for each other.
I felt that I personally learned that being alike or different may not be the most important factor in making a relationship work when I was in graduate school and was in a testing course. We looked at a couple who were the same on an inventory, and who also were divorcing. As I recall it, the instructor mentioned that he and his spouse were opposites on the same inventory, and they, too, were divorcing. You need to be careful about generalizing from one example (two in this case), but throughout my career it has seemed that the issue of how alike a couple is to one another is not the crucial factor when working on the relationship, or when working in couples therapy. It is how much they can work out their issues in ways that works for both of them, and how much they are able to work to become a couple (a system that works for both of them).
In summary, accepting of self and other is crucial, as is the ability to work to becoming a mutually satisfying couple. Accepting self, accepting other, and changing to become a mutually satisfying couple are the keys to a lasting relationship.