Louise Linton is an actress and a model who is married to US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
Linton told Elle magazine that she and Mnuchin are complete opposites and that they balance each other out.
Relationship experts say partners with different personalities may wind up clashing, and that it’s important to embrace your partner’s unique strengths.
Elle magazine has published a profile of Louise Linton, the actress and model married to US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
Describing her relationship with her husband, Linton told Elle, “We’re so, so different.”
She explained: “He’s ice and I’m fire. I like to try everything, taste everything. I love to explore, and he is much more habitual. He likes what he likes. We balance each other out nicely.”
This quotation gave me pause, if only because I’d recently spoken with a couples therapist about the potential problems with this very dynamic. The couples therapist, Rachel Sussman, even called out the phrase Linton used: “We balance each other out.”
Initially, Sussman said, the couple might feel this way — but over time, “people get more set in their ways” and there’s less opportunity for compromise or mutual understanding.
Sussman’s point wasn’t that couples who have different personalities or habits should never get together. Instead, she was suggesting that couples not brush those differences under the proverbial rug at the start of their relationship. (Linton and Mnuchin met in 2013 and wed in 2017.)
In fact, it may be wise for any couple with opposite approaches to life to embrace and learn more about their differences.
In their book “Happy Together,” husband and wife co-authors Suzann Pileggi Pawelski and James Pawelski recommend taking the VIA survey— an assessment that pinpoints your top strengths — along with your partner. It can help you see your partner’s otherwise irritating behaviors — say, wanting to stay home every night or wanting to go out every night — as positive traits.
Maybe the homebody partner is practical and reliable, while the more outgoing partner is brave and fun-loving.
Ultimately, it’s hard to say with certainty whether marrying the ice to your fire is a good idea in general, and we can’t speculate about Linton and Mnuchin’s relationship beyond what she’s said. But it’s always a good idea to learn from those in similar relationships and to be aware of the potential pitfalls — even if you never encounter them.