[ Part 1—This is a multi-part series on Personality in Marriage—Stay with us over the next several weeks to gain some great insight to help your marriage grow, have less stress, and more productivity. ]
Would you get mad at me if I said to you,
“Hvorfor forstår du ikke hva jeg sier? Elsker du meg ikke?”
If you don’t speak that language, you wouldn’t know what to think. You would have no clue as to what I said except for maybe the way I said it. Unless you spoke that language—Norwegian. It means,
“Why don’t you understand what I am saying? Don’t you love me?”
Or what if I said to you in english, “muambu dog face to banana patch.” You would be just as clueless. Rightly so.
It’s the same with personality.
Because we speak the same verbal language, we think that if we don’t understand someone, or they don’t understand us, it’s probably because they are just not able to figure out what we mean. It may be because we aren’t communicating well or they aren’t receiving or understanding us. Maybe there’s more to it. There were times when I just didn’t get my wife. I thought her thoughts and heart were against me.
What happens when we just don’t understand why our spouse does something? Maybe they’re always hyper or are talking all the time. Maybe they’re bad with money while we’re really good with money. Maybe we’re a lot more quiet and they are just too much activity for us sometimes. Maybe they are perfectionists and we have a tendency to go with what works the first time. Maybe they don’t like change and we are always taking calculated risks. Are we wrong? Are they wrong? Is it a matter of compromise or is it just the one who has the stronger personality wins?
Too many times we just write it off with something like, “one day they will grow up” or “why can’t they tell me what’s really on their mind?” or “why do you always have to fix everything?”
What’s really, really, really going on?
We are speaking a different language—a different personality language. And it typically is even harder to decipher than a foreign language… because we typically think there is one correct way to do something, to think about something, and anything else is simply wrong or misguided. I just need to get them to come around to my way of thinking. Which—as everyone knows—is the right way!
You like to visit with friends all the time while your spouse likes to relax and watch TV in the evening. They seem to need a lot of me time—in fact, too much quiet and alone time for you. Or maybe you love to accomplish and win whether it’s at work or at home, playing or working, and your spouse just likes to play for fun—and needs to enjoy their work a lot, too. As a matter of fact, they have to have fun in everything they do! How annoying!
Nothing wrong with any of these things—until it hits an area that starts to frustrate you—or it becomes a hunger spot.
For instance, how does personality affect our sex lives? For those of us that are outgoing and people oriented, a spouse with the opposite personality, one who is reserved and task oriented, can appear cold and aloof. Is that what’s really going on? And to them, the outgoing and people oriented personality can seem like all fun and games and appear not to show gentleness and kindness to the reserved personality. For that matter, the outgoing personality may desire a much greater frequency with sex then the reserved personality. In the same way, it can affect our emotional, intellectual, and physical relationships.
And that’s just one realm. What about finances? Your children? Vacations. Work. Yard work. Work ethic. Personal drive. Health issues. Food issues. Addictions. The list is endless. Why? Because our personality style affects 99% of who we are and what we do. And most of the time, we don’t even realize it—about ourselves or our spouse. Or our children, boss, work associates, friends, parents—everyone.
Actually, most people don’t think personality is an issue. But that’s precisely what the issue is.
The point is, none of these personalities are good or bad, right or wrong. They’re just different. We don’t have to “grow up” from our personality. We may indeed do things that are wrong, mean, nasty, etc., we may indeed need to grow up, but it’s not because of our personality.
Your personality affects 99% of everything in your life. So if you miss this, if you write this off as bunk or mumbo-jumbo, you’re missing a huge part of understanding yourself and others. Understanding personality will cause a paradigm shift in your thinking and allow you to understand why you think the way you do so you can change where you need to. It will also allow you to speak your spouse’s personality language and communicate extremely well. You may still not like certain things (roller coasters) while your spouse likes the opposite (everything fast and furious), but now you will know why—and how to accept it without arguing or running away (fight or flight). It will allow you to give more where you need to and accept things you cannot change. You will be a lot more content. This will lower stress and make your life a lot more happy and productive.
And it also can help you understand your kids better, as well as your boss, mom and dad, friends—you name it.
My wife and I teach a Marriage Personality Weekend Encounter and you would be amazed what people say. The best comment I ever heard was, “I just understood my husband for the first time in 30 years. Now it all makes sense.” We are all wired a certain way. There are 15 different factors involved in the shaping of our personality. And once you learn to read personality, you learn to understand people for who they really are.
There are about 40,000 exact personality combinations—but we all have four main personality traits and one primary trait—and learning to understand that will help you 90% of the time. And it’s not hard.
I’m going to be writing several articles on personality in marriage. If you want to learn some of the basics of reading personality—and this will be oriented toward marriage—sign up here to get the articles as I write them over the next month. Tell all your friends and family to sign up as well. The more people we can help understand each other, the more we can help marriages grow.
You can also have us do our Personality Workshop at your church. It’s an amazing event and no one goes away unchanged. Just point your pastor or the person in charge of marriage and counseling to this link.
Looking forward to talking with you about personality!
Royce & The Caris Team
Personality & Marriage Series—
Part 1— Your Personality Affects 99% of Your Marriage (7/19/19)
Part 2—What is Personality and How Does it Affect Your Marriage? (7/25/19)
Part 3—Dominant Personalities (8/1/19)
Part 4—Inspiring Personalities (8/8/19)
Part 5—Supportive Personalities (8/15/19)
Part 6—Cautious Personalities (8/22/19)
Part 7—How to Pull It All Together (8/29/19)
About the Author…