My husband and I are opposites in personality.
We have common core values and some of our personality traits converge.. but basically we are as different as light and day! 🙂
For those familiar with the DISC Personality Profile System, my husband is an introverted C/S and I am an extroverted D/I
Snapshot of the the DISC system
The acronym “DISC” is taken from the first letter of each behavioral trait
As a D/I blend, I am a leader-type; direct, decisive, demanding, persistent, interactive, persuasive, sometimes-flighty, often lets-cut-through-the-chase type of person.
In most situations, I’ll be trying to overcome opposition in order to win as well as trying to shape the environment through persuasion*
As a C/S blend, my husband is a calm, methodical, analytical, sensitive, diplomatic, steady, cautious lets-think-through-this-cos-life-is-in-the-details kind of person.
He is focused on quality and accuracy and also likes to work within pre-set conditions to complete tasks*
How our personalities interact
When you are married to your opposite, whether in personality or other areas, you are guaranteed a ton of fun and not-so-fun times!
This is how personalities recently “interacted”, for example
We were in a class, mostly as observers when I noticed that the teacher and students needed some assistance.
I turned to my husband and mentioned what needed to be done a.k.a what I was about to do.
Being the analyzing lets-not-upset-the-environment person, he thought we should wait until the teacher asked for specific help.
And that’s where the fireworks would have began a few years ago;
I would have been mad that 1) he wasn’t noticing what needed to be done, 2) he was not offering to help 3) he was standing in my way.
He on the other hand would have been irritated by my pushiness and trying to make him to do things without thinking.
But mercifully, we been married a few years now (phew 🙂 ) and have been learning how to work and thrive through our personality differences.
So my husband took one more look at my face, listened to a few more words and waved me on with a big cheerful smile “go on, babe!”
Married to your opposite?
If you are married to your opposite (I am guessing that’s many of us here!) here’s a few things to keep in mind as you do life together
1. Consult consult consult
As a couple, both my husband and I are driven super-achievers (that’s where our personalities converge).
But we differ in our “how-to”.
While he’s meticulous and will rarely jump into new projects or undertakings (unless there’s a dress shirt sale in JCPenny! lol ), I typically don’t care much for long processes; I run towards goals with my gut instinct more than my mind!
(..which drives most “C” spouses nuts because they don’t understand how anyone can “get it” without a methodical process!)
If you are married to your opposite, consultation is your friend!
Don’t think “he won’t get it anyway, why bother? Let’s deal with the aftermath”
Or if you are the softer personality “I dare not offer my opinion, I can’t take the hustle!”
You got to talk because without talking, no one knows what’s going on and you’ll be disagreeing and clashing unnecessarily.
Obviously consultation is more work, than doing your own thing. But that’s just a responsibility of being one-flesh.
Consultation is also lot like validation; Beth Steffaniak says
“Validation can make communication more comforting and effective. In highly charged moments validation can be crucial and clarifying”
You may not approach life or projects the same way, but the act of consultation and talking-out makes your spouse feel valued, respected, honored, involved
It smoothens out the bumps and creases.
Also note; even when you believe you want the same thing, don’t skip on consultation; because just because you want the same thing does not mean you want it done the same way.
Which brings us to the next point
2. Remember your common values, what you agree on.
It’s easy to focus on your differences and allow them to smoke your common values and love.
But truth is, your values played a big (ger!) role in bringing you together, it wasn’t all about personality traits.
And I think personality issues are easier to transform, than say, value issues.
Of course God does change both.
But the point here, is don’t focus on one part of your spouse and forget the other important areas you have in common.
3. Don’t allow you personality differences to discourage you
Because of his analyzing gift, my husband is not given to speed 🙂
In the past I thought he was unsure and uncertain and would allow that to paralyze my faith and hopes.
We are still a work in progress when it comes to harmonizing our speeds.
But after understanding that it’s just how he does life – he’s not lacking in faith or direction – I am no longer worried.
Don’t allow your differences to pull you down but instead focus on God.
Pray for him, believe God to work everything for good, but lock your eyes on Jesus.
Remember that God brought you together for a reason. Often it’s your differences that challenge you and make you better as individuals.
But when you take the easier route, refusing to press beyond painful clashes and difficulties, you short-circuit your own growth and delay God’s purposes.
4. Don’t try to change each other. Or yourself
God has transformed me in our 6 short years of marriage.
So much so that new friends assume I am the softer, quieter one in the relationship.
And the miracle? I no longer try to set the record straight!
Listen, God might not give you a personality transplant, but as you pray, obey and walk with Him, He will transform you from the inside out.
But to experience the fullness of that transformation, you must quit trying to change yourself or your man, and instead focus on being the person God wants you to be.
When things get hot I try to remember that “We are all trying to be like Jesus in this house!”
That is, our goal is not to be more of a D or I or S or C, but to be like Jesus, who was perfect in personality and every way.
Now it’s your turn: Are you married to your opposite? How do you navigate/thrive in your different personalities? If you are similar in personality, how has that worked to your advantage.. or not?
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*Additional insight; from From Dave Ramsey’s Disc Online Assessment