This morning as I think about marriage relationships I’m thinking about personalities. Have you and your spouse ever done one of those inventories where you answer questions and they “diagnose” your personality? We’ve done two in the 30+ years of our marriage and Mark did another one for work one time. I just looked at them. They were pretty accurate from my point of view. They did change a bit over the years but only a little. I observed my parents as I helped them over the weekend. My “quiet, steady” father is still generally “quiet and steady” but the wear and tear of constant care for my mother shows. He is bolder and more assertive with her than I’ve ever seen. It’s totally appropriate in their case as Mom’s Alzheimers has left her in a more child-like state. Then I was visiting with a couple yesterday. During the course of the conversation the gentleman said, “See I’m a Lion. I like lists. I wake up in the morning knowing what I intend to do. She is not. (referring to his wife) It takes her a long time to make decisions…”
Your personality really does effect your relationships. That’s pretty obvious. However, I think we forget that simple point at times. We know how we like things but we might forget that they way we like things effects those around us. For example, if I’m working on a project and have to stop before it is done, I would rather leave it all out so I can easily start again. Not so for my husband. He likes things put away where you can’t see them lying around. It’s a distraction for him to see stuff laying out. To me it’s a reminder of what is left to do and a quicker way to get started again. He’s the kind of guy who likes those built in covers for storing your counter top appliances. I like them out where you can grab them and get started. The thing is “stuff” is really a distraction for him. Once I learned that I’ve have tried harder to keep the “stuff” at a minimum around our house. The compromise is I have an area that I call “mine”. The purpose is so I can work on my projects without bothering him. Now and then when he pokes his head in, he still rolls his eyes. My counter still has too much stuff “out” for his taste, but I don’t worry about it. It’s my space!
So I’m asking today, have you and your spouse ever done personality quizzes? If so, what did you learn? I’ve talked before about the 5 Love Languages. They are a similar deal. Do you know what your “love language” is? I’d like to hear if either of these tools has helped your relationships. Personality and language does not only effect your marriage but all your relationships. It’s helpful to know these things for understanding work styles too.