September 20, 2010
Why Does My Husband…
"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
Psalm 139:14 (NAS)
Have you ever found yourself puzzled about why your husband does or doesn't do certain things? Are you ever frustrated with his quirks and preferences?
Why does he have to have the proper tool for his project, when it seems to you he already has ten power tools that could surely serve the purpose? Or why does he not get the kids to bed on time, like you reminded him to do? Doesn't he know a schedule is important? Perhaps you've been on the other end of your husband's frustration when you want to socialize at the party as late as possible, but he's ready to leave after an hour.
While a couple's differences stem from many sources, one of the main sources of our differences is our unique personality types. Years ago when I stumbled across a book, Florence Littauer's Personality Plus for Couples, I felt like a light bulb turned on as it offered insight into my husband. This man who is very different from me.
This book explains that every person tends to fall in one of four personality types: Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic, or Melancholy. Most people have a primary personality type and a secondary personality type, and each type comes with its positive and negative aspects.
The Sanguine personality type, also called the Popular Personality, is outgoing, adventurous, attention-seeking, talkative and social. Possible weaknesses of a Sanguine are they avoid anything that's not fun, tend to run late, and often do not finish projects.
When you think of the second personality type, the Choleric or Powerful Personality, think of a take-charge leader. Cholerics love challenges, are self-motivated, driven and determined. Their strong personalities can lend to weaknesses, such as being opinionated, stubborn or insensitive to other's feelings.
The third personality type, the Melancholy or Perfect Personality, tends to be introspective, creative, analytical and serious. Some of a melancholy's challenges are that they tend to be perfectionists, get their feelings hurt easily and can be critical of others.
Lastly, there's the Phlegmatic, the Peaceful Personality. Phlegmatics are laid-back, stable, calm and pleasant. While their peace-seeking personalities are helpful, they can avoid conflict at all costs, be scared to take a risk and may procrastinate.
Just reading this list makes me giggle as I think of a recent "situation" with my husband. As we prepared dinner for a cookout with neighborhood friends, Scott, a Sanguine-Choleric, got frustrated when he couldn't find the just-right knife for chopping up vegetables. To me, a phlegmatic-melancholy, it didn't seem like a big deal - any old knife would suit me fine for cutting up food. Later in the night when my more introverted melancholy side was showing, I was thankful for the talkative sanguine qualities of my husband who is great at making guests feel welcome.
Understanding my husband's personality type helps me to embrace him for the unique way God designed him. When I see how God gave each of us strengths and weaknesses, I see how we complement one another and how we truly are better together than apart.
Dear Lord, there are times when I just don't understand my husband, why he does or doesn't do certain things. Help us both to embrace one another's unique personalities. Lord, we trust that You can cause our differences to work for good in our marriage and in our individual lives. Lord, I want to go beyond just tolerating my husband's differences; I want to embrace them. I want to trust that our differences will complement each other, making us better together than apart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Visit Melanie's blog "What Matters Most" where she is sharing more about personality types and marriage today.
What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood
Personality Plus for Couples by Florence Littauer
Take time with your spouse to identify each of your personality types.
Make a list of ten things about your spouse's unique personality that you're thankful for. Be specific! For example, "I'm thankful that Scott is a strong leader." Even more specific would be, "I'm thankful that Scott is a strong leader to our two sons, teaching them a strong work ethic by his example."
How do you and your husband complement one another?
How do you frustrate one another?
What can you do to embrace the way you complement one another, as opposed to letting frustrations with your differences lead to conflict?
In what ways are you and your husband "better together"?
Genesis 1:17, "So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them…" (NAS)
Ecclesiastes 4:1, "Two are better than one…" (NAS)
© 2010 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 20 September 2010.