A major contributing factor to the recently increased divorce rate is cited as personality differences. One way to test personality is the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI). I took the test in seminary. A very readable and helpful book, called “Do We Love Each Other, Or Hate Each Other?” takes the personality types categorized by this test and looks at their relation to marital conflicts – what causes and them and the remedies for them.
The MBTI lists measures personality in four areas. They are Introversion vs. Extroversion, Sensing vs. Intuition, Thinking vs. Feeling, and Judging vs. Perceiving. Many conflicts arise between couples because they do not understand these type differences. Let me share a few examples.
Fianc?s are hurt when their desire to meet every day seems to be rebuffed now and then. They may not understand that their fianc?s are Introverts who draw energy from their deep well of self and need time alone to be recharged. On the flip side, some spouses get upset and feel betrayed when their spouses seem more amiable to non-family members and are energetic outside the home, but lethargic at home. They don’t understand that their spouses are Extroverts who are recharged by being with people.
Some people feel that their spouses are so preoccupied with their daily lives that they can’t share their innermost thoughts. They don’t understand that they’re different types, and that their spouses are Sensors. Others feel embarrassed at parties because their spouses don’t seem to understand the flow of conversation and make comments that are totally out of place. They don’t understand that their spouses are Intuitives.
Some husbands get frustrated when their wives constantly argue with their in-laws. They feel like their wives could avoid arguments by simply not answering. These husbands don’t understand that their wives are Thinkers for whom facts are more important than others’ feelings. On the other hand, some wives get upset when their husbands don’t seem to have any opinions of their own and follow whatever others say. These wives don’t understand that their husbands are Feelers who value others’ feeling more greatly than clarifying facts.
Some people wait until the last minute to study for exams, wash dishes, or do the laundry because they are Perceivers. Others have to make hotel reservations well in advance for vacations and never deviate from set schedules because they are Judgers. Knowing this may significantly reduce conflict.
I strongly recommend this book.
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