My husband and I have very different personalities. He is an outgoing extrovert. I am an introvert. He is laid back when it comes to time and schedules. I liken schedules and deadlines to the law. He wants to know all of the ins and outs of how something works. I am content just knowing that it works. He would say that a little dirt is good for you; I am a bit of a germophobe.
Being so different can cause stress at times, but it also allows us to learn a different perspective. Here are some things I have learned from my husband.
- I will live if I am a few minutes late or don’t make a deadline.
I tie myself in knots when I think I am going to be a few minutes late somewhere or that I might miss a deadline. After seeing his approach with a bit of a looser schedule, I see that he still survives and does just fine on a daily basis. While I still believe it is important to be on time, it may not be worth the enormous amount of stress I cause myself.
- While I may need time to process something that is bothering me, the sooner I communicate with him about my concerns, the better.
When we were first dating, I would wait three or four days before I would tell him something that was bothering me. I felt like I should wait until I was certain that it was reasonable for me to be upset, and I didn’t want to talk about it before then. In the meantime, it just created tension between us. He knew something was wrong, and we could have worked through the issues much more quickly if I had just told him what was on my mind. If I’m not sure if I’m being reasonable, I can tell him that, and we can figure it out together.
- Sometimes, it’s better to be direct.
I like to always be honest with people, but sometimes, it’s not easy when giving an opinion that may be hard for the other person to hear. I tend to add a lot of sugar with the truth if I think it may be difficult to hear. My husband is a little more direct, but he still is able to communicate in a loving and effective way. While it may be effective to try to throw in something positive, sometimes, you can say what you are thinking without sounding cruel, and the other person may appreciate that more.
- Small talk is important to some people.
I have never been one to like small talk. I have never really understood the point of talking to someone about the weather when we could both look outside to see if it was raining. My husband, on the other hand, loves to talk about the weather, sports, etc. with complete strangers. It is actually a meaningful part of his day to make connections to these people, even if he may never see them again. While I don’t fully understand it, I at least see some value in small talk now, particularly with people at work from other departments whom I pass in the hallways every day. It at least allows me to feel more connected to people in my building at work.
- Some people find it helpful to talk through their ideas before they have come to any conclusions.
I have always been one to gather my thoughts before I am willing to talk about them. However, my husband prefers to talk through what is on his mind while he is thinking about it. Instead of thinking some people like to hear themselves talk, I have become more understanding of people who need to talk out information or requests because I realize now that it is helpful to them.
I still don’t always understand how my husband thinks, and he says the same about me sometimes. However, our relationship reminds me of how the different parts of the body of Christ work together for the greater good God has planned. Just as opposite personalities have been good for our marriage, God uses a variety of personalities to accomplish His purposes.