When Personalities Clash
In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well (Romans 12:6)
In my counselling office, I always hear of personality clashes within marriage that result in disharmony. By personality, I mean our patterned way of responding to life. We speak of people being extraverted or introverted, neat or sloppy, pessimistic or optimistic, decisive or indecisive, excitable or calm. These are all personality traits. They are predictable ways in which one tends to respond to life situations.
One wife says to her husband, “he is so slow and deliberate that by the time he makes a decision, it’s too late.” She was describing how one of his personality traits annoyed her. We all have a mixture of personality characteristics, and someone who knows us well can usually predict how we will respond to a given situation.
Most personality traits have strengths and weaknesses. The key in marriage is to make the most of our strengths and learn how to minimize the weaknesses. It’s important to remember, as Romans 12 tells us, that God has created us as unique individuals. We have different personalities and different things we do well. That’s something we should celebrate rather than allowing it to frustrate us. When as a couple we understand each other better, our distinct personalities can become an asset rather than a liability.
Father, thank you for making us distinct individuals. It’s so easy to get annoyed with some of my spouse’s personality traits that are different from mine. Please help me to view those as different instead of a problem. Help me to learn from my spouse.