Have you ever wondered how it’s remotely possible that someone could think completely differently than you? Is it just me that is continuously shocked that people don’t view things the exact way that I do?
I find myself falling into the trap of desiring “sameness.” And it creeps it’s way into my marriage the most!
I will say to my husband, How can you possibly rationalize THAT? Or WHY did you think that was ok? Or worse…have you LOST YOUR MIND?
What I really mean is…
Why aren’t you like me?
There are so many well-meaning spouses out there that fall into this same trap. We want to connect with our spouse, we want to love them well…but we get stuck…primarily because we have a hard time stepping outside of ourselves.
In it’s extreme, this can be a form of narcissism. For many of us, it’s simply a lack of understanding. We have yet to understand HOW to connect or give love to someone who is different from us.
There is no greater lie than a truth misunderstood.
First of all, let’s lay this out…gender differences are real. There is a marked difference between men and women. We must see that for what it is.
Generally speaking, men tend to be motivated by achievement and women tend to be motivated by relationship. When you have a conversation, it’s likely a woman will want to extensively chat it out and a man will want to fix it quick.
Beyond gender, we have our unique personalities. We are each created in the image of God, with unique characteristics and gifts. Each of us is a one of a kind, yet we tend to fall into general personality styles or traits.
Have you ever taken a personality test?
There are all kinds of them out there…many people have take the Myers-Briggs test for their job. Some folks have done a quick Facebook test. There are plenty of options.
Whether extensive or not, a personality test can help to give you insight to understand yourself and love who you are. When you understand yourself well, you can communicate to your spouse how they can best love you well. It’s a win-win, if you ask me!
Understanding our personality types has taken our marriage to a new level.
By identifying our individual needs, desires, fears, and default modes of operation, we are able to understand each other in a deeper way. Even more important, we are able to communicate and love in a way that is edifying for our spouse.
You may be saying, where do I even start? Good question!
Specific to your marriage and helping you understand how to love each well, Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages is a great place to start! It’s an easy to read, concise tool to get you loving your spouse according to THEIR love language by the end of the week!
If you want to dive a bit deeper into how you can enhance your marriage by understanding you and your spouse well, check out How We Love by Milan & Kay Yerkovich. This book helps to identify the things that are disrupting your marriage and leads you to make lasting changes.
How about taking a real good look at you? Want to learn more about yourself and how you tick? If so, the Enneagram is a stellar personality test that can help you discover yourself more deeply. The book we reference the most for Enneagram is Understanding the Enneagram by Don Richard Rios and Russ Hudson. The Enneagram test that we took is here. (Please note there is a small fee for this one, but there are also free tests out there)
One of the most important skills you can learn is how to talk so your mate will listen and how to listen so your mate will talk.
That skill is much easier attained when you both have a true understanding of WHO you are and WHY you think the way you do.
So, with a better understanding of your spouse’s personality type, the question of “have you lost your mind” won’t be relevant anymore. You will KNOW that their mind isn’t lost…it’s just different from yours.
And that makes all the difference.