Mark and I are complete opposites in so many ways.  He likes coffee and I like tea.  He likes spicy food…mild for me.  He’s a morning guy and I’m a night owl. He’s an extrovert and I’m an introvert.

Today we’re going to talk about the extrovert/introvert difference and how we’ve learned to navigate it in our marriage.

Mark says…
I’m an extrovert which simply means that I get emotionally refueled by being with people.  The more people…the better!  I get to the weekend and want to socialize.

Jill says…
I’m an introvert which simply means that I get emotionally refueled by being alone.  I get to the weekend and want to hole up at home.

Mark says…
Several months ago Jill and I listened to a CD about the differences between introverts and extroverts.  One difference is the amount of friends they have.  I have always had alot of friends and Jill has always had a small circle of friends.  I frequently communicated to her that she needed to expand her friend circle.  In other words…I felt there was something wrong with her because she didn’t have as many friends as I did.

I was wrong.  There it is in black and white for the world to see.  I was wrong to impose my personality needs on her.

Another thing the speaker on the CD mentioned was that extroverts often have alot of hobbies and introverts have just one or two hobbies.  I had many times told Jill that she needed to get a life.  Find something she liked doing and pursue it.  She was always reading and writing.  That seemed like work to me…not a hobby.

Jill says…
But reading and writing are my hobbies.  I love doing both.  Yes, they are solitary activities…but they fit me well.  And I find joy in them.

Mark says…
So I had to apologize to my wife on this one, too.  I didn’t realize that reading and writing were hobbies for Jill.  They don’t seem like alot of fun from my perspective…but we are two different people.  And what’s right for me isn’t necessarily right for her.

Jill says…
Both Mark and I have had to move from thinking that our differences are wrong to realizing that our differences are just…well, different!  When we impose our likes and dislikes on others that ventures into judgment and criticism and that’s never healthy for a marriage.

Mark says…
So now when we get to the weekend we do a little of both.  We socialize a bit but not too much.  And believe it or not, I’ve learned that holing up at home isn’t such a bad thing after all!

What about you?  Are you and your spouse opposites?

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