Every person is created differently. We have different personalities. Different needs. Different capacity levels. Today’s Marriage Monday explores the concept of capacity in marriage.
Dictionary.com defines capacity as “the ability to perform or withstand.” Jill and I use the term in our marriage to describe our general energy level and our ability to manage multiple projects at the same time.
Mark describes me as the Energizer Bunny. I rarely tire and have a huge capacity.
Sometimes just watching Jill wears me out. I have more of a medium capacity.
This difference used to drive us crazy until we were able to label it and then learn how to navigate it in our relationship. One of the things I had to learn is that I do not operate independent of Mark. I may have a higher capacity than he does, but if I am always operating at my full capacity level, it begins to affect Mark negatively. I have to adjust my activity level to what’s best for our marriage—not just what works for me.
When we were first married, I felt like I needed to keep up with Jill. I thought there was something wrong with me because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t. I’m almost always tired sooner than Jill is. I get stressed managing 3 projects when it takes managing 6 or 7 projects to stress Jill out.
However, when I learned about the concept of having different capacities, I realized that I was simply wired differently than Jill. There wasn’t something wrong with me at all. I simply needed to understand my emotional and physical makeup and learn how to be true to myself.
Mark’s lower capacity actually brings a balance to my “Type A driven high-capacity” personality. He travels at a slower speed through life than I often do, so it’s good for me to slow down a bit. His lower capacity is part of what makes him a good listener. That’s something I can definitely learn from!
And Jill’s higher capacity sometimes inspires me to accomplish something that I might just be inclined to put off or find overwhelming.
Our different capacities used to frustrate me, but now I better understand that they are just one more way that God made us different. And different isn’t wrong…it’s just different!
What about you? Do you and your spouse have different capacities? How have you navigated those differences?
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