My bride thinks and talks in concrete terms. I think and speak in abstract terms, like metaphors. Mary Beth lives in a world of detail. I live in a world of big ideas. So, what happens when we communicate about something we perceive as important?

Yes, we can experience MIS-communication!

Miscommunication often occurs when mates with different personalities express opinions during times of stress. Understanding and accepting your beloved’s personality and what that means for couple communication avert potential conflicts.

Just look at the “Keyword Comparison” offered by the Personality Central website:

That’s Mary Beth on the left and me on the right! We both tested high or distinctive in our individual preferences each time we took the test.

That means communication in general and especially stressed communication faces “challenges”!

My sensor-bride’s eyes glaze over as I discuss a podcast I heard or a YouTube video I watched. She wants to pull my feet down to the ground and ask for details. At times, when she’s recounting a conversation, I lose focus with all the details—drown in the details of “she said,” then “he said,” then “she said”—you get the picture.


Yet, since she and I now understand each other better and finally accept each other’s “uniquenesses,” we rarely fall into the rut of miscommunication. She has learned to patiently wait for my extraverted, intuitive soliloquies to wind down, then she asks for the missing details. I wait for her detailed descriptions of a conversation to conclude, and I summarize the point I think is buried in the details.

I’ve learned that she studies the components of an idea I offer. So, in planning, when not on a decision deadline, Mary Beth usually sees some detail I missed and contributes to a better decision. But, on the other hand, when a deadline presses for an immediate decision, she trusts my intuition because she suffers the paralysis of analysis.

God gave each of us a unique personality. As a result, I’ve learned that God often guides us to a mate whose personality differs. After all, opposites attract, right?

The vast majority of couples I coach find learning, understanding, and accepting each other’s different personalities the most helpful part of the process. I understand because seeing your marriage as stronger because of the differences adds an oft-used tool to the relational toolbox.

Suppose we accept that God knows how our brains/personalities are wired, how they differ, and what He plans for us as a couple. In that case, we can learn to understand, appreciate, and accept those differences as divinely intended relational strengths!

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