Why Does My Husband…
Melanie Chitwood

"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:14 (NAS)

Have you ever found yourself puzzled about why your husband does or doesn't do certain things? Are you ever frustrated with his quirks and preferences?

Why does he have to have the proper tool for his project, when it seems to you he already has ten power tools that could surely serve the purpose? Or why does he not get the kids to bed on time, like you reminded him to do? Doesn't he know a schedule is important? Perhaps you've been on the other end of your husband's frustration when you want to socialize at the party as late as possible, but he's ready to leave after an hour.

While a couple's differences stem from many sources, one of the main sources of our differences is our unique personality types. Years ago when I stumbled across a book, Florence Littauer's Personality Plus for Couples, I felt like a light bulb turned on as it offered insight into my husband. This man who is very different from me.

This book explains that every person tends to fall in one of four personality types: Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic, or Melancholy. Most people have a primary personality type and a secondary personality type, and each type comes with its positive and negative aspects.

The Sanguine personality type, also called the Popular Personality, is outgoing, adventurous, attention-seeking, talkative and social. Possible weaknesses of a Sanguine are they avoid anything that's not fun, tend to run late, and often do not finish projects.

When you think of the second personality type, the Choleric or Powerful Personality, think of a take-charge leader. Cholerics love challenges, are self-motivated, driven and determined. Their strong personalities can lend to weaknesses, such as being opinionated, stubborn or insensitive to other's feelings.

The third personality type, the Melancholy or Perfect Personality, tends to be introspective, creative, analytical and serious. Some of a melancholy's challenges are that they tend to be perfectionists, get their feelings hurt easily and can be critical of others.

Lastly, there's the Phlegmatic, the Peaceful Personality. Phlegmatics are laid-back, stable, calm and pleasant. While their peace-seeking personalities are helpful, they can avoid conflict at all costs, be scared to take a risk and may procrastinate.

Just reading this list makes me giggle as I think of a recent "situation" with my husband. As we prepared dinner for a cookout with neighborhood friends, Scott, a Sanguine-Choleric, got frustrated when he couldn't find the just-right knife for chopping up vegetables. To me, a phlegmatic-melancholy, it didn't seem like a big deal – any old knife would suit me fine for cutting up food. Later in the night when my more introverted melancholy side was showing, I was thankful for the talkative sanguine qualities of my husband who is great at making guests feel welcome.

Understanding my husband's personality type helps me to embrace him for the unique way God designed him. When I see how God gave each of us strengths and weaknesses, I see how we complement one another and how we truly are better together than apart.

Dear Lord, there are times when I just don't understand my husband, why he does or doesn't do certain things. Help us both to embrace one another's unique personalities. Lord, we trust that You can cause our differences to work for good in our marriage and in our individual lives. Lord, I want to go beyond just tolerating my husband's differences; I want to embrace them. I want to trust that our differences will complement each other, making us better together than apart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Melanie’s blog “What Matters Most” where she is sharing more about personality types and marriage today.

What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

Today’s devotion is adapted from Melanie’s book, What a Wife Needs from Her Husband

Personality Plus for Couples by Florence Littauer

Application Steps:
Take time with your spouse to identify each of your personality types.

Make a list of ten things about your spouse's unique personality that you're thankful for. Be specific! For example, "I'm thankful that Scott is a strong leader." Even more specific would be, "I'm thankful that Scott is a strong leader to our two sons, teaching them a strong work ethic by his example."

How do you and your husband complement one another?
How do you frustrate one another?

What can you do to embrace the way you complement one another, as opposed to letting frustrations with your differences lead to conflict?

In what ways are you and your husband "better together"?

Power Verses:
Genesis 1:17, "So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them…" (NAS)

Ecclesiastes 4:1, "Two are better than one…" (NAS)

© 2010 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Cynthia said...

Oh, how I needed this today. God certainly knows what he is doing...
As I have been struggling to move beyond my circumstances, to not let them become the focal point of my life.
I realized that ALL circumstances must come to lay Jesus feet, and that includes my "why does my husband.." complaints that I have at times.
It seems with everything I have read lately, God is urging me to wait on him.
I have almost heard myself say, "But, God... he...."
This morning I woke with a prayer in my heart, and a challenge in my mind to push beyond the circumstances, past my husbands misgivings, to the here and now, to do the work that lies before me, and to wait on God. Then comes this post on my FB page and a nudge from God, through you, with a little insight on how my husband is different than me!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Understanding these different personality tpes have given me great insight to my children and coworkers as well. It has helped me to be more patient and understanding as to why people are the way they are. I appreciate the differences.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Melanie for hitting the target of my recent struggle...wih myself! We are still newlyweds and I'm having such a hard time lately adjusting to those little differences that to me seem so monumental. It's like a little dark cloud following me around ready to burst open with rain over me every time I see something he's forgotten to do, or did but just not quite the way I would have. I know God it trying to reach me now that I've had your post to start off my day. Thank You Lord for such wonderful wise women that speak to us daily wih Your word :)

WOW!!! Great post.

Anonymous Jenny said...

SO true... my husband and I have just finished "Strengh Finders" and it has so revolutionized some areas of our marriage. Now when he gets to picking at some area of our marriage I can just say, "Honey, it's time for your Maximizer to tuck in for awhile so we can have a nice day" - then we laugh about it - it totally helps us depersonalize and enjoy each other.

Blogger Momma Jensen said...

Great information!

Sometimes is it so hard to meld two personalities, isn't it?

My husband and I have totally different ways of approaching and dealing with things. It takes time and effort to see things not only from your spouses point of view, but from their personality traits as well.

I have to put my stronger personality in neutral sometimes to let his quieter one mull things over. Does it drive me crazy sometimes? Yup. But I love him and he is worth it. : )

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the scripture reference foe "So God created man in his own image..."is Gen 1:27 not GEN 1:1:17 as you have it cited...Just wanted to tell you as i just discovered it. Godbless!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband and I just celebrated our 5 year anniversary and this is a struggle for me at times. He handles and deals with things so much more differently than I do. I must admit sometimes I am jealous because he can just let everything roll off his shoulders where I tend to over think and take in everything. I have been praying and working hard lately at trying to look at things from his point of view and learning to step myself back sometimes. Everytime I think about it I am still so amazed at how God created us all so differently and special.

Blogger Ashley said...

My husband and I celebrated our first anniversary Sept. 19, the day before this post. Whenever I find myself upset with my husband, I make myself rejoice in the fact that his strengths are my weaknesses and my strengths are his weaknesses--that we complement one another perfectly. For example, we graduated with our Master's degrees this May, but have yet to find a job. From the time we were engaged, my husband devised a careful budget in which we could save and still enjoy ourselves while I have stressed and fretted over money and temporarily staying with our parents (finances as his strength, my weakness). On the other hand, he has had a much harder time handling rejection that comes with job-searching, but I try and try again to remember and remind ourselves that God will (and has) provide(d), that it will all work out, and that He has something great for us to do (optimism my strength, his weakness. We both are alternately skilled at taking care of one another.

It's just amazing how man and woman complement each other!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if you are more than two of the personalities, because I see myself pretty stong in 3 of them.

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