It was on our honeymoon we had our first married fight.
Our picturesque hotel looked out over the Pacific Ocean. I remember sitting on the floor, looking out the rain streaked French doors, on day three of our honeymoon, wondering how I had made such a monumental mistake – apparently, marrying the wrong guy.
He had slept completely through breakfast and lunch a mere thirty-six hours after saying I DO, shattering the honeymoon of my dreams. Needless to say, I had raised the honeymoon expectations bar so unrealistically high- no man could have successfully provided my dream anyway. However, his sleeping through the day was obviously a sign of his lack of interest in me, and our marriage.
I can’t recall how many hours it took to calm me down or for him to convince me that exhaustion was his only plea for the unfortunate circumstances leading to our first real fight as a married couple. I was the poster child for immaturity.
It was about that time authors were making a fortune expounding on the correct way to fight with your significant other. Most agreed the secret to a fair fight was completely dependent on the technique used when pleading your case. In other words, the fight should clarify how you feel – not what the other has done wrong.
I needed to say, “I feel rejected, unloved and ignored by you sleeping through our honeymoon”- as opposed to first flinging accusations.
So, we tried it for a while. We attempted to begin each conflict with how we FELT about something. For years, we limped our way through communication without having too many serious battles.
Looking back, it would have been much easier had I understood our temperaments and the critical idiosyncrasies between the four temperament types – especially when a disagreement surfaces! For example, in a FIGHT:
RED temperaments are fiercely explosive (and always RIGHT).
YELLOW temperaments are passionately dramatic (unrealistically so).
BLUE temperaments are deeply sensitive (and defensive).
GREEN temperaments are selfishly withdrawn (withholding communication and intimacy).
I am YELLOW/RED. Duane is BLUE/RED.
Most of our fights began when my YELLOW dramatically and sincerely overreacted to some unexpected occurrence in my life. Duane would invariably try to talk me down and through it. Trust me – YELLOWS don’t enjoy listening.
Duane’s BLUE was sensitive to the core – never wanting to hurt me – although increasingly, becoming more RED the more often I seemed to explode.
When our REDS merged, it was truly volatile!! Not a good thing.
Understanding our temperaments has been life-changing for our marriage. It helps in every area of life – probably, none more appreciated than with your spouse.
Simply knowing how I naturally react to situations is the greatest realization. Most YELLOWS are passionate and quick to react before thinking things through completely.
Understanding how my temperament relates to my husband’s reactions is priceless.
My thoughtless, knee-jerk reactions would systematically crush my BLUE husband. Knowing this changed everything! Yes, once he understood my YELLOW extremes he could stop taking things so personally.
Thankfully, most disagreements end before they begin these days. Maturing helps.
I am not going on record as saying our long, amazing marriage is because we discovered temperaments.
Our complete surrender to Jesus Christ has been the glue that keeps us in love and together; but, I love understanding our temperaments. It is truly the frosting on the proverbial wedding cake!
If you subscribe to my blog (FREE) you can download my eBook temperament test.
Once again, the best book on the temperaments for husband/wife relationships is The Real You by Vicki Barnes!