Does Your Personality Type Really Matter in Marriage?
By Linda Gilden, Crosswalk.com
The short answer to that question is a resounding yes! Just a little bit of personality knowledge will deepen your relationships, create an understanding of why you and your spouse act and react the way you do, and open the door for clearer communication.
Many marriages these days survive. But rather than surviving, wouldn’t it be more exciting to say your marriage is thriving?
We are all created as unique individuals and no two people are exactly alike. Part of those differences include our personalities.
Many of us have heard the old adage “opposites attract.” In marriage that is true in many ways. Why is that? Because while a husband and wife team are very different individuals, when they marry and form a team their strengths combine to make an even stronger team.
There are many personality tests to choose from, like Myers-Briggs or the Enneagram. In this article, we’ll talk about the LINKED personality test and how it could transform your marriage.
LINKED for Couples addresses two individuals doing life together who often have very different backgrounds and needs. Living in close quarters creates a need for deep understanding of each other. Therefore, a little personality knowledge can create a lot of understanding.
The 4 personality types are the get-it-done Mobilizer, the life-of-the-party Socializer, the keep-it-calm Stabilizer, and the everything-in-order Organizer.
Each has its own strengths and challenges. When applied to marriage, this knowledge can help your marriage deepen in truth and intimacy.
1. The Mobilizer
The Mobilizer personality is your “get-it-done” spouse. When faced with a problem, this mate listens to the problem and immediately works to find a way to solve it.
Mobilizers make great leaders at home and in the workplace. Few Mobilizers will sit and ponder the right thing to do. They immediately grab a pen and paper and draft a list of possible solutions. Because of their matter-of-fact, let’s get this done bent, Mobilizers are often thought of as bossy, too direct, or tactless.
In a marriage, Mobilizers tend to take the lead and move quickly through chores or any other planned activity. But a word of caution to the get-it-done Mobilizers out there. If you are married to a personality who needs some downtime, is more sensitive, or enjoys a few minutes break, take it easy on them.
Remember they are not as driven as you are. Your approach to your mate may need to be softer or less intense.
For instance, Grace is married to Harry. Grace is always on the go, moving from one job to another so she can complete her list before bedtime. Harry is a laid back Stabilizer. He comes in from work and often goes straight to bed. When they pass in the hall Grace often says, “Where are you going?”
“To rest.” She already knew what Harry would say but hoped one time she asked he would be willing to do something to help her around the house. Grace knew Harry would take a nap before dinner and then settle in to watch some television while she resumed her chores.
One day over dinner, Grace brought up the subject of his routine.
“I know, honey, but I am often tired when I get home. Resting makes me sleep better at night.”
“But I work hard all day,” said Grace. “I look forward to your coming home when we can do something together.”
After their conversation, Grace and Harry decided that Harry would rest until dinner then afterward they would do something together for a bit. This new schedule served them well.
On days when Harry had a rough day at work, Grace could tell and suggested Harry go on to bed. And if there was a day when Harry wasn’t too tired, he helped Grace a little extra.
2. The Socializer
The Socializer personality’s name gives us a strong clue to the focus of this life-of-party person. Life is most enjoyable to the Socializer when it includes an element of fun.
This personality thrives on being with people. Notice I said people, not a person. The more the merrier.
A word of caution to the Socializers. Not everyone loves a party. Be sensitive to your spouses who are other personalities and don’t overdo fun when you are together. Make time to do the things in the manner they enjoy them.
Perhaps take time to enjoy a movie with a few friends and your Socializer mate. Or help your Mobilizer mate check something off his or her list.
Socializers are well-liked and considered the fun half of the duo. A great storyteller, the Socializer easily captivates everyone with his lively stories. His ability to make everything fun, even chores, is appreciated by many.
His bent for fun, however, sometimes can make his Organizer mate seek out solitude or his Mobilizer mate roll her eyes at yet another “game!”
When you have a Mobilizer married to a Socializer, they often disagree on the fun aspect of life.
The Mobilizer might say, “Fun? This is fun to get everything done on my list for the day,” while the Socializer would disagree.
“Let’s invite the neighbors over for a quick game of bridge,” the Socializer might say.
3. The Stabilizer
Because of the Stabilizer’s laid back lifestyle and penchant for calm, this personality can often be thought of as lazy and not a fan of people. This is not true at all.
The Stabilizer is a deep thinker who loves to socialize with others, just not too many at a time. When you mention something you would like to get done, Stabilizers may disappear or seek out the closest couch. But it is not what you think.
They are not going to take a nap, they are going to ponder how they could help and possibly be part of the solution. Since Stabilizers are laid back in their approach to work, they are often thought of as procrastinators. Truthfully, they do struggle a bit with procrastination.
But their intentions are pure and their need for calm is real.
If you are married to a Stabilizer, keep in mind that the greatest gift you can give them is to provide a calm environment. This may include ending a rowdy board game a little early, intercepting a visit with a well-meaning, loud neighbor, or leading the family to engage in a less active form of entertainment for the evening so your Stabilizer will enjoy being part of it.
4. The Organizer
Organizers comprise those people who like everything in order.
Whether or not the top of their desks looks organized, they know exactly where everything is. This personality loves to do things the right way which comes from the perfectionist aspect of the personality. If the Organizer had a mantra it would be, “If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right.”
Organizer mates live by this and may have to be reminded that their mates and children are less than perfect. The perfectionism tendency of an Organizer, while it can be effective in helping the Organizer work hard to do things correctly, it also can be negative when imposed on all those around you.
If you are married to an Organizer, keep in mind that this introverted personality loves to be with the family. But when there are lots of people around, the Organizer may find this exhausting. The Organizer will recharge by seeking someplace away from the crowd to be alone for a bit.
He or she is not being antisocial but just seeking quiet to recharge and refresh.
Penny is an Organizer. She prides herself in the amount of work she can get done because she doesn’t use her time frivolously. Her husband, Sal, is a Socializer.
One weekend they were staying in a hotel somewhere in Tennessee. As the elevator approached to take them from their third-floor room to the ground floor, Penny felt herself tense. She really disliked riding three floors with total strangers. Sal, on the other hand, couldn’t wait to meet some new friends. You know everywhere Socializers go they are likely to meet a “new best friend!”
When the elevator door opened, there they were. Before they even got the last foot in the elevator Sal had struck up a conversation with Kyle (one of the people in the elevator). “Where “y’all from?” Penny shrunk closer to the corner wall.
“Michigan. How ‘bout y’all?”
The conversation that ensued had Penny getting closer and closer to the wall.
By the time the door opened, Penny grabbed Sal’s hand and hurried out of the elevator. “Whew!” she said. “I was afraid if the car didn’t hit the ground soon we would be going out to dinner with those people.”
“Yes, Kyle and what’s-her-name.”
Penny was happy when Sal suggested they go get something to eat on the way out the door. She would need some sustenance for the sight-seeing day ahead. Penny’s Organizer personality relaxed, determined to enjoy the day with her Socializer husband.
Two Become One
It is not uncommon for couples to be two different personalities. Having an understanding of your mate’s personality can avoid misunderstandings and create empathy for each other. As a team, you will be stronger as your strengths combine and your relationship deepens.
As you live together as a couple, you will realize that not only do the strengths of your personalities combine to make you stronger, but weaknesses in one mate is compensated for by the strength of the other.
For instance, the Organizer is not good at highly social functions where mingling and making small talk is required. However, if she is married to a Socializer, her mate can guide her through social functions and pick up the conversations in her stead.
If she stays by his side in the midst of a party, she will find that as he greets all those in attendance, she can just smile by his side and enjoy listening to the conversation. If she hears a topic she would like to contribute to, she can jump in and say a few words.
If you want your marriage to thrive and not just survive, perhaps you could add a little extra understanding of your mate’s personality.
Put your knowledge of the personalities to work and find ways to build a stronger relationship with your spouse. Remember, a little personality knowledge goes a long way in building and deepening marriage relationships.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/nortonrsx
Linda Gilden is an award-winning writer, speaker, editor, certified writing and speaking coach, and personality consultant. Her passion is helping others discover the joy of writing and learn to use their writing to make a difference. Linda recently released Articles, Articles, Articles! and is the author of over a thousand magazine articles and 19 books including the new Quick Guides for Personalities. She loves every opportunity to share her testimony, especially through her writing. Linda’s favorite activity (other than eating folded potato chips) is floating in a pool with a good book surrounded by splashing grandchildren—a great source of writing material!