Opposites attract, right? Why then do couples struggle when an extrovert marries an introvert? As an extrovert, being married to an introvert for the past 24+ years has been interesting. I’ve learned much from this love of mine.
In learning more about others, I actually find that most couples that I know are the opposite of us. The husband is the extrovert and the wife is the introvert. Funny how those opposites do attract!
In our family, we have four children, three of whom are introverts and one extrovert. Our youngest child and I are the extroverts. We thrive on being with others, love parties, and generally are happier when out and about. The rest of my family craves alone time. They will attend parties, but are usually ready to leave much sooner than we are. They will go out and about, but need recharge time when that’s over.
Over the years, I’ve learned how to be the wife of an introvert. His personality is much different from mine. I’m bubbly, optimistic, and love fun. He is not-so-bubbly, tends to expects the worst, and is not very optimistic.
But, we celebrate our differences. It’s what makes us a couple. While I add color to his days, he grounds me and helps me see the potential pitfalls that my optimistic mind never sees coming.
Instead of trying to change your introverted husband, help him to be all that he can while learning from him. Here are some things need to understand a few things about introverts (generally speaking, each person is certainly a unique individual, so these may or may not apply)
To the Wife of an Introvert- 7 Keys for Harmony:
1. Just because he is not talkative does not mean he is anti-social:
For my Honey, he is quite talkative. Actually, it’s one of the first things I noticed about him. He LOVED to talk to me and remembered what I said from conversation to conversation. We spent hours just talking and still do. He just does not like talking to a crowd. He’s much more a one-on-one conversationalist.
2. Small talk drives him nuts:
Small talk is a waste of time for my Honey. He can’t stand it. He wants to talk about things of substance, things that truly matter. He could care less what we are having for supper, just feed him. It’s not that he’s unconcerned, it’s that he sees this as a trivial thing. Trivial things feel like wasting precious time.
3. Things do not happen quickly:
We dated for 16 months before he proposed. He was in no rush, while I was ready at about week two! He wanted to be sure that I fully knew what “I was getting myself into” (as he told me while on bended knee just before he asked the very-much-awaited big question.) He likes to figure things out before doing them. He doesn’t want to waste time. If he builds a bookshelf, he uses no written plan for he has built it a million times in his head before getting started. For me, this causes me to stop and consider what’s really important, for I want things done NOW, not later.
4. He doesn’t want to go out every weekend:
His desire is to work at home, but he has a job in town. Five days per week, he leaves his happy place to go to work to earn a living to support us. The very last thing he wants to do on his days off is to go town for any reason. He wants to stay home, not go galavanting off hither and yon. He doesn’t thrive on “going,” he thrives on staying put.
5. He just “knows” things:
I could have saved myself a TON of hurt feelings over the years if I had simply listened to him. I have no clue how he knows what he knows, but he’s always right. When he tells me that this new friend of mine is to be held at arms’ length, I need to listen. For it won’t be long when it’s revealed that she is not at all the person she portrays herself to be. Me, in my “happy-go-lucky optimist place, thinks that all people are just as they appear, and don’t hide behind facades. Oh, for such a world to actually exist!
6. His dedication knows no bounds:
If he’s at work, he’s working. He’s not thinking about me, what we’re doing this weekend, or anything but work. He’s dedicated in a way that I don’t think others truly understand. If he’s home and focused on a project, that has his full attention. It’s not that he’s ignoring me, it’s that he truly hasn’t thought of whatever question I asked him that morning.
7. He thrives on routine:
This may come from his childhood, where he really had no control, but he absolutely loves routine. For example, we have had Friday pizza and movie night for nearly 20 years. When circumstances happen that this has to be changed, he’s disappointed. He likes his personal items left a certain way on his dresser, that way he always knows where they are. If his flashlight goes missing, he is searching for it until it’s found. He likes order. He likes to know what to expect, and what is expected of him.
What does all of this mean to the extroverted wife that gets to share her life with him? It means you get to work on a different side of your personality. It means you have a gift.
He can balance your world if you’ll let him. He’ll ground your puffy balloon and make it not reach the sun and explode. He’ll be your sounding board for he loves to talk, but try not to include every little itty-bitty detail. He’ll be your biggest supporter, but he won’t give false praise.
Communication is the key to any relationship, but most especially in marriage. When you are two very different personalities, it becomes all the more important. While the introverted husband can do things to “come out of himself,” I’m writing today to the extroverted wives. We can only control and change ourselves. Don’t try to control or change your husband, for that only leads to heartache. Learn to embrace the differences between you, not fight them.
I hope that you’ve found some encouragement in this post! Leave me a comment and let me know if you’re the introvert or the extrovert in your marriage. I’m curious to find out!
And check out these other encouraging wives’ posts written by fellow blogging friends. Be encouraged, dear wife!
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