It’s our thirteenth wedding anniversary today!
I read several years ago that the secret to a good romantic match is two people whose Myers-Briggs types differ by only one letter. The Myers-Briggs types are four-letter codes that describe your personality — Extrovert/Introvert, Intuitive/Sensory, Thinking/Feeling, and Perceiving/Judging. I don’t go in much for the labelling of people, but knowing your Myers-Briggs type can be useful on a personal level, to help you understand just why do you do the things you do, and why you tend to make certain kinds of decisions.
Anyway, as I said, a good marriage is supposedly made up of two people whose personalities fall into the same category on three fronts, and are different in just one of the categories. Sir Monkeypants and I, though, are pretty much different on all around.
It’s working out, though. I think whoever wrote that thing about the one-letter-difference needs to add us to their study.
For example, Sir Monkeypants is an Extrovert, while I am an Introvert. In the early days of our marrige this was kind of an issue, as he wanted to go out and see people all the time, and I just wanted to stay home and watch Survivor in my jammies. Now, though, I absolutely value this quality in him — I like to call Sir Monkeypants “our family’s ambassador to the world.” He’s the one who goes out to meet new neighbours when they move in, who chats with people on the street and in the mall, and who talks to the other parents when dropping off our kids at school. He converses with friends and strangers alike when we’re at a party, while I just hang at the wall with RheostaticsFan or LuckySevens, who I see all the time. He’s the one who makes sure that we have a place where we belong, where we fit in, where we feel like part of a community. Meanwhile, I’m more than happy to stay at home and organize the closets, or do the grocery shopping, or send out the Christmas Cards — which is good work too, which otherwise would never get done — while he’s mixing and mingling.
He’s also Intuitive, whereas I’m Sensory. If you have to be different in one area, I highly recommend this one. He comes up with the grand plans; I execute. He sees that our garbage-taking-out system is a mess; he comes up with a plan, whereas I’d be more than happy to just keep stepping over piles of garbage for the rest of my days. Then I actually make it happen; I buy the bins, label them, organize them, and replace the bags, whereas he’d be more than happy to sit on the couch watching Survivor and talking about his awesome plan. It keeps the house running smoothly.
Most people who meet Sir Monkeypants would guess that he’s a Thinker, not a Feeler. Really he’s sort of on the fence on this one, but I am definitely and without a doubt a Feeler. He knew it was time for us to buy a house, because we could afford it and it was a good time to get into the market and it was the next life step. I could not be convinced until Sir Monkeypants figured out that all the number crunching in the world would not appeal to me, but a lovely, warm tale of us snuggling in front of the fireplace with hot chocolates after a night skating on the local rink definitely would. And now we know exactly how to convince the other one to do something — Sir Monkeypants uses the Warm Fuzzies Approach, while I stick with the Numbers Game.
And lastly, he’s Perceiving, and I’m Judging. That means I like to have things settled, and he likes to think about a decision for one million years before making it. This sometimes gets us into trouble, as I begin nagging him to pin down our Christmas plans three months in advance, whereas he’d prefer to wait until the day before we leave. We do eventually find a happy medium, however, between advance planning and playing it by ear. Plus, he’d shop forever for things like MP3 players or computers if I let him, but we only actually own these things because I’m the one who puts my foot down and tells him to JUST BUY IT ALREADY, while he stops me from buying a lot of crap on a whim, forcing me instead to at least try two different stores before purchase. So it’s all good.
I think our differences balance our relationship, and make us stronger as a team. Thirteen years can’t be wrong.