Temperament Corner

SPECIAL NOTES FOR COUNSELING MARRIED COUPLES THAT HAVE “LIKE” TEMPERAMENTS IN THE INCLUSION AREA.

Dr. Phyllis J. Arno

Author

As you know, “opposite” temperaments tend to attract each other because of their differences; however, we also find that “like” temperaments can also tend to attract each other. And just like the “opposite” temperaments, the “like” temperaments need to learn to live with each other.  The “like” temperaments need to understand their likenesses.

In this issue, we will cover a Melancholy married to a Melancholy in the Inclusion area.  

In review, the Inclusion area is the need to establish and maintain a satisfactory relationship with people in the area of surface relationships, association, socialization, and their intellectual energies.

The following are some words that describe a Melancholy in Inclusion: 

  task-oriented                         perfectionist               low self-esteem

        self-motivated                       loner                          withdrawn

     creative/artistic                      moody                       depressed

fear of exposure                    appears arrogant        possibly suicidal                                   

 intellectual energies              loyal friend                strong-willed

MELANCHOLY IN INCLUSION MARRIED TO A MELANCHOLY IN INCLUSION

In the Inclusion area there will be no “opposites attracting” since they are both Melancholies in Inclusion.  They will have to learn to work together, not against each other.

Both are introverts and loners in the Inclusion area.

Both are usually very private people.

Both tend to be task-oriented and relate better to tasks than people.

When opposites attract, they can learn to balance each other; however, two Melancholies in Inclusion may have a more difficult time learning how to bring balance into their relationship because they do not tend to share their thoughts and ideas with each other.

BOTH PARTIES HAVE THE SAME BASIC NEEDS

1.  TO BE INDEPENDENT AND HAVE THEIR OWN SPACE

The fact that they are both task-oriented does not mean that they will automatically 

mesh together.

Both parties will probably be independent of each other, having their own separate interests.

His interests could be: woodworking, old cars, creative writing, exercising, reading, 

playing instruments, computers, hunting, television, etc.

Her interests could be:  baking, cooking, sewing, creative writing, playing instruments, 

reading, exercising, crafts, computers, etc.

GUIDELINES FOR HELPING THIS COUPLE

a. Communication is the key! However, they must first learn how to communicate.

b. They need to set specific times when they can come together and interact so they can  keep in touch with each other. If they do not set aside specific time, they tend to think that the other is invading their turf.

2.  TO HAVE QUIET, ALONE TIME TO THINK, DREAM AND REGENERATE

They both need to have quiet, alone time to think, dream and regenerate.  If they do not, they can become moody, depressed and stressed.  They need time to “digest” what has transpired throughout the day and assess what they have and have not accomplished.

Melancholies tend to see rejection where there is no rejection and may think themselves downward because of what they “thought” their spouse said. Actually, they probably did not hear all that the spouse said because their mind had spun off with a certain word that might have taken them to an incident that happened years ago and was never dealt with. This is because they usually will not say anything to the spouse, and their rejection may fester for years!

GUIDELINES FOR HELPING THIS COUPLE

a. Both should respect the other’s need for quiet, alone time to deal with their thoughts.

b. Both should learn not to feel rejected when the other is having their alone time.

3.  TO HAVE A SAFE HAVEN AWAY FROM THE WORLD

Both need a safe haven in order to deal with the stresses of life.

Their safe haven can be:  their car, a special room in the house, their woodshop, their garage, their kitchen, or their sewing room. 

Their safe haven can be their whole house. During a disaster many people do not want to leave their home because they are too afraid of the unknown to leave.

Their safe haven can also be in their mind by reading books or watching television.

GUIDELINES FOR HELPING THIS COUPLE

a. Both should allow the other their safe haven and respect their need.

b. Both should not attempt to enter their spouse’s “safe haven” unless invited.

4.  TO ESTABLISH RELATIONSHIPS BY DOING TASKS

Both need to learn to establish and maintain their relationships by doing tasks for each other— they have a difficult time just sitting around doing nothing.     

Being task-oriented does not mean that she will keep the house cleaned up.  She may sew or bake and dislike doing laundry or scrubbing floors or doing dishes. 

He may like to work on the computer, read or watch television and may dislike making sure that the car is in good running condition, i.e., keeping gasoline in the car and air in the tires.  

GUIDELINES FOR HELPING THIS COUPLE

a. Because they may both have separate interests, they need to learn to understand that they are each contributing to the relationship by doing tasks.  They must acknowledge and  accept their contribution to the marriage.

b. Both need to establish and maintain their relationship by doing tasks for one another.

c. Both need to find a like task to do together so that they remain a part of each other.

5.  TO BE PERFECT

Both will have the need to be perfect, and they may “drive each other crazy.”  One may be perfectionistic about how clean the home should be, and the other may be perfectionistic about writing, baking, painting, etc.

GUIDELINES FOR HELPING THIS COUPLE

a. Both need to respect each other’s needs for perfection and be willing to work with each other in order to keep from having a “cold war” in the home.

b. Both need to allow themselves and their spouse to be imperfect. After all, only God is perfect.

SETTING BOUNDARIES FOR THIS COUPLE

1.  Both husband and wife should allow the other to establish and maintain individual  interests; however, they must then come together to make their marriage strong so that they can “stay one.” 

2.  Both husband and wife should learn to COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER.

3.  Both husband and wife should be allowed to have their quiet, alone time.

4.  Both husband and wife should be allowed to have their safe haven where they can  relax.

5.  Both husband and wife should acknowledge each other’s task as a way of contributing to the marriage.

6.  Both husband and wife should respect each other’s need for perfection; however,  at the same time, they need to allow themselves and their spouse to be imperfect.

7. Both need to learn to meet each other’s needs rather than their own and, in so doing, they will have their needs met.

PLEASE NOTE: These are temperament tendencies, and, as always, while you are counseling Like Melancholies in Inclusion, you must take into consideration their walk with the Lord, birth order, learned behavior and personality.

In the next issue we will look at Counseling Married Couples with Like Temperaments in the Inclusion area of Phlegmatic.

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