Personality types

You’ve known me for 25 years and still I am a complete enigma to you? I’ve slept in your bed, given birth to your children, spent countless evenings watching the Cubs lose, folding laundry, tending house with you. You’ve known me since I was driving a (very cool I must say) green Camaro in high school. For crying out loud, we’ve grown up together! We’ve shared a life that no one else will ever be part of.

You tell me that you loved me, that you poured yourself out for me, bled for me even, and all I see is an aloof and unreasonable dickhead. I’ll tell you that I tried to be pretty and intelligent and in control, perfect and accomplished in every way, but you see a tragically flawed and irrational human being. I’m all about a lively battle between the sexes, but this is ridiculous! There must be something else afoot.

Well, here is our long-awaited chance to thank the Junior League. Well-groomed women wearing pearls have taught me something that I will forever remember and appreciate always. It’s not about the externals, the things that make us look like a great pair. It’s not about how smart we are, or how funny, or how attractive or talented. It’s about the inner sanctum…the sacred and holy place that makes us US. It’s how we perceive the world, how we process information, what we value.

You are an extrovert. You get energy and inspiration in the presence of other people. I am highly introverted. I may look like the life of the party but I spend three days alone in a closet after a backyard barbeque to re-energize myself.

You are sensory. You feel fantastic after an intense game of yard darts, the sun overhead, the wind at your back…You hike mountains, you travel…you pay attention to the outside world. I am intuitive….I live inside my head. I can easily content myself on a blanket alone watching, feeling elated and peaceful…knowing that everyone is having a great time and that this is a lovely slice of life. I’d be the happiest quadriplegic on the planet….so unimportant is the sensory to me.

You are a thinker, you follow your head, you’re comfortable with the impersonal, the exacting. I am a feeler…I follow my heart, I’m in touch with the personal and the emotional. I cannot divorce myself from the inner life….matters of the heart…the divine. You easily can. Here’s the solution, you say. TaDa!

You rely on knowledge and information to make a judgment. You feel a sense of urgency until a decision is made, you like to tie up loose ends. My reality is based on perception, facts be damned! I keep my eyes open and look for alternatives…I am spontaneous and in no hurry to resolve things.

No wonder we can’t work it out. We live in the same world, yet it is a world completely apart. We love the same children but view them in very divergent ways. We encounter the same problems yet our solutions are diametrically opposed. On many days, we don’t speak the same language at all.

I am an idealist….I’m enthusiastic, loving, giving, spiritual, nurturing, focused on personal journeys and human potential. I have a deep commitment to the positive. You are a rational….you are self-controlled, logical, pragmatic…you have incredible strength of character and are decisive and autonomous.

Here is the funny part. You need me. You need me to give you vision, to give you wings, to keep you human and relational. And I need you…to keep me grounded, to keep me sane, to appeal to reason and make me strong.

I think we did our best to work things out. We didn’t understand each other….we still don’t. I’ve now chosen a new mate. Guess what? He’s a lot like you. He’s rational and logical but softer and more accessible than you were. At least I hope so. And you’ve chosen a new mate. She’s pretty and kind but more rational and exacting than I am.

So maybe we’re wiser. Time will tell, I guess. But I know one thing…..there is no one that I would rather have been linked to for the past 25 years than you. No one that I would rather share parenting duties with than you. My love and respect for you is undiminished. I am incomplete without your guidance and strength. You are still my better half.

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