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I'm an Eleven to His Two

Huh? Eleven and two? Early on in our marriage, we received some wise counsel and gained understanding about our communication troubles. I grew up in a house where people raised their voices. Mr. Nice Guy's family was more, er...nice. They didn't shout at one another. That didn't make them great communicators - in fact, it confused me how they smiled and laughed during "discussions" and talked about things in a roundabout way. My family was direct. You KNEW what the problem was, and it was going to be dealt with. Immediately. So when Mr. Nice Guy and I had a "discussion" about an issue, I spoke out directly and strongly and as clearly as I could. Whoa. In terms of levels, what I considered a calm voice registered as a yelling voice to him. Ha! My yelling voice is actually very, very loud. Since my "discussion" level was so high and uncomfortable for him, I needed to work really hard to tone it down for the sake of keeping the lines of communication open. On the other hand, Mr. Nice Guy's low-key, indirect approach was driving me bonkers. It sent me mixed signals about how he really felt or if something mattered to him. I needed more evidence, excitement or disgust, to show me what his true thoughts were. My thoughts and feelings are often clearly marked on my face, whereas his calm demeanor is pretty much always. CALM. We're opposites. Surprise, surprise. It has been eye-opening to realize the numerous ways we are wired so differently. The journey of discovery hasn't been smooth, but it has been very interesting and worthwhile. And we've learned so much and have grown to appreciate one another's qualities so much more, because most often they are ones we lack. On a scale of one to ten, I'm an eleven. I. am. expressive. Don't hold back much of my thoughts or feelings, unless necessary. But I believe it's important to let it out. Mr. Nice Guy is the cool-as-a-cucumber two. He's peaceful in the midst of the storm. We balance each other out and help one another grow, as God intended.


Namine said...

I feel like you've completely describe my relationship. It's nice to see it nicely put. Thanks

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Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

We were the opposite, my family was quiet and his was loud. He'd say something to me that I thought was mean, and I was devastated. He'd look at me and say, "Wow, that would've been a wimpy statement in my family." Ha We've been married almost 24 years now, and he's gotten softer, and I've learned to hold my own :-) We're blessed with a great marriage, but the first year or two were hard, partly because of our different upbringings. Thanks for sharing.