Aristotle said, ‘Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.’ There is much truth to that statement!
In a marriage relationship, the more we understand ourselves, the better we can relate and connect with our spouse. Think about the way God built you: your habits, traits, and quirks – all the good and the bad – along with how and especially why you react to things the way you do. This is the key to your personal style.
It’s also crucial to consider your past hurts and pains. What might be weighing you down and keeping you from moving forward? Or worse, what unresolved offenses have kept home in your heart, keeping you bitter and unforgiving? These, too, will shape your personal style and interactions with your spouse.
Think about your communication approach, which is vital to any relationship, especially within a marriage. And how does that fit (or not!) with your partner’s? If conflict arises in this arena, perhaps it’s time to look at both personality styles and do more profound work.
Are you on the same page with finances? Perhaps you’re the spender, and your spouse is the saver – which will undoubtedly cause friction in a marriage! What has caused you to spend – and conversely – what has caused your spouse to be the saver? Do the hard thought work and learn your patterns and habits around finances.
When conflict arises in our home, we try to take a step back and assess. If one of us needs a moment (or maybe even a day) to process, the other allows that space. When one spouse needs a hug (personal style), the other will offer that much-needed affection, even in conflict. No, it’s not easy. But it’s worth the effort. We have learned our own, as well as each other’s personal styles. Although we are not perfect every time, we certainly strive to constantly learn of ourselves first and seek knowledge of our spouse’s unique, God-given style.
Most of all, are you able to accept yourself for the unique individual God created you to be? He has given your personal style to only you, with all your humor, your rugged good looks or beauty and grace, your natural talents, the funny way you snort when you laugh, and your slightly hot temper (which maybe needs a little work!). All of it. When we know, understand, and accept who we are, we can then extend more grace and love when it’s needed.
Understanding our thoughts, emotions, and personal style first is crucial so we can begin to understand our partner’s viewpoint and, in turn, their needs. Learn your personal style, and pursue knowledge of your spouse’s as well. The benefit will you will see is invaluable!