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How to work an Introvert-Extrovert Marriage?

Yin & Yang Couple Tattoo

A marriage brings together two wonderful human beings, their interests, their stories, their passions and above all, their distinct individual personalities. While it may seem like a trivial subject in the initial phase, it’s a definite topic to approach as you navigate through your marriage.

The dynamics of an introvert-extrovert marriage comes with its own share of pros and cons.

The Good 

It’s Complementary
Though the traits of an introvert- extrovert partnership aren’t poles apart, they are certainly diverse. Eventually this makes them complement each other in more ways than one can imagine. There will be a hermit for the hippie, there will be a listener to the communicator and a perceptive mind for the impulsive decision maker. 

Valuing Couple Time
The inherent personality traits make sure that you and your partner indulge in different activities. In turn it makes you value the time spent together as a couple, doing things you both enjoy.

Balance
Your introvert partner may not communicate as well as you and the extrovert may feel overwhelming at times. As soon as you identify these, you put your heads together to work on the balance that helps you rock your relationship.

The Not so Good

Conflicting Ideas
You may want to step out and shop for that couch while your partner may just want to stay home and order it online. Sounds insignificant? It probably is but if this conflict overshadows your daily routine, it can be quite a predicament.

Different Social Circles
While your mutual friends may overlap, there are chances that an introvert likes being in a small well-defined group and the extrovert enjoys every party in town. In a marriage, this could lead to arguments most evenings, if not communicated in an apt manner.

Communication Gap
One may be overbearing and the other passive-aggressive, none of it being a fault in isolation. It stems from your personality types and needs constant discussions.

How to make it work?

Understand yourself and then each other
A major amount of your angst may be directed at your own self, each time the topic turns to compatibility. Refrain from doing that. You need to accept your persona before you go ahead and accept what your partner brings to the relationship. Focus on the fact that you chose each other. Identify what frustrates you and your partner and encourage what makes each of you happy, together.

Respect each other’s individuality
If you are an extrovert, do not assume that your partner’s small group of friends is pitiful. If you are an introvert, do not expect your partner to adjust to bare minimum communication. 

Adapt and not adjust
The extrovert brings massive energy into a relationship while the introvert brings in the calm. Encourage each other, help by being the stress buster. Adapt to each other’s’ strengths.

Communicate
While you may be of different personality types, in this marriage you hold an equal partnership. Talk to each other, schedule your plans, make clear harmless boundaries and embrace the positives that this brilliant combination brings.

There’s a sweet spot in every relationship, you just need to explore and discover. Talk about it and then talk some more. Bringing in a non-confrontational expert into the picture may help too. Some of the niche workshops created by the experts at The Little Things are for married couples. This weekend session works in the form of an interesting getaway with your partner. The module includes understanding each other’s personality types and learning communication techniques which tailor fit your partnership.

Future in-laws – friends or foes?

Marriage is not simply a union of two hearts but two families. Haven’t we heard this multiple times during Indian weddings? It’s an undeniable truth even in the nuclear family era. In-laws form an important part of the married life. It’s an honest task in itself, to manoeuvre through the wedding planning, raising grandkids (or not), supporting elderly needs and simply put, creating a new family together.

It may feel like starting your life, all over again. May it be living in your own space or sharing your in laws’ home, it is important that you get to know them much before you step into their lives. You are marrying their son/daughter or brother/sister, it’s perfectly normal if you feel that they are judging you at first sight. That said, we also recommend that you do not go by stereotypes from popular culture which regularly paints most in laws as toxic.

How do I get to know them?Spend time together
You don’t know them, they don’t know you. Spending quality time together will amply help figure unexpected sides to each other. You don’t need to always do it with your partner around, make your own plans. They are your in laws and this is your relationship. Go ahead and invite them out, indulge in activities, get to know them in your merit.

Involve them in the wedding
We know that the wedding planning is a very stressful part. We also know how protective each of us are with our idea of a wedding and absolutely avoid asking others to join in. But, let’s try this. Create your boundaries but let the in-laws get involved in your wedding planning, same goes for the parents. It is a harmless way to share the power that is often the root cause of conflicts.

Be kind, polite yet honest
Do not fake anything, you are not perfect and neither are they. It won’t be flawless but honesty brings in a certain amount of control on what to expect and where to draw a line.

How do I kick-start this relationship?
It is common to be nervous and doubtful when it comes to including your in-laws in the movie called life. But once you know them a little and have knowledge of their personalities, you can tackle it one day at a time until it becomes seamless.

  • Treat them like family, make them feel included.
  • Avoid confrontations unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Feel free to create boundaries but with respect.
  • Be open to their cultural advises even if you don’t accept them.
  • Try spending some part of your holidays with them. If you can, plan a holiday where parents from both sides get together.
  • You may end up finding common interests, from sports to business. Be open and communicate with each other.
  • Treat your mother, father, and brother and sister in-law differently, they are a family but also different individuals.

There are a hundred different kinds of human beings and your in-laws are people with their own minds. There are chances they may be kind, warm and wise. While some may be distant and cold. There could be others who are a little bit of both. It may feel harsh and bitter at times and it’s normal to be frustrated. Patience, clear goals and communication is the key. You can also seek the counsel of experts who help you understand these aspects which may seem alien to your existing adult lives. At The Little Things workshops, topics like these and more are touched upon to equip you with emotional ability to understand, respect and embrace various facets of a married life.