Complimentary temperaments and relationship satisfaction - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Complimentary temperaments and relationship satisfaction

A light bulb went off for me this morning around all this back and forth with red pill men, how to have a good relationship, etc., and it is this:

For you to have a good relationship, you need to:


1. Know what your core relationship temperments are
2. Recognize what compliments your core relationship temperments
3. Look at your partner to see if they are a good match for you based on what each of you need.


So, what are relationship temperments? These are discussed all over TAM, just not categorized/recognized as such. Temperments include: thinking vs feeling personality type, frequency and meaning of sex, nature of support through difficulties, etc.

There are some long time posters here who have pointed out the same. What I'm wondering is whether the root of relationship troubles is in the mismatch of temperments, when we don't recognize/like/accept either our own temperment and/or our partners, and when we want a temperment that isn't complimentary to our own.

For example, if you want a loving, sensitive woman but you are a cold and distant man, that doesn't sound like the basis for a healthy relationship. But that doesn't seem to stop the woman from wanting to rescue/change/be enough for the man and it doesn't stop the man from taking advantage of/neglecting his sensitive woman because he wants someone like her.

It's when we get into these mismatches and stay, continuing to try to change what is core to ourselves or the other, that we struggle.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 10:34 AM
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Re: Complimentary temperaments and relationship satisfaction

I agree that these things are required before going into a marriage. I was engaged a long time ago to someone who didn't match me. They were mostly logical but had some core of non reasoning emotion that prevented her from making a decision and sticking to it. She did what felt right at the time and didn't have a mature notion of commitment. So while we were away at grad school she let a relationship grow with another student and had an affair. In retrospect it was obvious from her core temperament that she would glom on to someone and from her perspective it "felt" right. So she eventually broke off the engagement and I thought about what happened and why and concluded the something you did that were we're not really compatible fundamentally even though we could work and play well together. Another thing that was a red flag was that we could not argue well in a way that resolved conflicts.

Years later when I started dating the future Mrs. meson, the entire dating process was learning how fundamentally compatible our base temperaments were (in addition to having fun). She had been cheated on as well by a precious boyfriend and was sensitive to the fact that she lost her identity to him in that relationship. So she was seeking someone who would let and encourage her to be her and be compatible in other ways. It was like we were interviewing each other for marriage. We even fought respectfully and had a decent process for resolving conflicts.

The only thing we didn't fully address before marriage became the source of our largest marital conflict. Should we have two or three kids. This formed a basis for future stress and problems in our marriage. If it weren't for our base temperament compatiblity we would not have found a way out of the issues and probably would have been divorced by year 16 of our marriage.

As to my ex fiancé, she married her affair partner and shortly after grad school he cheated on her and they divorced. Her ability to really decide for long term commitment based upon how she feels in the present alone was and is a prescription for marital failure.

I don't want to not live because of my fear of what could happen. - Laird Hamilton

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Complimentary temperaments and relationship satisfaction

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I agree that these things are required before going into a marriage. I was engaged a long time ago to someone who didn't match me. They were mostly logical but had some core of non reasoning emotion that prevented her from making a decision and sticking to it. She did what felt right at the time and didn't have a mature notion of commitment. So while we were away at grad school she let a relationship grow with another student and had an affair. In retrospect it was obvious from her core temperament that she would glom on to someone and from her perspective it "felt" right. So she eventually broke off the engagement and I thought about what happened and why and concluded the something you did that were we're not really compatible fundamentally even though we could work and play well together. Another thing that was a red flag was that we could not argue well in a way that resolved conflicts.

Years later when I started dating the future Mrs. meson, the entire dating process was learning how fundamentally compatible our base temperaments were (in addition to having fun). She had been cheated on as well by a precious boyfriend and was sensitive to the fact that she lost her identity to him in that relationship. So she was seeking someone who would let and encourage her to be her and be compatible in other ways. It was like we were interviewing each other for marriage. We even fought respectfully and had a decent process for resolving conflicts.

The only thing we didn't fully address before marriage became the source of our largest marital conflict. Should we have two or three kids. This formed a basis for future stress and problems in our marriage. If it weren't for our base temperament compatiblity we would not have found a way out of the issues and probably would have been divorced by year 16 of our marriage.

As to my ex fiancé, she married her affair partner and shortly after grad school he cheated on her and they divorced. Her ability to really decide for long term commitment based upon how she feels in the present alone was and is a prescription for marital failure.
Thank you for sharing the above. Insightful and also caused me to take pieces of what you said and fit them into my past relationships. I've spent a lot of time thinking about compatibility of personality when having fun as well as day to day, but compatibility when resolving conflicts is something I've not thought a lot about. I see this very clearly as being important, especially for the strong willed (like I am). I want and need a man who will stand toe to toe and eye to eye with me, while always remaining each in our own truths and discussing with mutual respect. I'm a tough cookie in this way, and probably not as feminine as a man might like, but this is me. And when a man can stand there with me, he will be a man I can truly love, respect, and give my heart to. Because I will know we can cut a path through the thickest jungle.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 12:29 PM
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Re: Complimentary temperaments and relationship satisfaction

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Originally Posted by Begin again View Post
Thank you for sharing the above. Insightful and also caused me to take pieces of what you said and fit them into my past relationships. I've spent a lot of time thinking about compatibility of personality when having fun as well as day to day, but compatibility when resolving conflicts is something I've not thought a lot about. I see this very clearly as being important, especially for the strong willed (like I am). I want and need a man who will stand toe to toe and eye to eye with me, while always remaining each in our own truths and discussing with mutual respect. I'm a tough cookie in this way, and probably not as feminine as a man might like, but this is me. And when a man can stand there with me, he will be a man I can truly love, respect, and give my heart to. Because I will know we can cut a path through the thickest jungle.
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Mrs. meson and myself are both strong willed and have a notion of what's right. But what makes this work is that we listen and debate on merits of the arguement. Sometimes she's right and sometimes I'm right and often we are both right. Our nature is to qualify the object and determine the assumptions or cases that may originate in us having differing opinions. Once we locate the basic difference it's usually easy to resolve.

Stopping and considering how the spouse may be correct is a sign of respect. There was a time in our marriage where resentment built up and we each began to assume the worst more and more. We were not respecting each other. After realizing what was going on I payed particular attention to what she said and did and assumed the best. She noticed and began to do likewise and our marriage improved because I started to show more respect towards her. Since then we have discussed this mechanism and understand it explicitly.

It's interesting because we practice this all the time now even in front of others. Sometimes you can see our friends brace for a heated arguement becauseof our contradiction but in a minute or so we converge on understanding and move forward. I think it surprises some that we can be so fluid.

I don't want to not live because of my fear of what could happen. - Laird Hamilton

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 01:23 PM
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Re: Complimentary temperaments and relationship satisfaction

i don't disagree at all with this premise.

temperment and personality traits are extremely important.

however, i think the actual match alchemy can be very complex.
i don't think you can necessarily boil it down to: 'she likes C, D, E, and F and I like C,E and F so we should get along.'

i think it can be way more complex than that. for example the old adage; "opposites attract". there is sometimes truth to this, and I've seen it in my own circle.
sometimes we will predict "that will be a great marriage" and conversely "they'll never make it in the long run', only to find our predictions all wrong.

that's what makes it hard to pick a mate. if you don't make it beyond the 'honeymoon stage' determining your match compatibilities, then you could have greatly mistaken the match (in the fog of love) and even then it may be too late
you may already be committed and don't want to go back, assuming what you saw in the 'fog of love' was reality, when it wasn't.

in the end, only time will tell.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 01:30 PM
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Re: Complimentary temperaments and relationship satisfaction

There is a fair amount about compatible temperaments in the MBTI literature.

E.g., NTs should be partnered with either NTs or NFs.

I think this is a helpful way to look at the issue. My wife and I are both NTs, and I credit that with making it possible for us to live together in harmony (mostly :-)).

But even aside from that, it is important to know what your own personality type is.

Always remember the LD motto: "Sex isn't important!!!"
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 01:44 PM
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Re: Complimentary temperaments and relationship satisfaction

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Originally Posted by jorgegene View Post
i don't disagree at all with this premise.

temperment and personality traits are extremely important.

however, i think the actual match alchemy can be very complex.
i don't think you can necessarily boil it down to: 'she likes C, D, E, and F and I like C,E and F so we should get along.'

i think it can be way more complex than that. for example the old adage; "opposites attract". there is sometimes truth to this, and I've seen it in my own circle.
That's why I like the term temperament. It transcends the usual list items like C, D, E. Its more about how the partner behaves, feels and responds to similarities and differences.

Mrs. meson and I have intersecting likes and many things we don't share. I like C (climbing) and she does not and will never do C. However she supports it and will go along on C trips. Her temperament is to find a way to support C and also have it be a shared experience. If I had a list mentality she might have been rejected because it was important to my life. Likewise there are things like that for her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jorgegene View Post
sometimes we will predict "that will be a great marriage" and conversely "they'll never make it in the long run', only to find our predictions all wrong.

that's what makes it hard to pick a mate. if you don't make it beyond the 'honeymoon stage' determining your match compatibilities, then you could have greatly mistaken the match (in the fog of love) and even then it may be too late
you may already be committed and don't want to go back, assuming what you saw in the 'fog of love' was reality, when it wasn't.

in the end, only time will tell.

This is really the big one. How can we trust our judgement when we are high on love? I don't really have a good answer to that except what you said time will tell. When we started dating we knew that we wanted to marry within a month. I let her know of my intent that we should marry and gave her a promise gift. Five months later we officially became engaged. We married a little over a year after we knew we wanted to marry. This gave us time to live, work, love and argue together to test our temperaments.

But we could have been wrong, it's hard to know.

I don't want to not live because of my fear of what could happen. - Laird Hamilton

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