Marrying your antithesis can be compelling and exciting in the beginning. However, when the novelty fades away, you may begin to doubt why you were attracted to such an opposite personality from your own. Qualities about your partner that were once endearing can now irritate you, causing endless conflict in your marriage. Despite this, there are plenty of ways you can keep and strengthen the connection of your introvert-extrovert marriage.
Don’t let stereotypes rule your marriage
Most people make the assumption that all introverts have a quiet personality while extroverts are outgoing. However, this is not true for everyone. Do not box your partner in with stereotypes. In fact, being an introvert or extrovert is not based on individual behavior but rather how you garner mental and emotional strength. Introverts tend to require time alone, while extroverts thrive in social settings. Respect your partner’s tendencies, but don’t be afraid to stretch him or her sometimes. You — and your partner! — might be surprised.
Practice tolerance instead of expecting change
The best way for an introvert-extrovert relationship to flourish is to learn to appreciate and tolerate each other’s differences. Understanding that your spouse views the world in a different light than you is the key to harmony. Remove any idea of trying to change the person you love and instead honor his or her differences. For example, extroverts may feel very uncomfortable with the fact that their introverted partner needs time alone. An extrovert can easily misconstrue the situation as the introvert being rejecting of love and companionship. To the contrary, an introvert may just need that time to recharge so that he or she can give you the love you crave. If your relationship is to last long-term, being accepting of one another’s individuality is essential.
Compromise and strive for balance
All couples need balance in their relationships. Because introverts and extroverts tend to think differently, compromise is imperative. Spouses must find ways to make sure that both of their needs are met. Discuss your needs and comfort levels with each other frequently, and try to approach the relationship from a standpoint of balance rather than of black and white. Although there will never be a completely even balance, it is worth trying.
Finding ways to balance competing needs is essential to keeping your bond strong. An extrovert may crave going to a rock concert, while an introvert may want to sit in the park and stare at the clouds. Both activities can be fun and fulfilling for both partners, and making sure that both sides get to do something they enjoy is key to long-term balance. Pursuing balance will frequently push you out of your comfort zone, but it also helps to keep your partner happy. Compromising like this is an excellent way of maintaining the connection you share, and you may discover new things to do that you both take pleasure in.
It is completely possible for an introvert and extrovert to have a successful, healthy marriage. All relationships require effort, and yours is no different.
Malini Bhatia is the founder and CEO of marriage.com, a website dedicated to providing value in every marriage, including resources, information and a community that supports healthy, happy marriages. Bhatia has global experience in international management and communications. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 11 years and two daughters.