Thursday, May 20, 2010


     Have you taken the Myers-Briggs personality inventory yet? You should. If you're in a relationship, you should do it before you do anything else. And so should your partner. Here's a link:
If you are reading this, and you are in a relationship, you are either done with the quiz, or you already know your type. Either way you will not think I'm speaking gibberish when I tell you that I am an INFJ. If you follow the link, you will find a description of your type on I couldn't describe myself better. My wife's is the same for her.

     I consider my wife to be, if not my soul-mate, then close enough that she may as well be. We complement each other almost perfectly. I paint the outlines of our future, and she fills in the details. However, if I was looking for a woman who shared my taste in music, books, movies, hobbies, humor, blah, blah, blah, then Stacy would be almost the last woman I would pick. And my first time around, I did sort of find a woman with whom I shared tastes, in some areas at least. And after 10 months I learned that she had a boyfriend. (I dare say I did not care for him as much as she did. Our tastes differed greatly. I would have picked a smarter guy for her, but what do I know? They are together to this very day.) We never had a first anniversary. Now, how can I be blissfully happy being married to someone who likes almost none of the things that I do?  Well firstly, there are some things that we both like to do. But mostly, we have learned that neither of us is going to be enough people for the other. The great thinker and author, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., introduced me to that idea - not enough people. He argued that one thing, the main thing, that caused so much trouble in marriages these days, that never used to be a problem, was that families had become so small. It used to be that everybody had sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. all around them. Their spouse didn't need to laugh at all their jokes, or play golf or poker, or gossip or whatever. In fact, it was better if they didn't. It was easier 50 years ago to get out of the house and spend a little time with other people; you could tell your jokes or gossip or whatever with someone who appreciated what you were saying. Then you could go home, fulfilled, and chat with your family.
     Taking this personality inventory with Stacy helped me to realize that she was simply not going to see some things the way I did. She couldn't possibly. Her mind did not work that way. Early in our marriage, I would be all riled up about something, run and tell Stacy about it, and be disappointed when she didn't get riled up, too. It became pretty clear that I was going to need more people in my life. I think a lot of people in committed relationships get to this point. Unfortunately, I think many of them feel guilty about it. They think their partner should be enough for them. Their partner almost certainly feels that way. The reason it was easier when it was extended family who was the "other people" is that jealousy and infidelity and all that crap were not issues (unless you lived in Mississippi).

     It can still be done, though. You can join a golf or a bowling league, you can be a Mason, or an Elk, or join the American Legion. Or you can simply have friends with whom you can do whatever it is you need to do. As long as you promise your mate that he/she is the only person that will get all of you, then it's perfectly reasonable to have a lot of other people who get some of you.


  1. You are a wise man tom. Good connection between what you learned about having enough people, and you and your wife doing the myers briggs.

  2. I like that. I guess I need to read more Vonnegut.