Temperament and Marriage

I am not a marriage counselor nor do I play one on the Intarwebs but it seems that some readers think I can help.  Take the following email: “I read some of your info about temperament on your blog.  I am a Melancholy Phlegmatic.  I’ve discovered my temperament capabilities so am cooperating with them and it’s really getting me somewhere!  But I have this trouble; what blend of temperament will suite me as a spouse?  What blend of temperament matches mine?”

To which I reply: There’s never a guarantee in a relationship without the commitment to work on differences with understanding and acceptance.  It also doesn’t work to try and change the other person.  That being said, let’s look at both good and poor natural temperament combinations for your temperament blend.

As a Melancholy Phlegmatic you are a detailed and organized person offset a bit by the lack of drive of the Phlegmatic.  Your weaknesses – a tendency to be openly critical of others and yet a bit unfocused in yourself – would tend to eliminate a Choleric as a match; unless the Choleric drive was their secondary type.

You would be best suited to possibly a Phlegmatic Choleric (laid back but with a bit of drive and able to handle criticism) or a Sanguine Melancholy where the uplifting Sanguine (who is highly unfocused and can be disorganized) is offset by the organized Melancholy secondary type.

It has always been my contention that you need at least ONE of your temperament types to match either the primary or secondary for a degree of temperamental compatibility.  The opposite seems to be true; a Phlegmatic Choleric would have the most difficulty with a Sanguine Melancholy.  In your case you would be least like a Sanguine Choleric.

I want to emphasize however that temperamental compatibility can only go so far without the commitment to the relationship by both parties.  A good relationship is NOT 50/50; it’s 100/100.

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