Temperament, Personality and Marriage?

Here’s a question from a reader:  “Hey, I’d like to ask your opinion on marriage.  Do you think opposites make the best marriage?  Is it important in your mind?  The ones that don’t have matching temperaments (and I mean both as we all have two) never quite seem to thrive as those who do.  What are your thoughts?”

My reply – Temperament plays a vital role in marriage.  What most peole don’t realize is that we are often attracted to temperaments that are different thour our own.  A quiet Phlegmatic may appreciate the outgoing, talkative Sanguine.  An organized Melancholy may think that a hard-charging Choleric is just like them.  The problems arise when we find out that their weaknesses are our strengths and we cannot understand how what is easy to us is so hard to them.  A Sanguine is very, very disorganized and a Melancholy finds that infuriating.  A Phlegmatic is very easy going and a Choleric is totally impatient with that approach.  You cannot help your natural temperament type any more than you can help your eye color.  

Therefore it makes sense to find someone who shares some of your temperament traits in some way.  As you said in your question, each of us is a blend of two temperaments types –If you are a Choleric Sanguine (full speed ahead but also socially outgoing), you might do with with a Sanguine Phlegmatic (socally outgoing and easy going at the same time).  The most difficult couple combination are two complete temperament opposites.  A Melancholy Choleric (detailed/critical and hard charging) is going to be very impatient and critical of a Sanguine Phlegmatic (socially outgoing and easy going).  I believe temperament tests are a useful tool when looking (objectively) at choosing a spouse.

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