Being Married to an Introvert (from an introvert’s point of view)

A friend of mine that I’m quite fond of inquired about my relationship with my hubby seeing that I’m an introvert and he an extrovert. First, you must understand that men are from Mars and women are from Venus…just kidding. Seriously, we are different and this fact alone contributes to a variance in reactions from one person towards another. 

When I first met my husband and even before distinguishing the differences between the outgoing personality and the inward personality, I knew he was contagious. I observed that people were drawn to him but couldn’t quite put my finger on why. I now know that this is what attracted me to him because he had what I lacked; that being an ability to converse with anybody and make others laugh. This is not to discredit introverts by implying we have no sense of humor however, we don’t possess the natural skill of invoking hysteria. We must practice and rehearse the punch line whereas it comes without thought for an extrovert. 

(In hindsight, I’d like to mention that this blog is dedicated to her.) 

Contrary to my own analysis, researchers assert that there are between 25-35% of introverts in the US. This being the case, we are obviously outnumbered and depicted as an anomaly of sorts. Introverts are not the standard, we’re the exception. The fact that we are less popular (by both statistical standards and personal acquaintance) syncs harmoniously with our inward perception of ourselves. As a matter of fact, I’m drained just thinking about that…moving right along. 

I will refer to my friend as “B”. B stated that this difference is probably the biggest struggle in her marriage. You see, B’s an extrovert and her hubby an introvert which is the opposite of my situation. 

First, I want to acknowledge that opposites in fact do attract! This is more than mere speculation and not quite as cliché as some may think. In my opinion, the attraction manifests from curiosity, anticipation, and acquisition. Let me elaborate: When I met my husband “W”, I was curious as to why everyone loved being around him. I’m sure B’s husband wondered the same about her. I then began to anticipate getting to know him better because I needed a man in my life to make me feel good about myself. I figured that those who knew and loved him enjoyed his company for some reason or another so I wanted to find out. Finally, I went out of my way to acquire a relationship with him as I knew he’d be the best thing for me since sliced bread. We’ve been married for 11 1/2 years now so go figure.

Here, I will give the definitions of introversion (B’s hubby and myself) and extroversion (B and my hubby W). Afterwards, a few traits: 

Introversion: “the state of, or tendency towards being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interest in one’s own mental life”.

Extroversion: “the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self”.

Intro Traits                                                    Extro Traits

Self-conscious                                                   Assertive

Passionate                                                         Enthusiastic

Quiet                                                                 Talkative

Deliberate                                                          Blunt

**There’s a tumultuous amount of information on the internet that elucidates the above traits so I would encourage you to do your own elaborate research. My condensed version is merely a teaser or rather an introduction.** 

During my years of service (ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration). I meant to say: during my marriage, I believe my husband has learned how to embrace my solidarity. He’s pretty much a party animal socialite, but because I choose to find substance in quietness away from the noise, he has adapted and doesn’t pressure me. Introverts are mentally and physically drained by too much stimulation. We will socialize and even party, but during these festivities we wish to be at home reading a book or simply taking a drive. We need our alone time for this is our means of rejuvenation. This facet is often times perceived as a “brush off” when in fact it’s just the introvert way of wanting to get away from the ruckus.

Just to expound on a couple of the above traits, the self-consciousness factor is not “banner” worthy and we definitely won’t admit to it, but it is existent so please don’t take it personally when we complain about ourselves. Yes, we are highly passionate which is probably why psychologists say that we’re exceptional lovers! (I had to throw that one in…lol)

So, with all these ramblings said, I’d like to offer a couple of resolutions for your times of misunderstanding:

1.  When introverts are asked: “What’s wrong?”, don’t be surprised when no answer is given. It’s hard for us to explain ourselves for fear of being misunderstood. Please do not consider our dismissal as a rebuff.

2.  We tend to have long lasting one-on-one relationships and short-lived group participation. We aren’t accustomed to hanging out or mingling with several people in one setting.

3.  We may occasionally think we’ve told you something that we actually didn’t. This is because we’re always going over things in our head.

4.  As evidenced by my blogging right now, we tend to prefer written over verbal communication. Maybe you could write him a letter the next time you can’t come to an agreement.

5.  Click here for more information on relationships between intros and extros.

B, I don’t have all the answers girlfriend, but hopefully I’ve given you and others some insight into your introvert’s world.

Much Love, ~Lenci

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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. B
    Jul 09, 2010 @ 12:31:15

    Hey Val, I love every thing you’ve written here and truthfully I already know these things to be true. I truly believe what attracted me and my husband to each other was the fact that we are opposites. He really truly brings balance to my life and we compliment each other in a way the is clearly visible to my family and friends. However, as I stated earlier I really think the relocating to another city (this place is really bad for an extrovert like me) has left me requiring more of my husband than I did previously. I know it must make him feel some kind of way. He tries very hard to be accommodating, but I know it takes him out of his comfort zone, but It has really caused me to develop an even deeper relationship with God. Much love! B~

    Reply

    • VaLENCIa's MuSiNgS
      Jul 09, 2010 @ 12:50:19

      Based on what you’ve stated, I can only gather that your relocating was already predestined by God to give Him the glory. I think that we begin to understand why God places us where we are once we stop catering to our curiosity and trust wholeheartedly in His divine plan for us. When we develop a deeper relationship with God, he begins to reveal the answers to some of the questions we pose. Often times though, we foster a sense of melancholy when the answers aren’t as clear as we’d like them to be. Girl, you’re blessed beyond measure to have a husband that’s supportive, understanding and not combative. I honestly believe that as long as you keep your eyes on God, He will fill that part of you that is devoid of extroversion stimuli. I wish I could be there. LOL You’d probably have to pull me out of the house, but I’d definitely go! TTYL My Friend….

      Reply

      • B
        Jul 09, 2010 @ 13:12:30

        Funny you should say “I wish I could be there. LOL You’d probably have to pull me out of the house, but I’d definitely go!” I was just sharing with one of the few friends I’ve made here that my best friend of many years is an introvert. People thought we did so much together, but I had my “extrovert friends” to do “things” with. She and I pretty much hung out around the house, hers or mine with our children. Whenever she needed to be an introvert she would retreat to a location in my house or hers that allowed her to be alone. I accepted that about her, probably more than she accepted it about herself. In regards to the move, I really thought this move would be the death of me Val. I swear I am not lying, but I can clearly see the hand of God in the many reasons he delivered me from our hometown. Perhaps that can be a blog topic for another day :-)

  2. theeducatedsystem
    Feb 03, 2011 @ 08:45:54

    I am glad to have found this post! I am married to a man that is an introvert. I am the extreme opposite. Your post has helped me to realize how important it is to pay attention to personality detail when it comes to getting along. We have a long way to go, but I know that eventually things will be smooth and understandable!
    Thanks for sharing your insight!
    http://www.swarthydaisy.blogspot.com

    Reply

  3. Lonely exoptimist
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 17:46:40

    I have been with my husband for over 15 years. We are and have always been opposites. It used to work. We had the same goals inregards to family. We respected one another. In the beginning, while dating I thought he was “to good”, that he didn’t take chances. But that became; attentive, reliable, accepting of my extraversion, professional accomplishments and a devoted family man!! The first 10 years.., we argued but they were minor, fair and easily forgotten.
    About 2 years ago; with 7 kids (some adopted). He was too distant, looked at me even less than usual, was always at the other end if the house away from me once kids in bed!! I made issue. Then a year ago he began an emotional affair. He gave her the friendship I was begging for. He COMMUNICATED with her sometimes several times a day via secret text messaging.
    With therapy, ugly arguments, date nights.., I am now a skeptic and can be mean, Geary and soo lonely. He is trying to do the right thing. I dont like the “new me”!! Any ideas how to be less skeptical and funny again??

    Reply

  4. Lonely exoptimist
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 18:02:38

    I’m back. I work outside the home and he is the homemaker. Before I would go out , call friends when driving to and from work, have jam sessions with the kids, etc. More than three years ago, home and kids began to overwhelm him, so I cut back on work , stopped my involvement with

    Reply

    • VaLENCIa's MuSiNgS
      Feb 21, 2012 @ 09:24:39

      Hi Lonely exoptimist,

      Your profile name alone speaks volumes of your life and what you endure. My prayers are going up for you AND your husband/children. You’ve obviously made the choice to stay with him; be it because of the children, afraid of being even more lonely, not knowing who you really are, people-pleasing (which is an attribute of introversion).

      I’m not a psychologist, but I can tell you the skepticism will most likely remain as long as you’re still married to him. I take it you’ve forgiven him and if so, you MUST let it go if you want to be yourself again.

      I must ask however…have the both of you sought counseling? It would benefit if you did because this skeleton in your closets must be buried to move on.

      You asked for advice on how to be “funny” again. That same sense of humor you had before all this happened is still there. However, it is up to you how you’ll reclaim that personality. If you’ve cut off communication with your friends, I would recommend reconnecting! You need someone you can trust to talk to about your situation. This will help tremendously. Be warned though: some people, even friends, don’t always give good advice. You have to live your own life!

      Bottom line: If you want to stay in this marriage, you must get some counseling.

      In love,
      ~Valencia

      Reply

  5. Tuleah
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 13:15:56

    Lensi I think that is what I saw your name as and please forgive me if I am wrong but man I love you so much because you have hit the nail on the head for myself and my husband, you see I am a extrovert and yes my husband is the introvert also I am very aggressive and opinionated and my husband is passive aggressive and if he has an opinion he does not voice it although he shows his opinion by body language or facial expressions which drives me crazy cause for the most part I know what is on his mind and wish he would just say it, sometimes I really want to hear it withour having to pull it out of him because then we begin to argue. I better just move on as you can see I am frustrated but with the way you described an introvert that is my husband to the letter . I am not there yet because of my own personality which is very strong and a lot of times I view his as weak, but I will try to be a lot more patient with him, that is going to require a lot from me and I do it so reluctantly but tired of the fact we clash so much. My husband has great qualities about him but a lot of times they covered by what I see which annoying to me but he has taken great care of me and my kids (which are not his) and will give me anything for the most part, so please help me out if you can and pray for us if you will. Thank you very much,

    Reply

    • VaLENCIa's MuSiNgS
      Mar 23, 2012 @ 14:26:45

      Hi Tuleah,

      It’s definitely going to take some patience. It sounds as if you’ve not been married that long which is why patience is such a virtue if you plan to spend the rest of your life with him. Your husband displays his emotions exactly the way I do (body language/facial expressions). These reactions are typical of the introvert. You being an extrovert probably can’t quite grasp this but you must realize that you are two different people with different morals, values, attitudes, personalities, etc. Believe it or not, his introversion is most likely what attracted him to you. Now, it appears to be annoying because he won’t express how he really feels. But remember, YOU are the opinionated one, not him.

      On the other side of the spectrum however, even though my husband is an extrovert, he also hides his feelings (with me anyway). He has no problem telling others exactly how he feels but when he’s upset with me, he’ll walk around for 3 days and act like I’m not even there. THAT’S when I have to step up and say: “Hey, it’s time to talk”. S/N I HATE TO BE IGNORED!!! It may all seem contradictory but introverts are not accustomed to standing up for themselves. So please don’t consider that to be “weak”. He’d probably do better writing you a letter expressing his concerns regarding whatever you two are arguing about at the time. Or, he could simply write what it is about you he doesn’t understand or like. This will give you an idea of how he sees you and you need to know this. Maybe you could recommend this to him.

      Nevertheless, keep pursuing happiness and understanding of the man you chose to love unconditionally! I’m praying for you both.

      Best regards,
      ~Lenci

      Reply

  6. swizzlingsummer
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 15:39:10

    There’re lots of explainations being made for having a good life with an introvert, but having been married to an introvert, I must conclude, it is absolutely no fun.They look to you for everything, they are very self conscious and i dare say extemely boring, this could be very draining. I think introverts should get married to introverts. From a woman’s perspective, if an introvert/extrovert relationship has to happen it might be better if the man is the extrovert. what patience has to do with it when a person wants to go have fun and there is a party pooper lurking around with no interest in fun but a long face, if their partner wants to. Introverts often have no suggestion for anything. Yak if you are an extrovert, you will never be totally
    happy in a long term relationship with an introvert.

    Reply

    • VaLENCIa's MuSiNgS
      Jul 10, 2012 @ 15:54:27

      Hi swizzlingsummer!

      I’m in utter consilience that it would be a more plausible relationship if the man is the extrovert. As is the case with my marriage. Your post alone proves the validity of your extroversion as you are very out-spoken and to-the-point…lol. Most often, women that are extroverts especially enjoy the attention they receive in the company of others; be it contributed to their personality, appearance, or confidence. However, what you may not understand about us introverts is that we don’t require exuberance from others to obtain satisfaction. We’re more layed back and are quite comfortable this way. We don’t want to hinder anyone from having a good time if that’s what they choose to do. I don’t fuss at my husband when he wants to be with his friends and brothers (there are a multitude of them by the way). It’s called COMPROMISE!!!

      Best regards,

      ~Lenci

      Reply

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