Our Personalities Collide

He Said: "I Hate to Wait; I'd Rather Act." She Said: "Let's Wait, Then Act"

John's Side:

I Hate to Wait; I'd Rather Act

I've got a Type-A personality, which means I'm driven and a problem solver. I'm also impetuous, so I tend to act first and pray about it later, especially when there's a problem. That's when I want to take action and deal with the issue by immediately confronting it. While I know my confrontations can come across like accusations or attacks, that's really never my intent. I just want to clarify what's happening.

I admire Susan for the qualities she possesses that I don't. She's more amiable and easygoing. And she's faithful to wait out the storm and pray about it before jumping to rash judgments or actions. She's cautious about what she says and slow to enter into conflict. For the most part, our personalities help to balance us. But when we learned our daughter was abusing drugs, our personality differences began to clash.

Everything came to a head one afternoon after I'd had a particularly stressful day thinking about what drugs was doing to our family. I was anxious and overwhelmed, and when I got home that evening, I asked Susan, "Could we take a walk? I need to share some things with you." While we walked together, I talked about everything I'd been thinking. But when I was done, Susan didn't say anything. Her nonresponsive actions made me angry, thinking she wasn't interested in my viewpoint. It seemed as if she just didn't want to deal with the issues with me. Is responding too much to ask of her?

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Conflict resolution; Marriage; Problem-Solving
Today's Christian Woman, Fall, 2002
Posted September 30, 2008

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