Temperament and marital communication

O NE issue that requires understanding in marriage is the temperament of the two persons that make up the marriage; husband and wife. This will play a significant role in the success of the marriage. That is, how well each party understands each other’s temperament will help them to manage their emotions in making a success of the marriage.

In psychology, temperament broadly refers to consistent individual differences in behaviour that are biologically based and are relatively independent of learning, system of values and attitudes.

There are four types of temperament that have been generally identified:

  1. Sanguine: Sanguine personality type is described primarily as being highly talkative, enthusiastic, active, and social. Sanguines tend to be more extroverted and enjoy being part of a crowd; they find that being social, outgoing, and charismatic is easy to accomplish


  1. Melancholy:Melancholic individuals tend to be analytical and detail-oriented, and they are deep thinkers and feelers. They are introverted and try to avoid being singled out in a crowd. A melancholic personality leads to self-reliant individuals who are thoughtful, reserved, and often anxious.


  1. Choleric: Choleric individuals tend to be more extroverted. They are described as independent, decisive, and goal-oriented, and ambitious. These combined with their dominant, result-oriented outlook make the choleric a natural leader.


  1. Phlegmatic: Phlegmatic individuals tend to be relaxed, peaceful, quiet, and easy-going. They are sympathetic and care about others, yet they try to hide their emotions. Phlegmatic individuals also are good at generalising ideas or problems to the world and making compromises.

All these affect how couples communicate in marriage. That is why it is often believed that two persons of the same temperament may not be a perfect match in marriage. This is because they are likely to behave in the same manner, about issues of life. So when there is conflict, sanguine wants to blow hot, and give one a piece of his heart. When two sanguines get married, they will blow hot at the same time,making the conflict to become “ yam pepper, scatter scatter. “.

The point is that when we know and understand each other’s temperament,as married couples, we will be able to manage ourselves better. When sanguine husband is blowing hot, melancholic wife cools down to absorb the heat. Thus, sanity will prevail over the conflict, giving room for a peaceful settlement. The same is applicable to other temperament types.

In communication, you will not call your wife a talkative, rather you appreciate her for speaking out her mind. The same is also applicable to other temperament types.

It is therefore highly essential to have an understanding of the various types of temperament, where you and your spouse belong, so that you are able to effectively communicate in the marriage

This will go a long way to reduce a lot of frictions in the marriage. In simple term, it is what is referred to as understanding each other’s nature.


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