With the difficult and often frustrating task of “getting along with others” it is helpful to have some guidance in how to communicate with those who don’t think quite the way we do. And when that someone is our spouse – someone with whom we have to deal on a constant basis – lack of understanding can lead to hurt feelings which, over time, can seriously damage a relationship.
The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse explains that your soul mate isn’t really trying to drive you nuts; he or she just is the way he is. The first part of the book describes each temperament in the role of spouse (and parent). In the second part, the book explains the best ways for a spouse to communicate with each temperament as well as offers tips for that temperament in dealing with others. It then goes on to describe the dynamics of each marriage, whether one marries someone of a like temperament or if one is in a “mixed” marriage.
This book is a good resource for ideas on how to improve communication within a marriage. You do not need to have read their first book to understand this book, although I intend to read The Temperament God Gave You for greater insight into each temperament, personalities of mixed temperaments, and how to parent children of different temperaments, which I think would be useful knowledge (anybody have a copy they want to loan me?).
I will say that I am not entirely sold on the whole temperament-as-an exclusive-way-to-classify-people idea. I would certainly hesitate to say something like, “Oh, you’re reacting this way because you’re a (fill in the blank).” Perhaps it is because I am a mixed temperament (choleric-sanguine), and my husband is even more mixed (primarily melancholic-sanguine) that I have trouble saying, “Oh, that is so – us,” to any of the relationships listed. Rather, I saw threads of commonality in most of the temperaments and found the communication techniques described in the book as generally useful for most people most of the time.