Can Personality Type Make Marriage Better?
It’s the ultimate test.
If MBTI type is all about improving relationships, what better use of its insights than marriages and romantic partnerships?
Kelly Towart is an MBTI enthusiast. “If you know Justin and I in real life,” she says, “there’s a 99% chance we have asked you for your MBTI assessment results.” And she’s under no illusions that it’s made their marriage stronger.
“Early in our marriage we had a lot of arguments,” she says, “around our strongly opposing tendencies.” Turns out that Kelly and Justin have almost the same MBTI type except for one letter difference—but it’s a big one.
Kelly is an ENFJ.
Justin is an INFJ.
Extraversion and Introversion preferences are tough to reconcile if you don’t understand them properly (check Maggie Oglesby’s A Tale of Opposites for a true story with Top Gun parallels).
But Myers-Briggs type helped Kelly and Justin to see the strengths in each other’s differences. “It gave us language to understand how the other person operates,” says Kelly. “Tension can still come up, but we understand why now and really do our best to support each other in our differences rather than trying to change each other.”
Justin agrees. “It helps us talk about why we’re different and why that’s OK … because it doesn’t always feel like it’s OK in marriage. Sometimes, one person likes to feel like they’re right or that their way is right.”
It’s not just marriages where we see this kind of behavior. Any relationship, friendship, or partnership has the potential for friction, and an awareness of potential differences—which you can read about in How Compatible Are You and Your Partner?—can make all the difference. At the very least, it can calm a situation. At best, it can transform.
“I am 1000% a better wife and mom because of knowing my MBTI type and having the insight into how and why I operate the way I do,” says Kelly. “When I know someone else’s MBTI assessment results, I have such a better understanding of our differences. Things that might frustrate don’t frustrate because you know they’re operating from a different place.”
Do you and your partner have type differences that drive each other crazy? Have you got an MBTI story to share? Tell us! We’d love to hear.