I can’t believe my delay in posting this; a surprising number of people have asked me why this blog took so long to be written. Monday and Tuesday I was on an Air Force base in VA, and the rest of the week was a bit of a nightmare.
As you gathered from the day one blog, the sessions weren’t all that bad. However, apparently the stress of everything I had to do was a bit overwhelming on day two, and I was less open to the talks.
The sexuality talk went on forever. Not to mention the fact that the couple actually referred to their marriage as a three-way with Jesus. Sad part is that I’m not kidding about that. Not a good way to open my mind.
The following spirituality talk was even worse. It was the typical couple one would imagine to find at this type of retreat. They went on and on about how they share their prayer time together and how they find their strength in each other ad nauseum. It was mildly useful to hear them talk about the issues they’ve faced in their marriage, but again, I was so stressed with school that I was not in the mood to sit around and listen to people tell me about their problems.
The highlight of the day was the start. After arriving a cool 15 minutes late due to the rain (read: and the long lines at Dunkin’ Donuts), we got to take a personality test. It consisted of around 70 questions, selecting one of two answers for each. Each answer corresponded to one of two opposite personality types, with a total of 4 different categories (I’m doing a poor job of explaining this, but you’ll see where I’m going with this). The results were amazingly accurate:
- Introvert – In a clean sweep of 10-0, I was declared a complete and total introvert (versus being an extrovert, obviously). This doesn’t mean that I can’t function in a social environment (which is in fact very much open to debate). It simply means that I draw my energy from being alone. They related this to marriage by describing a situation where an introvert will get home from work and typically not want to talk before having a chance to unwind. Meg is also an introvert, which works out nicely for us.
- Sensor – A sensor is the type of person who acts simply on the facts at hand, as compared to reading into things and acting on that (labeled an Intuitor). This pretty accurately describes me again as I consider myself a very logical, calculating person. Meg also came up as a sensor, which again should make life easy on us.
- Thinker – This also fits in with what I was saying about being very calculated. A Thinker simply acts on the facts at hand. A Feeler, on the other hand, will take into consideration the less tangible aspects of a situation. Meg is a feeler, which I think will work out great when we have kids. The example they gave in class was a situation where a teenage daughter wants to borrow the car, but it’s snowing lightly outside. The Thinker will say no, simply citing dangerous driving conditions. The Feeler, on the other hand, will take into account the extra stuff, like the fact that they already told the daughter she could borrow the car or the possible embarrassment the daughter will face for having over protective parents. What this all boils down to is going to be that our kids don’t want to ask me permission because I’ll likely say no, so they’ll go to their mother instead. I’m sure you can also apply this to the situation where a shady guy comes to pick up said daughter for a date. The Feeler mom (Meg) may sympathize with her daughter about whatever wrong feelings she may have for this guy. The Thinker dad (me) will sit on the couch with Uncle JJ and a six pack on one side and a baseball bat on the other. So once again, the personality test proved accurate.
- Judger – This is the one I’m not entirely sure I agree with. The Judger will plan everything ahead of time. The Judger has to be in control. The woman running the test mentioned how vacations with a Judger are a nightmare as the Judger has every last minute planned out. So far, it completely describes me, especially the vacation part (Meg’s already dreading the marathon week she’s facing when we go to Orlando in September). However, the other side of that trait, the Perceiver, is big on compromise and seeing all sides of issues. That also describes me, as I rarely if ever think things are black and white. In fact, I often end up arguing with people who can’t or refuse to see the gray area in things. Meg was also a Judger, which balances us out nicely. One would think that two people who plan would bump heads, but there’s a difference. I like things planned, but am often too lazy to actually plan them, so Meg fills in that gap nicely.
So, now that all is said and done I still stand by the fact that I could have better spent those 10 hours on something else. On the other hand, if anyone has the opportunity to take a personality test, especially with your respective mates, I highly recommend it. All week Meg and I have been citing that test, especially when I’m feeling overly introverted. It seriously does make a relationship a bit easier having made the personality differences more concrete.