Sometimes it’s funny other times not so funny, but a lot of the ways we approach our marriages is related to our personality. There are so many areas of life that make up our personality; things like past experiences, in the home, outside the home, at work, as a child or as an adult.
We have discussed how these areas, good or bad, develop our spiritual growth and either positive or negative thinking. These areas then manifest our personalities, the way we approach life, our marriages, outwardly. In some ways we are all the same. We all have the same human nature. We share a common humanity. We all have human bodies and human minds, we all have human thoughts and human feelings.
Yet in other ways we are all completely different and unique. No two people are truly alike. No two people can ever have the same experience of life, the same perspective, the same mind. Personality is about our different ways of being human. How we are all variations on the same themes. How the human nature we all share manifests in different styles of thinking, feeling and acting.
Personality can be defined as consistency in a person’s way of operating — that is, long-term consistency in their particular ways of perceiving, thinking, acting and reacting as a person. Consistent patterns of thought and feeling and behavior. To some extent, people generally do tend to operate in a similar way day after day, year after year.
I’m not talking about specific behaviors being repeated again and again, but about overall patterns, tendencies, inclinations. Someone who has tended to be quiet and reserved up to now will probably still tend to be quiet and reserved in the future. It is this individual consistency in thought patterns, behavior patterns and emotional patterns which defines personality.
Now, let’s say for the sake of this article, we’re talking about jealousy and not “quiet and reserved”. The sort of things that happen to someone that manifest this jealous personality trait are things that have affected this person spiritually. On the other hand, despite being the jealous type he or she could still be helpful, kind and considerate to others, yet being the jealous type still effects how they perceive how a marriage should be.
Some of what you see in a person today as an adult began a long time ago. Let’s take stubbornness, an attribute that affects marriages around the world. Fear can be a root to stubbornness. Based on the above misconceptions and early negative experiences, the child becomes gripped by a specific kind of fear.
In this case, of course, the fear is of new situations—of having new, unfamiliar circumstances imposed upon oneself. Because of this constant fear, the individual will crave permanence, stability and predictability. So the basic coping strategy is to resist change and any possibility of change.
Do you know any adults like this? Some are not even aware of their preemptive defense, or guardedness toward change, this trait at this point, affects them spiritually. Most of their decisions are based on how much they want things to stay as they are. Emerging into adulthood, the individual does not want to go around being overtly afraid of new situations.
Hence stubbornness puts on a mask which says to the world, “It’s not me—it’s just this situation. Changing it would be wrong and unnecessary. Everything is fine the way it is, actually.” Under the disguise of reasonableness and logic, the underlying fear tries to have its way. All new ideas are supposedly unreasonable and illogical. All actual changes are unnecessary and bad.
Although you may be a kind and giving person to those who have no comment to you, like an acquaintance, does not make it ok to always exhibit a jealous nature to a spouse. It is not ok to always exhibit anger toward issues that you perceive as not important. These issues affect you spiritually and your spirituality affects your personality. Those who tend be controlling may have experienced out of control life experiences earlier in life.