Professors VS. Dancers

Author Gary D. Chapman From Things I wish I’d known before we got married 5 years ago 8349

Some people are extremely logical in their reasoning. They progress through rational steps and reach what to them is a logical conclusion. Other people simply know in their heart what is right in a given situation. They cannot tell you why or how they reached that conclusion; they simply know that it is the right decision. Sometimes the logical thinker can be called the professor. For the professor, everything must be reasoned out. “We must have logical reasons for everything we do. If it is not logical, we shouldn’t do it.” The intuitive person is more like the dancer. “We don’t need logical reasons for everything we do. We do some things simply because we enjoy them. I don’t know why. Do I always have to know why?” Before marriage the professor was enamored with the intuitive wisdom of the dancer while the dancer was proud of the professor’s logic. However, after marriage the professor is slowly driven insane by the same illogical behavior, while the dancer wonders how she can continue living with a person so obsessed with reason.


One husband said to his wife, “Trish, listen to me. The walls are not dirty; they don’t need painting again. Don't you understand that?” His wife responded, “Yes, I understand that. But I don’t want green walls any longer.” The professor has a difficult time making decisions based on desire. The dancer cannot imagine why anyone would want to be held in the prison of logic.


If you try to force each other into your own personality mold, you may spend a lifetime in conflict. These personality differences often go undiscovered and undiscussed before marriage. During the dating phase of the relationship, decisions are often made simply because he and she want to please each other. After marriage, when life gets serious and real, this desire to please each other is not as natural. When differences emerge, the logical thinker will seek to press the intuitive thinker into having logical reasons for their position. This is expecting and demanding the impossible. The intuitive person will never process life with the logic of the professor.


If you try to force each other into your own personality mold, you may spend a lifetime in conflict. We must recognize that logical and intuitive thinking are both legitimate ways of processing life. We must focus not on the process whereby we reach our conclusions but on finding conclusions with which both of us can agree. The principles we discussed in Chapter Four on how to resolve disagreements without arguing will be extremely helpful to couples who have this personality difference.


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