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Author: Wise Wives
In a two part series, Wise Wives Orange County was lucky to have Sr. Hosai Mojaddidi lead us in a discussion about temperaments and their effect on our relationships. Her talk was titled “Personality Differences: Know yourself, know your spouse.”
In this last entry, I want to outline the many aspects of this ideology that are important to note and take to heart.
– People are pre-dominantly one temperament type, but may be a blend of several. “According to my studies, your temperament does not change, but you can see yourself as a blend while having a predominant temperament,” she says.
– Some may think that men and women fall under certain temperaments but actually gender doesn’t matter. You will find both genders fall under all the categories.
– These temperaments explain natural tendencies…”how God created us,” she says. But our behaviors are definitely affected by our “nurture.” Our upbringing, life style, etc. will affect our behaviors and how we display our personality as well.
We cannot undermine the fact the people’s temperaments might be suppressed or altered due to upbringing. Lets say someone grew up in an abusive home, their personality will be altered by this and therefore a person’s true self might not show because of mental health.
– “We try so hard in our relationships to figure people out, our spouses, our parents, our friends our siblings, and its hard work if you’re just trying to figure them out by your own experience with them, your day to day with them, your history…but you’re missing so much. You’re missing all those years you did not know them, that really shape them. She says it is important to look at a person as a whole, not just in your interactions with them.
Let’s say your spouse for example came from a very low-income family and now here you are dealing with your bills and finances without taking into account their upbringing. Their life before you, their background determines so much. It gives you empathy…context framing for your spouse. Look at your spouse as an individual, not just your own opinion of them.
“Every human being deserves that,” she says. We should be respected for everything that makes us who we are. So when you know someone’s temperament this gives you a broader understanding of who you are dealing with.
– Communication! There are huge differences (along with gender differences) that affect the way we communicate. For example, a male likes to respond in simple statements, black and white, while a female wants to talk about details and emotions. “Now lay on a melancholic or phlegmatic temperament and you have a whole other layer of their personality.”
– “When I advise sisters and brothers to work with their spouse’s temperaments it really helps because suddenly they’re working with their nature, not oppositional to their nature. They understand who they are. And it ends up working in their favor,” she says.
– One attendee commented by saying, but by doing this aren’t we spending a lot of time and energy trying to change who we are in order to give into our spouse’s personality? Won’t this cause resentment?
Hosai responded by saying that, yes she has had many comments from people saying that this is too much work, and that they feel frustrated that they have to do this.
“But in our tradition we understand marriage to be a compromise, it’s not always easy, sometimes you have to do things that are uncomfortable, but if your objective is to create harmony, to have a balanced home, then you have to look at the bigger picture,” she said.
It’s your Nafs (ego) that brings these thoughts into your head. Thinking that you shouldn’t have to tailor yourself…a me me me attitude. But you should think that you are doing this for the greater harmony of your marriage.
And on top of that, it shouldn’t be a one-way street. This compromise is supposed to be reciprocated! Your husband should be tailoring himself to work with your temperament too. “It’s a mutually beneficial struggle and exchange,” she said.
– You have to realize that you are two different individuals, and respect those differences. This information is made to empower you, to allow you to learn ways to deal with the people in your life in order to get what you desire and maintain peace. “Don’t paint everyone with one brush,” she says.
– You also have to keep in mind that everything you do is for Allah’s sake, and you will receive good deeds for every attempt you make at making your marriage better!
….Where Practice Makes Perfect
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