What happens if you and/or your partner do score high in the neuroticism scale?
Having a partner who is high in neuroticism can lead to decreased marital satisfaction, but only if the sexual relationship is also affected in a negative manner. If you have a partner who is high in neuroticism, but you are both maintaining a satisfying sex life, then the effects of the neuroticism can actually be mediated. The big question here, however, is what leads to the other. Does the healthy sex life lead to a happy marriage? Or does the happy marriage lead to a more satisfying sex life? But the bottom line is, if your partner is high in neuroticism and you still have a good sex life, chances are that your marriage will have continued success.
Here is an activity that you can do with your partner to help increase your understanding of one another:
1. Take turns taking the Big Five Personality Test at www.outofservice.com/bigfive/ and print out your results. Remember to answer the questions as truthfully as possible for better results. Sometimes it can be helpful to talk out your answers to each question.
2. Compare your results to one another’s. Try to keep an open mind when discussing the results.
3. Discuss with your partner whether or not the results seem correct. Discuss specific examples about why the results seem accurate for each of you.
4. Discuss how you can use these results to better understand one another. For example, if your partner scores low in conscientiousness it may explain why the bills get paid late or the “honey do” list never gets completed.
5. Discuss with one another how you can be more supportive of one another after gaining a deeper understanding of one another’s personality. Also discuss how you will work on bettering yourself and your marriage based on these results.
When done with an open mind, this activity can greatly lead to increased communication and marital contentment. It is important to note that you cannot change your partner's personality, but you can learn how to cope with it and accept it. Also remember that having a satisfying sex life can mediate the effects of some of the less than favorable personality characteristics. Fireworks in the bedroom can really compensate for any personality flaws.