The Scientific Reason Your Spouse Drives You Insane

Research behind why your partner drives you crazy.

Couple driving each other crazy Prostock-Studio | Canva

My husband generally goes through life in a more relaxed state than I do. He likes to stop and smell the roses as he meanders along, believing that everything will work out. Unfortunately, this difference between us has been a constant irritant in our long relationship. In my heart, I know that neither of us acts the way we do to spite the other, yet neither of us seems able to change our behaviors since they feel so natural. Is there someone in your life whose behavior you have trouble putting up with over and over, year in and year out? Or, perhaps, is there a special someone who can't understand why you act the way you do?


Aside from your conventional relationship advice, wise thinkers and scientists from Hippocrates to Dr. Carl Jung have been pondering human behavior for hundreds of years. They realized that although we may be able to change some of our behaviors, we are unable to change our basic nature and our temperament, no matter how hard we try. It seems that every one of us has a unique personality type that we are born with. In the 1950s, Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers developed a simple test to enable us to discover which of the 16 personality types we correspond to. The Myers-Briggs personality test identifies 4 sets of qualities that describe each of these types.


RELATED: Myers-Briggs Personality Types That Are Afraid Of Falling In Love, Ranked From Most To Least

Find and take this test online, and when you add up your score you will discover an accurate description of yourself. But what kinds of qualities are included in this personality test? The first set of qualities indicates that you are either an extrovert or an introvert, shortened to E or I. E types love being with others, talk a lot, and may be quick to act, and think before they speak. I usually enjoy being alone, tend to be quiet, and have fewer close friends.

The second set of traits, S or N, has to do with how we move through the world. Sensers focus on details. They are observant and practical. Sensers may think concretely. N's tend to be intuitive and creative, and they use their imagination to think of possibilities. They also tune into their intuition with ease. The third pair of traits, Thinkers or Feelers, reflects how you make decisions. T's are logical in their approach to life. They may rely on science and logic and usually use their head when making decisions. Feelers come from their heart. F's are usually compassionate and emotional. They are more interested in feelings than facts. The fourth category, J or P, stands for Judger or Perceiver.

As you saw from my description at the beginning, I am very much a J. I like to be in control of my life and find that being organized gives me a sense of peace and safety. My Perceiver husband is more casual and adaptable. P types tend to go with the flow rather than need to be in control of what happens. The Myers-Briggs personality test will show you which of 16 possible combinations of these qualities describe you. I am an ENFJ while my spouse is an INFP. Uh oh! No wonder we sometimes butt heads and feel disappointed in the other one. Since the chances of either of us being able to change are nearly impossible, what is the solution?


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If your spouse is driving you crazy, here are 5 activities that'll improve your relationship:

1. Take the Myers-Briggs test to discover your personality type

Find out the other person's type. There is a great deal of information on the internet about this.

@drsermedmezher This Psychological Test Indicates Your Personality Type #MBTI The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is important as it provides a structured framework for understanding and categorizing personality traits. By identifying individual preferences in areas such as extroversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving, the MBTI helps people gain insights into their own behavior and communication styles. It serves as a valuable tool for personal development, fostering self-awareness and enhancing interpersonal relationships. In organizational settings, the MBTI is often used for team building and leadership development. Understanding the diverse personality types within a team can improve collaboration, communication, and overall team dynamics. The MBTI encourages appreciation for different approaches to problem-solving and decision-making, contributing to a more inclusive and harmonious work environment. While the MBTI has its critics, many find it a useful starting point for self-reflection and understanding others. It's not a strict classification but a tool for recognizing the spectrum of personality preferences, allowing individuals to leverage their strengths and adapt to various situations effectively. #MBTI #PersonalityTypes #SelfAwareness #TeamBuilding #CommunicationStyles #LeadershipDevelopment #PsychologyTool #InterpersonalSkills #PersonalityFramework #TeamDynamics #PersonalGrowth #UnderstandingOthers #WorkplaceHarmony #CollaborationSkills #IndividualStrengths #DecisionMaking #PersonalityAssessment #SelfReflection #OrganizationalDevelopment #TeamworkSuccess #fyp #fypシ #medicine ♬ Golden Hour: Piano Version - Andy Morris

2. When you feel yourself getting exasperated by his or her actions or inaction, remind yourself that he or she can't help it

These traits are hardwired in them just as your traits are also hardwired in you. Neither of you can change being the way you are.


RELATED: Who You Should Marry, According To Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type

3. Take a 5-minute time out

Put your hands over your heart. Gently begin to inhale as you count to 5 and exhale as you count to 5 as you focus on letting go of your anger or aggravation as you keep breathing. Do this until you feel calm.

@themccabelife "Time Outs" can be extremely beneficial during conflict. There are times that the conversation will only get worse if you continue. So how do you take a time out effectively? 1. Be calm in your request2. Set a clear time to resume 3. Assure your partner that you love them and you'll be ok through this #marriage #communication ♬ original sound - Terry and Katie

4. Make a list of 5 qualities this annoying person has that you love, admire, or respect

Find ways to let them know it.


5. Use EFT tapping as you focus on your thoughts

Think to yourself, "Even though _____ (name) is driving me crazy when he/she _____, it is because he/she is an _____ (ISTP, ENTP, etc.) and that is how they relate to the world. Therefore, I am releasing my annoyance and allowing myself to have compassion." When my husband discovered that I was writing about this topic, he searched online and discovered that the best mate for an INFP like him is an ENFJ like me! Maybe that's why we are still in love after all this time.

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Gloria Arenson is a psychotherapist, specializing in energy and power therapies. She is the author of popular books on eating disorders and compulsive behavior, conducts classes and workshops nationwide, and trains professionals in Meridian Therapy.