Are you a Type A woman married to a Type B man? Here is some encouragement for your particular struggles. You are not alone!
Of all my Type A friends, I can’t think of one who married a Type A male. I’m sure there’s one or two, but my conclusion is fairly simple. Type A women are attracted to the stable calm steadiness of a Type B male.
And then you get married.
And then you wonder why he couldn’t just be a little more Type A.
Or a lot more Type A.
And then you try to make him Type A by nagging, threatening, withholding and being generally disagreeable while using phrase like “happy wife happy life” and “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
And then you realize that doesn’t work, it isn’t right, and you must find a way forward embracing the less Type A aspects of your husband while acknowledging that you probably have enough Type A for the both of you.
Here are my top tips for you other Type A wives out there. At least, I hope I’m not alone.
1. Admit the truth so you can go forward.
It’s hard to be Type A. It’s hard to be a Type A married woman. It’s really hard being a Type A woman married to someone who isn’t Type A. If you think otherwise then – I’ll say it – you’re wrong. It’s hard for the husband and it’s hard for the wife. Impossible? Absolutely not. Full of lively debates and potentially high decibel conversations? I’d imagine so.
A woman cannot help but feel that a man should be in charge, wearing his knight in shining armor uniform, roaming the countryside looking for enemies to maim. We Type A women see ourselves as capable and strong female leaders going from hill to hill caring for those in need. We don’t want to think we have a husband who is content to stay at home doing “nothing.” Of course, our husbands aren’t doing nothing, and yet, compared to the hustle and bustle we constantly display, it can seem that way.
It’s hard, but maybe, just maybe, it’s God’s way of letting iron sharpen iron.
2. Get to know their personality type so you can embrace their strengths.
I took a strengths test for work last year and found that, of my top 5 strengths, 3 were future-focused. I’m able to plan now in order to best benefit the future. Because this has come in handy in my life I used to nag my husband to death to initiate planning for the future.
I would think he didn’t care about our future or if we were well set up or happy. Then he did a personality test and I read his profile. I quickly saw that his strengths are focused on living in the present and being fully there with what’s right in front of him. That shifted something inside me.
I am heavily focused on the future and he’s heavily focused on the present. Well, that sounds strangely as though we balance each other out. Instead of constantly viewing this aspect of his personality as a failing, I was able to embrace the positives. I also realized that it’s okay if I’m the planner. He always wants a say and is happy for us to follow plans we arrange together, but I can be the initiator in many respects and that is not out of order. It’s us both operating in our own strengths.
3. Leading doesn’t mean they will be strong in everything, accept a balance.
There has been one perfect man and that was Jesus. Still, had us Type A women known Jesus we would most likely have looked for faults. It’s a struggle of our nature. Not that our way is to spitefully criticize, but it’s to evaluate situations looking for problems and quickly throw out solutions. Husbands are to be leaders in the household, but that doesn’t mean they have to be strong in every single thing.
In pre-marital counseling our pastor gave us some good advice. He said that if the wife was strong in a certain area, like administrating the finances, then she should do it. Though it may seem like the man’s job, if the man was not strong in this area it would ultimately be putting the family at a disadvantage to remain so just for gender sake. We will be strong in certain areas where our husbands are weak, and they will be strong in certain areas where we are weak.
4. Establish weekly family meetings.
One way we’ve severely cut down on nagging – and by we I mean I – is to have a weekly meeting. We don’t always remember, but it has been immensely helpful. You’ve all seen the quote floating around…
“Ladies if a man says he will fix it, he will. There’s no need to remind him about it every six months.”
Well us Type A wives are list makers and doers. And when our husbands aren’t naturally oriented the same way then we begin nagging to get things checked off our list. This is because our list occupies our mental space.
We have a meeting on Sunday evenings where we discuss our schedules, obligations, thoughts about the week ahead, and we add things to our to do lists. There is built in accountability since the next week we’ll evaluate if we completed our list. This has meant that my husband can procrastinate as long as he wishes, but will be busy on the last day of the week. That’s okay, it’s his right. I don’t nag because I know that our accountability will speak for itself. It isn’t an open-ended “please fix the fence” but, as it’s on our list, it’s something with a deadline.
5. Life’s a video not a picture.
It is my personal opinion that Type A women see life as a picture. It’s as though, at 10:38 am, someone takes a shot of the house. In this shot we see toys on the floor, dishes in the sink, towels to be folded, and children with dirty faces. These are all problems to us. Problems that need remedies. Once we’ve identified these problems they take residence in our minds until we solve them.
Type B men see life as a video. 10:38 am might see some mess, but in a few minutes the toys will be in the baskets, the children will take a bath this evening, the dishes will get done after dinner, and the towels will be folded and put away. For them, these things aren’t problems to be solved, they are simply parts of daily life. They encourage us to sit down and relax, we tell them that we can’t because we’ve got our eyes on a problem. Who can rest when there is a problem?
To maintain sanity and actually enjoy being mothers, we’ve got to start seeing life more like a video. We’ve got to get some big picture thinking. A screenshot of our day will never look perfect nor is there an accurate definition of perfect anyway.
Instead of trying to make our husband over-achieving, ambitious, driven Type A men, we need to focus on the good. We probably weren’t attracted to men just like us. If you think I’m wrong look around. Think about your other Type A friends. Odds are, most of their husbands are Type B.
Paula Abdul was right, people, opposites attract.
My husband helps me clean up, not because he cares so much, but because he knows I do. He’s learned to do things that he can see are causing me stress. Not because they bother him, but because he’d like to spend time with me when I’m not preoccupied. When I stop mothering, nagging, or trying to fight his battles for him (that he never asked me to fight) I find I can appreciate his particular talents and strengths.
In fact, it’s a great strength to be able to sit in a messy house with bright-eyed beautiful children and not even care if it gets cleaned. It’s a gift to be able to play with children with endless patience without trying to check things off a to do list. It’s a gift he has that I don’t. I might “get more done” but he certainly finds more peace in the present. I think we can learn from that.
If the above post resonated with you then I’d recommend the book Strong Women and the Men Who Love Them. I haven’t yet read it, but it comes highly recommended and seems exactly up our alley.
I’ve created a free email series just for you! I believe our personalities dramatically affect how we parent and mother. And that’s a good thing! No more feeling guilty you don’t seem to have the strengths of Mrs. Stepford or Mrs. Jones. You are unique and you have specific strengths you bring to your family!
After this free series:
- you’ll know your unique personality and what strengths you possess
- coping strategies to overcome your own parenting and motherhood struggles unique to your own personality
- you’ll kick mommy guilt to the curb because you’ll no longer be a slave to the comparison trap
Click here to sign up for my free email series or simply click on the image below.
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