The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse,
by Art & Laraine Bennett
Published by Sophia Institute Press, 2008
Love, honor, cherish … and understand.
In no other kind of human relationship is knowledge of the temperaments — the fundamental personality traits, hard-wired into us at birth and that affect the way we respond to the world around us — so critical, and so fruitful, as in a Christian marriage. For it’s only through mutual understanding of our own patterns of reaction, and those of our spouse, that we can motivate, nurture, respect, and above all, love each other with the selfless patience to which Christ calls us in the sacrament.
Is your spouse predominantly choleric, sanguine, melancholic or phlegmatic? And what is your own temperament? How does that affect the way you and your spouse work, pray, argue, socialize and show affection? What unique challenges does the temperament combination pose in your marriage? How can you attain true marital contentment — not in changing the way God made your spouse, but in appreciating it and helping your spouse to perfect it?
Anne Mallampalli is a member of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Iowa City. Hers is a dual-choleric marriage of 18+ years, transformed by grace. She and her husband, Rama, have four children, one of each temperament. Anne offers this review:
“The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse” is a great read for Valentine’s Day. You’ll discover a new world of understanding and respect for the person you married, along with practical help you need to go beyond that temperament and grow in virtue. By becoming more empathic, more sensitive, more courageous and more deeply attentive to your spouse, your marriage will grow in personal happiness, ultimately strengthening the church and society.”