How to deal with an introvert husband

Dealing with an introvert husband? See how to deal with it, and why it isn't so bad after all.

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  • Men are extroverts and woman are introverts. Women enjoy intimate talks and yearn for one-on-one attention, whereas men are uncomfortable with deep emotions and thrive on large groups — right? Actually, extraversion and introversion are personality traits, not gender traits. Regardless of gender, introverts are defined as being concerned with their own thoughts and feelings, with extroverts being described as gregarious, and concerned with social excitement and interaction. So, for women extroverts everywhere, here are some possible problem areas and tips for dealing with the introvert in your life.

  • Communication

  • What you say: "Do you like my new dress?"

  • What he says :"Yes."

  • What you hear: "That is the ugliest dress I have ever seen. It makes you look like you have the butt of a hippo. Burn it."

  • What he thinks he said: "You look amazing. It is beautiful; but, then again, you can make anything look beautiful."

  • Introverts, even though they feel the same amount of emotion (if not more) as extroverts, do not know how, feel unable, or feel no need to share the same emotion on the same level as someone who is extroverted. If you ask them a yes or no question, you will get "yes" or "no" as your answer. Instead, ask, "What do you think of my dress?" or simply ask follow-up questions to keep him engaged in conversation in order to satisfy your extrovert desire for more. Introverts hear, process, reflect, answer and reflect again. Extroverts hear, process, answer and reflect (often all at the same time). In other words, introverts sit back and reflect on how beautiful the dress is, whereas, extroverts say how beautiful it is.

  • Time together

  • When your husband says he needs alone time, he doesn't mean he wants to have time alone because of you — he simply needs to regroup and recharge. Often after a little time alone he will come back better than before and have a little more energy to keep up with you. Large groups and social stimulation recharge extroverts; the quiet time to reflect recharges introverts. Give him his time alone so he can give you the attention you yearn for.

  • Parenting

  • Don't assume your kids don't know his affection for them just because he isn't singing it from the rooftops. Your husband has a different connection to the kids than you do. Never jump in and try to force a bigger, better connection. They can recognize his love and affection and don't need you to swoop in and proclaim it for him. Remember, being an introvert isn't wrong. It simply means their relationship and bond is different than your own. It's OK to have two different styles and "languages" when it comes to parenting. In fact, it is positive for your children, as it will allow them to embrace and understand their own type of personality.

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  • Social gatherings

  • Introverts are thought to be shy, quiet, unsociable and often unfriendly. However, introverts are very sociable, friendly and talkative when in the right setting. Being an introvert and being shy are two different things. Introverts prefer small, intimate gatherings of close friends and family, and can be just as much the life of the party as anyone else if the setting is right. To help, when in large groups of people, foster an environment that allows him to become comfortable and get to know those in attendance. Include him in conversation by asking him questions, mentioning him and building him up. If possible, find someone you think he would enjoy talking with and make it happen. Lastly, one of the best things you can do is to remember to be yourself. Don't hold back and sit quietly next to him while sulking. You might think you are being the good wife by staying by his side, when in fact you are adding to how uncomfortable he is. He wants you to have fun, laugh and enjoy yourself. Stay close and accessible, but don't hold back. Be the woman he fell in love with!

  • When it comes to being married to an introvert, all it takes is remembering that neither of you is the bad guy. It's OK to be different. Don't blame him for being himself, and never stop being yourself.

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Cristel Romero is a wife and mother to three sons. She works part-time in marketing at a home health company.

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