When it comes to marriage, you have to be on the same page. You and your spouse have to have the same outlook on life; you have to be able to see how the future is going to pan out for you as a couple. There’s a reason married couples, over time, begin to refer to themselves as “we” rather than “I”— marriage knots two lives together in the quest for a shared destiny.
So given the need for compatibility in marriages, wouldn’t it make sense to marry someone with whom you share a personality type? What could be more compatible than that? If two people are so fundamentally similar, surely marriage is a breeze?
Sure, it can be… but not always.
Two INTP peas in a pod
My husband and I have been married since 2005. We’re pretty good at this whole marriage lark, really. We argue occasionally, but nothing that has ever made us question our ability to be together. We’re childfree, by choice, though we do have two cats that we both dote on. By and large, our life together is a happy, content one.
In terms of personality, we differ greatly— or at least, superficially speaking. To borrow a common theme; I’m fire, and he’s ice. I’m passionate, anxious, and highly strung. He’s calm, collected, and laid-back. Before we both took personality tests, I would have told you we were the very definition of “opposites attract”.
Then we took personality tests… and both delivered “INTP” results. After the initial shock, we began to see how two rather different people could be, at their core, remarkably similar. After reflection, it made more and more sense, and I began to wonder how much our identical personality types had influenced our marriage over the years.
The benefits of being married to someone of the same personality type
You see the world in the same way
There are numerous benefits to being married to someone of the same personality type, but perhaps the most obvious is that the way you approach the world is the same. Your worldviews are consistently aligned. You judge the problems of the world, and the solutions to those problems, in the same way. There’s never any argument about the basic way you perceive the world, society, and even smaller issues closer to home. By and large, you’re on the same page.
Take, for example, my husband and I’s own childfree stance. While I’m not saying that every INTP is childfree, we did have remarkably similar thoughts on the matter when we first discussed it while dating. We’d arrived at those thoughts independently, but they rather eerily mirrored one another… because we see the world in the same way.
You know how to relate to one another
My husband and I are, by nature, very logical people; I’m more prone to flaring and getting annoyed (and he’s more prone to sulking), but we both, ultimately, strive for facts over feelings.
The fact that I can always rely on my husband to reflect my own desire for logical, rational thinking is genuinely something I find myself feeling grateful for on a regular basis. While neither of us are unemotional in general, we’re able to cut down to the basics and relate to one another on a fact-based level. For example, if I want to convince my husband of something, I know to reach for factual rather than emotive arguments. I imagine the opposite would be true for couples with Feeling over Thinking personality types, but the benefit is the same: you know how to relate to one another on the big issues in life.
The disadvantages of being married to someone of the same personality type
There are no fresh ideas
The biggest disadvantage to being married to someone with the same personality type is also the biggest benefit: you see the world, and the problems you encounter, in the same way.
This means that when there is an issue you need to work through as a couple, you’re on the same page. That can be great — and frequently is! — but here’s the kicker: what if your agreed, mutual solution is the wrong choice? You’re stuck.
As you’re both approaching the issue from a similar perspective, there’s nothing new coming to the table when your first plan fails. This can lead to circular attempts to try and resolve an issue; you’re desperate for a new idea, but there’s nothing forthcoming.
There’s no one to challenge your poor decision-making
While it’s wonderful to share similar positive attributes with your spouse, you also have the same flaws. The result of this is that you can double-down on the same mistakes and poor decisions, because there’s no one to say that they think a particular course of action is a bad idea.
This can lead to serious misjudgements, as the one person who is best placed to keep your worst impulses in check may actually encourage you to follow those impulses— because their inclination is to react exactly as you already are. We all need someone in our life who is able to cool our temper or insist we think before we act, but my husband is not the person I can rely on to do that for me. We have a tendency to encourage one another’s worst impulses, because we react in similar ways when we experience negative stimuli.
Ultimately, marrying someone with the same personality type as you helps to ensure harmony, but it’s not a complete guarantee against disagreement and arguments. Personality types only take us so far; the rest comes from the bond between a couple and how you are willing to compromise for one another.
With that said, I would suggest that when it comes to learning to live with one another, couples who share a personality type are able to adapt rather well. While this, in and of itself, is not enough to sustain a marriage, it’s a pretty good start!