Skip to main content

My Marriage is Doomed and Other Lessons from Gretchen Rubin's Talk

[caption id="attachment_3615" align="alignnone" width="500"]jeffandme Photo credit: Amy Pinard Photography[/caption]

I have realized a problem with my marriage. Yep. While seeing one of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin, speak the other night, I learned a possible reason for why my husband and I drive each other crazy in certain cases.

It comes down to this: I am an Upholder and he, I'm fairly certain, is a Rebel. These are two of the four habits categories Gretchen has identified in her latest book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. And according to her, it is rare that Upholders and Rebels work together.

Doomed. (Sorry, you had to find out this way, sweetums.)

Here's how the categories break down. It all has to do with how you meet expectations.

  • Upholders meet both their own and others' expectations.

  • Obligers meet others' expectations, but have trouble meeting their own.

  • Questioners meet their own expectations, but question others' expectations.

  • Rebels resist all expectations.


Do you see that little difference between Upholders and Rebels? That little disparity? I am a rule follower. I can't even go in the out door at a store. I stressed out for a good hour about what to wear to see Gretchen speak. I wanted to wear jeans, but I didn't know if that was acceptable since it was hosted by the chamber of commerce. I tried several different outfit combinations before deciding that jeans and a blazer would make me most comfortable and probably meet a dress code. Being comfortable is a happiness rule from Gretchen's earlier book The Happiness Project, so I told myself she would approve of my choice.

My husband has no such problems. He does what he wants, when he wants, how he wants, regardless of the rules.

My husband resists categorizations as well, so if he has read this far he is probably reeling right now. I rather like categorizations. (See? Doomed.) They help me understand myself and others and help me understand what to expect (or not) in my interactions.

There is plenty more information about all of these types in Gretchen's book and on her website at www.gretchenrubin.com. If you're curious about your own type and can't quite decide based on the list above, you can take her quiz to find out where you fit. (Update: My husband took the quiz and the result was Rebel, just as I suspected. DOOMED!)

I have already started considering how the various types might think differently and what that might mean for relationships. What does this mean for how I interact with my stepson? Where do my friends fall in this outline? How do we approach situations differently because of it?

I am excited to dig into this book to see how I can improve my own habits. Maybe I'll even find a few tips for being in partnership with a Rebel. After all, he's kind of hot. Even if he does make things difficult. (We joke that I Make Things Difficult would be the title of his biography if he had one.)

I know we can make this whole paradox work. We have survived almost seven years of marriage so far. Categories be damned.

And seriously, if Gretchen Rubin is ever in your area, go see her. She is an engaging speaker, so delightful in person, and she knows her stuff about happiness and habits.

Now, I am off to work on some of my own habits. After all, she signed my book with "Begin now!" I would like to meet that expectation.

[caption id="attachment_3613" align="alignnone" width="300"]insta_Upholder Image credit: www.gretchenrubin.com[/caption]

 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Him: What is this?

Me: A lens ball.

Him: What is it for?

Me: Turning your face upside down.

My friend gave me this present for Christmas. I had no idea what it was. This is from my first photo shoot with the lens ball.

Settings:
Fujifilm X-T100
Aperture f/4.5
Shutter speed 1/110 sec.
ISO 400


Confirm Your Humanity

I type my email address into the box and click. Another screen pops up: “Confirm your humanity.” I check a box and it is done. Humanity confirmed. But I wonder what am I doing in my life today to confirm my humanity?

What It’s Really Like to Have Anxiety

“People who need help sometimes look a lot like people who don’t need help.” -Glennon Doyle
I can’t say with any certainty that I am viewed as having it all together. I have, however, been complimented for my ability to remain calm or to calm others. In my days as a project manager, it was a strength often highlighted in my performance reviews. One supervisor actually used to mistake my calm attitude for a lack of understanding the urgency of the issue, until he learned I very much understand the urgency, but can’t address it if I get frantic.

During my application process to become a Hospice volunteer, the coordinator told me after speaking to my three references that she had never seen a single word used so consistently to describe someone. What word is that, I asked. “Calm. Every single person commented on how calm you are.”

Calm. That is a marvelous state.

Imagine how it must feel to be known for being calm and to hold a diagnosis of anxiety. It sometimes feels that my entire sel…