When my husband and I started dating it was so exciting how different yet similar we were. He recharges by reading books, exploring, and drinking coffee, and I recharge by going out with him, with friends, or with family for a fun dinner or another get together. But our similarities come from our core values. The same things are important to us, and we have the same belief systems. While we have similar points of view on almost all our beliefs, our personalities balance each other out. He is an introvert, I’m and extrovert, and we have learned how to help each other have what we need to both recharge in our own ways.
What was remarkable was when we had kids. One of them is such an extrovert (even more than me!), and our other child is such an introvert. All four of us love being around people, it’s just about how we recharge. Sometimes my husband and I look at each other with disbelief at what our sons say to each other and to us about making plans. It’s like we’re listening to little clones of ourselves!
Our introvert six year old recently said, “I love Saturdays! I want to stay in my pajamas at home all day!” Then part way through the next Saturday, some friends invited us over for dinner. I told our six year old we were going to go, but we needed to pick up some food from Target to bring to our friends’ party. He replied, “Well I was going to stay in my pajamas all day, but I do love going to Target, and I do love parties at their house. So I’ll go.”
What my husband and I realized more and more through watching our two boys is that they were both born with such distinct personalities right from the beginning. Neither personality is better than the other. They are just wired differently. This helps my husband and I understand each other even better. One of us isn’t right or wrong for how we recharge, it’s just how we are. So when I need a girls’ night, he’s usually happy to hang out with the boys at home and watch a movie. I also encourage him to carve out time for himself every week. At the same time, I also crave time by myself just to be, and he has a blast when he goes out with his friends. We see this in our boys too. Even though we recharge more easily one way, we aren’t one dimensional in how we restore ourselves after a busy day or week of work and parenting. All of these things help us to be better spouses and better parents.
And a date night or weekend away is great for both of us because we can remember that we are more than our jobs and being parents. We can just go out and have fun together!