Every where you look, it seems like being an introvert just got cool again.
So many articles and memes and clips highlight the "trend" of recognizing that introverts have always been a part of society and that there are tons of misconceptions about what it means to live as an introvert. Us introverts know the truth—which is that we've always been here, we don't hate people, and although we're generally terrified of talking on the phone, we are living our lives just fine, albeit with a little more downtime than extroverts.
We're totally cool with that and we're proud of who are are. But one aspect of introverted living can be challenging and that's if you happen to be an introvert who falls in love with a fellow introvert. For many introverts, the "opposites attract" method of life comes in handy in a relationship. You can be married or partnered with someone who is your opposite, someone who will do the talking for you at a party or be the one who loves the spotlight so you can happily sit in the shadows, but for others, being married to someone who is very much an introvert like you presents a few challenges.
Throw a few kids and a job in there and marriage as introverts just got a whole lot more interesting. If you're an introvert married to an introvert, you may just recognize some of these common relationship challenges and quirks, such as:
You need time away from each other at night.
As two introverts who also have pretty emotionally draining jobs, my husband and I both need space at the end of the night to recharge—and that frequently means being away from each other too. I'm an at-home parent, so my life is wrangling kids at home all day while also juggling working from home. I would say that I'm not not a natural stay-at-home mom, so my "job" drains a lot of my personal space in very literal ways. My husband, meanwhile is a teacher of middle school students which sounds like my worst nightmare come to life.
And when the work day is done, there's no respite at all—it's cooking and cleaning and baths and bedtime, which in our house, is a nightmare. Our toddler is the worst and it takes about an hour and a half to get her down every night. So basically, we are even more exhausted and we both retreat to our respective "me times" at night. For my husband, that is TV and for me, that's reading in bed or journaling. I hate TV and don't find it relaxing or recharging and he loves it, so he'll be downstairs and I'll be upstairs.
For a long time, it used to bother me that we don't spend that time together as a couple. Is there something wrong with us? Do we hate each other? I would wonder. (Well, some days, yes, but that's marriage) Now, however, I've come to realize that we're still in survival mode and if we need alone time to recharge because we're both hard-core introverts, then so be it. You do what you gotta do.
You have a go-to "look" for social situations.
If you're an introvert married to an introvert, odds are that you have perfected "the look." You know, the one when one or both of you has reached the threshold for social interaction and you need to leave like right this second. One look is all it takes until you're alone in the car, breathing a sigh of relief to be yourself again.
You're cool with spending time together in silence.
And speaking of leaving parties early, you're totally cool leaving that social situation, only to go home and say absolutely nothing. Heck, one time, for our anniversary, I booked us a bed and breakfast and we spent a whole day lounging by the fire reading magazines and barely said a word to each other. And honestly, I have never loved my husband more.
The "I'm fine" trick never works for either of you.
Because you're both introverts, you're also highly perceptive and attuned to the slightest shift in moods. So when one of you tries to play the "I'm fine" card, the other is never going to buy it, because he/she always knows when you're even the tiniest bit upset.
There are times when I ask myself why on earth parenting is so exhausting. I mean, some people have way more kids than us and seem to do just fine. How can we both so drained at the end of the day? The truth is, parenting when you're two introverts can be extra draining, especially when you have to lose that alone "recharge" time that you both need to get energized. It makes life easier when I recognize this about myself instead of beating myself up because we're both so stinking tired all of the time.
Giving each other time alone is the greatest gift of all.
In this season of life, my husband and I don't always get as many date nights or time alone as we would like. But when one of us is feeling especially frazzled or stressed or depressed, the other knows that the single greatest gift we can give each other is the gift of time alone. Like today, my husband took all four kids out of the house so I could have two hours to myself. Or like every Saturday, when my husband gets time alone to recharge in his workshop. We know that when time is limited, sometimes the gift of being alone to recharge is the best gift to our marriage right now.
Because we both know what happens when introverts get cranky. And it's never pretty. But overall, the marriage of two introverts is a pretty cool thing.