Being married/partnered with someone always has its hardships and struggles, but one of the things that have been the hardest for my husband and me is the fact that he is a true introvert, and I am not. I have my fair share of social anxieties/imposter syndrome, but my self-care is going out with friends and being out with the masses. His self-care is sitting on the couch watching TV. These differences have caused their fair share of arguments, but I’m here to share my tips for being married to an introvert when you aren’t one!
Set your non-negotiables
For us, this means deciding what the most important things that he needs to be at are. Our non-negotiables are family birthdays, holidays, and events that both parents should be at for our daughter. This decision was an easy one for us because he genuinely enjoys these things, and they are usually not giant raucous affairs.
Talk to each other and decide what things are most important for both of you to attend. Your non-negotiables could change multiple times, and there can be one-off events and parties where they need to make an appearance. Don’t expect the introvert to attend every single thing, especially spur of the moment plans that they haven’t mentally prepared for. I feel that preparation is the key to getting introverts to attend parties and events!
Do NOT make excuses for the introvert
There is nothing to be ashamed about if your significant other is not with you for every outing. There is nothing wrong with being introverted, and everyone likes quiet/alone time at some point. It’s not just about “alone time,” it is also about the anxiety these outings can cause. I used to make excuses: “he’s sick,” “he had a long day,” or “he’s tired.” These excuses were not fair to him. People might be annoyed or upset that he isn’t there, but it is ok to explain why. Most people will understand (and those that don’t probably aren’t worth your time anyway).
Give the introvert time to decompress
Spent all day at an event or doing lots of stuff outside of the house? Give them time to decompress! You can leave them to scroll mindlessly on their phone or take the kids out for a bit to let them hang out at home by themselves. This could also look like them having some quiet time in another room at a party. I would occasionally get upset when my husband would sit in a different place at parties until I realized he was doing that to recharge and take a break.
Take two cars
This one was a light bulb moment for me! Duh! If you are married to an introvert, take two cars (or hop in an Uber). Now, I don’t have to leave a party early if I’m having a good time and he doesn’t have to stay and be miserable. Try to set a timeframe so that the introvert in your life knows it is ok to leave. This simple step also helps you not to feel upset or slighted when they decide to go. Do whatever works best for your relationship!
The main thing I have learned about being married to an introvert is always to keep communication open. Let the introvert know that if they feel anxious or overwhelmed, it is okay. Remember, you are allowed to be annoyed or upset at times: we’re only human, after all. Our differences will always be a part of our marriage that causes some arguments but equipped with these tips and open communication; I know our relationship can stay strong and healthy.