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Four Humors in Relationship 
Sanguine and Phlegmatic, see below
Sanguine and Choleric, see below
Sanguine and Melancholic, see below
 Phlegmatic and Choleric, see below
Phlegmatic and Melancholic, see below

Sanguine and Sanguine
You will have a lot of fun together! You will enjoy activities, friends, spontaneous parties and romantic getaways. Sanguines love to invite others to join in their fun, as well: games, beach houses, ski resorts. They value freedom, adventure and excitement. They value children, socializing, and volunteering. A sanguine/sanguine couple tends to be open, generous, well-loved, and optimistic. A typical scenario when two sanguines get together is that neither is listening to the other! They are both busy talking at once. A sentence will be barely finished before a sanguine will feel the need to jump in and tell a humorous anecdote. Both may want to be the center of attention (unless one partner is a sanguine-phlegmatic, in which case he or she will step aside to allow the other to reap the glory!) Sanguines live in the present and tend to be impulsive; this can wreak havoc with the family budget! When two free spirits marry, who will run the house and monitor the finances? Someone will have to plan for the future and take care of the mundane tasks. Unless there is a choleric secondary temperament or a strong background in organization and planning, you might find yourselves as a couple neglecting the “tedious” chores such as dishes, balancing the checkbook, saving for the future, home upkeep, and tasks that require ongoing attention to detail. Too many spontaneous surprises, trips, and extravagant purchases will cut into savings. Because sanguines like to be surrounded by friends and action, intimacy may be difficult to come by. Too much flexibility and not enough planning and organization can result in a chaotic family life. Your children may feel compelled to become your “parents,” if no other adult is taking appropriate control. The sanguine love of adventure and tendency to live in the present might cause you to avoid long-term planning and setting down emotional and physical roots. In addition, the sanguine big-heartedness, combined with their desire to please, can result in overextending themselves in terms of time as well as money—even with good and wholesome causes. Be careful that your friendliness and desire to please isn’t misinterpreted as flirtatiousness. Make time for good spiritual and intellectual formation for both of you. Don’t get too caught up in worldly or superficial activities, because a committed relationship can’t be based only on the “good times.” When the tough times come, be prepared with strong spiritual and familial support. Your commitment to your faith as a couple will help you through the difficult times.

 Phlegmatic and Sanguine 
 You both love harmony and peacefulness, and place a high degree of value on good feelings within the relationship. The phlegmatic will be more introverted about expressing these feelings, while the sanguine will want to talk. But neither will be too demanding on the other—unless the sanguine has a choleric secondary temperament. The phlegmatic partner may be quite a homebody, while the sanguine tends to need a lot of activity and new and exciting adventures. The danger is that both will settle for less than you are capable of— sanguine because you want everyone to be happy and you are easily distracted, and phlegmatic because you don’t want to stir up conflict or unpleasant feelings. Both will enjoy friendships, but the phlegmatic will not want to invest too much emotional energy. Give the phlegmatic space and time in which to have peace and quiet. Help the phlegmatic enjoy your activities and friends; they are very cooperative. Over time, the sanguine may accuse the phlegmatic of being boring and the phlegmatic may feel the sanguine is overwrought and drawn to too many new experiences. The phlegmatic spouse needs to extend himself and do special things with the sanguine spouse. Special occasions are vital: anniversaries, romantic evenings out, birthdays. The phlegmatic should try not to give into grumpy moods or the need to “veg” after work. The sanguine should be aware that the phlegmatic’s quietness or lack of expression does not imply lack of appreciation and love. The phlegmatic may require coaxing, but try not to nag! In turn, the phlegmatic needs to develop ways of communicating and better expressing his feelings. The phlegmatic spouse tends to be very dedicated and responsible and takes commitment seriously. He will always “be there” for you in a steadfast, but not grandiose, way. Try not to take this very important aspect of your relationship for granted. The phlegmatic spouse often gets a “bum rap” because he or she tends to be so low-key, and really is not very exciting, talkative, or motivated to excel in the workplace or in society. But he or she will be a dedicated, reliable parent and solid in the relationship. When comfortable and confident, you will discover their dry wit. But watch out: if you nag a phlegmatic too much, they may dig in, withdraw, and isolate you! Watch out for your finances! Sanguines love to shop and are extremely generous to friends, family and to the Church. Phelgmatics are not naturally gifted in terms of financial planning, because planning for the future is one of their weak spots. So the two of you will have to dedicate some serious planning moments (which neither of you will especially enjoy!) and keep an eye on the budget! (Or invest in a financial planner.) Watch out for impulsive purchases! One sanguine-phlegmatic couple impulsively bought a vacation house they couldn’t afford—the phlegmatic because he didn’t want to disappoint the salesperson, and the sanguine because she thought it would be so much fun! Fortunately, there was a law in the state in which they lived which allowed them to back out of a contract within 72 hours. Both spouses can become overwhelmed at times through an inability to say “no”: the sanguine’s natural generosity and desire to please can have him or her volunteering at Church and school, and overcommitted at work. The phlegmatic’s desire to please and fear of conflict can result in never putting his foot down when it comes to demands from the work place. It may be difficult for both of you to set limits, even with your children! As a result, you both may be “running on empty” and in need of taking charge of your own lives. The sanguine will help the phlegmatic appreciate fun activities with friends, and will help him come out of his shell. Both of you may need to work on deepening the spiritual life, but will go about it differently. The sanguine may prefer groups and fellowship (being extraverted), while the phlegmatic tends to prefer the more traditional. The sanguine spouse may prefer a lot more fun and adventuresome activities than the phlegmatic, but this will be an important means for the sanguine to introduce his or her spouse to more people, a wider array of activities, and new horizons. In turn, the steadfast phlegmatic will encourage the outgoing, impulsive sanguine to slow down, and take it easy when they find themselves becoming over-committed or over-extended and in need of a much-needed break.

Phlegmatic and Phlegmatic
When two phlegmatics enter a relationship, you will find that you both appreciate cooperation, peace, and stability. Your family life will be relaxed, low-key, and harmonious. You appreciate having a routine, structure, and calmness. You are both patient and easy-going. You are tolerant, accepting of annoyances, do not dwell on grievances, and rarely ever engage in power struggles. You value commitment to the relationship and you appreciate security in marriage, work, and the social sphere. You will both have a very accepting attitude—toward children, toward the “status quo,” and toward whatever bumps in the road may come. But, because you are so relaxed, you may find it difficult for one partner to exert strong leadership. Though you like a structured and orderly environment, it falls to someone to actually set it up—and a phlegmatic has a tendency to procrastination! Discussing difficult topics (which will inevitably arise in a relationship) will be a struggle and you may want to avoid it, because you both are sensitive and averse to conflict. Both of you will be overly accepting—even of situations that ought to change. For example, a low-paying job with no potential may be acceptable to a phlegmatic, simply because it offers job security and the alternative (change) is too frightening to contemplate. A child who is not performing adequately may not be confronted by phlegmatic parents. And the squeaky door or the leaky faucet may never get fixed. With a tendency to procrastination and a lack of attention to details, you can get into serious trouble with your finances. Neither of you will want to work on long-term financial planning, and you might be susceptible to salespeople whom you don’t wish to disappoint, but whose products you don’t need. Phlegmatics find personal conflict energy-draining and uncomfortable and avoid it at all costs. But when conflict occurs, their feelings can easily be hurt. As a result, both tend to be indirect and may not initiate new activities, and that can become boring. It can also result in being stuck in a rut in the marriage and in terms of future goals. If both partners find themselves “put upon” through work demands, or unable to set limits with their children, they may find their home life “out of control,” with none of the peace and stability that they relish as phlegmatics. In such a situation, someone will have to take charge and set goals. Setting goals and prioritizing will ensure that conflict avoidance doesn’t lead to sweeping serious problems under the rug. Procrastination is often a temptation with this temperament. Be careful not to become a boring couple — reluctant, uninvolved, averse to risk and change. Strive for big goals to counter this. Keep focused and on track. Pay extra attention to diet and fitness. Try not to be withdrawn, or to avoid difficult situations because you don’t “feel” like it. You probably prefer structured environments; if your job is highly structured with job security, this will be a boon. But too much duty may take the fun out of a relationship. Try to schedule special times for special occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, and romantic weekends. Seek out ways to include openness, disclosure, fun and passion in your relationship. Structured and planned “getaways” might offer this opportunity. Watch out that your children don’t run the home and take over. Make sure you and your children are continuing to develop your talents and set high goals.

Choleric and Sanguine 
 The two of you will have a great opportunity to balance fun with productivity and follow-through — if you work together. You are both good communicators, optimistic about life, and open to adventure. The choleric will help the sanguine develop organizational skills and follow through. In turn, the fun-loving, relationship oriented sanguine will help the more driven spouse to learn to relax and have fun. Since cholerics are often intense, sanguines can help them learn to be more sensitive to other people, to become more flexible, and to enjoy themselves in a more light-hearted fashion. Both will be up for adventure and change, and lots of on-the-go activity. Make sure you allow time just to be together, to listen deeply, and to enjoy each other in an intimate, soul-searching way. Both partners will have to work hard at listening and at developing interpersonal depth: the choleric because he avoids self-disclosure and the sanguine through lack of introspection — resulting in too much “doing” and not enough “being” for this couple. The choleric may be tempted to exert control over the flightier sanguine, to criticize harshly, or may simply forget to be appreciative. He may become impatient with the sanguine’s neediness for affection and attention. The sanguine may resent that the choleric is “all work and no play” and may feel that the choleric is insensitive. In a worst-case scenario, an angry and controlling choleric can keep the more docile sanguine “under his thumb.” Criticism wounds sanguines deeply, though they are also very forgiving. Cholerics do not like criticism either, but will hold onto hurt feelings. The choleric will be less likely to make open displays of affection, which are appealing to the sanguine. The sanguine may, on occasion, accuse the choleric of being “cold” or “uncompromising.” The sanguine is flexible, fun-loving and affectionate, and the choleric partner will do well to develop his or her more empathic side, due to the sanguine’s good influence in this regard. This is a very strong combination, and we have seen many sanguine/choleric couples where the sanguine looks to the choleric to provide depth, focus and organization and the choleric values highly the sanguine’s interpersonal skills and joie de vivre. At times, when the sanguine may have become overwhelmed by over-commitment, the choleric spouse can help him set some boundaries and limits. In turn, the choleric appreciates the sanguine’s relationship-building skills—especially his warmth toward children, his spontaneity, his flexibility, and his love for his friends.

Choleric and Phlegmatic 
 This is a classic case of “opposites attracting” and is a common combination in marriage. The choleric is attracted to the peaceful, calm, and good-natured phlegmatic, while the phlegmatic is drawn to the choleric’s energy and take-charge temperament, the one who comes up with all the activities and moves the relationship along. Where the choleric loves to conquer the world, the phlegmatic would just rather make peace. Where the choleric loves a good debate, the phlegmatic hates to argue–especially if it involves a personal confrontation. The choleric loves to impose his will, while the phlegmatic willingly goes along with things. Your phlegmatic will focus on relationship harmony, while the choleric will focus more on active “doing” At first, the phlegmatic learns to enjoy many new activities introduced by the choleric, but later he can become resentful if his vote never counts. Beware of overloading the phlegmatic with too many activities or demands, which the choleric may easily thrive on but which can overwhelm the phlegmatic. The choleric probably enjoyed the feeling of running the show when first dating; but after a while, the phlegmatic’s natural tendency to passivity can begin to annoy the choleric. If the choleric is a woman and the phlegmatic a man, the untypical gender roles may later have the choleric pushing and criticizing (even contemptuously) to get the phlegmatic to “step up” and be more assertive. A choleric needs to be careful not to take over every aspect of the relationship—deciding what to do, what movies they like, and what friends to have. Although the phlegmatic may go along with the choleric, he may become resentful if his own deep (and often unstated) wishes are never acknowledged. The phlegmatic is really quite sensitive (though he may not tell you this!), and the choleric partner should be careful not to inadvertently trample over the phlegmatic’s feelings, while the choleric is on a “mission” or out to accomplish a goal. Overcome the temptation to just let the choleric do whatever he wants all the time. The phlegmatic should learn to express his feelings, too, and not use passive-aggressive tactics to get what he wants. Another point of disparity is that the choleric has a tendency to become a workaholic; they always want to get things done now! The phlegmatic is just the opposite, with a strong tendency to procrastinate! This can result in some arguments and difficulties in the marriage. In a marriage, the choleric might be equally unwilling to dwell in the arena of feelings; but he should, nonetheless, be aware that the phlegmatic spouse has much more delicate feelings, which can be easily bruised by too much force or aggression. A typical difficulty in a choleric-phlegmatic marriage, is that the choleric becomes irritated by the slowness of the phlegmatic’s responses, and begins to nag or push hard. This, in turn, causes the phlegmatic to withdraw and become even more passive and less confident. As a result, a vicious cycle is created, with the choleric nagging or angrily pushing, and the phlegmatic withdrawing more and more. Be aware that the phlegmatic, while willing to follow the choleric’s lead, needs to develop his or her own interests. His natural tendency to sacrifice his or her own interests in order to preserve harmony may result in the phlegmatic feeling that his talents are not respected or appreciated. Encourage the phlegmatic by positive motivation, and respect. One danger is that neither partner will reveal their deepest feelings—the choleric fearing vulnerability, and the phlegmatic fearing that his feelings will be trampled upon. Take the time to have a peaceful, romantic dinner and to explore each other’s goals and desires and deepest feelings within the context of loving support. Seek out occasions to grow in intimacy in a relaxed environment.

Choleric and Choleric
The two of you are dynamic leaders, good communicators (though not necessarily in an overly affectionate fashion), and highly productive. Many renowned couples are choleric/choleric–Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, for example. You will likely make a very successful married couple. You are both independent thinkers, goal-oriented, and not emotionally “needy.” As a couple, you value success, accomplishment of your goals, and efficiency. You both probably have areas in which you “take charge”—if you are not both breadwinners, it is likely that one of the spouses is running a group of volunteers, organizing the kids’ school, or starting up a business on the side. But don’t forget to take a vacation or to have a romantic evening. The two of you can be both so busy “doing” that you forget to spend time in reflection, in spiritual formation, and on romance. And, if neither of you are partly sanguine, you might think friends are a waste of time, too! And, what happens when two cholerics both want to lead the same thing? Learn to listen, instead of having the last word. Try not to engage in useless debates or arguments where neither of you will back down. Allow yourselves different areas in which to compete and control, so you are not stepping on each other’s toes. Learn the art of forgiveness and do not dwell on injuries and hurts. Affirm each other’s contributions. Loyalty and acknowledgment are key emotional needs for cholerics. Where you might run into difficulties, is if one spouse’s secondary temperament is melancholic, and the other’s is sanguine—while both are driven to accomplish their own agendas! This could result in the choleric-sanguine becoming angry at the choleric-melancholic’s insistence on being a stickler for details, while the choleric-melancholic, in turn, is annoyed by his spouse’s tendency to be overly flexible or to gloss over the details. In any case, when there are two cholerics in the same house, you do not want to have arguments about who is the boss or allow anger to fester. Learn how to “pick your battles.” You each should learn how to graciously follow the other’s lead. You can each pick separate areas of control, so that you aren’t continually stepping on each other’s toes, and openly acknowledge that you will each have to graciously accept the other’s lead in these particular arenas. You each will have to acknowledge the other’s contributions, and acknowledge when the other is “right.” You both want to be successful and to achieve great things. But you will have to watch out for each of you becoming overly successful in the “outside world” while neglecting your relationship. You could wind up operating on parallel tracks which never intersect. You will both need to make time to share the intimate and deep aspects of yourselves. Beware of that pride which refuses to see things from the other’s perspective and fails to apologize when necessary. Take time out to “smell the roses,” slow down, and enjoy the romance. Learn to explore and overtly appreciate each other’s deepest feelings and desires.

Choleric and Melancholic 
 You both have strong commitment to the marriage, to your faith, and to raising children properly. Both of you are strong leaders, though the melancholic spouse will be more “behind the scenes.” The melancholic (especially if he or she is melancholic-phlegmatic) may be the more sensitive and romantic partner. The choleric will most likely take the lead in this relationship, with the melancholic exerting subtle (and even at times passive-aggressive) control. You will relate well on the level of ideals and ideas, though your approaches to work and your motivational styles are very different. The choleric is action-oriented, while the melancholic takes a long time to change and move. Sometimes, the melancholic’s slowness and lack of responsiveness will frustrate the choleric. The choleric will need to be careful not to “roll over” the deeply sensitive melancholic. Especially if one spouse is melancholic -phlegmatic, the choleric will have to resist a strong temptation to always “take charge.” The choleric might also minimize the importance of relaxed, romantic evenings with no objective other than growing in intimacy. The choleric’s pragmatism and outcome-orientation may offend the melancholic’s love of truth and justice, and may run counter to his idealistic romanticism. The choleric will be willing to bend rules, in the interest of achieving a greater good, whereas the melancholic will not. The melancholic will value security, while the choleric may be intrigued by adventure. Both partners will hold onto hurts for a long time — so learn to forgive and forget! The choleric can be blunt, while the melancholic takes a long time to say what he means, and is easily wounded. A choleric can be overly pragmatic, and scoff at the melancholic partner’s deep sensitivity. He might also react angrily to melancholic’s pessimistic complaints, sensing a lack of loyalty or criticism. The melancholic is also highly sensitive to perceived slights, and can have a tendency to brood about them. It would be best to immediately realize that your spouse is not a mind-reader, and that—even if you have to tell him to buy flowers–it counts! The choleric partner is far more efficient and prefers that the melancholic would just be “up front.” Both partners will be fiscally astute (unless the choleric has a strong sanguine secondary temperament). We have known melancholic/choleric couples be so penny pinching that they charge their own children rent—before they have left the home! Watch out for valuing finances above intimacy and warmth in your relationships. Let go, and have a little fun sometimes! It may be harder for this couple to give up control, and trust in God, the Divine Provider. The melancholic should try not to withdraw, be overly critical, or piously rigid, or the choleric may become oppositional or even angry. The choleric partner needs to understand that nobody is as productive as he is. Melancholics have a hard time expressing appreciation, and cholerics really do need their achievements to be recognized and appreciated—though they won’t admit it! In turn, the choleric might not realize the amount of gentle support and words of affirmation that the melancholic needs in order to feel loved! But the melancholic will help the choleric discover a depth and sensitivity he or she might not otherwise have discovered, and the choleric spouse will help inspire and motivate a reluctant or pessimistic melancholic. A valuable combination!

 Melancholic and Phlegmatic 
 You are both introverted and appreciate the private moments in life. The melancholic places a high value on intimacy and romance. The melancholic will analyze the relationship, while the phlegmatic seems not to care (though, in fact, he places a high value on commitment). The melancholic will want to talk about it, while the phlegmatic may want to just watch T.V. The two of you will need to learn how to have fun together. Go to a restaurant and talk, satisfying the melancholic’s desire for intimacy and romance, while not nagging the phlegmatic. A relationship should not just be about duty and principles, but also needs to have those carefree moments of fun and romance. The phlegmatic is very attuned to harmony and cooperation, while the melancholic may not be averse to bringing up controversial subjects. On occasion, this can result in some mis-communication, with the phlegmatic withdrawing into silence, and the melancholic (especially if the melancholic is the wife) wondering why he won’t open up. You are both introverts and you will have to learn to express your feelings in positive ways. Melancholics tend to criticize and globalize disaster, which will cause the phlegmatic to withdraw. It will be devastating to the phlegmatic to hear pessimistic, negative comments much of the time. The phlegmatic will withdraw further and further into isolation, if he is subjected to a lot of negative criticism, even if the melancholic spouse thinks he or she is being “constructive.” Neither partner will be openly and warmly expressive (unless the phlegmatic has a sanguine secondary temperament), so this can result in neither partner ever feeling sufficiently appreciated! This, in turn, can result in the phlegmatic withdrawing into silence and the melancholic becoming grumpier than ever! Don’t nag! It will build up resentment in a phlegmatic. Don’t lecture! They will tune you out. Don’t expect your spouse to read your mind! If you want flowers, ask for them. Melancholics think that phlegmatics “don’t care” if they don’t know what is going on in their mind, but also don’t give credit to the phlegmatic for always “being there.” The melancholic spouse has to watch out for being overly sensitive—especially to perceived hurts. The melancholic can sometimes become a “queen” in their own house, ruling by emotional control, with the dutiful phlegmatic at her beck and call. This interaction can cause the phlegmatic to become resentful and more withdrawn; the melancholic needs to learn self-giving and generosity toward others. Both temperaments can tend toward procrastination (phlegmatic) or inaction (melancholic), especially if the melancholic is a melancholic-phlegmatic. They both can feel awkward about initiating fun and social activities. Both might be hesitant to initiate or express positive emotions and feelings: both might be afraid of having their deepest feelings trampled upon if they are revealed. But this can result in misunderstanding, especially if the atmosphere becomes rather critical or sullen. The antidote is to be overt in your appreciation of each other. The melancholic should learn to pick the important battles, avoid negativity (which discourages the phlegmatic) and give positive, gentle reminders when the phlegmatic is not responding. But watch out: if you nag a phlegmatic too much, they may dig in, withdraw, and isolate you! Their resentment can build internally, until one day, they are simply gone. A better method is to ask the phlegmatic if he wants reminders, and if so, what type of reminder. A requested reminder will not be taken as a nagging comment. The phlegmatic spouse tends to be very dedicated and responsible and takes commitment seriously. He will always “be there” for you in a steadfast, but not grandiose, way. Try not to take this very important aspect of your relationship for granted. The phlegmatic spouse often gets a “bum rap” because he or she tends to be so low-key, and may not appear very exciting, talkative, or motivated to excel in the workplace or in society. But he or she will be a dedicated, reliable parent and solid in the relationship. In addition, the peaceful and easy-going phlegmatic can help the melancholic become more forgiving (especially if there were past emotional hurts) and can help the melancholic partner learn to live more in the present moment. In turn, the melancholic partner will help the phlegmatic become more attuned to the noblest of ideals and to the deeper sensitivities of the human person.

Melancholic and Sanguine 
 When you first fell in love, it was likely the case that you each offered the other something appealingly different from your own nature. The sanguine was drawn to the melancholic’s depth and profound insight, his attention to detail, and his organization. In turn, the serious melancholic found the sanguine’s sense of fun, adventure and spontaneity highly attractive. The melancholic spouse can help the sanguine develop reflection, principles and perseverance. The sanguine will help the melancholic be more optimistic and will initiate social activities which the otherwise reserved melancholic might not have initiated. After the rosy bloom of the romance fades, however, difficulties can arise when the spouses inadvertently neglect fundamental emotional needs. Not realizing that the two temperaments are diametrically opposed, each spouse may erroneously assume that their emotional needs are identical. For example, a fun-loving, impulsive sanguine has a fundamental emotional need for affirmation of her social nature. Let’s say the sanguine spouse sets up several dinner engagements for the same week, but her melancholic spouse just wants to spend a quiet evening at home for once! Or the sanguine has been out shopping, volunteering, or networking and is neglecting the fundamental emotional need of the melancholic to have quiet and order. She may have been out so much that the dishes are piled in the sink, the checkbook doesn’t balance, she is late to every appointment, and the house is a mess. This could deeply offend a melancholic spouse! Disagreements can occur when the melancholic begins to accuse the sanguine of being flighty, scattered, forgetful, and impulsive. In turn, the melancholic is accused of being moody, antisocial, perfectionist, and critical. When criticism occurs, the sanguine’s feelings are hurt and he or she may be vocal about it. The melancholic may brood about deep injustices and hurt feelings, but may not openly express them. Know that your sanguine spouse may be disorganized, a bit scatterbrained, and rebels at the concept of a budget. But a sanguine can’t be beat when it comes to relationships, communication, and raising children! Your sanguine spouse can help your kids feel genuinely loved and they will thrive with his or her abundant attention and encouragement. Your sanguine spouse will be the one encouraging you to talk as well; they will keep the joy of the relationship alive. Sanguines want you to enjoy what they enjoy and to have fun with them. Communication is vital for the sanguine, but melancholics can become overwhelmed by too much activity and may retreat into their own thoughts–leaving the talkative sanguine frustrated. The sanguine needs to realize that the melancholic is introverted, deeply thoughtful, and needs a lot of personal space. Give the melancholic plenty of space and time in which to communicate his inmost thoughts. Allow for his creative silences. Your melancholic spouse will reward you with an organized house, attention to detail, noble principles, and a strong commitment to the relationship. The sanguine tends to tease, while the melancholic’s feelings are easily hurt! Don’t make fun of your melancholic spouse or expect him to laugh at all your jokes. Don’t take their moods too personally, especially the tendency to dwell on problems. The melancholic is often surprised when others think he is being “picky” or “critical.” His precise attention to detail and his ability to foresee problems can sometimes be taken as a tendency to judgmentalism and negativity. This may not be his intent at all. It would be helpful for the melancholic to learn just how his remarks are sometimes perceived. The sanguine can help cheer up the melancholic with a light-hearted approach and a sense of humor. Sometimes, the sanguine feels “stuck” in a role of always having to be the cheerleader; what if the sanguine needed cheering up? If you are the melancholic, try not to be the cross for your sanguine partner! Your sanguine spouse can help the melancholic rise above the day-to-day trials and find joy in life. It must be acknowledged, however, that when the chips are down, the melancholic is often the one who truly steps up to the plate. It is a curious phenomenon that small details can bog down a melancholic, but if there are serious problems, he or she is able to rise to the occasion. Your melancholic spouse will also help the sanguine partner develop greater sensitivity and depth. The sanguine/melancholic couple has a unique capacity for the integration of great depth and great joy.

Melancholic and Melancholic

This combination usually results when the two partners have known each other for a long time, when they have been drawn together through a project or deep emotional event, when it is a second marriage, or when the primary melancholic temperament is mixed with two different sub-temperaments (e.g. the couple is melancholic-phlegmatic and melancholic-choleric.) Both are very introverted, solitary, and highly idealistic. You will relate in terms of truth, justice, ideals, order, space, and principles. You will both seek high ideals for the relationship, and strive for deep intimacy. Once you get to know each other, you will make a strong commitment. As a melancholic couple, you are both romantic and very sensitive. But watch out that your tendency to pessimism and perfectionism does not destroy that romance! Each of us will have our flaws, and it is sometimes hard for the melancholic to accept human nature wounded by original sin. Overcome the tendency to express only critical thoughts. Compliment each other frequently. Focus on self-giving instead of becoming self-absorbed or self-pitying. Melancholics should strive to practice forgiveness and acceptance. You will both need to take time to talk and express your deepest feelings — not just in terms of ideals and principles, but how you really feel. You will have to draw each other out, asking each other’s opinions and advice. Make sure you regularly express your appreciation for each other! Both of you are hesitant to ask for what you need and can withdraw instead. Remember, your partner is not a mind-reader! Melancholic couples have a tendency to be very protective, cautious, and critical, and to make mountains out of molehills. If you have non-melancholic children, this can be dispiriting or even frustrating. Focus on relationship-building and reduce the number of lectures or sermons. Make ten positive comments before you make a critical one. Allow your children to develop their own interests, even if they seem foreign to yours. Watch out for a tendency to “circle the wagons.” If both are cautious and inwardly directed, then who will initiate fun or adventure? If both are highly focused on the homelife and personal issues, then you may have to make sure you develop a wider circle of friends and your parish community. If you feel isolated, remember that the surest way to feel a part of your larger community is to make a commitment to serve. You will both be trustworthy and dedicated. You will both be very sensitive and giving, though at times you both can be overly sensitive to apparent slights. You will need to be attentive to the fact that the other spouse may not be as forthcoming with the deeper emotional side, and you will need to draw each other out. In addition, melancholics have such a deep, complex nature that it is not easily expressed or understood. (especially, if both are melancholic-phlegmatics!) This can cause both of you to feel misunderstood and become overly sensitive to perceived slights. At times, you both can be rather self-absorbed! Furthermore, melancholics do not like to yell or overtly express anger (unless they are a melancholic-choleric blend); instead they will go into a mood. This can become a passive-aggressive way of expressing anger. It is better to deal with your feelings openly, in a supportive environment, even though this may seem awkward. It is very important to note that two melancholic parents can be a real trial for children—especially if they are not of the same temperament! (This can happen just in the same way as a child might be born with the throw-back red hair of great-grandmother Lilian). If you have a sanguine or choleric child, the endless attention to perfection and details on the part of both parents can be discouraging for children. Being forced to live up to an impossibly high standard or to a melancholic ideal can cause a phlegmatic to give up and a choleric to rebel. Make sure that you, as parents, are giving your children a lot of positive appreciation and focus less on the details and more on the bigger relationship picture. Learn to be flexible, to be forgiving, to be enthusiastic of your children’s unique talents, and to listen to your children’s point of view, even when it differs from your own.

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