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To survive and thrive in your marriage, you must know and understand your personality and that of your marriage partner. Marriage is "two becoming one" and personality is therefore important in the love and harmony of "two living as one."

Personality Change

Your personality plays a pivotal role in your marriage because it affects positively or negatively your relationship with your marriage partner, as well as that of your children and close members of the family.

What’s personality?

Personality comes from within. Personality traits are the characteristic patterns of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that uniquely define who you are. Some of the most common personality traits are:

·Conscientiousness is the looking forward or the planning ahead to do the right things. This personality usually begins in the 20s of an individual and then slows down in the 30s and 40s.

·Agreeableness is the showing of warmth, kindness, generosity, and helpfulness to others. This personality accelerates usually in the 30s and 40s in a person’s life.

·Companionableness is the being of sociable and energetic, always knowing what to say and how to say it.

·Distressfulness is the frequent displaying of worrisome and temperamental behaviors by an individual.

First and foremost, you must be aware of your own personality, and then make some change to adapt your personality to that of your marriage partner, as well as to adjust it to all the changes in the new life of “two becoming one.”

Changing personality traits

If you don’t like some of your personality traits or those of your marriage partner, can you still change them?

Yes, you can, but it’s not that easy.

According to Sigmund Freud, the Austrian psychoanalyst, some of the personality traits of an individual are already set in stone by the age of five of that individual.

So, how to change the personality traits of an individual?

·Show and express the desire and the determination to change the personality.

·Change the habits and behaviors related to that personality trait by doing the opposite. For example, if you’re shy and reclusive, then join a crowd and start talking profusely.

·Focus on the effort or the doing, rather than on the thought or the thinking. For example, say “I was successful because I worked hard on it” instead of “I was successful because I was smart and talented.”

·Set goals to change your self-beliefs through repeated self-affirmations.

The reality

Your happiness has much to do with your personality development throughout your life. In other words, your life experiences and your own perceptions of those experiences not only define but also shape your personalities, which are uniquely yours.

Emotions and Feelings Change

Emotions and feelings are two sides of the same coin. They’re closely related to each other, but they’re different in that emotions create biochemical reactions in the body, affecting the physical state, while feelings are more mental associations and reactions to emotions.

Harmony and disharmony

According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we all have qi, which is the internal life-giving energy circulating within each of us, giving us internal balance and harmony. Emotions are energy states, which may either contribute to or deplete our own internal life-giving energy, causing harmony or disharmony, and thus leading to positive or negative emotions and feelings.

The seven emotions

According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there’re seven emotions which are the underlying causes of many internal diseases, and these emotions are: anger, anxiety, fear, fright, joy, sadness, and worry. Because Chinese medicine is all about internal balance and harmony, these seven emotions may even affect different human body organs. For example, excessive anger impairs the liver, causing headaches, while even excessive joy dysfunctions the heart, leading to mania and mental disorders.


Anger or rage is an ineffective and inefficient way to resolve any issue or to make any problem go away. Anger is a disruptive emotion that may often lead to depression, and worse, the breakup of a marriage or a love relationship, especially if the anger isn’t properly addressed and controlled.

·Take a deep diaphragm breath, and just feel your anger as you breathe in.

·Look at your anger in your mind. Then review the situation, and ask yourself one simple question: Can your anger change the situation or anything?

·Accept that you’re now angry, and then breathe it out. If necessary, use your arm like a sword cutting through your feelings of rage, while saying: “I can see my anger: it is as it was!”

Don’t hold your anger in; instead, let it go, by breathing it out. Don’t let it go as pain; instead, let it go as your acceptance. But your acceptance should be viewed not as a sign of your own weakness but as a statement of your own communication to yourself that getting angry will never solve the problem anyway or right away.

·Then, remind yourself that anger is always present to serve a purpose to release some deeper issues, problems, and internal conflicts that you may be carrying in your own bag and baggage all these years. It’s always better to release anger than to turn it around to destroy yourself.

But suppressing your anger is also self-destructive, as the negative energy redirects itself back into your own body. Anger is always a path of destruction. Resolve anger by developing habits that may release internal conflicts in a constructive manner before it can be released as rage.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Getting Married to Make You Happy?