Help for a couple in which one is a loner and the other is not?
May 31, 2005 7:47 PM   Subscribe

Relationship-oriented books for a separated (married) couple in which one member is a loner and the other is not?

Close friends of mine have recently separated. One spouse is much more of a loner than the other one, and this is apparently a key element of the friction that's led to the separation. The spouse-who-is-the-loner is the one who confided in me, and indicates a definite desire to stay married, but is unsure how to balance their need for space/quiet/privacy with their spouse's more social/gregarious needs within the marriage. (FWIW, it's the more outgoing/social spouse who initiated the separation, but their first choice is to try to save the marriage as well, rather than divorce.) Can any of our awesome librarians (or marriage counselors?!) recommend some good books that deal specifically with this dynamic? I'm offering sympathy and support to the best of my abilities (they really are both dear friends and good people, and it breaks my heart to see them hurting like this), but would also like to be able to offer a few practical suggestions as well.
posted by scody to Human Relations (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Two books recommended to me (an introvert) for dealing with relationships, particularly ones with extroverts were The Road Less Traveled and The Relationship cure. Good luck to your friends.
posted by krix at 9:27 PM on May 31, 2005

I found The Introvert Advantage helpful for figuring out how to take care of myself as an introvert and also to share with my more extroverted partner. It's helped us both be more accomodating to each other's social and not so social needs.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:46 PM on May 31, 2005

I'd recommend The Highly Sensitive Person and The Highly Sensitive Person in Love. Both talk about exactly this dynamic.
posted by MsMolly at 11:52 AM on June 1, 2005

I've just begun reading Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You? by Jordan and Margaret Paul, which promises to address issues like this. I'm also looking at some other books by Margaret Paul, Healing Your Aloneness: Finding Love and Wholeness Through Your Inner Child, and Inner Bonding: Becoming a Loving Adult to Your Inner Child, which could help both partners' self-definition, both in and apart from the marriage. Best of luck.
posted by purple_frogs at 1:55 PM on June 2, 2005 [1 favorite]

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