Partner Satisfaction As Measured By the Myers-Briggs Type
by Nancy S. Marioles, Ph.D.
St. Mary’s University researchers, headed by
psychologist Nancy S.Marioles, Ph.D asked 426 married and premarried couples to
take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator which measures peoples preferences on how
they relate to the world. The authors then compared each type with each spouses’
marital satisfaction. A person can have four different types that determine how
they deal with the world.
One can be either extraverted or introverted.
Extraverted people prefer to relate to people in the outer world rather relating
to the inner world of ideas which Introverted people prefer. A Sensing person
likes to have known facts to make decisions whereas an iNtuitive person prefers
to look for possibilities and relationships that aren’t apparent to make
decisions. Thinking types like to base their judgments on interpersonal analysis
and logic, and Feeling types like to base their judgments more on personal
values. Finally, Judging types like a planned, decided and orderly way of life
compared to Perceiving types who like a flexible, spontaneous way of
The couples were monitored over a seven-year period
to determine marital behavior and predictors of satisfaction and divorce. The
authors examined how many times each person was married, the length of the
marriage, changes of marital status and sources of marital satisfaction and
The couples, said Dr. Marioles, were most satisfied
in their marriage if they both could confide in their mate, share outside
interests, calmly discuss and exchange ideas. Premarital couples needed to
satisy those areas plus be able to plan together, question each other and kiss
The authors found very little evidence that opposites
marry. The only exceptions were ESTJ men married to INFP women and ESTP men
married to INFJ women. These two types of men, said the authors, were also the
two types who had been married the most often. Men who were INFPs, INFJs and
INTPs most often married a female with the same psychological type. Women, on
the other hand, who were ENFJs and INFJs married men with the same type.
The researchers also found that female feeling types
(mostly ESFJs) were married the longest and that female thinking types (mostly
INTP) were married the fewest number of years. Perceiving types were more likely
to have divorced than judging types. Extraverts tended to be more satisfied with
their relationships than Introverts which didn’t take into account their length
of marriage or how many times they had been married.
"Our research and the overall trend," said
Dr. Marioles,"supports the likelihood that people are more likely to be
attracted to and marry someone of the same type then they are a person of the
Women were dissatisfied with the marriage most often
(33 percent) when they were married to a man who was an INTP; 31 percent were
dissatisfied when they were married to an INFS; and 22 percent were dissatisfied
when they were married to an ISFP. Only 13 percent of the men were dissatisfied
when the women were an ENFJ and 12 percent of the men were dissatisficed when
the women were an ENFP.