20% of the population, that is one out of five men and women alike have a different type of neurology which causes them to be much more sensitive to stimuli than what is otherwise thought to be “normal”. What this means is they experience everything as if it were amplified, sights, sounds, tastes, textures and emotions.
On one hand, this gives them an incredible kind of strength because they will notice things that many others do not, and qualities such as empathy, an emotionally intelligent trait which is heightened in a healthy highly sensitive person.
On the other hand, those who are highly sensitive can’t bear things that people with neurologically “normal” make ups can handle.
How to Tell if Your Spouse is Highly Sensitive
→ He/she seems to get overwhelmed or seem confused when there is a lot going on around him/her.
→ He/she seems to “space out” when you are in crowded situations as a coping tool for too much stimuli.
→ Your moods seem to have a strong effect on him/her.
→ He/she seems very sensitive to his/her environment.
→ He/she is thoughtful of others, more so than what seems to be average.
→ He/she needs quiet time and prefers quieter types of activities.
→ He/she is highly creative and seems to have a rich inner life.
→ He/she seems intolerable of loud noises, and may startle easily.
→ He/she seems to have his/her feelings hurt easily and can be very emotional.
→ He/she may seem to have uncanny insights into other people, places or things and may be psychic.
→ He/she may have extremely high standards and maintain a great deal of structure that can be frustrating to you, but is actually a coping mechanism that a highly sensitive person needs for maintaining his/her wellbeing.
If you were able to answer yes to any of these, then chances are your spouse is a highly sensitive person and really does need special accommodations from those closest to him/her. While your first thought may be that isn’t fair, it is what it is. If your spouse had a physical impairment, you would naturally attempt to make special accommodations. Being highly sensitive is an invisible condition that is very real and very serious. It’s not something your spouse is making up to be controlling or give you a hard time.
When you can realize this truth about your spouse and see how truly difficult it can be to be so sensitive, then you will find making some allowances will bring a huge payoff to you because no one is more loving than a highly sensitive person can be when he/she feels these special needs are being respected.
How to Live Happily with Your Highly Sensitive Spouse
♥ Help your spouse maintain a comfortable and low stress environment by keeping noises down and clutter picked up.
♥ Be aware of how they are responding in crowded situations and take them for breaks outside of the chaos if he/she seems to need it.
♥ Keep him/her in the loop with as much advance planning as possible. He/she actually needs time to prepare a highly sensitive nervous system.
♥ Never call him/her crazy, being highly sensitive is challenging, and it is a condition he/she was born with, not something that can be recovered from.
♥ Realize that he/she will be at a higher risk for mental health problems such as depression, anxiety or addictive disorders, so be aware and ask your loved one to get professional help if you feel he/she needs it.
♥ Be very careful with how you communicate criticism to your highly sensitive spouse. His/her feelings run much more deeply than others and even slight criticisms can be devastating. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk freely and openly, in fact it’s important that you do. Just do it as kindly as possible and keep assurance flowing abundantly.
♥ Be playful and have fun, because your spouse is highly sensitive, they will love you for bringing them uplifting and positive experiences.
♥ ♥ ♥ You can never give too much assurance or love to your highly sensitive spouse. In return, you will find that your spouse is warm, appreciative and will do everything possible to return your kindnesses to you.
There is no greater gift that you can bring into your marriage – for you and your spouse – beyond being present and aware. Download a free copy of Mindful Loving to learn how to bring more mindfulness into your most important relationship.