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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.