Do differences in learning style preferences affect relationships?

Do you want to weigh in on this topic? I’ll start by giving you my answer, “Yes.” This is not based on any scientific studies but totally on personal experience. My husband and I have been married for a long time and though we have had some ups and downs, we are more in love today than ever. That said, our learning styles have impacted our relationship and perhaps even caused some of those blips in the road.

You see, my husband is a visual learner. Give him a book or show him a diagram and he has whatever the task or skill mastered. I, on the other hand am an auditory learner. I can listen to the radio, a conversation or presentation, and I have the concepts and examples down pat. Give me a book, and it takes a lot longer unless I read it aloud.

I know there are divided schools of thoughts on learning styles and their impact on the way kids/students/adults learn, but I think they have merit. There are three basic styles, auditory, kinesthetic (hands on) and visual. Each person responds better to one or the other. It does not necessarily mean that a person cannot learn if material is offered in a medium contrary to his/her style preference, it just takes longer.

For example, if my husband wants to share information with me, he will print it off and hand it to me or send me a link to a website. I will take the information, but I do not get as much (if anything) from it because it is one more thing to read. Although I enjoy reading, it is not my favorite way to learn, so I’ll put it on the back burner. If he would tell me what excited him about the information or how it is relevant to me/us, I am can absorb it quickly and am more likely to pick up what he’s handed me in visual format so I can learn more.

Because I can pick things up from the auditory messages that surround me, I assume he’s hearing it too. When I share information, I try to explain it to him and it goes right over his head. He’d prefer if I’d write it down or send him a link.

Now that we are spending a lot more time together (the kids are gone), we are relearning how to communicate and knowing our learning styles and preferences is making the transition a lot easier. Now I understand why he gives out books for gifts and why he prefers to print and share, so I’ll send him links, etc. He’s learning too, and we talk a lot more. He understands I need to have things explained verbally in order for me to get it. You know, I think our marriage will work after all.

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