I am Who I Am in Relationships: Accessing Authentic Wisdom Through the Enneagram

Oct 18, 2019

*Full Transcript Below*

I am Who I Am in Relationships: Accessing Authentic Wisdom Through the Enneagram

Today, I want to talk about how opposites attract in relationships and sometimes the problems that causes.

You know, it's no secret that if an introvert is in a relationship or romantic relationship with an extrovert, that can cause problems. One person wants to go out when another person wants to stay in.

Sometimes it's the opposite - somebody who likes to save a lot of money where somebody else likes to spend it. Any kind of an opposite when you're dating can seem very charming and interesting - and yet down the road it can be complicated and cause problems.

So what do we do with that?

Well, it doesn't mean that you can't have a relationship with somebody who's got an opposite trait or opposite personality than you. As a matter of fact, you might have noticed that that often happens because it's true that opposites do attract!

I am Linda Frazee. And I have been working with thousands of people through the years about how to work with the Enneagram, which is a very powerful personality system. And I work with some of those issues that opposite types can I have when they're together.

So it's very interesting how that happens because it doesn't mean that it has to be the end if you're an opposite type of person, if you have different personalities because that's just the way it is.

But what do you do about it?

So I've got an illustration of a couple I worked with, their names were Lisa and Doug and they'd been married about 20 years. When they were first they first met, Doug was really attracted to Lisa's capacity to go along with all his adventures and his fun times. And Lisa was just very struck by how much Doug took initiative for to do fun things and to create travel plans and to go on great vacations.

So for the first few years of their marriage, they had a wonderful time and got along fabulously. Then they had their first child and things were still okay. Doug looked at the baby as a new adventure. The baby was a very good baby, easy to manage. Lisa got this day home with the baby and things were going along and then they had their second child. While the second child was not as easy as the first - the second baby had colic and cried all night and they both had to walk the floor night after night and before long they were at odds with each other.

So when they came into couples therapy we began to look at, well, what was really going on there? And we used the Enneagram, this powerful Enneagram system, to understand what was going on. Doug described himself and found himself on the Enneagram as a type seven, which is the enthusiast and the adventurer.

And that had been a major player in her attraction to him in the first place. And they had had so much fun together. Well, this was not exactly fun now with the crying baby all night long. Lisa found herself on the Enneagram as a nine, and realized she had gone along with all those fun things that Doug had suggested.

She did have a good time, but they really weren't her idea. And now she didn't feel like he was helping enough. He would rather go out with his friends now for fun than stay home with her and help with the kids. So these were some really some big problems. Thats what they learned about each other, and of course, it's more than just the Enneagram. The Enneagram is one of the platforms that a person can use to understand the way they're looking through their own eyes at life and at their relationship.

If they hadn't learned that, they might've ended up in divorce. But because they did, and because they were willing partners in working on that, they began to make some changes. If either one of them had said, I am who I am and I'm not going to change, which often people do, and had not been willing to move off of their own ego fixation and the idea of who they are and how life should be, they would have not been able to stay together.

But because they discovered these things about each other and could appreciate one another for their different strengths and their weaknesses and learn to negotiate them, they were able to save their marriage. Lisa learned to speak up and ask - to tell Doug what she needed and to ask for what she wanted. And Doug learned to be a little more sober as a responsible husband and father and to help Lisa.

He also requested from Lisa that they have some time alone to go away from the children and have some date nights and have some fun weekends. So they got some help so they can do that. That made a big difference in their marriage. And to this day, they're married 20 years later. Those children are all raised now, but they have gone on and enjoyed one another.

So how can you use that information for yourself? I have a website called LindaFrazee.com and there are five free videos about the Enneagram that you can watch and discover your own type and how it creates problems and challenges in your relationship and what to do about it.

- Linda Frazee

Free 5-Video Series: What is the Enneagram Anyway?


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