1 what The Essential Guide to a Successful Relationship The Conscious Couples Relationship A New Orientation of Self-Awareness, Skills & Tools for Sustaining Love & Harmony -- Based on the Spiritual & Inner Enneagram
2 Chris Wright Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
3 The Conscious Couples Relationship A New Orientation of Self-Awareness, Skills & Tools for Sustaining Love & Harmony -- Based on the Spiritual & Inner Enneagram Chris Wright, M.A. Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist 607 Chain Bridge Road McLean, Virginia (703) what
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter 1: CONSCIOUS COUPLES RELATIONSHIPS: The New Paradigm of Intimacy in Couples Relationships 1 Our Shadow Side: Differences & Issues in the Relationship 1 The Conscious Relationship Orientation 2 What About Partners Who Do Not Want to Work on Their Issues? 3 Resolving Your Issues & Growing Together 4 Working with Love: Deepening Your Fulfillment Together 5 Chapter 2: THE SPIRITUAL & INNER ENNEAGRAM: An Ancient And Yet New Wisdom System for Gaining Self Awareness 7 Why the Enneagram is Important to the Success of Your Relationship 7 The Basis of Fulfillment Together is Responding to Each Other s Core Needs! 7 All of Your Issues, Arguments, Unhappiness Together Are Simply Unmet Needs! 8 Protecting Each Other from the Pressures in Your Personality that Undermine Your Relationship Together 10 How You Communicate Your Tensions & Needs Tends to Determine How Your Partner Responds 12 Without Self-Awareness of the Pressures in Your Personality, How Will Each of You 13 Ever Grow as a Person? And How Will You Ever Heal the Source of those Pressures? Gaining Awareness & Appreciating the Natural Gifts That Each of You Express in Life 15 How the Teaching the Enneagram Evolved for Me 16 The Evolution of the Enneagram 18 The Effect of the Inner Enneagram on Distressed Couples 19 Experiencing the Unification of One s Self or Essential Nature 20 Lastly, How This Handbook Can Be Useful for You 21 The Three Phases in Developing a Conscious Relationship Together 24 Section I: DISCOVERING YOU & YOUR PARTNER S ENNEAGRAM PERSONALITY TYPES Chapter 3: HOW THE ENNEAGRAM WORKS 26 You Are Not Just One Enneagram Type 26 Lines Can Be As Strong as Your Core Personality Type 27 Some People s Core Personality Type is BURIED By Their Wings & Lines 29 Your Wings & Lines Modify Your Core Personality Type 30 You Are Born This Way 31 The Misunderstanding of Lines in the Conventional Enneagram System 32 The Fundamental Triad of Consciousness: Emotional, Mental, or Will Based Energy 33 Chapter 4: HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR CORE TYPE Select the statement that fits you the most: 35 Outline of the Nine Enneagram Types 36 Summary Chart of the Nine Personality Dynamics 37 How to Best Get Along With Each Type 38 Section II: THE DYNAMICS OF THE SPIRITUAL & INNER ENNEAGRAM
6 Within Your Self & Within Your Relationship Chapter 5: HOW THE SPIRITUAL ENNEAGRAM WORKS 38 Your Essential Nature 38 The Nature of the True Self or Higher Self 39 Becoming Whole -- Unifying Our Lower & Higher Self 40 Enlivening & Developing the Natural Gifts in Each Other 40 The 5 to 1 Ratio 40 The Gifts of the Nine Types 41 So What Are Your Gifts, Your Partner s Gifts, & Your Children s Special Gifts? 44 Recognizing Each Other s Inner Gifts 47 Advanced Topic: The Triune Nature of Self 48 But Now, What About the Ego? 49 Chapter 6: HOW THE INNER ENNEAGRAM WORKS: THE FALL FROM GRACE 50 What Separates You From Your Essential Nature? 50 Our Personality Has Disconnected From Our Essential Nature 50 This Emptiness at Your Core Inside is Intolerable to Experience 52 We Desperately Seek Outside What We Are Missing Inside 53 These Insecurities Create the Core Ego Needs in Your Personality 55 Let s Use an Example with a Couple 55 Chapter 7: How To Benefit From This Handbook: FIRST -- IDENTIFY YOUR, AND YOUR PARTNER S, CORE EGO NEEDS 58 Ego Needs Are Different From Desires & Wants 58 Sources to Help You Identify Each Other s Core Ego Needs 59 Your Goal: To Be Able to Articulate Each Other s Core Needs 62 To Be Proactive & Responsive, Takes Intentionality & Commitment for Each of You to Take the Initiative 62 Chapter 8: IDENTIFYING YOUR CORED NEEDS - PART II: YOUR ENNEGRAM SUBTYPES Three Personality Subtypes - Additional Core Needs in Your Personality 64 Self-Preservationist Subtype 64 One-on-One Subtype 65 Social Subtype 66 Stacking Your Subtypes 66 Differences in Your Subtypes Can Cause Very Difficult Tensions Together 67 Both Needs Matter! If You Want to Sustain the Fulfillment in this Marriage 69 Chapter 9: How To Benefit From This Handbook: SECOND -- GAIN SELF-AWRENESS OF WHERE YOU ARE OVER-THE-TOP 71 People Always Try to Justify Their Ego Needs & Tensions 72 Having Inner Tensions is Human 73 Healing the Shame That Binds You 73 But These Ego Tensions & Distortions Are Not Who You Are 74 Remember, Being Over-the-top Is Relative 75 EXERCISE: WAYS THAT I CAN BE OVER-THE-TOP 76 EXERCISE: WAYS MY PARTNER CAN BE OVER-THE-TOP 77 Owning Your Pressures 77 What If Your Partner Refuses to Learn About His or Her Pressures 78 Chapter 10: How To Benefit From This Handbook: THIRD -- RECOGNIZE THE UNDERLYING INSECURITIES THAT GENERATE
7 YOUR EGO NEEDS & THE TENSIONS IN YOUR PERSONALITY 79 This is Why People Take Psych Medications to Anesthetize Inner Emotional Tension 80 Becoming Aware of What Those Core Insecurities Are Deep Inside 80 The 90/10 Rule 81 Your Response to Conflict Depends on Your Own 90% 84 Anger & Blame Is a Ruse. It Is a Deflection. So You Do Not Have to Open Up or Expose Your Pain 85 Safely Processing Your Insecurities When Triggered, Instead of Blaming 85 EXERCISES: What Bothers You? What Bothers Your Partner About You? 86 Discovering What Are Your 90 s 89 What This Leads to in Your Relationship Together 91 Strengthening the Observer -- Your Higher Self 92 Now Let s Apply This to Your Relationship: EXERCISES 93 Summary Chart of the Nine Personality Dynamics 96 Chapter 11: THE TWO FUNDAMENTAL KEYS TO THE SUCCESS OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP I. Your Success Depends on Meeting Each Other s Core Emotional Needs 150 Both Needs Matter! Your Needs Are Just As Important to Me as My Own Needs Why Partners Do Not Fill Each Other s Needs9 1. Each Other s Needs & Insecurities Can Be Foreign to the Other. 2. How We Communicate Our Needs Can Determine Whether They Are Consistently Met. II. Your Success Depends on Your Ability to Recognize, Own, & Safely Process Your Tensions to Resolution When You are Over-the-Top in the Relationship Chapter 12: THE THREE LEVELS OF USING THE ENNEAGRAM 155 The Personality Enneagram The Inner Enneagram The Spiritual Enneagram Success of the Relationship Depends on Having Your Ego Needs Met - Which Keeps You Dependent The Unreality of Your World Modeling the Nature of Who You Are Chapter 13: THIS CONSCIOUS COUPLES ORIENTATION SPRINGS NEW PARADIGM SHIFTS IN HOW WE DEAL WITH CONFLICT 162 The Natural Resistance to Recognizing, Owning, & Resolving Together Your Imbalances & Insecurities 164 Self-Awareness Strengthens Your Self, Takes Away Shame & Enables Each of You to Recognize & Work on Your Issues Together 167 Personal Study Strengthens & Expands Your Self-Awareness 168 The Tools With This Orientation Also Create a New Paradigm Shift 168 Opening Up & Becoming Vulnerable Also Enables You to Be Heard! 169 And It Is All Based on Humility 171 Solving the Issues Together 172 Reframing Conflict in Your Relationship as an Opportunity for Accelerated Growth 172 What About Those Relationships Who Resist This or Are Having a Tough Go? 174 This May Also Seem Counterintuitive to the Wiring of Some Enneagram Types 175 The Second Skill Set -- Deepening Your Love & Fulfillment Together 176 Learning All of These Tools & Skills Together 178 Chapter 14: IN ORDER TO GROW -- WITHIN OURSELVES & CLOSER TOGETHER 179 [IN PROGRESS] Chapter 15: AFFAIRS IN THE RELATIONSHIP 180 [IN PROGRESS]
8 Section III PREPARING TO READ THE NINE SPIRITUAL & INNER ENNEAGRAM PROFILES Chapter 16: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER -- BEFORE YOU READ THE NINE PROFILES 186 Discovering the Enneagram Type of Everyone You Know Before You Start Reading the Enneagram Profiles Focus on the Core Needs That Drive Those Personality Qualities Chapter 17: IDENTIFYING OTHER PEOPLES ENNEAGRAM TYPES 195 Interesting Observations About People of the Same Enneagram Type The Enneagram Types With the Largest Number of People The Enneagram Types of Scientists The Enneagram Types of Elementary & Pre-School Teachers The Enneagram Types of Engineers The Enneagram Types of Social & Political Conservatives. And Those with Strong Family Values. The Enneagram Types of Politicians The Enneagram Types Who Are Drawn to the Military, Police, Secret Service, & Firemen The Enneagram Types of Artists The Enneagram Types of Balding Men The Enneagram Types of Heavy-Set & Big People The Enneagram Types Who Are Drawn to the Construction Industry The Car You Drive Can Reflect Your Enneagram Type The Enneagram Types Who Are Drawn to Nature The Enneagram Types of Men With Long Hair The Enneagram Types of Men With Beards The Enneagram Types of Men With Tattoos The Enneagram Types of People Who Wear Glasses The Enneagram Types of People Who Wear Bow Ties Possible Enneagram Types of Well Known People Section IV THE NINE SPIRITUAL & INNER ENNEAGRAM PROFILES ONES -- The Perfectionist 198 Ones & Their Wings and Lines Buried Ones Can Show Up Completely Different Than Outlined Here THE SPIRITUAL ENNEAGRAM THE INNER ENNEAGRAM The Contextual Nature of One s Ego is Will One s Will Nature Can Overshadow Their Heart That Place of Emptiness of The One s True Self = Self Imperfection HEALTHY VS UNHEALTHY ONES How Tensions Tend to Show Up in Ones -- In Their Partner s Words PERFECT ORGANIZATION CLEANLINESS AND GERMS THE RIGHT WAY AND THE WRONG WAY DISCIPLINE, LAZINESS, PUNCTUALITY MORALISTS STRAIGHT SHOOTERS = CONFLICT RIGHTEOUSNESS Now The Healthy & The Pure, Enlightened Ones
9 Ones as Mothers & Fathers Ones as Partners in a Relationship Who Ones Tend to Marry FOR ONES TO GROW Those With Strong One Energies in Their Personality Need to Master: Exercise: Identifying Core Needs of the One Exercise: Identifying Where Ones Go Over-the-top TWOS -- The Giver 227 The Spiritual Enneagram The Inner Enneagram Healthy vs. Unhealthy Ones Ones In Relationship Who Ones Tend to Marry & the Conflicts They Typically Encounter To Grow, Ones Need to THREES -- The Achiever 249 FOURS -- The Feeler 253 FIVES -- The Observer 257 SIXES -- Mr./Ms. Responsible 283 The Spiritual Enneagram The Incredible Qualities of Sixes Sixes Values & Talents The Inner Enneagram Sixes Wings & Lines, And for Those with Strong Wings & Lines to Six Healthy vs. Unhealthy Sixes Sixes as Mothers & Fathers Sixes Fundamental Distrust: Us vs. Them -- Conspiracy Fears -- Paranoia Healthy & Enlightened Sixes Identifying Sixes Specific Core Needs & Underlying Insecurities. EXERCISE. The Sixes Relationship In Their Own Words -- Tensions & Difficulties These Couples Report in Their Relationship Sixes Tend to Marry... For Sixes to Grow Everything in Your World Feels Like It is Reality 1. In Order to Grow See Through the Illusion of Problems Advanced Topic: The Essential Nature of Sixes Reveals the Illusion of Distrust Seeing Through the Illusion: Does it Really Matter? 2. In Order to Grow... Take Responsibility for Your Imbalances 3. In Order to Grow... Notice When You Are Scanning for What Is Wrong = Buzz Kill! 4. In Order to Grow... Sometimes Sixes Need to Bite Their Tongue 5. In Order to Grow... Examine Your Expectations -- the Source of Most of Your Tensions & Arguments 6. In Order to Grow... Effective Communication is Key 7. In Order to Grow... Learn to Communicate in a Positive, Respective Way 8. In Order to Grow... When You are Upset, Learn to Communicate Your 90 s 9. In Order to Grow... Learn to Validate Your Partner s Reality 10. In Order to Grow... Learn to Move Into Your Heart Center 11. In Order to Grow... Learn to Come Back Into Your Body & Relax 12. In Order to Grow... When You are Carrying Too Much Tension, Learn How to Feel Safe to Naturally Cry 13. In Order to Grow... Watch Other Sixes -- Those Who are Really Insecure vs. Those Really Healthy
10 Lastly How Sixes Deal With Emotional & Sexual Affairs SEVENS -- The Cheerful Optimist & Adventurer 353 The Spiritual Enneagram The Inner Enneagram Healthy vs. Unhealthy Ones Ones In Relationship Who Ones Tend to Marry & the Conflicts They Typically Encounter To Grow, Ones Need to EIGHTS -- Mr./Ms. Powerful 357 The Spiritual Enneagram Nines ARE Nature The Inner Enneagram Healthy vs. Unhealthy Ones Ones In Relationship Who Ones Tend to Marry & the Conflicts They Typically Encounter To Grow, Ones Need to NINES -- Mr./Ms. Easy Going 391 The Spiritual Enneagram Nines ARE Nature Nines Wings & Lines, And for Those with Strong Wings & Lines to Nines The Inner Enneagram Nines Avoid Inner & Outer Tension By What We Love About Nines Healthy vs. Unhealthy Ones Attention Deficit Disorder Self Esteem Alcohol & Marijuana Healthy & Enlightened Nines Identifying Nines Core Needs & Underlying Insecurities Partners in Relationship with a Nine or With Someone with a Strong Wing or Line to Nine No Wonder There Can Be Conflict in Nine s Relationship In Their Own Words -- Tensions & Difficulties These Couples Report in Their Relationship What Bothers Their Partner Depends Precisely on the Partner s 90 s Nines Respond to Positive, Supportive Structures The Ego Needs of Enneagram Types Married to Nines What Makes it So Difficult to Solve or Change Together Solving the Differences, Tensions, & Issues Together To Grow, Nines Need to Crossing The River By Styles 425 APPENDICES APPENDIX I: Advanced Topic: The Triune Nature of Self 427
11 Chapter 1 CONSCIOUS COUPLES RELATIONSHIPS The New Paradigm Of Intimacy In Couples Relationships In the last few years a new paradigm has emerged in couples relationships. One that is radically different from the earlier heights we all aspired to -- that of a healthy relationship. This new conscious approach to relating intimately represents a complete shift in our orientation, the processes involved, and even the goals of our being together. And yet it offers a level of harmony, healing, passion, intimacy and growth that is far beyond what we ve come to expect. Or aim for. This paradigm is so new to us, we rarely see it clearly laid out anywhere. Yet as we go through the dynamics, you will intuitively recognize it. Relate to it. Affirm it. For it represents more closely the archetype that lies deep in our hearts than any other model of a life partnership. But then you will also come to see why it has been, up to now, so rare. To start with, what do we mean by a conscious couples relationship? And how is it different from what we have known in the past? Just as it implies, a conscious relationship is one where each of us stays conscious, or present, in our connection together. Through thick and thin. Staying conscious means keeping our hearts and minds open, vulnerable, and connected to each other. In a conscious relationship this connection is sacred. Something magical happens when you feel connected and truly present together. You can always tell when your hearts are open to each other. Just as you can tell when your partner shuts you out of his or her heart, and goes unconscious in the relationship. Consciously preserving this connection -- enlivening it, deepening it, and consciously resolving everything which arises that threatens it together -- that s a Conscious Relationship. So what does it take? There are two fundamental dynamics that we will need to master. On the one hand, there are dynamics that enliven our loving feelings, and nourish our relationship and our souls. They include all of the caring behaviors and shared fun, meaningful, and loving experiences that foster connection together. These are also what bring us closer to our true nature. Then there are contrary dynamics that are driven by tension which threaten the love in our hearts and our connection together. They distort our essence and true nature. This new path is about consciously working with both of these dynamics -- our love and our shadow. The basis of this new approach is in first gaining self-awareness of the inner dynamics in your personalities that are affecting you and your partner. The wise framework that provides this clarity is the Inner Enneagram and the Spiritual Enneagram. This simple, easily learned system accurately outlines the inner forces you each face in your world that affect your relationship together. It shows you objectively the forces in your personalities that determine your natural gifts, your core ego needs, the inner pressures you experience in your personality, and the underlying insecurities that drive them. It gives you together a shared awareness and understanding of each other that will make you more conscious and connected. In this Volume I of The Conscious Couples Relationship, the focus is on gaining this shared selfawareness together. And as you will see, it makes all the difference. The more self-aware you are of the natural forces and pressures in your personalities, the healthier and balanced you will be in this
12 relationship. And the easier it will be to live with you, and love you. Gaining mastery in your selfawarenesses together is the key to a successful Conscious Relationship. Then in Volume II, the focus shifts to the skills and tools that enable you to safely resolve the differences, tensions, and issues that emerge together as well as the skills that will sustain and deepen your intimate connection. It is important to learn frameworks that will enable you to maintain your presence together in the face of the issues that you bring up in each other. So that you both are able to grow from and heal what emerges in your relationship together. And, too, develop your skills in responding to each other s core needs so the relationship is more and more fulfilling and loving with each other. Our Shadow Side: Differences & Issues in the Relationship What could threaten the love connection when people truly fall in love? Interestingly, when you are in love with someone, when you surrender your heart, you become very vulnerable in the relationship. Vulnerable, however, means being hurt-able. That is why the more you open your heart with someone, the more easily you can be hurt. And deeply. Those who have been burned know how hard that can be. Also, the more you fall in love, the more exposed are your deepest insecurities, dependencies and unresolved needs. All of your emotional wounds since infancy and birth, in childhood, adolescence, and in your previous love relationships are exposed the more you open your heart. The stronger the love s radiance, the darker the shadows we can encounter. John Welwood At the same time, it is natural to be drawn to someone whose inner world is different from yours. Their personality offers different gifts and qualities that complement yours, expand yours, and are interesting to you. But on the other side of the coin, it also means that they bring to the relationship a different set of sensitivities, emotional needs, insecurities and pressures in their personality. That too, is fine. That is, until your partner s needs and pressures trigger your own sensitivities or when they counter or prevent your core ego needs from being met. And that is a problem because your emotional needs and sensitivities are rooted in your core insecurities (just as your partner s needs are rooted in his or her insecurities!). So when those core needs are not responded to, it becomes frustrating and hurtful. If continually unmet, there will be a lot of unbearable tension in the relationship and your well-being is affected. Also, having your sensitivities and insecurities regularly triggered by your partner will bring up incredible turbulence and eventually shut your heart down in the relationship. Most all people see this triggering each other as a real problem in a marriage. And it is, if you do not understand what is really happening (the focus of this Volume I). And, too, if you do not have safe frameworks, tools, and skills to process those issues together harmoniously to resolution (the focus of Volume II). Without any self-awareness or tools, projections such as anger and blame tend to show up where it becomes everyone else s fault. The underlying insecurities that were triggered remain unconscious, the hurt and resentful feelings going underground. and each partner ends up shutting down. No wonder people grow slowly apart over the years. The Conscious Relationship Orientation
13 In a Conscious Relationship we are committed to keeping our hearts open and being vulnerable in love together through the thick and thin. Which means staying present, or conscious, to experience whatever emerges, or is exposed -- the pleasure and the pain. This includes keeping our hearts open and connected together to our innocent loving feelings that are enlivened. It also means staying present in engaging inside of ourselves when inner frustrations, anxieties, and disappointments stemming from our insecurities become inflamed. This is where a Conscious Relationship is as radically different from the healthy relationship as it is from the relationships of our parents. With a conscious couple the relationship is seen not only as a means to expand our love, but it is also seen as a primary vehicle for our personal and spiritual growth and healing. Those issues that generate tensions in the relationship are seen as areas where each of us needs to grow and heal. They become part of our work that we are here to do towards wholeness. We honor the process, and use the issues as valuable opportunities for expansion and the purification of our consciousness as we root out the insecurities that bind us. This becomes a vital part of our path to inner freedom and fulfillment. In a typical relationship, however, this is where things typically break down. As tensions emerge, we tend to blame our partner for the charged issues that are triggered or we shut down. And if attacked, we defend ourselves against owning them. In any case, there is little or no understanding of the true inner dynamics, nor a framework of safety for opening up and processing those tensions together. In the midst of the turbulence, we lose our presence and our wisdom, and respond unconsciously. The primitive networks in the brain take over to protect our system. However, in deflecting the painful issues through blame or by defending, do those underlying insecurities ever get resolved? Unfortunately, they simply go underground, where they continue to fester. Over the years, with each disappointment, upset and disconnection we can feel our hearts have pulled back. As unresolved issues silently mount up, they weaken our sense of connection and intimacy. We find ourselves losing our innocence and the purity of our love. So we grow apart, and feel more separate. How could it be any other way? Of course, you can always tell in a relationship. You can feel it in your heart. You may even forget many of the original jarring incidents. But each one left a bad taste in your mouth. And the emotional charge of the painful feelings and unmet needs that were registered still live on deep inside. Recognizing this, the conscious couple is committed to safely resolving the differences, tensions, and issues that emerge which interfere with their love and innocent connection. Nothing goes underground, or is left unconscious and unresolved is the mantra. With this new self-awareness and the tools for safely processing issues to resolution, the partners form a conscious alliance to work through threatening issues that emerge together. They do so in order to preserve and deepen their love together. But they also do so to heal and free themselves of their wounded parts as well. We come together in a conscious relationship to discover, What is the work each of us have to do together towards wholeness -- psychologically, emotionally, and on the soul level. We recognize that our unconscious distorted insecurities will need to surface and worked through in order to develop our true nature. It is inevitable. It is the very process of Life -- how consciousness evolves. And what better place to do it than in a committed relationship? Where else are you going to get so triggered? So now, each conflict, trigger, unmet need, or distorted behavior gives each of you valuable insight into what you are lacking in the goodness of your Being. They are clues to what you need to heal within your selves. They are not just another hassle, they tell you something important,
14 something vital. Something that your partner wishes you were aware of. They lead you to your pain. So you can heal your hearts. And free your souls. Many of people are getting to the point where they realize that they cannot hang out in those old, unconscious, distorted patterns anymore. It just results in too much suffering -- within themselves, in their marriage, in the terrible effect it has on their kids growing up, as well as on the whole society. In staying unconscious, these insecurities and distortions undermine everything you aspire to and hold dear in your lives. Clearly, this involves a commitment to knowing our inner self, expanding our pure Self, healing our selves. We use the relationship to inspire and support each other to bring the light of consciousness to these binding areas of our unconscious. But we need the self-awareness and skills that will enable us to do so. Safe frameworks that allow us to stay present in the face of our turbulent issues, as we discover and heal those lost, painful, repressed parts of our selves. Instead of acting them out or blaming each other, with the self-awareness that we gain, we now take responsibility for them when they emerge, and process them to peace inside. As a result, we become more secure and loving within our Selves as human beings, and with each other. What About Partners Who Do Not Want to Work on Their Issues? So what would be the reason a partner might not want to work on their issues together? I don t want to have to look at my part in this, or I don t want to have to face my limitations, my inadequacies and insecurities. Isn t it because people do not feel safe? They intuitively realize that they do not have the tools, shared understandings, and frameworks in the relationship that would make the process secure or harmonious together. Or that would ensure a positive and healing outcome. They are probably right. People tend to lack the understandings and the tools that make them feel safe enough to be vulnerable together for the healing process to take place. Without these understandings, tools and skills, they can easily get stuck in their insecurities. And lose the rich opportunity that is there. For most people in relationship, the opportunity is right there in the tensions that are confronting them. Actually, most people do not even get to choose. They tend to draw in the perfect mate who will expose and trigger their emotionally-charged, wounded areas. It will all show up in the conflicts and tensions couples experience together -- in the buttons that get pushed, in the arguments they have, in the areas they are not able to discuss. It is inevitable. Since everyone is pretty much in the same boat with unresolved issues and insecurities inside to resolve, there is little chance for a free ride. So in our partner, we have met our match. He or she becomes the mirror that brings to the forefront our insecurities, distortions and flaws. Knowing this, we realize that projecting everything back onto our partner -- making it his or her fault for all of the problems in the relationship -- does not work in resolving them. Nor does staying in denial or avoiding the real issues and insecurities within ourselves that keep getting triggered or that we freely act out. Many are surprised to realize that the success of a relationship does not depend on finding someone without issues -- Good Luck! Rather, your success together depends on how self-aware and healthy each of you are with your own issues, and how safely you deal with your inner pressures and insecurities when they emerge in the relationship.
15 This is the work necessary on your shadow side that will free you, making you more secure and fulfilled within your Self. It is also what will make your relationship more harmonious and fulfilling together. Resolving Your Issues & Growing Together The self-awareness that you gain from the Spiritual and Inner Enneagram will give you mastery in this journey together. For the more inner awareness you have, the wiser you each will become in the face of your issues together. Knowledge is power here. This new wisdom expands your consciousness in how you experience yourself and each other, thereby changing your whole perspective. You ll see. It establishes new foundation of shared awareness, where you develop together a friendly, even compassionate, understanding of the sensitive and insecure aspects of your selves that become triggered and need healing. The insecurities and issues inside you that become exposed in the relationship are very sensitive. In one s frustration, it is easy to make each other feel wrong. However, in the natural evolution of consciousness, this is not about deficiency. This is how we grow. As you gain more awareness, it becomes simply where each person needs to focus their attention to reap more fullness inside their Selves and in their relationship together. These new intimate awarenesses enable us to affirm the process and respond more compassionately to each other s wounded areas. This is much like how you feel with your young daughter or son if you were to finally discover the source of some underlying imbalance in their physical or emotional health that they struggle with. In gaining this new awareness, your natural response is empathetic. It makes you care and feel for them. And even more so as you learn of their inner struggles that they go through in their world. In the face of unwanted issues, you actually want to discover the knowledge that will enable you to free yourselves of the binding hold those insecurities have had on each of you. The Spiritual and Inner Enneagram will provide you with a roadmap and the new skills and tools can make the process of healing safe and empowering together. These frameworks simply enable you to stay conscious, stay present, in order to process any tensions, inner pressures, or upsets to resolution. Instead of going unconscious, or unconsciously acting them out onto others, you now will have the awareness and tools to go inward and each do your work, and support each other in the process. This is foundation for resolving your issues together, for healing takes place when you open up your hearts. Consciousness heals. Unconsciousness represses. The tools we teach support us to stay fully present. Live from presence. So charged issues that used to get us stuck, that would have become an argument or pulled us a part, are now transformed into a sacred process of healing together. When we safely open up and consciously move through the issues to resolution, we end up feeling peace in our hearts, and closer to each other. And in the process, we actually free up deeper qualities of our true nature. The result is a genuine humbleness in the relationship. And mutual appreciation, Thank you for showing me this, and helping me heal. The complete trust, closeness, and growth that results is incredible. How is it in your relationship when differences and conflicts emerge? Certainly, without these understandings, self-awareness, and safe tools, the process can be hell. This is why Conscious Couples Relationships are rare. The concept has arrived, but it is new on the scene. So most couples will need to gain these inner awarenesses and learn together effective tools, frameworks and processes that fortify each other s presence to make the process of resolution safe together. Fortunately, they can be learned and internalized by most couples as a natural part of their personalities and lives.
16 Why would we have to learn it? For if we truly love each other, there shouldn t be these upset feelings. Ah, yet it is just as natural when we open our heart in true love that our deepest insecurities and dependencies are more exposed and easily triggered. But then, nobody is expected in our culture to learn about these inner dynamics. I mean, where could you have gained this self-awareness or these skills for when your issues are triggered? They do not teach them in school growing up, or even in college. You simply fall back on whatever has enabled you to get through life. That becomes the skill set that you each are left with when you get married. Most people, however, will discover that their limited self-awareness and their skill levels are simply not enough in the face of the added emotional pressures and expectations in a marriage, and with having children. At least this is probably true for the fifty percent of couples who end up in divorce. When you are getting married, you are so in love that you naturally think that won t happen to you. But it certainly can. So it makes sense that both partners take this seriously and engage in this educational process where they gain these awarenesses and skills together. After all, you naturally go for training to make yourselves more effective in your career. People pay big money with college loans and invest much effort to get degrees and certifications to ensure their success. Being successful and having a happy marriage and family are the primary goals for most people, I imagine. So then it becomes just as important to ensure the success of your marriage. Gaining this education and skills competency is the purpose of these two volumes. Working with Love: Deepening Your Fulfillment Together This is the second dynamic to master in a Conscious Relationship -- intentionally and consciously enlivening your positive, loving feelings together. Couples are drawn together because they are a source of love, pleasure, and meaning for each other. Finding a partner that makes you feel fulfilled - - who responds to your deepest emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual needs, and who enlivens your loving feelings -- that is the key to a loving and happy relationship together. For many couples, however, they got married and then focused much of their attention on the neverending projects and demands that come up -- their education or career, having kids, mortgages, personal projects and interests. In a Conscious Relationship, however, there is an awareness that relationships, and people, need nurturing to expand their Selves. We grow and are nourished when we connect together in our hearts, minds, and bodies in enlivening our Selves together. Certainly, love relationships start out that way. But here is the rub. As your partner s world is different from yours, your essential core ego needs will also be different. Your partner simply does not need all that really fundamentally matters to you. And yet, these personality needs of yours are not just preferences. They are essential emotional needs that affect your very well-being and need to be met for you to thrive. This is why to the extent your core ego needs are disregarded, dishonored, or not met, your heart will begin to close down. But what is a partner to do? Your needs -- what really matters to you and fills your sense of self -- can feel foreign to your partner. They don t need it or ever think about it. It does not even make sense to them. Fortunately, the Inner Enneagram concretely identifies for each person what their core ego needs are. This is fundamental to the success or failure of your marriage. Both Needs Matter! Now with this shared awareness together, your commitment together is to make your partner s core emotional needs as
17 important as your own! growth together. That s the team. And that is what will keep each other nourished in your
18 Chapter 2 THE SPIRITUAL & INNER ENNEAGRAM An Ancient And Yet New Wisdom System for Gaining Self Awareness There is a new knowledge that is emerging that is fundamental for the success of a couple s relationship. It represents an incredible breakthrough for couples. The lack of this understanding is the basis for why most couples grow apart overtime. Living from this simple yet powerful awareness together enables a couple who fall in love to sustain their original loving feelings over time. The basis of this knowledge is from the Inner Enneagram. The Inner Enneagram has it roots in ancient systems in sacred psychology. It describes why people are the way they are. The system provides a uniquely detailed picture of the whole personality as well as the inner gifts and pressures that generate the personality. For everyone, it identifies your natural strengths, your core needs, limitations, and challenges. The Enneagram system that is typically taught is the conventional personality Enneagram, which is very accurate in describing the personality characteristics and tendencies of each person. In contrast, the lesser-known Inner Enneagram unveils the underlying dynamics that give rise to those qualities in your personality. Finally, the little known Spiritual Enneagram focuses on the spiritual essential nature of each personality. It provides a roadmap for developing the inner wholeness or holiness of each person. In this book we will cover all three dimensions, however, we will focus particularly on the inner dynamics and how they affect your relationship. For couples, the Inner Enneagram is particularly helpful as it identifies the underlying forces that create each partner s core personality needs and inner pressures in the relationship. These ego needs are fundamental to who you are. Often unconscious, these core needs act as the driving, patterned force that determine every facet of your personality. They also will determine the success or failure in a relationship. Whether you are in a relationship or single, understanding what your core ego needs are in your relationships, and the underlying pressures that drive and distort them in your life, is invaluable selfawareness to have. This book focuses on the unique inner dynamics within every individual that gives rise to their personality that affect their life and their relationships. Understanding these pressures within yourself and your partner makes all the difference in the success of a relationship. If you are single, having this self-awareness will help integrate you, as well as enable you to quickly recognize the gifts, emotional needs, and inner pressures of the people you meet to assure you find a compatible match. I. WHY THE ENNEAGRAM IS IMPORTANT TO THE SUCCESS OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP The Basis of Fulfillment Together is Responding to Each Other s Core Needs!
19 In a committed relationship, it is vital that you understand each other s world, and be responsive to each other s needs. Each of you enters the relationship with usually just two or three distinct, vital emotional needs at the core of your personality. These are core ego needs that reflect what really matters to you in your life, and in your relationship. Simply put, when those fundamental needs are met in your relationship, you thrive. Finding someone who appreciates these personality needs, and naturally responds to them, will dictate your level of compatibility, and your happiness and fulfillment together. Having these few underlying needs met in your relationship makes all the difference. When each of you is responsive to what really matters to the other, you each feel nourished, and live harmoniously. These are the times in your relationship together when you feel loved, happy, fulfilled, and at peace with your partner. You feel fortunate to be together. These primary two or three ego needs are not simply desires or wants that you might have. They are much deeper than that as they are fundamentally connected to who you are. They are vital to your very well-being because they are the specific ways that you connect to your inner self in your personality. That is why when these core needs are filled, you feel fully connected to your natural self inside. You feel secure and relaxed within your self, and enlivened at your core. As a result, your heart opens in appreciation and love. You feel happy and fulfilled inside -- in life, and with your partner. On the other side of the coin, a partner who disregards or is insensitive to what really matters to you will create tensions in the relationship. Those are the times you feel disappointed, irritated, angry, or upset together. In fact, all arguments and conflicts stem from each other s underlying, core personality needs not being respected, honored, made important, or responded to. When these ego needs are left unfulfilled, you will feel disconnected from your natural self. You feel empty inside at your core. This emptiness inside is a scary place for all of us. In fact, it is intolerable. It is simply too painful to go there. When this sensitive, empty place is triggered, that is when you will feel emotional tension and turmoil inside. You lose your presence, your self, as you become frustrated, angry, hurt, shut down, and unhappy. If this continues over time, you will feel more and more unfulfilled in the relationship. The innocence of your original love inevitably starts eroding. You start to feel more separate as your heart starts to shut down to protect your self. At the same time you can find yourselves arguing more. Which leads to further emotional distance -- within your self, and with each other. According to the statistics, this is a road that many couples inadvertently find themselves. If fifty percent of marriages end in divorce, then ask yourself, what about the other fifty percent who stay together? What percentage of those who remain married do so just for the kids, or for financial reasons, or it is better than being alone? Could it be that another twenty percent are unfulfilled but, nevertheless, stay in the marriage? If so, that would mean the chances of a marriage ending up unhappy together are much more likely than not, maybe as much as seventy percent of the time! Ouch. Those are not good odds. Think of all the couples on their special wedding day who are just getting married. They feel so in love and happy together. It must be difficult for them to even imagine that their chances of a successful marriage might be just thirty percent. Alas. All of Your Issues, Arguments, Unhappiness Together Are Simply Unmet Needs!
20 This is why discovering, understanding, and responding to each other s few vital, core personality needs is so important in any relationship. They establish the key dynamic that will determine the level of fulfillment and harmony together, and in each of your lives. The Inner Enneagram precisely identifies what these few basic, core ego needs are in each of you. It shows you the wiring of your ego -- what you need in order to thrive in a relationship, as well as what you are sensitive and fragile about that causes you to contract inside and become upset, argue, or pull away and shut down. As you read further, you will be surprised by the fundamental insights you gain about your self, your partner, your kids, and everyone you know. Fortunately, the Enneagram system is easy to learn. It can provide you both with the self-awareness that is necessary to develop and sustain a successful relationship. I recognize that for most people this simple Enneagram system is completely new and could easily seem pretty foreign to learn. And also, that the revelations that it unveils are unfamiliar in our cultural understanding of couple s relationships. It is not generally recognized that each of you have two or three contextual ego needs at the core of your personality that express who you are and determine your central well-being. Or know that these few fundamental ego needs are vital to your well-being precisely because they connect you to your essential nature, to the fullness within your inner being. Nor is it recognized that the success of the intimacy and fulfillment in the relationship is completely dependent on how well each of you responds to the other s core ego needs together in life. Partners who make each other s ego needs as important as their own are the ones who easily thrive. This fulfillment together enables them to sustain the original loving feelings and innocence that each felt from the beginning, and ensure a successful couples relationship. Those that do not recognize or make their partner s emotional needs as important as their own, they tend to have a rocky road. Surprisingly, we are not usually drawn to a mate who is the same Enneagram personality type, or has the same fundamental ego needs as we do. That is because we are attracted to someone who has natural gifts and qualities in their personality different from ours. Our partner s essential nature offers virtues and qualities that complement us, and expand us. This makes each of us more interesting, and more vital, to the other. However, this also becomes the source of the problems you face in your relationship. Having different core ego needs means that what fundamentally matters to you, what connects you to inner peace and fulfillment, can be completely different than what your partner needs. Since your partner does not have your personality needs, and has never had those core needs, he or she may not ever think to respond to them. Those needs are just not important to him or her. It never really crosses their mind. No matter how many times you tell them. Also, if the few things that really matter to you emotionally in a relationship, your partner has never needed in themselves, that typically means he or she never needed to develop those skills in their personality growing up. As a result, your partner might not be very effective in what you would simply take for granted or naturally expect from him or her in the relationship. This is the biggest source of confusion, and conflict, in a relationship. You wonder, Why doesn t he do what I am asking him to do? But, then, he is probably feeling the same about you -- why don t you just relax. And why can t you understand and respond to what he needs, what he values, in his world? Just like you, he wonders at times, Why does she need that? Why is that such a big deal? Or, Why doesn t she do that for me? Why can t she do what I ask! Why is she so...? Why doesn t she understand that...?