Building the Healthy Relationship of Your Dreams: Applying the Enneagram To Create A Thriving PartnershipOct 11, 2019
Hi, Friends! It’s Your Enneagram Coach Beth here. I’ve been looking forward to this week for months, and it’s finally here! Our new relationship book, Becoming Us, just released on October 1. We are so excited and humbled to finally put this project out into the world. Our heart for the book is to guide readers in how to align their marriage with the hope and truth of the Gospel, so they can know and experience the unconditional love, forgiveness, and freedom they have in Christ, and have the intimate and thriving relationship of their dreams. Even if you’re not currently married, the book is designed to accelerate your personal growth and make a positive impact on all your relationships.
You can read more about the book at BecomingUs.com, and it’s now available for purchase at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-A-Million, and more. Jeff and I would be honored if you would not only get a copy for yourself, but also share it with your friends and family (It makes a great wedding or holiday gift). Or even better, read and discuss it with your small group or book club, because learning and growing is even more fun in groups! Don’t forget to leave a book review, too. Your endorsements help us so much in our mission to impact and transform even more relationships!
Speaking of building healthy relationships, did you catch my latest series on Healthy Dynamics of Each Couple Type Combination? I described the positive dynamics of every couple Type combination (That’s 45 different combos!), because I firmly believe that there is NO “bad” pairing.
God has a very specific purpose for each relationship, and He puts two very different people together to accomplish His sovereign plans within your relationship, your family, your sphere of influence, and the world. He can use even the most seemingly opposite perspectives for His glory!
As you’ve probably noticed, The Enneagram is becoming a widely-used tool for self-awareness, but when viewed through the lens of the Gospel, it has the power to strengthen and restore relationships. Learning to communicate and resolve conflict with your spouse is a lot less about getting it right and more about gaining the emotional awareness to know what is happening in us and in them. The Enneagram can help us figure out what is keeping us from engaging intimately with each other and trusting God to take care of us in the process. This deeper understanding creates more compassion, care, empathy, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
But how do we begin to change habits that have been around for most of our lifetime? First, be proactive on the positive. Focus on affirming your spouse in a multitude of ways, especially for who they are in Christ.
Thriving marriages seek out opportunities to connect with one another in more positive ways than negative. When our hearts are at rest with the truth of the Gospel, we don’t need to use demands, judgments, or punishments since Christ has perfectly satisfied our deepest needs. This ultimately means we don’t need for our spouse to come through for us like we thought or demanded—Christ already has!
What this confirms is what we most likely already know: When we intentionally focus on the positive, we set ourselves up for a positive outcome. But more importantly, when we turn toward our spouse in a positive and affirming manner, we are embodying the truth of the Gospel for them. We communicate to them that we see them, their needs, and that they are loved.
The Power of Affirmation
The Enneagram helps us offer the same love, forgiveness, and peace to our partners that Jesus offers us. You can start by looking at your spouse’s personality Type to see what qualities you can purposely affirm. Here are some things you can always affirm in your spouse’s Type:
Type 1: They are ethical, reliable, productive, wise, idealistic, conscientious, orderly, and self-disciplined.
Type 2: They are loving, caring, nurturing, compassionate, generous, supportive, and empathetic.
Type 3: They are optimistic, motivating, efficient, excelling, accomplished, admirable, and organized.
Type 4: They are compassionate, empathetic, introspective, supportive, creative, authentic, and emotionally deep.
Type 5: They are objective, observant, perceptive, curious, analytical, thoughtful, and innovative.
Type 6: They are loyal, committed, trustworthy, responsible, likable, compassionate, and hardworking.
Type 7: They are fun-loving, imaginative, optimistic, enthusiastic, creative, quick, and joyous.
Type 8: They are compassionate, protective, inspiring, resilient, empowering, self-assertive, and an advocate for the weak.
Type 9: They are great listeners, thoughtful, kind, generous, patient, accepting, and peaceable.
Affirming our spouse to become their best self helps us to become our best self. But here’s a challenging statement:
Helping our spouse to become their best self isn’t about us changing them into who we think they should be; it’s about coming alongside of them and loving them as they are becoming who God wants them to be.
Obviously, we can’t just transform instantly into the perfect spouse just because we have some new knowledge. But the real power to become a loving spouse aligned with the Gospel comes when we surrender to the Holy Spirit and depend solely on Him to do this transforming work of us.
The Gospel Changes Everything
In the midst of a bid for connection, we can communicate that we see our spouse’s need. We can demonstrate safety when they share, no matter how deep their needs are hidden under criticism, fear, or a demanding heart. And we can even move toward them by indicating we are there for them. We can do this since we can securely rely on the fact that the Gospel is at work within us.
When we struggle and want to grow, it allows us to walk with the Spirit and trust Him in new and dynamic ways moment by moment, day by day.
If you and your partner want to do an in-depth exploration of your unique relationship dynamics (your “dance”), I now have a course customized just for your couple Type combination that will guide you on your specific growth path! The Becoming Us Course combines Enneagram knowledge and tools with the hope of the Gospel to guide you and your partner to the relationship God intended for you.
In the Becoming Us curriculum (8 sessions you can complete at your own pace), Jeff and I dive into communication, conflict resolution, and how to love and support one another. All the lessons are tailored to each of your Type’s Core Motivations, childhood patterns, and individual hardwiring, and what happens when you bring these perspectives together. If you’re ready to dive in, you can learn more at BecomingUs.com.
Are you new to the Enneagram? If so, welcome! A great first step in your journey is to discover your Type with our new, free test. We also offer 3-step online courses to help you dig deeper into the Enneagram for lasting spiritual growth and renewal. Our team also offers private coaching for individuals, couples, families, and teams.
For more Gospel-centered insights on The Enneagram, follow us on Instagram @yourenneagramcoach
We would love to share some free Enneagram resources with you.