Enneagram 3 and 4 relationship contract

Relationship Type 3 with Type 4 — The Enneagram Institute

enneagram 3 and 4 relationship contract

Keep in mind that one can have a relationship with any type if the two people are healthy. Since this is not always the Type 3 - The Achiever. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9. Each of us has three centers of perception and intelligence: intellectual, emotional access to a wealth of practical techniques to work on ourselves and our relationships. For one thing, body type has a huge affect on how people experience Their physical energy tends to contract and collect in the middle of the body. That being said, I loved dating 3's! When a 3 is ready for intimacy and is capable of real emotional vulnerability, a 3/4 combo is real fun.

They tend to collect things and hoard their money. Fred is an Enneagram 5 financial success. Sally is an Enneagram 8 with a viable but stressful business. When they first started dating, Fred generously suggested that Sally rid herself of problematic customers and he would support her financially.

Ironically, Sally thought she had just met her hero. She gave up most of her business and became a part-time housewife while doing her business part time since she could not bring herself to completely stop working. Within a few months, Fred was raging at Sally calling her lazy and childish.

He did not need to be taken care of by a housewife. He wanted her to take care of him by making money. Fred claimed he would never marry her till she did! Fred acknowledged his personality structure. Sally rebuilt her business. They prefer to occupy their minds with ideas about how to make lots of money without being slaves to the establishment.

They imagine they can have freedom to stop working whenever they want and play through life. George, an Enneagram 7, married Sue, an Enneagram 5. In spite of having an easier rapport with people of the same subtype, we value the people in our lives who have different subtypes.

Enneagram Type Three in Crisis

Love, attraction and friendship do not stay within the boundaries of subtype. The point is to recognize both advantages and challenges that accompany subtype issues and styles. Is it easier if we share the same subtype with our partner?

enneagram 3 and 4 relationship contract

For one thing, we can miss out on aspects of relating that other subtypes bring. We can end up in long term collusion patterns which lead to deficits in other areas of instinctual life, and we may not develop our full capacities under the influence of largely unconscious agreements about what is possible, or what is permissible.

When people in a primary relationship have different subtypes, they can bring different resources to their relationship, complementing one another with their strengths and expansiveness in their favored territory. For example, a traditional pairing is illustrated by the One-to-one or Social spouse who is out in the world doing all the things that they like, yet at the same time happy to come home to their Self Pres partner who is keeping the household and children well organized and cared for.

Or perhaps the Self Pres spouse leads in working and making money, or taking care of the family business, while the One-to-one partner keeps the home fires burning. Granted, in modern life this separation of roles is not as common as it used to be.

Even partners with the same subtype will tend to differentiate roles and take the lead in different domains. In time, however, partners may feel a need to branch out and participate in other instinctual arenas. Then the deal is off! How couples negotiate these developmental changes and life transitions is vital to the continuing relationship.

Sometimes new arrangements work, sometimes not. Many of us at midlife have the experience of children leaving home a major project coming to a close and how this shifts the dynamic between us and our partners.

enneagram 3 and 4 relationship contract

Another example occurs when a One-to-one spouse suddenly realizes that their world has shrunk to the confines of the primary relationship, and other important needs for participation and friendship are not being met. A common belief of One-to-ones is that their intimate relationship should, or will, supply all the necessary love and attention to be happy in life. What will happen when they no longer feel this way?

How will the partner feel, whatever their subtype, when all that intense, one to one focus is no longer aimed solely at them? There may be a feeling of abandonment, or a feeling of reliefor both. These changes can lead to profound shifts in identity as people leave behind their earlier roles, projects, and attachments. These transitions and re-negotiations have a better chance of working out if we put the Enneagram to work, using both type and subtype to understand the needs of both partners.

With cross-type couples, there are more varied resources and there are also predictable conflicts. As David Daniels M. In my work with couples over the years I have heard many poignant stories of subtype misunderstandings. For example, a Self Pres husband works long and hard on building a new addition to the house.

Evenings after work and weekends are devoted to the project. Meanwhile, his One-to-one type wife feels abandoned and increasingly resentful. Fortunately in this instance, these two were able to work out a solution.

In the process he had to deal with his own discomfort about just being there, not being physically active except for some fun ways in the bedroombut with practice he found that he liked it. And his wife was able to forgive him, for the most part, by understanding his real love for her as demonstrated through his busy Self Pres style. This story illustrates how even with the best of intentions, our subtype style and major projects can lead us away from intimacy.

She finally blows up at him when, with little advance notice, he once again invites friends to stay at their house for a weekend. She feels both invaded and discounted. Her home is her place of refuge from a busy life, a place she depends on for privacy and rest. Is she trying to control him and limit his life? The specific issue of the friends coming to stay is now less important than the strong emotions generated by the lack of mutual empathy.

Is the problem that he is socially excessive and inconsiderate, or that she takes on too much work and responsibility for providing meals, company, and a polished home environment? By calming down and talking it over, and by remembering the subtype differences, this couple found the necessary compromises. Each person felt heard, and the problem became a practical one, not something that wreaked havoc on their sense of well being and connection.

Reviewing the nine descriptive terms within each subtype category: One way to enter a discussion of subtype relationship issues is to re-visit the nine words or phrases linked to each of the subtype categories, regardless of personality type.

These sets form a composite style, although some of the titles may have more personal resonance. This is most obvious with One-to-one subtypes - all of the terms can be seen as directly related to intimacy. The qualities represented by union, jealousy, seduction, strength, fascination, etc. For the Self Pres types, appetite, anxiety, privilege, security, etc.

And for the Social types, participation, non-adaptability, duty, and friendship all combine in ways that influence their approach to intimacy, even though it may seem that these issues are not so linked to intimacy per se.

Self Preservation Subtypes in relationship Most Self Preservation subtypes share a relational style that is characterized by warmth the Point Six word and the need to achieve a basic feeling of security Point Three through affection and nurture. Self Pres types like to do things together, accomplish tasks, enjoy life together. Of course they can shift their attentional style to a one on one focus when necessary.

In fact, they may demonstrate talent and gracefulness when using their other instincts in relationship when they get to them, since these are not as implicated in their type structure and defenses. In other words, Self Pres types might find expressing their social instinct, or their one-to-one instinct, fairly simple and uncomplicated, once they get there.

The main challenge may be getting there. With Self Pres types in relationship there is a quality of blending into a field of instinctual activity with others. They connect through the basic activities of life, including family, home, food, and work. In villages, towns, and cities around the world these networks address the security needs, the material supplies, and the physical infrastructure of the community. However, there are big differences in where the boundaries are set.

enneagram 3 and 4 relationship contract

In times and places when material resources are scarce, or perceived as scarce, other families and clans may be seen as competitors or even enemies.

All of us who have extended families know something about this. The good part of this is that family ties offer a kind of security beyond personality, like and dislike. The bad part is that we can get stuck in relationships with family members who are irritating or worse.

This is more of an issue for Self Pres types since family bonds are so important to feeling secure in the world. On a personal level, Self Pres people may have trouble establishing a sense of identity which is separate from their family. After all, this is the ground of security and belonging to which they are attuned. How would you survive? Individual choice or personal development was not, or is not, anywhere near the top of the priority list.

People make compromises and sacrifice at least part of their individuality although not always aware that they are doing so. In many parts of the world marriage partners are still chosen by families.


This can lead to difficulty in allowing the partner to do things by themselves, outside the context of family and marriage. What one person experiences as confining may be affirming and strengthening to someone else.

On the continuum from immersion in family to leading a more separate, individual life, it would be wrong to judge one side over the other. What we can do is explore how this works for each of us. How close or how distant are we with our own family - current nuclear family, extended family, or family of origin? How much do we blend with the family agenda and how much do we keep our own agenda?

How does the family affect our primary relationship? For the Self Pres person on the path of individuation, these questions are central. In our modern society, there is a trend for people to live apart from their families of origin, moving away to school, a job, or simply to a new life in a new city.

Not everyone finds it easy to re-create a family, and for the first time in human history we have large numbers of people living alone in their own house or apartment. This brings new problems as well as new freedoms. In my counseling practice over the years I have talked with many people suffering from loneliness. They have engaged the work of individuation, making their own way in the world, but at a price.

Some Self Pres people do seem to thrive on their own, with the space to pursue their own interests. They stay connected to others in their neighborhood and community; they share meals and activities on a regular basis. Others become isolated within a small world ruled by comfort-making rituals and habits.

Pets offer a partial solution to the problem of loneliness, yet at the same time may de-motivate people from reaching out to form close ties with other people. After all, who can match the unconditional love of an animal companion?

enneagram 3 and 4 relationship contract

We often see Self Pres types who have given up on human relationships in favor of their animal companions. Or it becomes a major distraction, leaving them less time for people. In fairness, animal lovers say that their creature companions help them meet people and expand their social network in addition to their intrinsic warmth and affection. Families are defined in many different ways.

When children are present, the circle grows larger.

Subtypes in Relationship - Enneagram Monthly

And with an extended family, the circle can become very large indeed with relatives, in-laws and friends constantly flowing in and out of homes and gatherings in a spirit of warmth and vitality and sometimes drama, conflict and chaos.

Traditionally in the world of Self Preservation subtypes, marriage leads to new family alliances. Weddings are a big deal, involving many near and far relatives.