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A Type Three and Five: How Type Can Non-consciously Conspire to Make Deep Connection Difficult
I am a 5/4 female in a long-term marriage to a 3/2 male. We have one child. He is in the financial world and I have been painting/farming for the past years. One of the reasons I think our relationship has worked, is that I have the freedom to do what I want to do. He is quite compulsive about his work and as long as I don't need his attention, things go along just fine. I am an introvert and like lots of time alone, but I’m also a sexual subtype and require some intense connection-or will start to feel distant and adrift in my marriage. This has happened and can have ugly consequences.
We have our different areas of expertise and tend to stay clear of each other's fields of interest. This is fine for me because I have little interest in his work in general. But when we do overlap we can become very competitive. We both have very strong views of what is the best way to do something.
One of the compelling things about us is that we seem to get things done. I have the brainstorm and he has the will to get the details done. I am miserable handling many of the very important small things that need to be taken care of, which he seems to accomplish without much effort.
So what is our dilemma? Not a lot, but I feel very one-sided. I have been somewhat stuck in developing my confidence in doing much in the outer world. I'm great at thinking of things to do but will always let my other half (husband) do the details. He can be very annoyed should I claim some power in this area and this can lead to lots of conflict. He needs very much to feel successful in what he does.
I on the other hand am exhausted by social demands. He loves the limelight and is constantly looking for it. Having a calendar full of meetings and social commitments is a very overwhelming thing for me; for him this is the icing on the cake.
We have looked very honestly at our differences and can laugh about them but still it can feel difficult to actually create the change and space for us to develop our, as Jung would say, inferior functions. We are both so practiced at what we do well. He feels little motivation to do something that doesn't give him the kind of rewards he is used to getting and I have little energy to put myself out in the world and probably feel unable to deal with it all.
Do you have any thoughts of how to move this energy in a different direction? Thanks for your consideration, C.M.
Dear C. M.,
Thank you for this tapestry of a letter that speaks to the interweaving of blessings and liabilities of type and relationship, the subtypes, centers of intelligence and gender. First I will just start with the strengths that you as a type Five share with your type Three husband. You share a project orientation, him in his business endeavors, you in your painting and farming; you both are reserved emotionally; you work well independently with considerable autonomy or freedom. These same strengths become your liabilities – an avoidance or retraction from feelings, inattentiveness to the relationship and a loss of connection. The absence of periodic “intense connection,” as you put it, is especially troubling to you as you long for it from time to time.
In regard to this theme, he apparently leads with his social instinctual subtype while you lead with the intensity of the one-to-one instinctual subtype. Furthermore, women tend to be more right-brain and relationship-oriented and men more left-brain and goal-oriented. For men doing tends to equal caring, for women connection tends to equal caring. And as a heart-based center type, he definitely is concerned with image and the recognition he receives through “a calendar full of meetings and social commitments.” As a head-based type you tend to want the certainty and security of what is known and enjoyable.
So what do you two do about your dilemma? I can see that both of you care, have regard for each other, can look honestly at your differences, “and can laugh about them.” Yet the path of development is almost always counter-instinctive. You need to move more forward into life and engagement. This will reward you with more anxiety at first. This is especially so because much Five energy goes into retraction from feelings, your own included.
This results, ironically, in your experiencing “little energy to put myself out in the world and feeling unable to deal with it all.” You need to question your belief that the world will drain you rather than support and nurture you. Is this really true? He needs to expand his pace by being able to slow it and allow in his feelings and love. And at first, he will be rewarded with doubt and impatience. He needs to question his belief that love comes from doing and achieving. Is this really true? And what would your lives be like if neither of you had these, your core beliefs.
Thus, most important for you is more steady engagement in life and for him the engagement that slowing of his pace allows. And for both of you the practice is building and allowing presence so that the love you have for each other can be more fully experienced. You do this through simple (but not necessarily easy) mindfulness practice of coming back to the breath in the moment, which develops further awareness. Then from this awareness you can notice and befriend or accept your reactivity, your pulling back when you lose confidence, your shyness or misgiving about moving forward. So then you can take action that comes from discernment that this retraction is just old habit of mind and release yourself into staying present and engaged, the key issue for Fives.
And your husband the Three, can come to slow his pace when he feels that impatience and annoyance at your claiming power in the areas of his competence. Then he too, in practicing discernment, can realize that believing love comes from doing and accomplishment is mostly just old habit from which to release into more receptivity and the veracity of his own true feelings.
Be sure to genuinely complement him on any progress, his competence, and engagement in life tasks. Let him know your feelings, your longings for more intimacy. Acknowledge your own reluctance to engage more fully in social life, to risk feelings in the present moment, and to get stuck in the “brainstorm.” Remind him and yourself that ultimately love is what life is about. Again thank you. Please do let me hear from you.
Dr. David Daniels
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