SOS - Type 4/8 marriage is imploding. Advice needed.

SOS - Type 4/8 marriage is imploding. Advice needed.

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This is a discussion on SOS - Type 4/8 marriage is imploding. Advice needed. within the Enneagram Personality Theory Forum forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; Husband: ENTP - Type 8w7 Wife: ESFJ - Type 4w3 Ask: I'm looking to connect with people in an 8/4 ...

  1. #1

    SOS - Type 4/8 marriage is imploding. Advice needed.

    Husband: ENTP - Type 8w7
    Wife: ESFJ - Type 4w3

    Ask: I'm looking to connect with people in an 8/4 relationship who can relate to and advise on this stormy dynamic (others welcome to chime in but I'm really looking for folks who have lived it rather than having only read about it in a book).

    Sob story below.

    When we got married neither one of us was healthy. Plus we were young, didn't know who we were, or what we wanted. The first 2 years were exceptionally hard but everyone just said "yep, the first year or two are tough". Lots of tears, yelling, swearing, storming off after a fight, etc. I assumed that our experience was the same as what everyone else went through too.

    It's been 10 years and while the manifestations of the turmoil have mellowed some the underlying conflicts have not.

    Further I've been working HARD on myself for a long time now. I have highly self-aware mentors that I meet with weekly who help me see blindspots and have been working with counselors who can help me understand how my 8ness affects other people (for better or worse). I'm learning to see the beauty in vulnerability and, as I'm discovering the strength and resilience within me, giving up control is becoming easier and more freeing.

    My wife has also been through much counseling though it's seemed to do less for her. She's still very plagued by mood swings and in typical 4 fashioned will sometimes intentionally stir things up just to get the emotional rush. She's very much at the 'see me as unique' level and also gets stuck in the 'shoulds' (holding on tightly to ideals rather than what is). She takes everything personally, is hypersensitive, and will immediately default to MEGA-SHAME if there's even a hint of criticism.

    My problem is this -

    As I've become more healthy (and been exposed to more healthy relationships) I'm becoming aware of how dysfunctional our dynamic is.

    I'm losing interest in the relationship. (this is REALLY hard for me to admit)

    I feel so much grief over this - constant knots in my stomach - and I can feel my 8 tendency to close up and manage the distance between us kicking in.

    I'm sick of the constant demand to tell her how amazing she is just for functioning at a basic (and even low) level.

    And since any thoughts that don't agree with hers or feelings less than overwhelmingly positive destabilize her sense of security and trigger fight or flight I feel really lonely and don't feel known at all.

    We spend very little time together- maybe an hour a day on the couch talking that often turns into conflict (and yes I've suggested finding a joint project where we could engage without going too deep but she goes to be really early and wants to have ample 'wind-down' time)

    Basically... I need help.
    nablur and tinyheart thanked this post.



  2. #2
    Type 4w3

    Hm. What is stopping you from ending the marriage?

  3. #3

    Three things -
    - The desire to grow through it and come out stronger. I like her AND I love her - just can't seem to get to a healthy place.
    - Little kids
    - guilt and pressure from religious upbringing
    Animal thanked this post.

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  5. #4
    Type 8w9

    Quote Originally Posted by Persist View Post
    Husband: ENTP - Type 8w7
    Wife: ESFJ - Type 4w3

    Ask: I'm looking to connect with people in an 8/4 relationship who can relate to and advise on this stormy dynamic (others welcome to chime in but I'm really looking for folks who have lived it rather than having only read about it in a book).

    Sob story below.

    When we got married neither one of us was healthy. Plus we were young, didn't know who we were, or what we wanted. The first 2 years were exceptionally hard but everyone just said "yep, the first year or two are tough". Lots of tears, yelling, swearing, storming off after a fight, etc. I assumed that our experience was the same as what everyone else went through too.

    It's been 10 years and while the manifestations of the turmoil have mellowed some the underlying conflicts have not.

    Further I've been working HARD on myself for a long time now. I have highly self-aware mentors that I meet with weekly who help me see blindspots and have been working with counselors who can help me understand how my 8ness affects other people (for better or worse). I'm learning to see the beauty in vulnerability and, as I'm discovering the strength and resilience within me, giving up control is becoming easier and more freeing.

    My wife has also been through much counseling though it's seemed to do less for her. She's still very plagued by mood swings and in typical 4 fashioned will sometimes intentionally stir things up just to get the emotional rush. She's very much at the 'see me as unique' level and also gets stuck in the 'shoulds' (holding on tightly to ideals rather than what is). She takes everything personally, is hypersensitive, and will immediately default to MEGA-SHAME if there's even a hint of criticism.

    My problem is this -

    As I've become more healthy (and been exposed to more healthy relationships) I'm becoming aware of how dysfunctional our dynamic is.

    I'm losing interest in the relationship. (this is REALLY hard for me to admit)

    I feel so much grief over this - constant knots in my stomach - and I can feel my 8 tendency to close up and manage the distance between us kicking in.

    I'm sick of the constant demand to tell her how amazing she is just for functioning at a basic (and even low) level.

    And since any thoughts that don't agree with hers or feelings less than overwhelmingly positive destabilize her sense of security and trigger fight or flight I feel really lonely and don't feel known at all.

    We spend very little time together- maybe an hour a day on the couch talking that often turns into conflict (and yes I've suggested finding a joint project where we could engage without going too deep but she goes to be really early and wants to have ample 'wind-down' time)

    Basically... I need help.
    youve come to the right place dude. if you have time and interest come check out the 8 forums. lots of resources and info to be found in there.

    basically the 4/8 relationship is always going to be one of victim/bully. even a healthy 8 can only resist the 4 provoking and prodding and insulting for so long before they explode. 4's love this and can play off it... 8's actually dont like exploding (at least for me). its very tiresome and juvenile.

    many 4's are highly narcissistic and simply will remain so.

    a lesson i learned from my first marriage - you cant be with someone for potential. people dont change, they simply become healthy or unhealthy versions of themselves. (i have a friend whos an ESFJ/9 whos been with an unhealthy 4SX for 10 years. he wont leave. she has potential. lol)

    one thing you can try, playing along. 4's like negative energy. you can practice letting you some disrespect without letting you emotionally compromise you if you know its just a game. the 6-4 dynamic is interesting and they seem to enjoy it - the emotionally dynamic and fearless 4 and the counterphobic , disrespectful princess 6. lots of emotional turbulence for them to munch on.

    ive got a friend who's a 4SO/ENFJ who after 20 year friendship recently started being passive aggressive, insulting me, mad with envy, etc.... i almost knocked him out... but instead walked away and emailed him a reality call and left it in his corner. he accepted responsibility and after learning his MBTI and confirming the 4ness... we patched things up after long gchat conversations. now i just insult him and treat him how he is behaving instead of 'resisting my rage' whenever he gets disrespectful... he seems to enjoy it.

    some people thrive off being built up, some people thrive off being beat down. i think 4's secretly like the negative attention, being seen as victim, suffering from external sources.

    sucks you have kids, that will compound the difficulty.

    you already know what you have to do, but i'd try my above solution for a bit to see how it takes... i dont envy your road ahead.
    AppleKore thanked this post.

  6. #5

    check out my enneagram and mbti dating social network app on the playstore called "MBTI-Enneagram dating"


     

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