As most of you know from reading my previous blog post, I am an INFJ woman married to an ENTP male. But what we most recently discovered are our enneagram types. And I wanted to do a second blog post on our relationship for a couple reasons: A) my husband has been home a LOT more often and we’ve gotten to know each other a LOT better, so I feel I have a better perspective on this now, and B) because adding our enneagram types in there adds a whole new dynamic to it.
For those of you have not taken the Enneagram personality test, I would totally recommend it. Although it isn’t as specific as MBTI, it definitely uncovers a few more aspects to your personality to help you understand yourself and others better. This whole quarantine, I have found myself chuckling at enneagram memes on Instagram and how weirdly accurate they are. So if you’re interested, the one I took can be found by clicking the link —> HERE.
So, let’s jump into the whole Enneagram business. There are personality types 1-9, and is structure in the chart I’ve added here.
I won’t even pretend to understand it all yet, so I’ll let all the people smarter than me do all the explaining on that whole “fear”, “image”, “anger” thing. If you’d like to educate us all, feel free to comment below!
That being said, what I do know is that I am a type 9 (Mediator and Peacemaker) and my husband is a type 5 (Observer and Thinker), which I think is pretty congruent with our MBTI types of INFJ and ENTP as well.
Here’s a brief overview according to The Enneagram Institute:
Type 5: The intense, cerebral type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated. They are alert, insightful, and curious. They can become detached, yet high-strung and intense. People who are an example of this type include: Albert (freaking) Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Stephen King, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jane Goodall.
Pause. Let that soak in for a minute. I’m married to an Albert Einstein-type guy…. yeesh.
Type 9: The easy-going, self-effacing type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent. They are accepting, trusting, and stable. They are usually creative, optimistic, and supportive, but can be too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. They hate conflict, but tend to be complacent, simplifying problems and minimizing anything upsetting. People who are an example of this type include: Claude Monet, Zooey Deschanel, Walt Disney, Audrey Hepburn, and Mr. Rogers.
So let’s get this straight… My husband and my relationship is like Mark Zuckerberg marrying Zooey Deschanel… and I’m pretty sure Jess from New Girl is pretty close to how Zooey is in real life.
Here’s a brief sketch of what our day-to-day looks like:
Type 5’s always have to be doing SOMETHING. As a Type 9, I definitely don’t but I have to be doing something while he’s doing something to make it fair.
On Saturday mornings, I usually get up a little bit before he does because I use this as MY alone time, my “me” time. I’ll read a book, have my morning cup of coffee, watch nonsense TV, or write. As soon as my husband (we’ll call him K), comes downstairs he is cooking, cleaning, tidying, or starting a new project. I instantly feel lazy and don’t want him to get mad at me for sitting on the couch and not helping, so I get up and do anything that looks like it needs to be done.
Type 5’s capability to think about something WHILE they’re doing something else is beyond impressive.
When K gets home from work, he is almost silent for the first 15 minutes to an hour. Once he eats dinner, he needs at LEAST an hour completely by himself playing video games. And he’s mentioned before that he thinks and problem solves various dilemmas and problems WHILE playing video games…. If someone asked me to even think about what I wanted to eat for dinner while being entirely submersed in a Harry Potter book, that is entirely impossible for me and I’m amazed that he can actually do that.
Type 5’s capability to think PERIOD is impressive.
K is by FAR the most intelligent person I’ve ever met. He has an eidetic memory, comes back with witty remarks without missing a beat, and problem solves in record breaking time. I feel like I’m always 10 steps behind him when it comes to our thought processes, and I feel like I’m a fairly intelligent person. Not only that, he is CONSTANTLY listening to podcasts, skimming through books, teaching himself how to fix/build things, and just cramming his brain with new information.
Type 9’s need time and space to think in the midst of confrontation, whereas Type 5’s want to fix it right then.
K is a fixer. If he doesn’t like something, he wants to fix it immediately. If I see something I don’t like, I hold onto it. I tell myself it’s not a big deal and definitely not worth confronting him about. But what happens is I do that one thing, then two things, then three, then several… until I explode at him one day for everything he had done wrong in the last month or two. Now, I admit… that’s a horrible way to go about things and I’m definitely working on it. But what he has had to work on is allowing me the space to think about things when he comes up to me with some criticism or problem with our relationship. I need time to absorb the information and internalize it, then figure out how I felt about it. But for a long time, he thought I was just running away and shutting down. He hated that we couldn’t just sit down and talk it out right then and there.
Okay, Type 9’s are indecisive, y’all, but it’s because we are trying to think about things from so many different angles. As you might have guessed, Type 5’s do not have that problem.
Recently, I asked K if he liked my hair better blonde or brunette because I’ve had both. He rolled his eyes and said, “Stop trying to get out of making a decision by asking me to make it for you. It’s your hair. Take ownership.”
“But I just want to know what you like! You’re the one who has to look at me,” I had argued. Yes. Ridiculous, I know. He was right, I was trying to get out of making that decision, because.. honestly, my hair doesn’t look bad either way. I like different things about both colors. As silly as it sounds, brunette makes me feel more dark and mysterious and kind of serious, but blonde seemed more playful and striking against my brown eyes. And this how us Type 9’s think about EVERYTHING. I can’t even choose what I want for brunch without asking the wait staff, “Which would you recommend out of the [blank] and [blank]?” Yup. It’s that bad.
Type 5’s seem to be good at almost everything they do. Or maybe that’s just my husband.
I thought creativity was my thing, so one day (when we were still dating and I hadn’t figured him out yet), I came up with the brilliant plan to have an art day and paint together. We rounded up our supplies from Hobby Lobby, complete with a Bob Ross instruction video, and got to work. I couldn’t wait to impress him with my painting skills and creativity. We picked our different landscapes, and hunched over our separate canvases. I was about halfway done with mine, when I took a break and walked around to take a peek at his piece to, you know, see if I could give him any pointers or help him out at all….. I kid you not, he had painted a Bob Ross-worthy mountain landscape and my jaw hit the friggin’ floor. He had admitted prior to painting that he had NEVER painted before. How was he so good at this already?! From ONE Bob Ross instruction video! And he has been impressing me ever since. He built a beautiful, ornate mud bench with a coat rack and cubbies in our first house together – first try. He built our rustic king size bed frame complete with a TUFTED HEADBOARD – first try. Type 5’s are impressive and like energizer bunnies. It’s incredible.
Being married to a Type 5 as a Type 9 can be a little difficult. He can make me feel lazy and stupid sometimes just by being so hardworking and smart. But I can’t think of more impressive individuals than the Type 5’s of the world. I do hope Type 5’s get just as much from their Type 9’s as we do from them. I’ll take time to write more about Type 5’s and Type 9’s in a different post to keep this from becoming a novel. As always, thanks for reading and please drop a comment below to let me know what you think!