EP 095: Allie & Brian Get A Marriage Coaching Session From a Personality Expert

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A few months ago I had Enneagram expert and coach, Beth McCord, on the show to discuss all things Enneagram. In this episode, Beth is chatting with Brian and I about the Enneagram in the context of marriage. It’s a fun coaching, therapy session! We get real vulnerable as we discuss our personality differences and the hot button issues in our marriage (everyone has one!). Beth helped us navigate how to handle issues that continuously come up in our marriage! We've seen a big difference in the mutual respect level between us and that is because Beth helped us understand each other’s personality! She is amazing and inspiring, and I know you will walk away challenged in your own marriage.

 
 

In This Episode Allie, Brian, and Beth Discuss:

  • The value of the enneagram in understanding your own personality and how it integrates into your marriage.

  • How the enneagram will help you navigate responding to your spouse and their needs.

  • Ways to handle conflict resolution in light of the enneagram and your spouse’s personality.

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.


Hey guys! I'm so glad to be here with you! Welcome to The Purpose Show!

Somebody messaged me the other day on Instagram and said, “I really hate when people say, ‘hey guys.’ I'm a girl. Like, could you stop saying that?” And I think subconsciously I wanted to spite them, because it irked me and I said, ‘hey guys’ accidentally intentionally. Anyway, everyone has an opinion about everything, right?

Today's episode is phenomenal. Not because of me, because of our guests today. My hubby's joining us today. This is going to be so, so good. But there's a couple of things that you need to know before we dive in.

So, this episode is all about marriage and the Enneagram. You can say that word different ways apparently. I've heard the makers of this personality development (it’s not really a personality test; it's like a personality development…a whole big thing) say it one way and then other people who coach in it say Enneagram (anagram). There's so many different ways to say it and opinions. I just say it however it comes out of my mouth in a sentence. So, it's fine.

But we're talking about the Enneagram today and how it has to do with marriage. This episode is really, really special because Brian and I are sitting down and basically getting a coaching call with Enneagram coach and expert Beth McCord.

If you're unfamiliar with the Enneagram, basically it’s sort of like a personality test, but it's an extremely deep dive. It's so much more above and beyond, and deeper than just a personality test like the Myers Brigg test that's been so popular for decades.

If you're not familiar with it, definitely Google it. You might be a little confused on this episode. I mean, not really, but it just helps if you have a basic understanding of the Enneagram, what it is and how it works.

Beth McCord is our coach today. She's basically doing a live Enneagram therapy session with Brian and I and it's really awesome. We get really vulnerable. We even bring to the table one of the common conflicts that we have. We bring it to Beth and ask her with our personalities, the way that our minds work and the way that we function as two different people, how can we better handle this so that we stop hitting this wall and stop coming back to this typical marriage conflict and she was so helpful. Her answer really helped us and we've been applying it ever since we recorded this and it's been so, so helpful.

We've seen a big difference in the mutual respect level between us. This everyday conflict, the thing we bring up, is one of our typical walls that we bump into as a married couple. I think everybody has things like that. We brought Beth ours, one of our main things. It hasn't come up lately and I really think it's because we learned to respect each other a little bit more, understand each other and know how to communicate this issue better to each other. Super, super helpful.

Brian and I talked when we first had the idea to create this episode for you guys and we really got on the same page and both agreed it is always awkward to be vulnerable and raw when there's millions of people listening, but we're not afraid to do that.

We want to help you guys and I really believe that the key to changing the world and helping other people is by being vulnerable. And if people don't like what we have to say, you know, of course they can stop listening. They can unfollow or whatever floats their boat.

But we want to open up and we want to be really vulnerable. I keep using that word, but we do want to be really vulnerable with you guys, open up and say, “Hey, every marriage hits walls and this is the one that comes up not day-to-day, but week-to-week, month-to-month. It's just our main hot button issue.

It's really interesting, I think, to hear an Enneagram coach who's focused on personalities and focused on how we each function and process things, words and the way that God designed us…to hear an expert on these things give that kind of coaching.

So that's who Beth McCord is. She's incredible. I do want to say that Beth has been on our show before. Her episode was # 86 and I really think you need to listen to that first in order for this episode to give you the most bang for your buck, so to speak, to really make it worth your time and have you fully understand.

In Episode 86 Beth basically intros the Enneagram and goes over each of the 9 types. You can listen to that and let the descriptions of each type trigger you or not trigger you, and  figure out which one you might gravitate toward and which one you might be.

I'm an 8 and Brian is a 2. So as an 8, I'm more what Beth calls ‘a snowplow.’ Always striving for something, always pushing towards something, getting things done, super productive, super driven, super blunt. Brian being a type 2 is more like a servant. He's very sweet and humble. He's always putting others first, almost to the point where it can become a flaw. And it often does. He's very, very sweet and mild mannered. He's very sensitive. I'm sure even as I just described our two types, you can see how we would work really, really great together, and how we might run into conflicts, especially in communication.

This episode is super helpful even if you are not in a relationship where one of you is an 8 and one of you is a 2. Beth did a really phenomenal job of leading us in this episode to be helpful for anybody. Anybody who's married or in a serious relationship where you want to learn how to understand and respect the other person more, and deal with conflict and communication.

Brian and I also discuss a really, really big issue that we hit in our marriage almost in a ‘us against them’ way. Not really in our marriage with each other so much, (although it was that way at first in the first few months of a big shift that happened in our lives) but more like other people not understanding our dynamic, not understanding our roles, and not understanding our marriage, particularly in the Christian world where in my best life and my best role for my personality I'm the breadwinner.

I run the business. I am driven. I'm motivated. I'm an entrepreneur. I'm always on fire mentally where I can come up with ideas. I have a bunch of ways to make money, all these great ideas and I could do a million things at once. I'm so goal-oriented and driven – snowplow.

And Brian is really kind of humble and made to serve and support. He does a great job at that. And other people haven't understood that. I don't want to give too much away, and I don't mean to ramble on, I just think it's really important that you understand how important this episode is and how good it is that you're listening right now.

So, if you want to go back and listen to Episode 86 first, then come back and listen to this. This episode is incredible and I'm so honored to have it be a part of my show.

ALLIE: Hi Beth! Welcome to The Purpose Show again.

BETH: It’s so great to be back. Thanks guys!

ALLIE: Brian's here too. Okay. So, I'm super excited about this. Alright, Beth, they already know what's up and what we're doing, so let’s dive in!

BETH: So, we've got obviously a type 8 and a type 2 and you guys have taken my Exploring You course which has both the Discovering You course, which is the foundational piece of what the Enneagram is, how you use it like an internal GPS and an overview of all types. And then you watched the Exploring You, which is my online coaching course.

Just to let the listeners know…what they did was they had 5 pre-recorded coaching sessions with me that are ready for them to go with guide sheets for each of the 5 coaching sessions. It's specifically talking about why you do what you do. It breaks down your personality so you can understand yourself in a much deeper way and grow without being so overwhelmed. “What is this ‘Enneagram thing’? I don't understand what they're talking about in these books.” I bring it down into a Cliff Notes version.

So, what was it like guys? How did it go?

ALLIE:  Good. I feel like you were the most surprised and maybe you seemed comforted by the information?

BRIAN: Yeah, well it was nice to realize what I am and why I do things. Why I get mad or frustrated. Or how I react certain ways and how you don't. And it makes sense. Then thinking about some of my friends and people that I know…I could probably think, “He's probably a 6 or they are a 4.” Even though they haven't taken it, it makes me understand them better but understand myself too.

ALLIE:  For me, I'm usually the one that will dive into something and be reading, studying about it and pass on the information. And so, it's been really cool for him to listen to you, seeing your face, hearing your voice and hearing you explain, “You probably feel like this when this situation happens,” and it's just comforting. I was really happy to see him. It's freeing, I think. And just helpful.

BETH: Here's the cool thing…now this would be, this is a different question specifically for you guys. So, the listeners out there, they're not a couple most likely that are an 8 and a 2. I mean there's obviously going to be some out there, but there's 45 different combinations when you put them all together.

So that being said, we have a female 8 and a type 2 male. How has that been for you guys now learning about the Enneagram and recognizing how God has created you uniquely to have these really incredible attributes, but also in a society where some of these attributes are confusing in the female/male role?

And I'll explain to the listeners real quick. So, the 8’s can be very bold and aggressive and what you see is what you get. They're going to say it like it is. Whereas the 2’s are very warm, kind, gentle, thoughtful and nurturing. So having that background, tell us what has the dynamics been before learning the Enneagram and the confusion that may have brought you guys, but also now recognizing how beautiful that is to have that combination?

BRIAN:  Looking at it on paper and seeing the 8 being the strength and the abilities that the 8 has compared to the 2, it seems like normally you would say, “Oh yeah, the 2 would be a woman and the 8 would be a strong kind of guy, you know?

ALLIE: Like a stereotype. They’re the opposite.

BRIAN: So that's what's funny. As much as I can be that because I'm a guy and I can be an 8, I just feel in myself I want to do these things like the 2 with us together, supporting you and being behind the scenes. I don't want to necessarily be out in front and be in the spotlight and I'm okay with that. And you know, I know some people aren't.

ALLIE: I’m not. And that was our old life. I don't really know how to word that (old life sounds weird) but the way we used to live and we felt good about it. We know that's where God had us, but I definitely struggled. I was a stay-at-home mom and I was happy doing that. I never thought I'd work or do anything else. But once God shifted where He had us and the business happened, I was kind of like you. I didn't know what I was missing for my personality type until I had it and I felt so much better having two things, like my kids & my family and my business. I realized how strong I am and that my strengths were made to do what I do. But we had years of struggling with our roles switching and each other.

I would say the first six months of Brian quitting his job, his corporate job (because of the business we needed to be home together and run it together) were really, really hard. It was so hard and weird. Lots of bickering, lots of confusion. And then once we were okay with it, we moved back home to California and were hit with other people in our lives having a problem with it.

I talk a lot with him about how it's hard for us to find ‘couple friends’ because the man always seems like he doesn't like me or is threatened by me. We actually lost touch with some friends because the husband said something basically to the effect of “I would never stop providing for my family because my wife was.” He obviously has some kind of insecurity. But things like that, especially in the Christian sphere, it's very the ‘traditional roles’ and that's it and that's what's right.

It's been weird and hard. I struggled. My mom worked. My parents ran a business together. But in my school (we went to a private Christian school) and the churches and the people that I grew up around formed me to struggle deeply with being a woman and working. Not only working but creating jobs, running a business, making more money than men in my life, than my own dad, than people that I respected it. It caused a stir.

It's been so hard along the way. It's weird that that would be a problem for some people, but it is. So, we have had to get really comfortable with that is who you are made to be and God brought us together and look at why. Look what this has turned into. What would happen if my life, my business all turned into this and you were also an 8? Fight much? That would've been terrible.

BETH. So true. That's so true. That's why I wanted to bring up that question because what you just talked about is what so many couples are dealing with, obviously with a different type combination. But they're looking around at everyone else, especially the young couples and going, what's wrong with us? Or why is this so hard? And so much of it is because we don't understand why we do what we do. And definitely the person sleeping next to us. Why are they so weird? They just do things so opposite.

But I think the beauty of the Enneagram is that what you're now being able to see is you guys have “fallen” into this beautiful calling (I mean obviously God lead you there) but it kind of feels like it too, right? You were doing this one life and the traditional thing and then it turned and all of a sudden now you're in this completely opposite role and yet it's working, you know? And I feel like that's such a beautiful thing the Lord has done because it's not that what was happening before was wrong. Like you said, that was His calling on your life then. But he also has graciously brought you to a place that fits you guys really well. Am I my speaking the same thing for you, Brian with the role that you’re playing right now?

BRIAN:  Yeah, it feels like this is my purpose. This is what I was really made to do. I struggled with things, being at work when she needed so much help at home with the kids. I just felt a pull to be here and help out with other things too. Now that we've fallen into this and we're in this place now, it feels more right with how we are together than it was before.

ALLIE: Even though he always said that, and I hate that this is part of our process, but even in the beginning I was like, “Don't you want to do something? Don't you want to do something else?” I'm just so driven, I don't understand that he's so content and knows,

“Nope, this is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing.” I would try to pull other things out of him and he's like, “No, I know this is where I'm supposed to be.”

And also despite his guy friends saying like…it's always about what do you do? What do you do? What do you do? It’s working so well. When we stop that noise and we focus on who we were made to be, the way God made each of us, what our strengths are, we are so much more successful. We're reaching more people and changing lives. Making more money. Having more joy in our family this way than the old way.

That was basically because that's what we were taught is God's way and I struggled with, “Well then why did You make me so driven? Why did He make me have these ideas?” I would suffer and struggle and go to Him with them. We reached a point where it was like, “Why are we killing ourselves here? We need to step into this, not push it down.”

BETH:  This is a great place where you would implement a “strength finders” mentality. Why not go with your strengths? Why not go with the way God has designed you? Obviously if God calls you to do something that's difficult and hard, obviously we have to step out into that because He is calling it. You probably agree with what I'm going to say.

The role that I'm playing in my company is the most rewarding but hardest thing I've ever done, but I feel like I'm in the right spot. So I'm not saying do what's easy. It's actually not easy, but it is also right.

That's what I love hearing about what you guys are saying because you guys are now doing a new dance in your life. No longer are you stumbling over each other as much because you're in the right positions. And the other thing that you're learning is, wait, I was designed for this. This isn't I'm less of a person because I'm doing a non-traditional role. In fact, I am not only able to bless others, but I'm reaping the rewards too in my own spirit and soul and providing for my family.

I think that's what's really important for people that are listening is how has God designed you? Who has He created you to be and to live in that freedom?

When I talk to people, I'm wanting to bring the full gospel to each person by knowing who they are and whose they are. The who you are part is how did God design you?

With the Enneagram (and there's lots of assessments out there that are great) but with the Enneagram…like for you guys, like you said Allie, you’re driven. You’re a type 8. You're driven. Now that ‘driveness’ can be good and bad, depending on how you use it. And I'm sure you're fully aware of that. I call 8’s ‘snowplows’ and so either you're plowing a path for others and you see them ahead of you and you're like, “Hey everyone, get behind me and I'll plow the path for you.” And then everyone's like, “Thank you! We have to get here and there and everywhere.” And you're happy to do that. That is just the role God created you to be.

But if your heart's out of alignment with the Gospel, you'll start to nick people on the road or plow over people and that's not good. So, the same gifting can be used for good or bad. And then the same for the type 2’s. We all have those things, but once we recognize what it's like when our heart is aligned, we can then better get ourselves in that position. Then it's knowing whose you are in Christ.

What does that mean? It’s being fully redeemed. Fully set free. Being His beloved. Cherished. All those things that people hear, but do you really understand it? Because it's when you really understand it, especially through the lens of how you’ve been created. And that's what we do, as I'm sure you know, especially in session 5 in Exploring You, we take you through the implications of grace. Basically I’m speaking the Gospel in your “mother tongue or your personalities language” so that you can fully hear and resonate with the Gospel in ways that probably you've never quite heard before.

What was that like for you guys to hear grace it's in a unique way? For you Allie, you will not be betrayed and for you, Brian, you are loved and wanted just as you are. What was that like for you guys to hear those messages?

ALLIE: I got really emotional and I get emotional even just as you were talking about and hearing it again, just because I think as an 8 and all the strengths and features that come with that, it's easy to feel like you're too much. It's easy to feel like you’re taking over when you're not meaning to. Just like you asked and I know what to say, so I'm going to talk about it until I'm done making my point. I will always get this face that says, “that’s a lot.” You just always feel like you're too much, like I need to edit myself.

Reading that, hearing you say that and learning about that…this is how I was made and you're not too much. People always say, “I always feel like I'm not enough, I’m not enough.” And I always felt like I'm way too much. It was so freeing to here that God made me like this intentionally and He loves how much I am and it's not too much. There's a place and a role for how much I am and how driven I am. I just need to find the right places and know when to be sensitive and hold back a little bit. Not editing, just being respectful of other people and holding back and that there's nothing wrong with me I guess.

BETH: Right? Yeah. And that's so freeing, right? Like you're just where you should be. You can just relax in the love of Christ, you know? Because it's there for you. You already have it.

I always tell people when it comes to the Gospel…so if you're in your office and I'm in my office, and if you and I were both like, “Oh man, if we could just get in our offices, life would be like so amazing!” And we're like, “Okay, you're there guys.” And that’s what it’s like with grace. You're there. You already have it. You just aren't fully able to realize it and that's where we have to open ourselves up to allowing Christ to speak it more deeply into us and set us free.

So, what was it like for you, Brian to hear the implications of grace for you?

BRIAN:  It was nice to hear ‘You do love me for what I am doing’, you know? A lot of times I crave that. I do things and want to be loved that way, you know? That's why I'll do a million things for everyone else and not for myself. It's almost like who cares about how I feel because I need that from you. And to hear that and feel that…it's just so nice to get that and know that that's how I am and it's just great.

ALLIE: You’re a server. That’s such a gift.

BETH: One thing I go over in a lot of my personal coaching is Jeremiah 2:13 where it talks about we have forsaken God in two different ways. We have turned from the Spring of Living Water. Let’s say we're standing and right to our left is the Spring of Living Water and it's flowing. It's fresh. It’s amazing. To your right is the cistern. A cistern is like a well that you’ve dug but there’s no fresh water in it. So you've dug it, you put mortar around it and now you have to put water into it. But what it says is not only have you dug your own cistern, it’s broken. So even if we brought water to it, it just goes away. It's not lasting. So, with our spouses, our family, shopping, eating, drugs, whatever it is that we're trying to fill ourselves with, we think is going to bring a satisfaction…it can't ever sustain it. It can never bring us what we want.

So even if we're upset with our spouses, like why aren't you filling up my cistern? You should be doing it this way. Well even if they came with five gallons of water and put it in there, it's broken. But if we turn to the Spring of Living Water - which is right there, we already have it - and we soak up as much as we want, whenever we want. Then when our spouse even gives us a thimble of what we were hoping to get, we will be like, “Oh wow, that's awesome! Thank you so much!” Even this little bit or just a glass full and we'll be so satisfied by what our spouse is doing even if it's just a little bit. Whereas before we were demanding it from them and they just can't do it. It's only Christ that can fulfill it.

For Brian, what you're saying is when I can know that I'm fully loved and wanted by Christ. He literally left the throne of heaven to come and live a really brutal life because He pursued you and wanted you, not because of anything you did. In fact, you were sinning (Romans 5:8) but He wanted you. Then when you soak up in that, it's like, wow, not only am I not rejected, I am fully treasured. Then anything that Allie does or doesn't do, you're already at a great place and you can move towards her instead of demanding her to fulfill you. Does that kind of feel what's right?

BRIAN: For sure. It helps to know that so much and just makes me feel so different than before, thinking that way.

ALLIE: I see him struggle a lot with that “performing” and then the let-down of other people. Especially parents not giving him what he has always needed and so it's been really, really freeing for me, but as his wife, I don't want him to hurt. I don't want him to constantly be let down. He's such a giver that he's kind of attracted in friendships and relationships to ‘takers’ including myself. When I'm in a really good healthy place, I am super giving, but when I get stressed or brought down I don't even think about anybody else. It's been freeing for me as his wife to see him being fulfilled and realizing what a beautiful being he is and what a perfectly made human he is, so that he's not needing to get that from other people.

BETH:  Exactly. And this is where it's going to be really cool with other people that are listening. They're probably sitting there going, “Well, I'm not an 8 or a 2.” Well, guess what? This works for all types. You have to learn about your personality type, which is where the Exploring You course will help you. Basically, you get a course for yourself. I'm a type 9 and my husband is a type 6, so I would get a type 9 course. He would get the type 6 course and then we would watch it together because not only will I learn about myself, but he learns about me and vice versa. In each of the guide sheets, there's these reflection questions where you can start talking, “Oh my goodness, that's how you see the world. I had no idea.”

Then what's really cool is you get to speak into their life and point them back to Christ instead of trying to fix it yourself. Brian isn't that so great?

BRIAN: Yes!

BETH: Brian’s like, “I am not Jesus. Allie, I love you, but you right now are so stressed. You really need Christ and He is your strength. He won't betray you. I'm here for you, but I can't come through for you in the way that you need, but I'm pushing you to Christ.”

What has that been like for you guys to do that pattern in that way, but then in the other way, Allie, how has it been for you to say, “Brian, you really need to take care of yourself. I want to get you away from all of your stress so you can go do something fun or relaxing.” What's that been like to really care for one another?

ALLIE:  Yeah. I feel like, especially because I've been doing the Enneagram stuff longer, it's getting cemented now. I feel like I've practiced it enough to where now if he's…he doesn't really ‘lose it’ ever. I do. But when he does start to get where he's just done and he's stressed…it's always something else unrelated that's bothering him. Somebody did something, didn't value him, or didn't give him the affirmation that he thought he would get for doing something or whatever. Just kind of losing it and volcanoing out because he's been suppressing it.

Like our weekly date nights and letting him talk instead of me just talking the whole time. Going and doing something that he wants. Having family come over and hang with the kids for a little bit while we get out and go for a drive or just talk.

I feel like it's made me less being like a snowplow and there's always more to go, more to do, always working on something and always go, go, go. Realizing how to slow down and just be together. It's not only helped me help him but it's also helped me almost kind of take on some of his traits because I know it so well and calm down myself.

BETH:  Yeah, that's awesome.

BRIAN: It's helped me figure out how to respond to you or help you when you need certain things. I feel instead of looking at a giant book and trying to flip through and figure out what it is that I can do to help you, this narrows it down to one page or a paragraph. I know you’re like this, so you need these things, and I know what to do and what things I shouldn't do too. That has just been so huge for us in everything we do.

BETH: It’s like I'm in the background in the video course going, “Okay, don't go to that landmine. No! There's a landmine over there too. Don't do that either.”

ALLIE: Yeah, don't phrase it like that!”

BETH: “Stay clear!”


Hey friends, if you are not one of my students in the Your Uncluttered Home community, you have got to get your booty over there. Your Uncluttered Home is my signature online course and it is changing mom lives all over the globe. I'm super, super proud of it. It is the next step into real action for you if you want to go all in with living in an uncluttered home that allows you to spend your time focused on what matters. And that's what we're always talking about, right? Don't just take my word for it though. Listen to these words from one of my beautiful Your Uncluttered Home students.

Hey guys! This is Nina from Oklahoma. Instead of our house looking like a tornado had gone through it, now when we walk through the door, we feel peace, rest, and happiness. Your Uncluttered Home course has changed our lives by giving us the gift of time. The course gave us the tools to accomplish what we've always dreamed of…a place of rest, a manageable, clean home, and most important, more time with our families. Thanks Allie!

To join the Your Uncluttered Home party go to alliecasazza.com/unclutter.  Enter code PURPOSESHOW at checkout for 10% off. That's for listeners only.

I can't wait to see your introduction in the course community so I can welcome you and see your progress photos.


I can't wait to see your introduction in the course community so I can welcome you and see your progress photos!

BETH: Here's where this really cool thing is, and where it comes together for marriages, and we talked about this at the beginning before we got on here, was that we literally just today I got the manuscript done, proofed, everything for my Becoming Us book. It’s my husband and I really talking about what has been like for us to use the Enneagram with a gospel perspective through communication, conflict, family of origin, all those things that are really at the core of what we struggle with, right? In marriage?

Then the backside is exactly what you guys are talking about. It's called The Roadmap. It's where there's going to be four pages on let's say type 8 for instance, or type 2, and it's understanding me and then there's two pages on understanding them. Now obviously it's all geared towards that same type, but it just brings it in a mindset of…so Brian can flip to the Understanding Them and go, okay, where's the landmines again? What’s the path I should be taking?

Now, you would obviously read the other part too, just to gleam a little bit more, but we're trying to really address it to each of you so that you could understand how to work better together. That will be coming in October and so that will be really another great piece for people to have.

ALLIE:  Yeah, definitely. We're so thankful for what you do because you explain it…I don't mean this the wrong way, but it's almost like the Enneagram For Dummies broken down. What do you really need to know? And it takes a very complicated deep thing and makes it very clear and understandable. He was able to just jump in and just immediately understand himself and understand me and now we use it in conversation all the time. I'll say, “Well, because of the way that I was made, I wasn't thinking of that or I didn't see that.”

Also, one thing I always really want to push with listeners listening to all of the Enneagram episodes that we're going to do and all the things you're doing, is that I think it's important to never ever use your type as an excuse. I've thought it a couple times. I don't think I've ever really said anything that's like, “Well I'm just like this. That’s the way that I am.”

BETH: We say don't use it as a sword or a shield. So Allie can’t go, “Brian you’re being such a 2, or you’re doing that.” We might think it, we might feel it, but man, this is so vulnerable, right? This is at our core and so we want to treat each other as best we can. If we do, by accident, because I've even done it with my husband who's probably listening at some point. I've said things and he's looking at me like, “Oh, that was kind of a jab.” And I'm like, “Oh, I'm so sorry!”

We just need to realize we have to own it and apologize, but yes, we can't use it as a shield and be like, “I’m a 9 and I can be slothful. Just deal with it.” That’s just not going to help the relationship, you know?

But that's also where the gospel shines because the Enneagram can really expose. And it almost take your breath away of, “Oh my goodness! Those are my not so great spots.” But when we know we're already forgiven, cherished, and loved, and then we have Christ’s righteousness on us, we can look at that because nothing has changed and it allows us to go, “I am sorry.” Knowing that we're still the same. We're still His. We're still loved. We're still cherished. And in fact, by doing that, it actually brings our relationship closer. That's a really, really powerful thing. So yes, don't use it as a sword or a shield.

ALLIE: Yeah. I actually have a question. We had this discussion that we have often last night and I was thinking that even though it's vulnerable, I think we should bring it to Beth and let her hash it out with us on the episode because I think it will be so helpful for the listeners.

Because of our lifestyle, because of our personality types, and because of the roles were in…you know how every couple has their go-to conflicts that comes back in a new way? Those have all shifted. Sometimes I think back about the old ones and I think, “Oh, Allie & Brian, you knew nothing.” I don't know if it’s more complicated, a higher level, big stuff, but it’s a wall we keep bumping into.

I used to be in the role of taking care of the house, taking care of the kids, homeschooling the kids, making meals and that's it. Now, we share the load. He'll help me with pieces of the business and I definitely will cook meals and do some of the kids' schooling, but it's like 70/30, maybe even 80/20 some months. I'm mainly the one making the money, running the business, managing my team, coming up with ideas, working, even if it’s a couple of hours of the day, that's the main thing that I'm doing. And he is mainly the one holding down the fort.

And so, because I used to do it…I’ll be like, “How could you not see that? How come you're not doing it this way? Well you just have to, for lack of a better term, get your head out of your butt and look alive. Plan better. Pay attention!” Or I'll be like, “Oh my gosh, you didn't call about that? How could you not see that I needed you to call? Do I have to do everything?” This is the new dialogue. I'm being dramatic to show the ugly parts of it.

We talk it out. We work on it. And then we're like, “Okay. I see. I'm sorry. I am sorry for being perfectionistic. You're sorry for not maybe being more organized.” Whatever it is that day. But it's just that wall that we keep ‘bumpercaring’ into. I wanted to bring that today because I think it's really vulnerable and honest and also really specific so that people could see how you can use the Enneagram to work through stuff like that.

BETH: Absolutely. One thing that we talk about with the Enneagram is how it's like wearing different sunglasses that have different colored lenses. Allie, for you, let's say you're wearing red lenses and Brian’s wearing blue lenses and you're seeing the same thing, same circumstance, but in a completely different way. For you, Allie, it's like, “Hello! It's clear as day. This is red. How could you not see this?” And he's like, “Can you just put on my glasses for a second?”

Then you put on his glasses from his perspective. So, understanding his core motivations, how he operates, functions and the hard wiring. And then all-of-a-sudden that's when you have this compassion of “Oh wow, you totally see it different!” Or “You've got your mind in a thousand other directions to help other people and you're feeling everyone else's emotions, whether it's here at home, our friends or whatever is going on…you're being pulled. Of course, you're going to drop a few things or not notice a few things because you're really being pulled in lots of directions.”

Now as an 8…it's like an eagle. You see what needs to be aimed at and you just go straight for it. It's obvious. How can this not be so simple? Then plus 8’s can't hold back their opinions most of the time. It takes a lot of effort to, like you said, ‘edit it.’ So for  Brian to realize, okay, when she just spouts out something, her heart most of the time, obviously not all the time, but most of the time is not to hurt and harm me, Even though it just landed on me really harsh because as a 2, they're very sensitive and he's probably like, “Oh wow, that really hurt!” And you're like, “I'm just saying, you know, it's just obvious.”

ALLIE: Exactly.

BETH: And that's where, you know, Brian, you could easily say, “Hey, I totally hear what you're saying…” Now this is hard for 2’s because this goes into a lot of other things, but 2’s, it's hard to admit where they struggle because then you'll reject them. I remember it because the 9 is somewhat similar. I would tell my husband, “It's hard to say ‘I'm sorry,’ because then you're going to see that I failed or something.” He's like, “Yeah, don’t think I haven’t already noticed.” Right? So what I realized is, “Oh, okay, wait. Everyone sees it, so just own it, apologize and move forward.”

That being said, Brian, you could easily say, “Hey, you know, you're right, but I just want you to know, not to make excuses, but I want you to know what else is going on with me, why I may have missed that. Where I could really use your help is not to take it over, but…” Let's say it's a dentist appointment that you forgot to get the paperwork into. Let's say, Allie, maybe that's like breathing air for you. You just get it done. It takes five seconds. For 8’s, you're going a billion miles an hour but for the rest of us, we just don't go that fast.

And so for you, it may not be that you have to do it (because you are busy) but it could be, “Hey, I'm going to write down a note in this one area, put it on your phone or whatever because I know that's maybe not your strong suit and that's okay. But I'm going to give you a leg up on it. I'm not going to take over. I know that you're going to do your best. If you need my help to come through, let me know and we'll work that out.”

Does that sound like a better dance and something that would work for your two types?

ALLIE: Yeah, and the thing that I love about it is that you just removed…because the problem is…like I was saying last night I'm not meaning to belittle anyone's role. But I know what my strengths are and I know that I could run the business, do all of this, do all of it and be okay. But we're in this together and I want us to be a team. I know that I could just not worry about you doing it because you might forget. I could just do it.

BETH: You could just plow it over.

ALLIE: Yeah, I could just do it, but I'm going to get resentful. If I’m carrying all that and I feel like you're not sharing that life, then I'm going to get really resentful and I don't want that for us because that's just a marriage killer.

BETH: And here's the other thing for the 8. This is when we get into lesson two, there's kind of the hidden side. The hidden side of the 8 is it’s not that you don't mind getting lots of things done. In fact, 8’s love the intensity of life and having lots of stuff to do. But the thing that's really painful and hard for them is they feel that there's no one bigger and stronger than them to be able to come in and rescue them, that they have to be the one.

Well first, if you are relying on your spouse for that only, it's never going to work. And sorry, Brian, this has nothing to do with you. Because as a 2, I'm sure you're doing lots of wonderful things. This is just fact across the board. But the cool thing is God is bigger, He is stronger and He proved it through His life, death and resurrection. He is all powerful. And when He says He's not going to betray you, I mean he was the most betrayed.

So as an 8 it's like, “Wow! He really knows what that is and He is not going to betray me. He is stronger and more powerful so I can trust Him.” It doesn't mean you just trust Him and not help Brian at all or point out things. It's not that. It's like, “Okay, I'm going to do the best I can to support Brian in doing some reminders or some leg-ups or things that help that process, but at the same time trusting that it is what it is and God is going to be really good.” But then also asking Brian, “How can I love you better in this? Give me some clarity. What would be freeing for you? How can I support you? Is it reminders? Is it taking it over this one little thing?”

Because I know for me when we were doing our kids’ college applications and stuff or the FAFSA, I mean it just makes me want to shut down. I was trying to do it for my husband. As a 9...procrastinate, procrastinate. It felt too overwhelming. I just had to realize it is so scary for me that I'm going to mess it up. I just need to have him start it. And that's when I said, hey, can you just start this? I'll probably be able to finish it, but I'm just almost too scared to even start it. And that's where it's really cool for us to be vulnerable with each other and knowing that hey, I have weaknesses and you have strengths and vice versa, how can we really tag team this?

But you know, like you were saying for Brian to recognize, and this is going to be really hard because in the moment the feelings get hurt. When your feelings get hurt, you can go, okay, first I'm not rejected by Christ. And I know Allie well enough to know that her intention is not to hurt me. She just has a very blunt personality. Now that doesn't mean you can't say at some point, whether it's in the moment, but probably later, hey, you know when you said that in this way? You have to preface it, “I know you were not meaning to hurt me, but it did kind of land on me harsh. Could you say it maybe this way next time?” That way you're showing them, I see your heart, I see who you really are and your love for me, but a little adjustment would be very helpful.

And that's where the Enneagram can be so powerful because most of the time we can't say “I see your goodness. I see your beauty.” Because we're seeing it through our lens and all we see is you're not doing it right and we just want to put them down. “How could you?” Or “You're so dumb.” Or ‘You're so mean.”  Wait. No. Let's put on each other's lenses. Let's see the world through their eyes and then communicate in a much clearer way.

The big thing (and we may have talked about this last time, Allie, I don't remember) but the big thing to remember is don’t commit a suicide. It's where you assume they're seeing the world through your perspective and they are not. And that's where you ask clarifying questions without pretense of you are wrong and bad and I'm right.

Here's an interesting statistic. John Gottman is a marriage researcher and he found that 67 %, I think it's 67, it might be 69. Anyway, somewhere in that range, of all conflicts or arguments have no right answer. Meaning it's really personality driven or belief system. It's not like there's this really hardcore right or wrong answer. So that just lets us know we really could ask clarifying questions and try to see each other's point of view and how can we come to the middle through prayer and through being with one another and supporting, so that this thing can really move forward in a really dynamic way, which is exactly what you guys are doing with your business and your family life.

You had those rough spots where it was really rocky, but now you're in this really smooth place. Now of course there's bumps and turbulence on the way, but you guys have really gone through the major stuff to now navigate this stuff. Now the Enneagram comes in and it's like, “Now we have this tool to smooth it out even more,” which is so amazing.

ALLIE: Yeah. This was so good. I'm so glad we did this this way. I think it will be super helpful even for people that have different personality types than us.

BETH: Good. Well thanks guys.

BRIAN: Yeah, it’s so helpful!

BETH:  Thanks, guys!

ALLIE: So can you just remind everybody where they can find you? I really love you on Instagram. Can you share your handle there? You're so good at Instagram. You guys Beth shares things that are so helpful and mindblowing. I always watch your highlights over again because you have all the different types. What would each type do at a Christmas party and different situations and it's so helpful. My mom now is all into it and we understand why we butted heads so much when I was a teenager. Share where on Instagram and your website and all that good stuff.

BETH: Thanks! On Instagram it's yourenneagramcoach and then you look at the highlights.

And then our website is yourenneagramcoach.com and that's where you're going to find the online courses that we're talking about here, which is Discovering You and Exploring You.

If you don't know your type, go ahead and get Exploring You and Allie will put a coupon code in her show notes, so grab it there. If you know your type, then go ahead and get Exploring You because Discovering You is already inside it and so then you can watch both of those together.

Then if you're a couple then get one for you and one for your spouse unless you actually are the same type, then you only have to get one. That's kind of rare. But it does happen.

My assistant, both her and her husband are both 9’s.

ALLIE: Wow! We have best friend couples that live in another state. I grew up with the wife and we always mess around with them and joke with them…“Well, I'll just make the decisions for all four of us.” Because I think they might both be 2’s or both 9’s because it's like, “Where do you want to go to lunch? Well where would you want to go? Well…” And I'm like, “Oh my God, we're going to get pizza.”

BETH: Or another solution you could do is you can say, “Okay, here are the three options (or two because that many people just do two options). Okay guys, “I think the pizza or Italian. Which one? Raise your hand.” That way you don't have to always make the final decision.

On October 1st the Becoming Us book is coming out. And we're also going to be doing five date night events in five major cities this summer where we're going to really teach on how to deal with what we're doing here with a big crowd so that they can get used to it.

Also, we're going to have an actual marriage course coming out this summer specifically related around the book of Becoming Us. So that will be probably the next step after you do Exploring You.

There's lots of great things to come. Everyone's waiting for Marriage, so hang on tight. It’s just around the corner.

ALLIE: We’ll link specifically to all the programs with a little bit of a description on each one for you guys so that you can just find all that in the show notes.

Thanks Beth!

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I can't wait to see your introduction in the course community so I can welcome you and see your progress photos!


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