Did you get married recently? Was that an arranged marriage or love marriage? If it was an arranged marriage, then you or your family would have taken utmost care in matching both of your ‘Kundalis’ (if you are a Hindu);professions, educational qualification, economic status etc. If yours was a love marriage, then certainly you would have felt ‘made for each other’, and madly in love.
Wouldn’t this be same for all those who end up in divorce or ‘empty shell marriages’ (living as strangers in the same house)? According to a report, Bangalore sees an average of 25 divorce cases filed every day! According to a recent survey by the Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP), around 13,000 cases of divorce are pending in various family courts in Bangalore. Of these 5,000 were filed in 2008. Mangalore seems to be ahead of Bangalore in this regard. According to an unofficial report there are around 250 cases filed everyday.
If everything is matched, from professions to caste, to economic status, then why is this happening? There are many reasons sighted: urbanisation, individualisation and financial stability of both husband and wife, to name a few. But if these societal changes are to be ascertainedas the main reasons, then why are they not affecting those who are finding fulfilment in their relationship?
The answer is that they have discovered what is known as “Emotional Compatibility”.
What is Emotional Compatibility?
“Opposites attract”; this adage is true not only in physics but also to a good extent in relationships. While selecting a life partner, we look for similarity in external things, but differences in emotional characteristics. If you are a silent type,you will beunconsciously drawn towards someone who is talkative, if you are a natural leader,youwill like a follower as a spouse. We constantly seek in others what we don’t possess. In other words, we like someone whose personality is different from ours. Because we are different from each other, our strengths complement. This is emotional compatibility; andit is necessary for bringing up a healthy family.
What goes wrong?
If every couple complements each other, then why do they separate on the pretext of compatibility? The answer is: we have two sides to our personality. A positive side, which comes up when we feel stress-free and at peace. And the negative side which shows up when under pressure, and when conflicts arise. These positive and negative aspects vary according to our personality. After 6 months of the marriage, when a spouse sees the negative side of the other under a stressful situation, he/she is caught unaware and for the first time begins to wonder, “Is thisthe same person I married six months ago?” This is the beginning of the end, for many couples in their relationships.
Discovering Emotional Compatibility
This may not be the case for someone who has invested in learning about himself/herself,and his/her spouse as much as he/she has spent on his/her wedding. Enneagram is one such tool for gaining deeper understanding of each other’s unique personality. The Enneagram is an ancient system that describes why people are the waythey are. It provides a uniquely detailed picture of the whole personality: the natural strengths as well as the inner struggle and challenges.
Why Enneagram is important in a couple’s Relationship?
For couples, learning Enneagram at the beginning of their marriage determines the success of their relationship. Each of usenter the relationship with important emotional needs at the core of our personality. These emotional needs are fundamental to who we are. They shape our entire personality and approach to life. They represent what really matters to us, in every situation in life.
Finding someone who knows, appreciates and is responsive to these needs determines compatibilityand happiness together. On the other side, when the partner who is unaware of these needs, disregards them, leading to tensions in therelationship. In fact, all arguments and conflicts stem from these emotional needs being triggered, notresponded to, or left unfulfilled.
Learning yours and your spouse’s Enneagram type will enable each of you to intuitively make sense of each other’s world, especially when tensions and differences emerge. Instead of arguing, criticizing, or pulling away, these understandings make it possible for you to work as a team in finding ways to respond and honour what is so vital to each other.
With this new understanding, the conversation can now change from, “Why can’t you be like me?” to, “How can I support you to be your best self?” And this will be your first step onthe journey of Emotional Compatibility.
Writer is a trained Life Coach and a Relationship Facilitator. He teaches Enneagram to people from all walks of life from senior managers to home makers. His next Enneagram Workshop is on the 21st (Sun) Feb for those who are engaged or married for less than 5 years.
For more details contact 8050665135.