A Secret that Can Transform your Marriage
That Can Transform Your Marriage:
"A secret that can transform your marriage? You've got to be kidding," we can hear you say, and we can understand your skepticism. But there really is a secret and it does work. Let us tell you how we stumbled on to it.
Jim: Not long before I began to go out with Tyra, I had come across C. G. Jung's book Psychological Types, and then some of his other writings. It wasn't as if I could really understand everything he was saying. Far from it. But every once in a while I would get a flash of insight that illuminated my own experience, and I began to understand why some of my past relationships had not worked out as I had hoped. That kept me going. One day the admittedly strange thought came to me, "What would happen, instead of going on a normal date with Tyra, we would go for a walk and I would try to explain to her some of the things that I was picking up from reading Jung?"
Tyra: On our first date, instead of going to the movies, Jim invited me to go for a walk in the nearby bird sanctuary. Before I knew it, he was telling me about what Jung called the anima and the animus, and the roles they play in people falling in love. What a date! Well, I thought Jim was nice, but I had never heard these things before, and didn't know what to make of them.
Jim: This went on for a little while. I enjoyed telling Tyra the things I had been learning, and she was a little puzzled, but a good listener, nonetheless. But while the insights were genuine, they were rather theoretical and intellectual, and would probably have not done us a great deal of good. Then one night Tyra had a dream.
Tyra: I dreamed I was on the second floor of a two-story house. I was looking out of a window into a room on the first floor of the building next door. Inside that room was a girl I had known from college. She was standing in front of an easel painting a picture. Then I zoomed into the picture and paid close attention to all the details. She had painted the top half of a circle, and inside that semi-circle were six men dressed in medieval clothes with large frilly collars. As I looked closer, I noticed that I could see only one side of each man's face, each man had blue eyes, and all of them were looking at the section of the arc closest to them. And then a strange thing happened. As I continued looking at the men, it was as if they became alive, and I was startled by the intensity of those blue eyes!
Jim: I sat listening to Tyra's dream with the attitude we usually have when someone tells us a dream. It might be interesting, or bizarre, but certainly not relevant to daily life. But when she reached the part about the six men standing in a semi-circle I had an insight which was going to change our lives. I had read some seemingly obscure footnotes in Jung that referred to groups of male figures that appear in women's dreams, and represented what he called their animus, or undeveloped masculine side. I hadn't paid much attention. It had seemed much too esoteric, but in that instant I realized that Jung had not been talking about some theory, but a living reality.
Tyra: Jim was politely listening to my dream, and all of a sudden he sat bolt upright, and with excitement in his voice said, "Tell me the dream again!" And so I did, and as I told him, he began to relate my dream to the animus he had been telling me about. But this time it was real! It wasn't a theory, it was my animus - those men with the brilliant blue eyes - and with that dream we both became caught up in a brand new adventure of exploring Jung's psychology and what it meant for us personally.
This adventure has gone on ever since, and what we learned allowed us to get married and stay happily married for the last 25 years. What Jung has to say can transform your marriage, as well.
Who was C. G. Jung?
C. G. Jung (1875-1961) was one of the pioneers, together with Freud and Adler, of the psychoanalytic movement that revolutionized psychology at the beginning of this century. Jung was trained as a psychiatrist, and then became one of Freud's leading disciples. Later he broke with Freud because he thought Freud's theories were too narrow, and underwent a voyage deep into his unconscious which set the foundations for his own psychology. The first major work he wrote when he emerged from this inner transformation was his book on psychological types. Starting with Jung's efforts, the words introversion and extraversion have entered into common usage, and literally millions of people in the United States and around the world have become introduced to his typology through psychological type tests, but often the deeper meaning of Jung's typology remains hidden. For Jung his typology was a way of approaching his whole psychology, and what he called the process of individuation by which we strive for psychological wholeness. We are going to explore his psychological types as a gateway to his psychology as a whole because it can be a powerful tool in transforming our marriages.
Jim: Tyra has blue eyes. If one morning I woke up and began to berate her for having blue eyes instead of brown eyes, and proclaimed how disappointed I was because I had always wanted to marry someone with brown eyes, she would be dumbfounded, and the rest of the world along with her. I would be urged to consult an optometrist, or better, a psychiatrist, but it is amazing how easy it is for us to act in a similar way when it comes to psychological traits, especially in someone we love.
We are used to physical differences like eye, skin or hair color, or height and facial features, and even blood types. But we don't usually extend this awareness to psychological features. This is what Jung began to do when he discovered introversion and extraversion. He had been having his own problems with Freud, and it occurred to him that part of their difficulties might lie in their different personalities, and so he wrote an essay describing introversion and extraversion.
Introversion and Extraversion
Each of us has a certain amount of psychological energy, but we use it in different ways. Some people spend it on the people and things around them. Their energy naturally flows out to these people and things. They are what Jung calls extraverts. But there is another whole group of people whose energy naturally flows inwardly. They are the introverts. Jung saw that both these attitudes were entirely normal. In fact, he suspected that we were born either introverted or extraverted, just like we are born with blue eyes or brown eyes. It wasn't as if he imagined that someone would be completely extraverted, or completely introverted. Rather, he felt that although each of us had both these attitudes, one of them usually predominated.
Tyra: On television you see a lot of extraverted people because they have an easy time of being in front of the camera, projecting their feelings out and talking to people. For the past several years I have been filming people for the videos we create, and it is a great pleasure to capture them, and later, in the privacy of my little video room, edit the footage down. But to be in front of the camera makes me freeze because I'm an introvert.
My mother was an extravert who loved to be in groups of people. She belonged to the local bridge club, and one day when I was coming home from school my heart sank when I saw lots of cars parked in front of our house. Today was my mother's day for entertaining the club at our house. I stopped on the hill, and tried to figure out the best way to escape to my room without being noticed. I felt going in the back door was too risky. There would undoubtedly be someone there. If I went in the front door I could immediately rush up the stairs. So that's what I did, but unfortunately my mother spied me in mid-dash and called me back downstairs. "Say 'hello' to everyone, dear." My worst nightmare. I came back downstairs, said, "Hello," and then dashed back upstairs, my heart pounding.
As you mull over your own degree of introversion or extraversion, one test is to consider your comfort level when you meet strangers. As a rule of thumb, extraverts have less trouble going over to a stranger and introducing themselves, and striking up a conversation. For introverts this is much harder, and usually leaves them feeling worn out from the effort. They can do it, but the price is higher.
The following stories come from people who have attended our workshops or friends. We include them to try to give you a better picture of what it feels like to be an introvert or an extravert.
Man: I am an introvert and I have been an insurance salesman for quite a few years. Can you imagine what that is like? Most of the time I dealt with existing customers, so it was pretty easy. But once in a while things got tight, very dry, no sales, so my manager would say, "O.K., go out knocking on doors." And I can remember knocking on a door and really praying that nobody would be home.
Man: I am an extravert. Imagine a university campus, 2,000 acres on the coast in California, trees all around, the beach not too far away, and evening after evening, especially in the winter when it was kind of rainy, I would get so bored studying by myself that I would literally walk the entire campus trying to find some little knot of people to do something with. The stillness, the beautiful oak trees, were lost on me because I just had to have a crowd around me.
Woman: I am an Introvert. I am an elementary teacher and I am on stage for seven and a half hours a day. It is total performance. Now that I understand the difference between introversion and extraversion, it makes sense to me why I go home totally exhausted every single day. I can do the extraverted stuff, but it takes a lot out of me.
Man: I am very definitely much more introverted than extraverted. I can remember going through some old pictures where I appeared as a young person in the group. There is something very interesting in these pictures. I am always on the end, always on the periphery of the group. I never gravitate to the center.
You begin to get the. picture. Most of us have little difficulty deciding whether the people closest to us are more introverted or extraverted, but sometimes we have trouble deciding about ourselves. Why is that since we know ourselves better than anyone else? The answer is not hard to come by if we remember that we have both introversion and extraversion, and depending on what aspect of ourselves we look at, we can appear either introverted or extraverted. What we are after here is which attitude predominates. If you are having trouble deciding, think of yourself in your late teens or early twenties. What attitude predominated then? As we grow older we tend to become more balanced, and so it is sometimes more difficult to decide.
One other point. Even though the words introversion and extraversion became popularized through Jung's work, these terms are often used today in a different way. Extraverts are looked at as the normal, outgoing, and sociable people in our society, while introverts are shy, fearful, even morbidly inward-looking, and as undeveloped extraverts who need to learn how to become more outgoing. This is not what Jung meant. We repeat, not. Both attitudes are normal, and indeed, each of us needs both of these attitudes if we are to reach our own full development.
Let's look at some more stories in order to sharpen our focus about introversion and extraversion.
Man: My interest is me rather than externals. What is going on in here is what is important to me. I'm me. There is only one of me. It's also a matter of intensity of focus - focusing in depth inward - the whole world in my backyard rather than spreading myself thin. It's also a question of how much data I can process, too. I find there is just so much going on out there that I quickly get overwhelmed and have to come in and think about things. I need my quiet. I need my privacy. I need my time. A new situation I find threatening: interviews, shopping, it goes on and on. I hate to ask people for favors. The merchandise isn't quite right and you have to return it, or you've lost your way. Well, I really hate to ask for directions. I would rather just keep driving. I feel comfortable when I know the people from before, and will talk to just a few.
Woman: At work I am the one who usually takes the initiative in a conversation because I don't feel self-conscious because all that can happen is I will do it wrong and I'll just learn. It's not a big deal. If I make a fool out of myself, that's OK. It's just for a moment. I don't have problems making friends. It's very easy to meet people. I'm not shy.
more introverted because I am like a cat. I like to curl up in a corner and read
a book. I can visit with people only for a while, and then I have to go away. I
like being alone. When I meet new people I tend to be shy for a day or so until
I get to know them and see if I like them and they like me. When I am in crowds
I just keep to myself, and if there are a few people I know, then I'll talk to
them, but other than that, I won't go up to people and say "Hi."
Woman: I like to do things around other people. I like to teach other people how to do things; I like to involve other people in my life, and I like to be out there in the front. I like to be the center of attention. I am a performer, and I like to be watched. I like to be looked at rather than have me took at other people.
Are you Introverted or Extraverted?
Now it is your turn. Which predominates in you, introversion or extraversion? Try the following quiz. It contains no hidden or trick questions, but is simply an aid to help you decide.
Introversion - Extraversion Quiz
When speaking to strangers I: ___sometimes hesitate ___find it quite easy
When I am in a new group I tend more to: .___listen ___talk
People would call me: ___quiet and reserved ___open and easy to talk to
When learning about a new subject I like to: ___read about it ___hear about it
When it comes to money I am inclined to: ___save ___spend
When planning a dinner I prefer having: ___four people ___twelve people
If possible do these exercises with your spouse.
1. Decide whether you are more introverted or extraverted.
2. Come up with at least one story that illustrates your decision.
3. Decide whether your spouse is more introverted or extraverted. Come up with a story that illustrates that decision.
4. Do you agree with each other? If not, you have discovered an important point to discuss.
5. Typological knowledge Is not a theory, but a way of seeing. You will only learn how to see if you practice. Try to decide whether the people around you are more introverted or extraverted. What about your children, or parents, or coworkers?
That Can Transform Your Marriage:
We are sure you did rather well in making the notions of introversion and extraversion your own. They are so fundamental and express themselves in so many ways that usually when someone calls our attention to them we say, "Yes, we understand them and see them in ourselves and in the people around us."
No doubt, Jung was rather pleased with his initial work on introversion and extraversion, but as the years went by and his experience grew, he realized that these basic attitudes couldn't account for everything he was seeing. He eventually discovered that there were actually four kinds of introversion and four kinds of extraversion, and this is what he means by the four functions of thinking and feeling, sensation and intuition. Each one of these functions can be either introverted or extraverted. They are the colors, if you will, in which both introversion and extraversion can come in.
Let's look at the functions of thinking and feeling that Jung linked together as two ways of coming to a judgment. Thinking is easy for us to grasp. It is what we mean by logical, discursive, analytical thought. A leads to B, which in turn leads to C. We marshal our reasons and come to a decision. Thinking is the way we decide whether something is true or false.
Feeling, the way Jung understood it, is a bit more difficult to grasp. It doesn't mean emotion, but rather a way of making a judgment that is just as valid a way as thinking is. But if thinking proceeds by way of the head, feeling uses the heart. If thinking breaks things down into their components and then reassembles them, feeling is more holistic. If thinking prides itself on its objectivity, feeling needs a sense of rapport. And finally, if thinking leads to truth and falsity, feeling allows us to judge whether something is good or bad for us. Jung insists that both thinking and feeling are equally valid ways of making judgments, and each of us possesses both of these functions, but one is usually stronger than the other.
Tyra: My feeling function is stronger than my thinking function. There is a kind of "interior scale" inside me which I use to determine whether I like something or I don't. I take a person or a situation inside, and weigh it on that scale, and that scale consists of many past experiences which I somehow compare with the present one. But it is all a very holistic thing and it is the personal in a situation that attracts me.
Jim usually spends his mornings studying and writing his latest book, and often at lunch he tells me one of his latest theories. But if it remains pure theory I have a hard time grasping it. What I want is a concrete example or story, something that will make it personal to me and will engage my feelings so that through my feelings I can gain a better understanding of what he is saying.
Let's look at some more examples. You will notice in these examples that women use feeling more than thinking, and men use thinking more than feeling. This seems to be a general rule, though each of us has both functions and what function we use most has nothing to do with the question of intelligence.
Woman: Once I was offered two jobs at the same time. It was an enviable thing. It came to a reasoned decision based on salary, benefits, and so forth to take a certain job even though my gut level told me I wanted to take the other job, and it was not the right decision. There have been other times in my life when I have ignored my gut level and gone with the reasoning, and it is almost always the wrong decision, so I am learning to respect that gut level feeling more.
Man: Whenever I return from a trip the first thing I do when I get back is get the mail, and before I can go to bed I will systematically go through all my mail and messages, I will line them all up and prioritize what has to be dealt with for reentry. I do the same thing with the community. There are seven of us. I believe in a lot of long-range planning for the year, and most of the people in the community are people who, from my prejudiced point of view, have no concept of order.
Tyra: I had created a rough draft of a video some people wanted me to do for them, and Jim and I were reviewing it with them to decide which shots should stay, where improvements could be made, etc. Viewing it with us were two men and a woman. I took down notes on what they said, but afterwards the woman came up to me privately and complained that whenever the men made a suggestion, there was no comment, but when she made a suggestion the two men would turn to her and try to talk her out of it, as though her opinion wasn't as worthwhile as theirs, and her feelings were hurt.
Suppose a couple wants to buy a house. The husband may think of the house in terms of its price, closeness to work, maintenance and so forth, while his wife might consider the purchase in terms of how she might feel when friends and relatives come over and how the house will look during next year's Thanksgiving dinner. Or let's imagine a husband comes home from work and his wife, who has a well developed feeling function, wants him to sit down and share what he has been doing, and give her a chance to do the same. Often her feelings are hurt because he says, "Hi, honey," and then continues on to his den or TV or newspaper, removing himself from the scene in terms of his feeling function. For his part, he might have used up all his feeling energy on the job relating to people, and is in no mood to immediately begin relating to his wife. Or he might, in fact, be baffled by the kind of intimacy she seems to be demanding. He knows how to do things and discuss things, but when she wants him just to be with her, he can't comprehend what she means.
Now it is your turn. What predominates in you, thinking or feeling? Try the following quiz.
Thinking - Feeling Quiz
People would consider me: ____Reasonable ____Warm and sympathetic
When people argue I tell them to: ____Come up with a solution ____Stop
When someone has a problem my first reaction is to: ____Help them work it out ____sympathize
When it comes to making a decision I favor ____My head ____My heart
1. Decide whether you use your thinking or your feeling more.
2. Come up with at least one story that illustrates your decision.
3. Decide whether your spouse is stronger in thinking or feeling. Come up with a story that illustrates that decision.
4. Do you agree with each other? If not, you have discovered an important point to discuss.
5. Try to decide whether the people around you are stronger in their thinking or their feeling function. What about your children, or parents, or coworkers?
Sensation and Intuition
Just as there are two equally valid ways to arrive at a judgment, Jung saw that there were two ways of perception: sensation and intuition. Sensation is easy to grasp. It means perception by means of our various senses. It means contact with people and things by way of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Sensation is in touch with the here and now in all its rich detail.
In contrast, intuition means the perception of possibilities. If sensation is oriented to the present, intuition revels in the future. When sensation is in a room, it glories in all the shades of color, and the styles of decoration it finds there, while intuition immediately looks for the nearest window in order to float out of it and search out hidden possibilities in the future. If someone with a strong function of sensation sees a bowl of oranges, he or she notices the number of oranges and their precise shade of color, and might handle them and smell them, and even perceive what kind of bowl they are in. When intuition predominates, however, the sight of the oranges triggers off a whole chain of associations. Wouldn't it be nice to live in Florida where I could have orange trees in my backyard, or couldn't I start an orange juice business and then branch out to serving out other tropical fruits and then have to travel the world in search of these exotic fruits, etc., etc.?
Tyra: A friend of mine has a very strong sensation function. For her Christmas tree she had carefully collected special ornaments, a few each year, and when she put them on her tree she would reminisce because each ornament reminded her of a whole part of her life. She had picked them out because of their originality, and when Christmas was over she would carefully wrap each one in tissue paper until the next year. For myself, if I put a couple of strings of lights on the tree, and a few ordinary ornaments, that is enough for me and I don't give it any more thought. But that is because intuition is my stronger function and the object itself doesn't have an intrinsic attraction for me.
Jim: My aunt used to be the head nurse of the emergency room at a big hospital. One Saturday night she let us watch her work. A young man was brought in unconscious, accompanied by a terrified friend. It looked like drug overdose, but the young man's companion refused to tell her what he had taken. She looked him straight in the eye and said," Look! If you don't tell me right now what he was taking, he is going to die." So he told her, and she immediately went into action. She had complete control over the sensating details, and she knew exactly what to do about the situation.
Tyra: Jim's intuitive function is very strong, and when he picks up a book and starts studying, he has left us all behind and is busy exploring the solar system, intricate philosophical discussions, or is traveling in exotic places. When I want his attention I have learned to say, "Jim..." and then wait 10 seconds, 20 seconds, until finally he realizes that he has been called, and he says, "What, dear?" This saves me from having to repeat myself three or four times. It is only after he has emerged from whatever world he is inhabiting that I can communicate with him.
My son also has this problem. He has a strong intuitive function and usually has 17 plans a day. When I used to tell him to get three things for me from our root cellar a few hundred yards down the hill, he would come back with only one or two of them. Why? Because while he was down there he saw something and started to play with it, or he was dreaming and picturing himself on a dangerous trek, etc-, etc., and the three things got lost in the excitement of his imagination.
Man: My boss is much more intuitive than I am. I am more sensation oriented. I am kind of "let's sell the products we have now, that we can deliver now, that we can get the highest profit margins on now and make the most money for us now." He says, "No, I think you should spend some of your efforts on these other products that we have that are more in the future, something we may want to be doing several years from now, that may not have the profit levels now but will be well worth doing later." That's the kind of conflict we have, and maybe that's why he owns the company!
Jim: That's an excellent example because you don't want an intuitive type in day-to-day management because he or she gets tired of details. You need someone who loves details, someone who will keep up the routines and for whom details are new to them each day. For the intuitive type details are old five minutes after they first see them. And that can be a disaster.
Woman: I think I am an intuitive type, but by vocation I am a stay-at-home mom, and I have to perceive by sensation because the kids are constantly pulling me into the present. One of the frustrating things for me is that at the end of the day I have nothing to show for my day because I have been tuning in to everything they say. I would like to dream and plan and read, and look at the bigger picture, and the reality of it is that I am forced to be perceiving by sensation and focusing on whatever the kids bring to me for the moment.
Jim: I have met women who seemed to me to be very intuitive women, but when they dealt with their kids they felt they had to adopt a model of child rearing that was more sensating. But there are other ways to be present to your kids than in a sensating way. You can, for example, say to them that you know of some exciting things to do - things both of you would enjoy and bring them along with you.
Man: I took a trip several years ago with two of my classmates, one of whom is very much like myself, and another is very, very different. We were going to go for ten days and take a 1,000 mile ride. We had projected where we would go, the amount of mileage each day, and where we would stay. Everything was going very nicely for the first day until we came to a lake. We had to be at our destination by such-and-such a time in order to have dinner, etc., etc., and our other classmate suddenly said, "The water looks great. Let's go take a canoe trip." Well, we were in the middle of nowhere, there were no canoes around, but that didn't phase him because he remembered we had passed a town about a half hour back and he was sure we would find a canoe there. This is the kind of dialogue we got into. You may imagine that after ten days we have never gone out on a trip together again.
Man: When my wife and I went on our honeymoon I was supposed to make all the arrangements for it. However, all I knew was where we were going, and I took care of no details whatsoever. Needless to say, the tension in our marriage started very, very early.
Now it is your turn again. Which is stronger in you, intuition or sensation? Perhaps this quiz will help you decide.
Intuition - Sensation Quiz
I tend to ___Get excited about the future ___Savor the present
When I have set plans: ___I feel somewhat tied down ___I am comfortable with them
If I were to work for a manufacturer I would prefer: ___Research and design ___Production and distribution
I am inclined to: ___Get involved with many projects at once ___Do one thing at a time
If people were to complain about me they would say: ___I have my head in the clouds ___I am in a rut
People would call me: ___Imaginative ___Realistic
When I find myself in a new situation I am more interested in: ___What could happen ___What is happening
that can Transform Your Marriage:
Jung summed up the four functions like this: "Sensation (i.e., sense perception) tells you that something exists; thinking tells you what it is; feeling tells you whether it is agreeable or not; and intuition tells you whence it comes and where it is going," and we have no doubt that if you and your spouse have talked about the various elements that make up Jung's typology and have done the exercises, you have probably made some good progress in discovering which elements predominate in you, and which in your spouse.
Up until now we have been presenting Jung's typology understood interpersonally. As such, it is a valuable tool to help us understand ourselves and others. If I, for example, have a strong thinking function, and you have a strong feeling function, and we can see how these normal and natural human differences are influencing our relationship, life could be a lot easier. What could be simpler than that? During one retreat we were giving for married couples, everything had gone well up until this point. The couples had broken down into small groups and discussed introversion and extraversion, then thinking and feeling, and finally sensation and intuition, and each time they had come back to the whole group with good stories to illustrate each of these aspects of Jung's typology. You have read similar stories in the past two chapters. They were excited and eager to see what came next. But then we tried to explain Jung's typology, not taken interpersonally, but intrapersonally, and the room became very quiet. Suddenly it was as if we had taken the clear notions they were developing and scrambled them up, but it is types taken inside ourselves that is the road that leads us to the secret that can transform our marriages.
We have insisted, as Jung did, that each of us has both introversion and extraversion, thinking and feeling, sensation and intuition, but it is just that these elements are arranged in us in different ways, and these differences give rise to the different types.
Let's make a diagram of types taken interpersonally.
In Figure 1 let's imagine that the first half-circle with the T in it represents a man with a well-developed thinking function, while the second half-circle with an F in it represents his wife who has a well-developed feeling function. There are lots of other ways in which we could draw this diagram. For example, in the first half-circle we could put E to represent extraversion, and in the second, I to represent introversion. Or we could put S in one half-circle to represent sensation, and U in the other half-circle to represent intuition. In any of these cases all we are trying to illustrate is that our spouse can have a different type than our own, and the recognition of these type differences can have a beneficial effect on our marriage. Then we understand that it is all right for our spouse to be the way he or she is, and for us to be like we are, and if this was what types was about, it would be a very valuable tool and a quite straight-forward one.
But ask yourself where the other half of each of those half-circles is. Or, if Jung says that each of us possesses all the elements of typology, just where are they? Jung's answer is quite clear. He claims that there is another whole part of our personality that we are not really in touch with. So let's draw another diagram. In Figure 2, the dotted half-circle represents what Jung calls the unconscious. If we have certain typological elements that are well-developed parts of our everyday conscious personalities, or the top half of the circles, we also have less developed typological elements that reside in the unconscious. For example, if I am strong in thinking, I will have feeling, as well, but it will be less developed and less conscious. Or, if in my conscious personality I am more extraverted, my unconscious will tend to be more introverted. In this fashion we can begin to develop a typological map of ourselves and plot on that map which part of us is extraverted and introverted and where the four functions go.
Let's look at another diagram.
Figure 3 represents a man who is extraverted with a well-developed function of thinking. Thinking is his most developed function, but let's suppose that he also has a fairly well-developed function of sensation. If he is consciously extraverted he will be unconsciously introverted. If his most developed function is thinking, his least developed function will be feeling, and if his second most developed function is sensation, his function of intuition will also be somewhat developed, but less than his function of sensation.
You can begin to see why our retreat group fell silent. This looks much more complicated than naming our most developed function and that of our partner and letting it go at that. But this is the deeper meaning of Jung's typology. In fact all of Jung's psychology can be summed up in his typology if we look at it this way. Then what Jung called individuation, or wholeness, from a typological point of view becomes developing those aspects of our type found in the unconscious. But what, we can hear you asking, has all this to do with transforming my own marriage? That's a good question, and we will soon find out in the next chapter, but for the moment we would like you and your spouse each to try to create your own typological maps. This is not easy. Don't expect to immediately fill in all the elements. Just do the best you can, and consider that you may have to revise this map many times in the future as your typological insight grows through experience. Help each other fill in the different elements. Here is a rule that Jung derived from his experience that might make the job easier. We saw that thinking and feeling were two contrasting ways of arriving at a judgment, and that sensation and intuition were two contrasting ways at arriving at a perception. Jung felt that the two functions in each pair were connected in an important way in the psyche. Thus, if your most developed function is thinking, your least developed function would be feeling, and vice versa. And if your most developed function is sensation, then your least developed function would be intuition. Sometimes we know our most developed function, or we know our weakest function, and that will tell us where the other one of the pair goes.
Try to fill in these typological maps.
That Can Transform Your Marriage:
It is time to make good on our promise that this deeper view of typology taken intrapersonally vitally effects our marriages. Meet an imaginary couple, Mark and Linda. They are a composite of many married couples. In this case we will say that Mark is an introverted thinking type and Linda is a extraverted feeling type. When we first see them they are in their early twenties and are deeply in love. They have discovered that magic that comes with falling in love. They are immersed in each other, and when they are not together they are thinking of each other. They have never met anyone before like each other. In each other's presence they feel marvelously whole and complete, and they have decided to marry so that they can permanently live in this state of bliss.
This is how falling in love looks to them:
It is as if they have been searching their whole lives for that special other person who completes them. Sometimes it seemed like they would never find that person, that they would go through life unfulfilled, and now by some happy chance they have had the great good fortune to find each other.
But if Jung were to look at them with his keen psychological sight, what would he see? What would he ask them? The first thing he would say is, "Where are the other halves of those half circles?"
And they would reply, "What are you talking about? It is true that we were incomplete before, and we knew something was missing, but now that we have found each other we are whole. The other half of the circle is the other person."
Mark and Linda's viewpoint is one that our society as a whole shares. The key to our personal happiness, we imagine, is finding that person with whom we can form a perfect unity. It is hard to imagine even Jung being able to convince Mark and Linda that there is something vital they are overlooking. They feel they know and experience the wholeness they have been searching for, and so whatever he has to say does not apply to them.
Next we meet Mark and Linda three years later. The very things that attracted them to each other have become sources of contention. Mark had been initially drawn to Linda because of her great warmth which she would focus on anyone she was dealing with, but especially on him. Linda, for her part, had been drawn to Mark because of his air of self-sufficiency and his clear analytical thinking that seemed to cut to the heart of any problem. But now Mark is actually annoyed by his wife's outgoing and feeling nature. He feels that it is simply too shallow and that she conducts an opinion poll among her friends in order to come to any decision instead of using her own mind. She continually wants to go out, but to activities that are all glitter and flutter and no substance. Linda, in her turn, sees that Mark's clear analytical mind has a dark side that expresses itself in cutting remarks which have the effect of keeping people at arm's length. His self-sufficiency has been transformed into an anti-social attitude that wants to chain her to the house and his interminable quiet evenings. Both of them are deeply disappointed because the wholeness they experienced seems to have evaporated. They love each other, but that love for some unknown reason is being strangled, and they don't know how much more of this incessant bickering and fighting they can take. Is this relationship destined to founder on these temperamental differences? Was that glorious sense of wholeness just a mirage, and so at best they will have to put away their early dreams and simply endure real life? Or will they end up in a divorce that will be devastating to both of them?
Now Jung appears on the scene again, but this time they really want to hear what he has to say. He takes their initial picture of failing in love and he replaces it with a more complex one that looks like this:
And they listen attentively while he explains what it means. "Each person," he tells them, "has an undeveloped other side. Mark, since consciously you are introverted with a developed function of thinking, then your other side is more extraverted in a feeling way. Linda, you are just the opposite. You were both searching for that something that would complete you, and that is the reason why you were attracted to each other. As they say, opposites attract, and this is often literally true in marriage where we see many marriages of opposites like your own. Even in marriages where these typological differences are not as extreme, there are still enough contrasts to make life interesting. I can understand why when you got together you felt you had reached the goal that you had been searching for. But in actual fact, what you were experiencing was a taste, or a promise, of what it means to be whole. Mark thought it was enough to find you. He didn't realize that in a very real way we can say that he had hidden in himself a woman he needed to relate to. Clearly I don't mean a real flesh and blood woman like you are, Linda, but I mean a feminine dimension in his psyche connected with his feeling function that had remained undeveloped and unconscious. I have called this woman the anima, but you can call it anything you want as long as you come to understand that it, is a very real factor in the psyche that vitally effects your conduct.
"Linda, it is much the same story with you. Your other side is introverted with the function of thinking, and it, too, acts like a hidden and powerful force whose energy radiates out of the unconscious and effects your daily behavior. You, too, have another person, as it were, living inside you, but this dimension is like a man which I call the animus.
"Now let's look at my diagram. Naturally enough, Mark never thought about relating to the woman within. He didn't even know she existed, and if I had told him about her earlier, he would have thought I was completely crazy. But if this feminine dimension actually exists as part of Mark's larger personality, we cannot expect that it will lie there inertly. No. It is a living reality, and it calls out to him, as it were, for attention and affection, and chances to grow. But he is deaf to her, and yet it is from her that that tremendous longing to be whole comes from. So when he meets you, Linda, he recognizes, whether consciously or unconsciously, that you somehow possess what he. is missing. But what he doesn't realize is that when he looks at you he is not seeing you in a purely objective fashion, but it is as if the woman within has come out and become the colored glasses through which he views you. You did much the same thing in relationship to him when you fell in love. Did you ever think of why we say falling in love? It is because it is something that happens to us, like fate or destiny, something beyond our control. I would say it is the activation of this unconscious dimension in each of us which comes out and vitally influences how we see that other person. Then we see them as the perfect completion, the missing half, that we have been searching for, and we treat them with an appropriate awe, reverence and sense of wonder. It is as if bathed in the light of the anima or the animus they have become magical, almost divine-like beings.
"But this is only the positive side of things. If there is falling in love, there is also falling out of love. This is when the rose-tinted glasses are taken away, or we could say that the light coming from the unconscious is withdrawn. Then we see the other person as an actual flesh and blood human being. We see that that person is not our miraculous completion, but in fact, our spouse who has a very different kind of personality than our own. This can come as a terrible shock. It is almost as if we woke up one morning to find a stranger in bed with us. But it is even worse than that. This is the person on whom we pinned our hopes, and now it looks as if our hopes are not going to be fulfilled. We are disappointed, and we look around for someone to blame. And the person we pick is our partner. We have moved from the positive projection of falling into a negative projection.
"Mark, why are you so irritated with Linda who, in fact, is just being herself? It is because she has disappointed you. She is not the magical answer to your own wholeness that you thought she would be, and this feeling of disappointment and the anger that comes with it is what drives you to see her in a negative way. It is your own inner woman, your own feelings, which you have neglected, that have the very qualities you are attributing to Linda. They are disorderly and scattered. They run all over the place and you can't control them. Linda, you are doing the same thing. Because you have neglected your animus, it has become cranky, irritable, and isolated, all qualities you now find in your husband. What both of you must do if you truly want to save your marriage is to learn about inner marriage."
With the help of your spouse if possible, reflect on your own experience of falling in love and married life, and fill in Jung's diagram:
That Can Transform Your Marriage:
Just what is inner marriage? It is no different than what Jung calls wholeness, or the process of individuation. Inner development and wholeness, then, becomes the very way in which we can nourish our outer marriages.
But how can we go about living out this call to inner marriage and relating to this hidden other side of us? We can only provide a brief summary here, but luckily there is an enormous literature that has grown up around Jung's work and is readily available. We have also created books, videos and audiotapes which look at the question of this inner marriage from the point of view of typology.
But before we summarize some of the basic principles that govern this inner work, a caution is in order. We are talking about normal psychological development, and not the kind of psychotherapy necessary if we are suffering from some deep psychological trauma. In those cases it is best to look for professional help, but in this more general field of psychological growth there is much we can do to took after our psychological health, just as we have to care for our physical health by good nutrition and exercise. Psychological work can be compared to learning how to drive a car. It would be foolish for us to imagine that we could simply jump into a car with no previous experience, no lessons, and no experienced driver at our side, and simply take off and make our way through the rush hour traffic. It is equally foolish to think that we could open the door that leads to the unconscious and plunge in with abandon. Yet, taking our time and with the help of our spouse, we can learn how to do our inner psychological work.
The first challenge we face in this kind of work is the difficulty we have in believing that this other side actually exists. Even if we believe it theoretically exists, it is still difficult to admit that it is a powerful influence on our day to day behavior. This reluctance is rooted in the fact that the unconscious, as its very name indicates, is unknown to us. We can't directly perceive it, so our first task is to find ways in which to get a glimpse of it. This is why Jung was so fond of dreams and fantasies because they gave him a picture of what the unconscious is like. Sometimes we remember a powerful and vivid dream, and with it comes a certain kind of strange feeling. It is as if for a moment, before we turn away, we have gotten a glimpse of that other world. So dreams are one way to do inner work, but usually we need someone who has some experience working with them before they begin to yield their meaning to us.
A simpler way to begin is by way of our own type. By now you probably have some idea of what the type is of your conscious and more developed side. From that knowledge you can deduce the type of your hidden unconscious side. In the case of Mark, in the last chapter, it would be rather easy for him to come to the realization that he is an introverted thinking type, and so he could deduce that his other side was extraverted feeling. But this knowledge, as true as it is, is going to do him very little good unless he can somehow make living contact with that other side. It is not enough for him to know that there is this hidden feminine dimension, or anima, in his unconscious, but he has to enter day by day into a living inner marriage with her.
Marriage has provided Mark with a striking way to see what is in his unconscious and begin to make contact with it. We have already seen how his relationship with Linda is filled with images and feelings that originate deep within him. It has become a screen, as it were, upon which is projected what his own unconscious is like. Up until now he has failed to see that, and has either elevated Linda to a superhuman level as some kind of angelic being, or damned her to hell as a devil. But the angels and devils really live inside himself, and it is his relationship to Linda that has made them visible. They are both faced with a wonderful opportunity. They don't have to laboriously try to discover what exists in their unconsciouses. It is staring them right in the face if they could only recognize it. Their very relationship which is beginning to tear them apart and could destroy them could also, if they could see it with new eyes, save them.
How could this work out in practice? Mark, for example, is annoyed when he comes home and finds Linda on the phone, and it takes her another ten minutes, at least, to hang up and greet him. Then no sooner had they sat down to dinner than someone else calls. Naturally it is for Linda, and so that disrupts dinner time. Mark would really like to say, "No phone calls during dinner." But he doesn't know how to do that without sounding like some kind of tyrant. Already he is catching himself making biting comments when Linda says something off the top of her head without really thinking about what she is saying.
Linda, for her part, feels like she is slowly being checked from every direction. It is as if Mark is building a prison around her to cut her off from the easy social contact that is her very life-blood. He seems to resist more and more whenever she wants to arrange some kind of social event for them, and he seems to resent it when she goes off by herself. It is as if nothing she can say or do can really satisfy him.
This kind of situation, which could spiral out of control and end in disaster, can also be turned around. What is Mark really doing? He is treating his wife as if she is somehow out of control and can't be trusted to say the appropriate thing or decide what she wants to do. Yet, ironically, it was Linda's outgoing and spontaneous nature that first drew him to her. Why does Mark feel that Linda is somehow out of control? The answer lies in his own undeveloped side. It is his own feelings that cannot really be trusted to say or do the appropriate thing. They are, in fact, too cut off from him and live a life that is out of his conscious control. But he can't see this, buried as they are deep in his unconscious. But what he does see is Linda who embodies in a very real way his extraverted feeling side. As long as he doesn't make contact with his own feelings, he will project them on her, and begin to make her life miserable, and his own, as well.
Here we have reached the critical point. Mark has to somehow come to the realization that his own feelings are driving the outer situation. This is very difficult to do. It is almost like a supreme act of humility. It is an admission that there is more to him than his well-developed thinking function. Deep inside him there is this woman whom he has neglected, and who really doesn't know how to act appropriately. She is the one who makes dumb remarks without thinking, or goes on and on without reflecting. She is the one he is trying to keep at bay and under control, and almost legislate her out of existence. He would like to be pure thinking and not have to deal with what appears to him to be the very messy reality of feeling. And he takes it all out on Linda.
Linda has to deal with her own inner marriage, as well. She is disorganized and unreflective, and she can't seem to break away from her friends, even when she should be paying attention to Mark. But at a deeper level she doesn't take time to pay attention to that introverted thinking man who lives deep inside of herself. She would really like to take some time for herself and to study and meditate, but somehow it never happens. The time she wants to set aside all gets swallowed up in errands, phone calls and visits. Every time she is about to have five minutes for herself, someone seems to call or come over and need her sympathy. But why is this happening? It is because the animus deep inside her is neglected and undeveloped. In a very real way she doesn't want to get to know him. She fears he might be cruel or tyrannical and cut her off from the warm flow of feelings that has always nourished her. These fears, of course, are the very way that she is beginning to see Mark. who, first embodied that strong, sure introversion and thinking that she was lacking, and now is being transmuted into a monster. She, too, has reached that critical moment where she needs an insight into what is really going on.
How can the critical insight arrive for both of them? Perhaps it can be born out of the love they have for each other. Perhaps one day they sit down and really look at each other and see the person they care so much about, and they sense that powerful forces beyond their conscious awareness and control have been weakening their relationship and threatening to end it altogether.
If they come to that realization, they have understood in a very real and practical way that the unconscious actually exists, and profoundly effects our daily behavior. What can they do about it? They need to deal with these powerful unconscious forces, carefully, prudently, and most of all, together. It is as if they are standing on a tiny little island of sand and big waves are rolling in at them, threatening to sweep them away. The unconscious is nothing to be underestimated, but at least the unconscious is now becoming indirectly visible through the history of their own relationship.
This is the time to put away the resentment that has been growing in them about each other. They should write it off to forces beyond their control and make a new beginning. Mark has to make a firm resolution to try to get in touch with his extraverted feeling side, and Linda has to do the same in regard to her introverted thinking side. These tasks would be very difficult to accomplish if they had to tackle them entirely alone. But they have each other. They have actual living models of what their undeveloped sides could become, at least in some small measure.
What can Mark do after his fundamental admission that he needs to work on his extraverted feeling side? He can't and shouldn't imagine that he can somehow give up his introverted thinking nature and become at extraverted feeling type like Linda. It wouldn't even be wise to give himself over to her kind of social schedule. His attempts have to be much more modest and more in line with his own nature. Mark does have friends, for example, and he does like to spend some time with them, and he realizes that he doesn't spend as much time as he should. Here he can make a conscious effort to call one of them up and arrange to go see them even though it disrupts his tight and orderly schedule. Another example. Mark by nature is not a party person, but if he is honest with himself, there is some part of him that would like to experience some of that reality. He can try to take a more active part in some of the things that Linda likes to do, and he also can create his own parties which would probably tend to be smaller, more intimate affairs than anything his wife would plan. What is crucial in all this is that Mark carry out these activities with the conscious intention of trying to build a bridge to that extraverted feeling side of his own personality. They become ways he enters into dialogue with that woman within, and tries to please her.
What should Linda's attitude be to his attempts? First and foremost, she has to realize how difficult for Mark these activities are, and not be critical of how modest they appear on the outside. If he wants to invite four people over for dinner, she has to restrain herself from inviting four more. If he wants to go with her to a party, she has to be ready to meet him halfway and come home a bit earlier than she would like.
Linda has to make her own attempts to make contact with that introverted thinking side within her. She may, for example, first become aware of how her own introverted needs are continually being subordinated to her extraverted personality and the multitude of things that she does. Then it might make sense for her to set aside fifteen minutes or half an hour during the day that will be her own special time sheltered from all phone calls or visits, and dedicated to try to find a way to build a bridge to the animus. She might try reading books she always wanted to get to, or practice some kind of simple meditation that emphasizes focusing inward. That relatively short period of time could be enough to begin to transform her life and her marriage. Mark, for his part, has to see these modest attempts for what they really are. The slightest word of scorn about the fruits of Linda's quiet times could do great harm. She is not attempting to think like he thinks, or to become accomplished in some area that he values. She is trying to get in touch with her own thought in her own way. She is trying to give some nourishment to that dimension deep in her psyche that has been too long neglected. It is his role to encourage what she is doing and even shelter her precious time alone by playing the extravert, as it were, and dealing with what needs to be done. In a relatively small and modest way they are both reversing their roles because they now see that the wholeness that they experienced when they first got together was the promise that they could become whole within themselves.
We have focused on just one common type of marriage between the extraverted feeling type and the introverted thinking type. Naturally, many other kinds of relationships abound, but the same principles hold true.
Sit down with your spouse and see if you have reached that critical moment in which you both don't want things to go on like they did before and are willing to stop blaming each other and start admitting that there are powerful forces in the unconscious of each of you that have been responsible for a large portion of your behavior.
Then you can begin, together, to explore those areas that have become problems, and try to find some simple things that each of you can do, with the help of the other, to begin to look within and make contact with your other side.
What is the secret that can transform your marriage? It is that the secret of our wholeness lies within each of us. We have to stop putting the burden for it on our spouse. Both of us are meant to go on that inner journey that leads to individuation, but it is our partner who should be our companion along the way, helping and sustaining our own journey. If we take the pressure off each other to supply each other with wholeness, and begin to seek it inside ourselves, our marriage will actually become much stronger and more loving.
The Inner Explorations website:
By purchasing your books or CDs at Amazon.com using our link, you will help support this website. Thank you!
Copyright © 2002-2008