Friday, October 3, 2014

How We've Improved Our Marriage This Year

My husband and I have been together for over 15 years, and have been married for nearly 12 years.  We have a strong marriage, but things have definitely changed over time as we became parents of one, and then two children. Daily life with young children is so busy that we can go along without putting any real effort or thought into our marriage, and over time that can take a toll on our relationship.

About 8 months ago, I stumbled across something that has changed my life, my relationships, and my parenting: Energy Profiling. Although I am always open to new information, I wasn't looking for a change when I found Energy Profiling. In hindsight, I can see that finding this information was a true blessing for me and my family.

What is Energy Profiling?

Carol Tuttle's Energy Profiling System is a way of understanding people and the way they move through life.  Carol breaks down the world into 4 Types.  These 4 Types are seen throughout nature and the natural world.

In her book, It's Just My Nature! A Guide to Knowing and Living Your True Nature, Carol wrote,
"The truth is, at your very core, you express a unique, natural energy that influences how you approach new experiences, relate to people, manage challenges, and move through life in general. The truth is, your life runs better in every way when you understand your inner nature and live true to it, rather than fight against it."

The Energy Profiling System is much more than just a personality profiling system. A person's Energy Type encompasses:
  • introvert versus extrovert tendencies,
  • how a person relates to the world (emotional versus logical),
  • body language and physical features,
  • the filter through which a person sees the world around them, and
  • where a person fits in the whole cycle of doing/accomplishing things, such as having the ideas (Type 1) , planning how to do something and working out the details (Type 2), getting it done (Type 3), and perfecting how it is done while looking at the big picture (Type 4).

What are the 4 Energy Types?

On Carol's Energy Profiling site, she gives the following brief description of each of the 4 Types. To learn more, you can access her FREE Energy Profiling Course here

"Type 1: The bright, animated person who has a gift for new ideas and possibilities. The natural movement of Type 1 is upward and light. A person with a dominant Type 1 expression is naturally an upward, light, upbeat person.
Type 2: The soft and calming person who has a gift for gathering details and making plans. The natural movement of Type 2 is fluid and flowing.
Type 3: The swift and dynamic person who has a gift for moving into action quickly to create practical and lasting results. The natural movement of Type 3 is active and reactive.
Type 4: The structured and exact person who has a gift for looking at the world through a critical eye and perfecting it. The natural movement of a Type 4 person is constant and precise."

How Energy Profiling Has Improved Our Marriage

I initially watched the free 6-part Energy Profiling Course on my own. I was excited about what I learned and immediately wanted to share it with my husband. He was a bit doubtful at first, but that changed once we watched the course videos together. We had (and continue to have) some profoundly insightful conversations as a result of learning about our Energy Types. 

Learning about our Energy Types has allowed us to come to a new understanding of each other. We understand better why we each do the things we do, and this understanding has helped our relationship in many ways. Some of the changes have been small, just little details, but others have been more meaningful.

For instance, knowing my husband's Type 4 nature has allowed me to understand and celebrate some of his traits that are often looked at as being "negative" in our society. Being a Type 4, my husband has a natural need for solitude and reflection. Before I understood this, I could easily misunderstand why my husband would often retreat to be alone for some time in the evening. As a Type 4, my husband also has an eye for perfecting things, which could be seen as pessimism, when in reality it is a gift for perfecting.  

My husband has been able to learn more about why I do the things I do, too.  He used to frequently say that I should slow down and relax.  I have a very hard time sitting still or even getting through a whole movie without feeling the need to get up and do something. It turns out that this is part of my dominant Type 3 nature. As a Type 3, I naturally feel the need to accomplish things, lots of things, every day.  When I fight against this aspect of my nature, I find that I feel tired and lethargic.  

Type 3's can also be very impulsive, springing into action very quickly and completing tasks.  On the other hand, my Type 4 husband looks at the big picture and the best way to complete a task.  My natural tendency is to push through and move quickly, whereas my husband naturally wants to work more deliberately and carefully.  Understanding this has made it clear why we can sometimes become so frustrated when trying to work together on a project, and now we are able to talk through these things to make the most of both of our gifts.  

Energy Profiling has allowed us to discuss aspects of ourselves that we may have never even quite understood ourselves. In doing so, our marriage has grown stronger and our family life has improved.

Did having kids change your relationship? Have you improved your marriage this year? What Energy Type are you?

Links to Amazon are affiliate links. If you use these links, your price remains the same, but I earn a small commission. Energy Profiling has been such a fantastic resource for my family that I have signed up as an affiliate for the Energy Profiling System. The initial Energy Profiling Course is free, but if you go on to purchase related products, I will earn a small commission (while your price remains the same). Thanks for supporting this site!


Anonymous said...

So you're New Age?
Didn't know, it clarifies some things.
Be careful. It will land you places that you do may not desire to go.
I learned the hard way, research your authors, know their lives, what looks good on the outside, may not be the truth you are longing for. If you desire to know God, ask Him to you give you wisdom to know false experiences which look and feel true. Examine everything. Blessings!


Sarah Smith said...

I don't classify myself as "new age" or by any other religious label. I read wisdom from many different traditions and apply my own internal Truth filter to know what is right for myself and my family.

It is funny that you mention that I should examine everything, as that is exactly what I do. I am open to wisdom, even from unlikely sources. I read much, pray daily, reflect and introspect to find answers. My own path may not look the same as yours, but that does not make it any less valid or correct.

Jacqui said...

I started looking at the energy profiling a few months ago but it didn't sit right with me and I stopped looking into it. I'm glad I did. I agree with one line above: 'Be careful. It will land you places that you do may not desire to go'

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this.
I believe your are an open minded person, that can rely on your own gut feeling. You know if this suits your in your current life and current situation. Please continue to share!

Kitty said...

I've been learning so much from the energy profiling system myself! It explained so many things about the people around me and my natural movement, especially towards relationships! I'm at type 1 who was trying so very hard to be a type 4 because I saw that profile as more professional, grown up, responsible, etc. And I'm married to a type 4 man who only deals in exacts and perfection. Once I found out that I was a very frustrated Type 1 - everything balanced back out. And as you say, we are working together more - using our different strengths rather than bickering. For instance, a while back we had a flight to catch. And we were meeting friends for lunch who were taking us to the airport to save parking fees. While he stewed about time, I chattered and had fun....until we nearly missed our flight! After that, we made a conscious agreement. This would fall under his natural area of expertise. I will listen to him and rely on him in these situations to take over for us. And there are certainly hundreds of other instances in our marriage where he relies on me to lead us through, with my high flexibility and ability to walk into a room and start conversations with strangers. It's about knowing and respecting each others' strengths and using them for the good of the partnership.

Heather said...

This was a really fun and informative post to read, thanks for sharing! My husband and I have also been married for 12 years, and have 3 children. This year we both figured out our Meyers Briggs types and our love languages, and those things have helped our relationship (and ALL of our relationships) so much.

Rebecca said...

I have looked into the Energy Profiling, and have figured out that I am a Type 4. Now I understand why too much"people time" drains me, and I have to have more alone time to rejuvenate. I haven't figured out my husband's type yet--sometimes he's rather people oriented and other times not. Perhaps if I get him to watch the videos, it would help him figure it out himself. As far as it being "new age", I have just chosen to use what is useful to me, and leave the rest.

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, Kitty! I, too, love that this allows us to take advantage of each other's strengths.

Sarah Smith said...

We have also benefited from learning about our Love Languages. We did Meyer's Briggs many years ago; it wasn't as beneficial for us as Energy Profiling because our Meyer's Briggs types were ENFJ and INFJ; those types didn't account for all of our differences. I'm glad you and your husband are fining MB helpful, though, and that your relationships are being improved. Maybe I would benefit from looking at MB again now, since I am "older and wiser" now, though.