A Secret that can Transform
Your Marriage:
Chapter 3


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Now it is your turn to contribute to this discussion. Send us your questions and comments: arraj@innerexplorations.com                                                               

Chapter 4