How Understanding The Enneagram In A Marriage Helps You To Have Less Conflict with Laurel Roberts-Meese | EU 1986 min read

December 4, 2023

What actually causes conflict in marriages?

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I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, marriage coach, course creator, retreat host, mother of 3, married for 23 years and host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 


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What causes conflict in marriages? Why is the Enneagram such a great tool for married couples to deepen their understanding of one another without falling into constant conflict? How can you find out what your Enneagram type is?

In this podcast episode, as promised, myself and Laurel have my Husband Willie on to determine his Enneagram number. Join us in the episode as we discuss understanding how the Enneagram in a marriage helps you to have less conflict.

Meet Laurel Roberts-Meese

Laurel is a therapist licensed in California, Pennsylvania, and Florida, with a decade of experience serving diverse communities, notably the LGBT+ community. Committed to enhancing mental health and well-being, she is also a graduate professor at Pepperdine University. She holds an MS in Counseling Psychology, is trained in EMDR, and founded Laurel Therapy Collective, where she manages her team of world-class therapists specializing in anxiety, trauma, burnout, and LGBT+ couples therapy.

Keep up with Laurel Therapy Collective on InstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn, and read her latest mental health advice on her blog


  • Why the Enneagram is important for marriages 
  • A hypothetical couple made up of a six and an eight
  • There are no “good” or “bad” combinations
  • Finding your Enneagram type

Why the Enneagram is important for marriages 

The Enneagram is a brilliant tool for people who work together and collaborate within groups, like in companies, teams, businesses, and even marriages.

The reason is that the Enneagram can help to explain a person’s core motivation and why they do what they do.

For marriages and couples, this is a game-changer.

If you can understand your partner’s core programming, there’s no limit to how close and in love you can be, and how much you can show love to your partner. (Laurel Roberts-Meese)

A hypothetical couple made up of a six and an eight

For example, if an Enneagram eight woman and an Enneagram type six-man got married and were building a life together, some of the conflicts that they may experience might include:

  • Contempt for the eight: they may feel pressured to make sure that there is a level of safety by proving that there has to be a sense of order. They want to be in control.

I see maybe the person that’s more in control – not me – as attempting to find some way to either manipulate or convince the other that order is necessary for there to be some level of “flow”. (Veronica Cisneros)

  • Lack of independence from the Six: they may feel that they are forced to be dependent on the Eight, because six’s typically need a lot of autonomy and this could clash with the Eight’s push for control.

However, they each have strengths that the other may not have, which makes them a great team.

Do you see how just like understanding the operating system [of one another] deconstructs common problems? (Laurel Roberts-Meese)

Once each partner understands the other better, they can pull back and resolve these conflicts before they escalate. They can use the knowledge and the understanding from the Enneagram to get to the root of the issue before it grows into something bigger.

There are no “good” or “bad” combinations

There’s no bad combination of types. You know, six and eight, they’re going to have certain challenges but you two have made it work … You can make any combination work if you’re both willing to do the work and understand what motivates your partner and why they’re behaving that way, not just being frustrated that they’re behaving that way. (Laurel Roberts-Meese)

There are no good or bad types, and there are also no good or bad combinations between Enneagram types.

These types are just potential explanations for core motivations behind behavior. The success of your marriage comes down to how much you are willing to fully be seen by one another, be vulnerable and honest, and meet each other in the middle.

You can use the Enneagram as a tool in your marriage to deepen your understanding of one another.

Finding your Enneagram type

Don’t take Enneagram tests. As Laurel recommends, do your own research. Read about the types, sit with yourself, listen to podcasts, and pursue information so that you can decide on the number yourself.

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Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic Podcast

Hello, my name is Veronica Cisneros, I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Marriage Coach, Course Creator, Retreat Host, Mother of 3, married for 23 years, host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast, and owner of a group private practice called Outside The Norm Counseling.

A lot of couples struggle with setting aside intentional time to connect and communicate. They yearn for meaningful conversations that don’t lead to arguments.

1 month away from divorce, I realized I had to do something different. For years I had compromised myself to meet the needs of my husband and my child, I lost myself and was about to lose my marriage. After years of personal growth and self-reflection, I not only reclaimed my identity, and celebrated 23 years of marriage but also helped hundreds of couples transform their marriage from feeling like roommates to experiencing a deeper love.

I am on a mission to help couples reignite the fire by providing them with the skills to have the relationship they deserve.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook community, or do the Workshop,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Empowered and Unapologetic Podcast on Apple Podcast {previously iTunes) and subscribe!

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I’m Veronica, your new Boss MOM Mentor with no filter and no BS. 

I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, women’s coach, course creator, and retreat host. Married for OVER 20 years, raising three girls, and the host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 

Enough about me… 

My jam? Helping high-achieving women thrive both at home and in the hustle of work.

I've been there.

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Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Marriage Coach, Course Creator, Retreat Host, Mother of 3, Married for over 20 years.

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