In Gottman’s new book The Science of Trust he discusses the one missing piece of his work for the past 30 years, TRUST. He also spend a great dseal of time discussing his concept of “Unresolvable Perpetual Problems” and how those UPP’s are related to personality type so of course I was intrigued and TOTALLY agree with him!

Gottman says on page 22 “These perpetual problems arose because of lasting personality differences between partners”. No two people can be exactly the same, they can be the same type (which can lead to easier understanding of each other) but they have different life experiences they bring along with them which also influence their personality. Some examples are birth order, family of origin, culture of origin, trauma’s, etc. With that being said, understanding your Type and yourself on a deeper level is the foundation of differentiation and being able to stand confidentially in who you are.

Once we are on the path to self acceptance and personal awareness through Type we can attempt to conquer these UPP’s. Since no two people can be exactly alike we can never expect them to see things exactly as we do! Ever! So, now what do we do?

  1. We accept ourselves.
  2. We accept our partners.
  3. We know our Personality Type.
  4. We HSL,we hear, see and love them.
  5. We realize we will ALWAYS have disagreements.
  6. We will NEVER always see eye to eye.
  7. We work hard to compromise and love each other through it.

This is NOT easy work. Marriage takes work and getting through these “Unresolvable Perpetual Problems” is ongoing work in any relationship, especially marriage.

Knowing and understanding your Type is the first step in being able to negotiate this inevitable issue in marriage. Personality Type is innate therefore it is impossible to change but it is possible to understand it and then be willing to negotiate change around it!

If you want to learn your Type or learn more about your Myers Briggs Type you can contact me at

Jessica Butts MA, LMHCA