this was posted here: The Enneagram Institute Discussion Board - Will Type 4s ever find their "rescuers"?
Type 4 needs three things
1) someone who really LOVES the 4 unconditionally
2) someone who really UNDERSTANDS the 4
3) someone who really SUPPORTS the 4
4s are so troublesome because they almost always confuse all these things and hold an image of ONE perfect person who could give all that. If there is someone who really understands the 4, the 4 might easily think that this must be real romantic love. And the 4 will also begin to expect endless suppport from this person. In the end the 4 is frustrated since this person isnīt willing to sacrifice himself in order to make the 4 happy. Or there is someone who really loves the 4. The 4 will expect this one to really understand and support her. But then the trouble begins: If the one does understand the 4, the 4 feels caught and not free to play silly cat & mouse games and so on. Since the one who understands the 4 will also be able to read the ulterior motives. The 4 canīt stand this. Or the 4 meets someone who is really interested in supporting and rescuing the 4. The 4 might easily fall in love and idealize this person. But soon she feels dependent. She might keep the person since she needs letīs say the money & psychological support. But the romantic interest will fade away and the 4 will subtly take hatred out on the person. The more effecitve the support is the more the 4 feels victimized although not able to break up the relationship.
So sabotage takes place THE MORE a person offers one of these three things to the 4. Someone might remain a supporter for years and keep the public role of being the 4īs mate. But internally he will not be treated nicely. Or someone might remain the 4īs lover. But he will have to stand that the 4 always shows him his flaws and that she needs a lot of other people around who UNDERSTAND and SUPPORT her. Or someone might be allowed to really understand the 4. But he canīt continue as a lover since the 4 feels threatened.
Iīd say if someone offers two of the things to the 4, it is almost a law that the third thing will be destroyed soon. If someone understands AND supports the 4, the 4 will feel so dependent and experience this person as so superior that she wonīt be able to "reward" this superior person with the luck of being loved. Although the 4 secretly always plays with the thought of loving this person and will possibly not be able to love someone else. If someone loves and understands the 4, the 4 will develop such huge demands of support that the person gets to the point where all this canīt be understood any more. If someone loves and supports the 4, the 4 will soon develop hatred since she assumes that this person wantīs to buy the 4īs love.
If someone offers all the three things to a 4, this is a guaranty for mean sabotage on the long run since the 4 will feel totally inferior and always test on this personīs stability & honesty. The fear of loosing this one will lead to more and more poisoning the relationship and finally really loosing this person.
So I get the impression that older 4s begin to strongly separate all these three things. Often they stay together in a relationship with someone whom they donīt really love, just because this person is very supportive. Or there is someone whom the 4 loves secretly. But since he is so understanding the 4 will not allow the love to take place. She will always secretly love this person but stay together with another one who is less understanding and thereby less threatening. And so on. There are many possibilities.
I think the 4 is the one who most dreams of a perfect person offering all the three things in early years. But the 4 is also the one who is least able to keep all this if it becomes reality. Therefore later in life the 4 is the one most likely to end up diplomatically in half-hearted relationships with supporters. Or to have a lot of understanders & stay single. Or to have one short relationship after another just to suck support & energy out of the people. Or another combination. But most likely not a balanced life with a mixture of all the three things in a mate & some friends. The relationships with friends & mates will always be confused and conflict each other. Roles will frequently get changed. Like: How would it be if not my mate but my best friend loved me? How would it be if there would be someone who could support me even better than my mate? Why shouldnīt I spend more time with people who really understand me if my mate doesnīt? What if my mate understands me more than I thought (then I would actually be trapped)? The people closest to the 4 will feel pressured by these comparisons & role changes. And this is the 4īs extortionate method of trying if there is even more she could pocket as a reward for being so poor and not being granted to find final satisfaction.
So finally this "rescuer" is not one terrific person but a complex and oscillating structure of relationships to utilized people who get involved due tho their own ego lacks. The 4 really understands to capitalise that every person is somehow conscience-striken and flawed. People easily get addicted to the great admiration the 4 offers in the beginning. And they will have to toil more & more in order to get this ego drug again. A complex rescuer structure (like a diva with a lot of servants) is more realistic than one rescuer since it allows certain people to refuel if overloaded.
But also possibly the 4 takes off the exploitative pattern and looks in the mirror and finds ONE rescuer (as said). I believe that this one rescuer will still need the support of other secondary rescuers; as if the 4 knew that itīs a hard job to rescue herself and feels self pity looking in the mirror and loading this job just on the person behind the mirror. But this might be the approach to reduce the amount of external "rescuer-energy" over the years. Since there are also 4s who just need more & more of other peopleīs energy when growing older.