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Thread: INTP-ENFJ: Rise and Fall of a Long Term Relationship

  1. #11
    Your Huckleberry lethe's Avatar
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    This is a particularly interesting thread to me. I was also with an ENFJ, mine was 12 years. I'd love to compare experiences and impressions, I also wonder about the impact of gender on the dynamic.

    Did you attempt to learn the ENFJ way? Things like socializing, expressing affection, conversation, or paying close attention to what they value our trying to understand how they interpreted social/romantic gestures? Anything like that? How did it go?
    Don't remember changing this.

  2. #12
    eyeing you rabbit warrior kitsune's Avatar
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    I'm curious how long the break-up lasted before finally going through with the divorce. Living together can get pretty comfortable after 7 or 8 years even if the marriage itself isn't working out right.

    Of course, I can't wait to hear about the very beginning, about how you met her. I love a good romance story.

    "
    'I cannot play with you,' the fox said. 'I am not tamed.'" - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Le Petit Prince (1943)

    REMINDER TO SELF WHEN DEALING WITH THE RABBIT WARRIOR: "All warfare is based on deception." - Sun Tzu,
    The Art of War

  3. #13
    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitsune View Post
    Of course, I can't wait to hear about the very beginning, about how you met her. I love a good romance story.
    It was the late 90's, on the cusp of the new millennium. Anything was possible.

    Ptah regarded the new player skeptically, but decided to give her the benefit of the doubt.

    "So, you're a halfling thief with the advanced trip and disarm feats?"

    "Yeah, and I have a really high dexterity score so they're extra effective."

    "Nice. I've been thinking our party could use one of those. Did you take Improved Initiative?"

    "Of course."

    <light jazz music plays>
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

    "When you write about shooting Polemarch in the head, that's more like a first-person view, like you're there looking down the sight of the gun." --Utisz

    David Wong, regarding Chicago
    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

  4. #14
    singularity precursor Limes's Avatar
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    Well, I shan't say sorry, because it's probably better that you recognized that you weren't compatible, or wanted different things from your partners without forcing it into some sort of death spiral.

    FWIW, I thought that those threads back at INTPc where there was some barely believable stuff about you not getting involved in other people's problems/emergency situations would have been very damning for you from an ENFJ perspective and it was probably a mistake to have both been members. I would think that the forum should probably have been your retreat and yours alone, since you weren't scoring many points (never mind in ENFJ currency).

    If I had a question, it would probably be; if you could go back and say that you would rescue a child from a burning building, would you change your answer?

  5. #15
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    (note I'll be replying to all comments/questions, but I'll try to break them up and arrange them into related categories. Here are a few replies, as such)

    The state of things now

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan26 View Post
    ...how recent is this development? I ask cuz 1) is there a chance at reconciliation? 2) are you at a point to really hear things now?
    Things dissolved completely early last summer. It was in a true tailspin for at least a year before.

    By the time I realized just how far south things turned, there was no chance of reconcilliation. That didn't stop me from trying, for she was the woman to whom I had promised my life (qua marriage); it was -- if nothing else -- a matter of personal principle (to try to fulfil my vows) despite how emotionally eviscerated I became by the final throes of it all.

    As for my state now. It is now a past-tense subject of introspective analysis and -- potentially useful/interesting discussion herein?

    The early part of our relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by kitsune View Post
    Of course, I can't wait to hear about the very beginning, about how you met her. I love a good romance story.
    For the record, I won't be sharing specific biographical details here. I'm willing to get into some of those in my blog, but here the focus is to explore the INTP-ENFJ dynamic from a higher level of abstraction, as drawn from the partcular biographical details/events.

    That aside...

    Quote Originally Posted by Osito Polar View Post
    It was the late 90's, on the cusp of the new millennium. Anything was possible.

    Ptah regarded the new player skeptically, but decided to give her the benefit of the doubt.

    (RPG nerdness ensues)
    Ha. Yes, actually, we met in the context of something nerdy. I was going about my nerdy pursuits oblivious about and uninterested in romantic relationships. One day I was introduced to her through others involved.

    To characterize the initial and early dynamic between us:

    Keirsey wrote in Please Understand Me II of how INTPs can regard ENFJs:

    "(INTPs)... can despair of ever finding a mate who will listen to them and appreciate their visions ... (ENFJs are) brimming with ideas (of their own)... are catalysts .. able to bring out the best in others with inspiring personal enthusiasm. (INTPs) find this combination of intellectual spark and personal sparkle quite irresistble."

    And, vice versa,


    "(the ENFJ) wants to bring out the latent talents ... and what better target than the reserved and probing (INTP)? ... that is, if this diamond-in-the-rough can be inspired to fulfill (their) potential"


    ... and I quote it here because I think this describes the dynamic that drew us together, held us there early on.

    I remember of our first meeting: she was infectiously enthusiastic, naturally competent and graceful and yet comforting and unpretentious. Something about her awakened and inspired me. I can understand how sickening that may sound. Fact was (and still is) other extroverts tired me out, even annoyed me. She didn't, she drew me in, fascinated me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
    In theory they can help us develop our Fe and we can help them develop their Ti.
    I think this was very true for us, in both directions.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
    ... they've always made me feel super loved and appreciated (even when in reality they feel relatively indifferent towards me).
    This is how I felt, yes. (And later, I would discover differently)

    The notion of marriage

    Quote Originally Posted by notdavidlynch View Post
    Something I'd like to know is: Why were you married in the first place? You don't seem like a religious person at all.
    I objected to the religious aspect of it all, but I just overlooked all that(*) in view of what I saw was the personal principle and essence of it: a commitment between us, a promise.

    (* this is an instance of a problematic pattern that would arise, as such: what I've since referred to as "drawing smaller circles", of ignoring certain details to focus on "what's important". It bit me in the ass, down the road)

    Quote Originally Posted by notdavidlynch View Post
    Were there tax or other benefits? Is this a reason that you thought about getting married, or were you more or less just going through the motions of what you thought was normal, socially appropriate behavior? Did you buy a ring? Did you have a ceremony?
    I cared nothing for the practical benefits of it.

    "Going through the motions?" No. Informed by my culture? Unavoidably, to an extent.

    The inception of the idea of a long-term committed relationship came from the outside. My desire to commit to her was decided internally, in observation of what I believed to be our long-term potential as supervened upon our dynamic. She wanted marriage. I didn't see any problem with that, since at core it represented what I wanted, as well. The institution of it all was just inessential noise which I largely ignored.

    Yes, there was a ring. Why? Because -- like marriage overall -- I was adapting to/accepting of what she wanted. I saw it as harmless, as inessential details. And, internally, I could respect/appreciate it for I'm also given to tokens, if sincerely meant.


    ...

    (Next I'll reply to those comments/questions that got to the problems as things went along)

  6. #16
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Aside: of posts long, long ago and forum feedback/interference

    Quote Originally Posted by Limey View Post

    FWIW, I thought that those threads back at INTPc where there was some barely believable stuff about you not getting involved in other people's problems/emergency situations would have been very damning for you from an ENFJ perspective and it was probably a mistake to have both been members. I would think that the forum should probably have been your retreat and yours alone, since you weren't scoring many points (never mind in ENFJ currency).
    Yes, she read my posts on the forum. Yes, I discovered along the way that she was squirreling copies of some of them away as if for some reference (qua indictment, in the end). Yes, otherwise she'd bring up what she read and we'd have a discussion (if not argument) about it. By and large, it wasn't a problematic dynamic until the very end (for reasons I can get into more directly later). Here I'll simply say: I maintain that the problem then was what was going on in her life, and her attempt to find in my words reasons to justify her immoral, deceitful actions -- as against her genuine dislike for what I'd said on the forum.

    Overall, just like I welcome my girlfriend now to read anything I post on the forum (and: I don't edit what I say in view of that possibility), in the spirit of openness and honesty, I welcomed my ex wife to do the same. While the community/forum is a sort of retreat from the world, I should not and shall not escape from (or limit or shape my words to) the woman closest to me. Just as I expect the same. Golden rule.

    If people can't be together in complete honesty, as such, then they ought not be together, in my view.


    If I had a question, it would probably be; if you could go back and say that you would rescue a child from a burning building, would you change your answer?
    Nope. My principles are my principles. They are invariant to circumstance, including who I'm with and what they think of them.

  7. #17
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    Fact was (and still is) other extroverts tired me out, even annoyed me. She didn't, she drew me in, fascinated me.
    One word: Pheromones.

    They're like being slipped a psychoactive drug, except no one is at fault.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  8. #18
    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ Deckard's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear that, 14 years is a long time, I guess you probably feel like you're missing a limb. I lasted 7 years with my ENTJ.

    Question: How are you finding the process of evaluating your own objectivity & clarity with the post-mortem, with respect to 1. her stated & unstated reasons for why the two of you had problems, and 2. your own stated & unstated reasons? How much did "needs not being met" come into it? Do you think you would have found it easier to continue on in a comfortable but dull/unsatisfying marriage than she would have? In retrospect, do you think you were on the same page about having children? You said, "the problem then was what was going on in her life" -- care to elaborate?

    Feel free to ignore any of the above if they're too personal.

  9. #19
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    One word: Pheromones.

    They're like being slipped a psychoactive drug, except no one is at fault.
    Yes and no.

    I've met other ENFJs (male, female, co-workers, friends of friends, etc) along the way since, and they all have this quality of not exhausting me with their extroversion. They all come across as rather interesting and intriguing in the same general sort of way. All the healthy ones, anyway. All share a kind of persuasive/influential enthusiasm mixed with an "unrefined grace" of expression that is fascinating to me.

    But, yeah, in the case of my ex wife, it was all that plus whatever else (pheromones, etc) that made it a romantic attraction, sure.

  10. #20
    malarkey oxyjen's Avatar
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    I've had a couple great friends who I suspect are ENFJ's--they are warm, bubbly, and inspire me to become my "best me." They have a confidence and easyness that I really enjoy and feel I don't exude myself naturally.

    I have also had a few people in my life that I suspect may be ENFJ's and though they are very personable, I felt that they looked at me like I was a "fixer upper"--my INTP traits were wrong, needed to be fixed, and it was their job to tell me how to do it. Granted, when it comes to romantic relationships a lot of times compromise/change is demanded, but this type of ENFJ approached it from a horribly condescending manner.

    Is this something other INTP's run into or were my few bad ENFJ experiences a fluke that doesn't reflect normal MBTI interactions?

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