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

  1. #21
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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.
    I hate those fuckers.

    (Yes, everything is fine with my current relationship; I'm just thinking in terms of past experiences. Not that I was entirely blameless. )

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    Aside: of posts long, long ago and forum feedback/interference
    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.
    FWIW Ptah and i have talked in great length about the demise of not only his marriage but mine as well, long before he started this thread. He and i hide nothing from each other, as we have had a very candid and open dialog since even before we met in person. I'm never surprised to see anything that he has posted on the forum, because it is usually a topic and or idea that we have already discussed in great length.

    With that being said, as he explained her behaviors, etc. i tried to give him insight as to how or why based upon my own past life experiences. I have developed my own hypothesis about the demise of Ptah's marriage based upon his raw account, her behaviors ie snide comments in regards to myself, her typical ENFJ behavior, as well as family dynamic.

    while it may seem unconventional that one would confide in a mate about one's past failed relationship, I have only extended to Ptah the same unbiased peer council that i offer my closest friends. Mentally stepping out of our relationship, as to provide Ptah with a pure anthropological hypothesis of seemingly unconnected behaviors. It's one of my strengths being an INFP.

  3. #23
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    (Getting to replies as I can... and trying to thread them with respect to a sort of chronological order in the demise)

    Quote Originally Posted by tele View Post
    feel free to ignore: what were the fights like/about?
    We rarely fought. I think that the following depicts the dynamic of "why not" well enough:

    From: http://www.personalitypage.com/ENFJ_rel.html

    Quote Originally Posted by ENFJ Relationship Weaknesses
    • Extremely sensitive to conflict, with a tendency to sweep things under the rug as an avoidance tactic
    From: http://www.personalitypage.com/INTP_rel.html

    Quote Originally Posted by INTP Relationship Weaknesses
    INTP Weaknesses

    • Tend to "blow off" conflict situations by ignoring them, or else they "blow up" in heated anger
    That is, in each our own way, I think we both valued harmony -- as in the lack of conflict -- to the point of avoiding what perhaps should have been a fight. Not often, to be clear ... but perhaps often enough that problems slowly added up as the years went on.

    INTPs do not like to deal with messy complications, such as interpersonal conflict, and so they may fall into the habit of ignoring conflict when it occurs. If they feel they must face the conflict, they're likely to approach it from an analytical perspective. This may aggravate the conflict situation, if their partner simply wants to feel that they are supported and loved. Most people (and especially those with the Feeling preference) simply want to be encouraged, affirmed and supported when they are upset. The INTP should practice meeting these needs in conflict situations.
    A problem area for ENFJs in relationships is their very serious dislike of conflict. ENFJs will prefer to brush issues under the rug rather than confront them head-on, if there is likely to be a conflict. They are also likely to "give in" easily in conflict situations, just to end the conflict. They might agree to something which goes against their values just to end the uncomfortable situation. In such cases, the problem is extended and will return at a later time. The ENFJ needs to realize that the world will not end if there is a disagreement, and that dealing with things immediately initiates closure. Ignoring issues will not make them go away.

    Quote Originally Posted by tele View Post
    intp & enfj is some of the strongest personality clash i've ever encountered (but enfj seeks out reconciliation eventually ime).
    So in those rare (I can count them on one hand) instances when we did fight -- it would start out (and often, endure for a time as) a no-holds-barred, blow-out clash of iron wills and unshakable values.

    Conflicts quickly took on the dynamic you might expect between:

    The INTP has no understanding or value for decisions made on the basis of personal subjectivity or feelings. They strive constantly to achieve logical conclusions to problems, and don't understand the importance or relevance of applying subjective emotional considerations to decisions.
    ENFJs do not like dealing with impersonal reasoning. They don't understand or appreciate its merit, and will be unhappy in situations where they're forced to deal with logic and facts without any connection to a human element.
    An explosive clash of Ti-vs-Fe is how things started, as if we were both completely blind to what appeals work on the other. As fights wore on, our energy for sustaining ongoing conflict would deflate (for we both wanted to avoid conflict, and quickly reconcile from it), yet as the fight pushed on, our inferior functions would come out reversing the struggle to weak-Fe vs. weak-Ti, which is where we'd somehow meet in the middle and try to weakly patch things up. She'd move for what "makes sense", while I'd be quick to reconnect emotionally somehow... both of us sourly exhausted.

    But problems lurked after such clashes -- and was what began to spell the demise of our relationship. To be taken up in another post.

  4. #24
    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    My question is this:

    It simply didn't work out, or it defiitely couldn't have worked out? (based on...personality? values? etc?)

  5. #25
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan26 View Post
    I hope you don't mind me asking but what did she say were the main reasons? Unwillingness to change? Inflexible? Needing to be right over things that don't matter? She wanted to make a bigger deal over things you didn't think mattered? Difference of priorities?
    I was never told. She told me she was cheating the same night she left me, and that was that, as such. I was left to make educated guesses, but to this day it doesn't quite add up.


    Quote Originally Posted by kitsune View Post
    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.
    She moved out and the divorce was about three months later. The divorce was decided upon the same night she announced she'd been cheating on me. Whether or not she wanted specifically that then, I (emotionally eviscerated and in Ti-to-the-rescue mode) stated my desire for it right there, on the principle of her willful, irreparable breach of our marriage vows.


    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    This will probably be highly insensitive, but were the issues you had more related to Thinking vs. Feeling or Introversion vs. Extroversion? Potentially, I realize it might be a minefield, but I am curious.
    I can't say for sure. I'd guess it was both, ultimately. I'd say it had to do with her being dishonest with herself, as supervened upon her own inner struggles brought on by E, F and J, as such.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruby_Bookrose View Post
    I am a female that was married to an ENTJ male for almost 11 years. I think part of our problem was that my world was small in a lot of ways (in terms of those I wanted to interact with most of the time). He needed a wider social group. I was attracted to his sociability and that he always seemed to know what to do (decisive) - probably balancing out some of my weaknesses.
    I can relate to that, in that it does describe a certain dynamic between my ENFJ ex-wife and I.

    Quote Originally Posted by lethe View Post
    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?
    I'd say so. I was a very different person, in those ways, prior to when we met. Through my time with her I learned (*) to be comfortable in expressing and acting on such things. You might say my Fe went from almost entirely dormant and undeveloped into somewhat more developed, so as to interact with and understand her better. I'd say I made progress. I don't think any failure on my part, as such, was the reason for her cheating on me, hence our divorce.

    (* for, as silly as it sounds, she inspired me to do so)
    Quote Originally Posted by Robcore View Post
    My question is this:

    It simply didn't work out, or it defiitely couldn't have worked out? (based on...personality? values? etc?)
    That's a difficult question to answer with any confidence. I'd say it didn't work out, if I had to choose one. I am not perfect, but I am not the one who failed her. She failed me, well within the measure of her control. As such, she could have chosen differently. That's how I see it.

    I'd say the #1 problem that split us was honesty (in terms of self-dishonesty, as a prerequisite to being honest with others generally, and particularly with your romantic partner qua spouse).

    I was guilty of avoiding certain things about our relationship, down to the level of what could be considered inner, self-dishonesty. But it did not relevantly contribute to the demise of our relationship, as I see it (only: how blind I was to it coming). Dismissing things between us I probably should have been paying closer attention to, etc.

    (As I would only piece together later...) She was guilty of avoiding very obvious inner truths, which were at material opposition to our relationship's health (nevermind onset, as the historical-backtracking chips fell).
    Last edited by Ptah; 02-09-2015 at 09:11 PM.

  6. #26
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    I think part of our problem was that my world was small in a lot of ways (in terms of those I wanted to interact with most of the time). He needed a wider social group. I was attracted to his sociability and that he always seemed to know what to do (decisive) - probably balancing out some of my weaknesses.
    Relationships are like that with extroverts. It hasn't been a problem yet.. I think the main thing is that I have to give her the space to let her do things with other people besides me. (Maybe you did that, though, and it didn't work.)

    She's also less neurotic than I am, as far as I can tell. I feel like we meet each other 50/50 on this kind of stuff; it doesn't seem like her expectations for me are one-sided. It helps that I'm an introvert that would get tired of a relationship where I spent every weekend cuddling in bed (not that I mind that).... and I think when she wants to go out and do something, she pretty much tells me and lets me know what she wants to do.

    I don't put too much stock in MBTI anymore, but if I had to guess, I'd peg her as one of the ExTxs.

  7. #27
    Member Ruby_Bookrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    I was never told. She told me she was cheating the same night she left me, and that was that, as such. I was left to make educated guesses, but to this day it doesn't quite add up.

    She moved out and the divorce was about three months later. The divorce was decided upon the same night she announced she'd been cheating on me. Whether or not she wanted specifically that then, I (emotionally eviscerated and in Ti-to-the-rescue mode) stated my desire for it right there, on the principle of her willful, irreparable breach of our marriage vows.
    My ex cheated and left rather quickly too with few answers. I guess I feel like I can only own what I did or didn't do as a spouse (not his response). You mentioned some of your faults and things you fought about. I think it's good you can be reflexive about your role.

    What I've learned is that EVERY couple has issues but it's the actions of the individuals that determine whether different types of abuse come in to play as response to conflict. It was her choice to cheat on you (potentially putting you at risk for STDs, etc.). She could have taken so many avenues to deal with whatever you were doing wrong. The infidelity messes with the partner's head during and after the marriage. It's the intp-ness of your personality that makes you ruminate. I think it's okay to admit you have faults and say you could have been a better spouse. It's not fair to yourself (however) to conclude that you CAUSED or could have PREVENTED her to cheat/leave. There's a lot going on between her and the other person too that has nothing to do with you.

    Some people break things that can't be fixed. I would get sad sometimes that we broke our marriage (I didn't want to get back together either). One big factor: I didn't want to end up in our retirement, on our porch rocking-chairs reminiscing: "remember when I was pregnant with little guy and you cheated with that woman at work? I am so happy you took those months to leave me and the kids so we could figure out we are really meant for each other".

    I didn't/don't want to have reminiscences like this WITH ANYONE.

  8. #28
    Member Ruby_Bookrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    I don't put too much stock in MBTI anymore, but if I had to guess, I'd peg her as one of the ExTxs.
    I agree that MBTI doesn't take in to account many of the dimensions of personality. It essentializes some key dimensions, however, that I think matter.

    It's possible the more they go out, the more they think they married a really boring person which sucks but is also true from their point of view (especially as they experience the relationship OVER time).

  9. #29
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    I agree MBTI/personality-theory isn't everything. However, in this case I think there are some true-to-type dynamics that correspond with the weaknesses and ultimate failure of my marriage.

    For instance, according to type, we are both given to avoid conflicts, and seek "harmony", to trade a comfortable zero in exchange for a -1, even if it means there is no +1. I am given to absent-minded head-in-clouds ignorance of day-to-day, hence I might have missed certain clues as daily defaults accumulated for the worse. She is given to a degree of persistent self-doubt, in the sense of identity, and a degree of acting out under pressure, as such.

    Just thoughts.

    In theory, INTP-ENFJ relationships should and can work very, very well. However, I've found that when they don't -- it can collapse ruinously, and blindly to one or even both until the last minute.

    That said, again, type isnt everything. Individuals are what matter overall. Still, patterns match.

  10. #30
    eyeing you rabbit warrior kitsune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    I might have missed certain clues as daily defaults accumulated for the worse.
    Partners should not be expected to read minds. No matter how uncomfortable conflict is, the only way to lasting harmony is via communication.

    I'm sorry you had to experience being cheated on. As for not getting an explanation -- she did you a favor. Any explanation given would have been blame. Being blamed on top of being duped would have just added to the pain, I believe. AND If she wasn't really in touch with herself, if she was dishonest with herself, it is also possible whatever reason she gave you wouldn't have been the real reason.


    I'd like to point out that cheating occurs with every MBTI type. It's not specific to one or the other.

    "
    '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

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