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  1. #1
    Member COLORATURA's Avatar
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    Default Stranger Advice?

    So...I am not sure this has much to do with personality, but for shits and giggles...I am INTP & my boy is ENFJ. He understands me like no other has ever. We are both musicians, and have had SO much in common ever since the first moment we met. I honestly thought he was my "soulmate," and I usually don't even believe in that.

    Anyhow, I found out about a year ago, that he was on hardcore drugs. We broke up, and LOTS of bad things happened, including him completely flipping out when I wanted out of the relationship. I wanted out b/c I found out about the drug use and ALOT of lies he had told. I was completely broken, but I tried to move on. He overdosed in April, and went into rehab, which was the one thing I told him would possibly keep me around. Of course, that happened after we were no longer on speaking terms. I have since started speaking to him again, and now at this point he stays with me alot, and we are back together technically. I am trying not to go into too many details, but his drug problems have caused ALOT more casualties in his life than just our relationship, and I am basically having to carry him at this point.

    He doesn't really have much of an income, and can't seem to find a job, and to top it off has no license either. I have never been one to date anyone with these types of problems, but our connection is quite profound. I don't know if I have the patience and forgiveness in my heart to keep dealing with all of these problems. Not to mention, I believe he is out-of-balance, and does not use his "thinking" well at all. I know that it is a shadow function for ENFJ, but I believe he is stuck in an Fe rut, and is unable to use his thinking at all.

    Advice anyone??
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  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Do you have a "gut feeling" -- like if you stop thinking about all the details for a second, what idea pops straight into your mind when you ask yourself, "Do I want to stay with him?" (Don't process, just react.)

    Just asking.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  3. #3
    Member COLORATURA's Avatar
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    I feel almost sick. Like my heart & mind are in constant tug-o-war. Then, I think...is LOVE really worth all of this??? Love shouldn't be so hard...
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  4. #4
    Member COLORATURA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Do you have a "gut feeling" -- like if you stop thinking about all the details for a second, what idea pops straight into your mind when you ask yourself, "Do I want to stay with him?" (Don't process, just react.)

    Just asking.
    I really just don't know how I feel at all. I can't stop thinking long enough to figure out what I want. Does that make sense?

    Before I found out about all the lies, I was head over heels. COMPLETELY blinded by love. I don't know how to feel that again. Maybe it really is just over.
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  5. #5
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COLORATURA View Post
    I really just don't know how I feel at all. I can't stop thinking long enough to figure out what I want. Does that make sense?

    Before I found out about all the lies, I was head over heels. COMPLETELY blinded by love. I don't know how to feel that again. Maybe it really is just over.
    Well, it took me some years before I could just temporarily turn off the brain noise and just listen for my gut response. It's worth practicing that, it will give you additional info.

    (Another way to do it is say to yourself, "Okay, if I broke up this second with him and never saw him again, what is my response to that?" vs "Okay, if I agreed to marry him right this second, to spend the rest of my life with him, what is my response?" and see which one is stronger.)

    I wouldn't necessarily say it is "over," but definitely you have moved from innocence to awareness. Perhaps some of that was an emotional connection (so it would have dissipated some anyway over time and this hurried it along), but some of it could also be a breaking of trust and that he is not who he said he was / you thought he was, or that he has other sides to him that you don't like as much.

    Essentially you became very aware of his weaknesses, so you are in a position of whether you should choose to stay with and deal with his baggage or move on and not make that kind of commitment. Some answers might seem a bit safer than others, but it still kind of comes down to what you are willing to commit to, now, knowing what you know. Also, starting any kind of "official legal" relationship in a situation like this, well, you can't assume it will ever get better than what you have now, even if maybe it will. Is your current situation, with everything as it is, palatable to you, or is it something you can't do long-term? [This latter bit is not just a "can I physically/mentally do it?" but also "Am I going to be miserable doing it all the time?" Don't shun your emotions on this, they are part of relationships.)

    I do think love can be "hard" sometimes... it just probably shouldn't be CONSISTENTLY painful and hard. (I am a survivor of a long-term relationship where it was a mismatch and opposing goals, but we tried to make it work anyway -- for years. There were some good things that came of that; there were also some negative things. You make sacrifices, and you get some rewards for that, but you also pay some prices.) I think a decent pairing to start with allows for the most possibility of happiness for both people, long-term, and makes it a bit easier to ride out and apply yourself to the rough spots.

    With your bf, the drug issue is a big concern -- will it reoccur, what types of weaknesses does it represent in his character, can you trust him in the future, etc? -- and his lack of employment is yet another problem.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #6
    Member COLORATURA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Well, it took me some years before I could just temporarily turn off the brain noise and just listen for my gut response. It's worth practicing that, it will give you additional info.

    (Another way to do it is say to yourself, "Okay, if I broke up this second with him and never saw him again, what is my response to that?" vs "Okay, if I agreed to marry him right this second, to spend the rest of my life with him, what is my response?" and see which one is stronger.)

    I wouldn't necessarily say it is "over," but definitely you have moved from innocence to awareness. Perhaps some of that was an emotional connection (so it would have dissipated some anyway over time and this hurried it along), but some of it could also be a breaking of trust and that he is not who he said he was / you thought he was, or that he has other sides to him that you don't like as much.

    Essentially you became very aware of his weaknesses, so you are in a position of whether you should choose to stay with and deal with his baggage or move on and not make that kind of commitment. Some answers might seem a bit safer than others, but it still kind of comes down to what you are willing to commit to, now, knowing what you know. Also, starting any kind of "official legal" relationship in a situation like this, well, you can't assume it will ever get better than what you have now, even if maybe it will. Is your current situation, with everything as it is, palatable to you, or is it something you can't do long-term? [This latter bit is not just a "can I physically/mentally do it?" but also "Am I going to be miserable doing it all the time?" Don't shun your emotions on this, they are part of relationships.)

    I do think love can be "hard" sometimes... it just probably shouldn't be CONSISTENTLY painful and hard. (I am a survivor of a long-term relationship where it was a mismatch and opposing goals, but we tried to make it work anyway -- for years. There were some good things that came of that; there were also some negative things. You make sacrifices, and you get some rewards for that, but you also pay some prices.) I think a decent pairing to start with allows for the most possibility of happiness for both people, long-term, and makes it a bit easier to ride out and apply yourself to the rough spots.

    With your bf, the drug issue is a big concern -- will it reoccur, what types of weaknesses does it represent in his character, can you trust him in the future, etc? -- and his lack of employment is yet another problem.
    Maybe it is an INTP female thing...?
    I also was in a relationship that I tried to make work for 11 YEARS! We were married & everything, but I eventually got tired of trying sooo hard to make it work when all he could see was his own feelings. I eventually was a miserable shell who didn't know who I was (b/c I ignored my own feelings to preserve his)....that is how I found my way into MBTI. Maybe this makes me even more so jaded in some ways, b/c I don't want to waste my time again like that hoping for change.
    With this one, I don't really want his personality to change, though. I only his lifestyle, and unfortunately, it isn't something he can fix overnight...

    The questions you say to ask myself are definitely something I haven't thought of. I am going to spend some alone time thinking about those things, and also practicing shutting off my thoughts for a while...we will see how that goes!
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  7. #7
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    At this point, he is not in a position to be in an equal, adult relationship. You are in the position of caretaker and provider for an indefinite stretch of time, and yet he is not under your authority (as is the case in a child-parent relationship). He is likely to end up doing the majority of the decision making, and yet shoulder the least amount of responsibility. This is not healthy for him or you.

    It will end up using up all your resources (time, physical and emotional energy, money, your friendships, your relationships to family etc) and as you invest more and more, you will be less willing to leave a relationship that is becoming increasingly unhealthy. The isolation that will naturally result further has the effect of skewing your perspective and making you more dependent on your relationship with him and your role in his life.

    Ultimately, you can not make him get better. He needs to do the work on his own, build a support system that is broader than one romantic relationship, get a job, a place to live and some resources and deal with the past issues that made him a drug user in the first place. This is certainly possible, but the longer those habits have been in place, the harder it is to break them. It takes a lot of hard work, and often it is easier to seek refuge in a change of person or circumstances in hopes that it will solve the problem instead.

    He has attractive qualities and a great personality (as many people do, regardless of their problems - I think I underestimated this truth when I was younger). However, he's got nothing left over to give you right now and his own needs will always come first until he deals with the cause of his problems, develops new ways of relating and amasses personal "collateral" so that he can be a real partner to you. Without doing this, he will bankrupt you figuratively and perhaps literally. You can give him all the love in the world, but it won't be enough because he can't absorb it. You can give him all the help you can, but he won't take advantage of it. If he becomes too indebted to you, he will not like himself or you in the end. He also will find it difficult to be vulnerable and honest enough to create the intimacy necessary for your relationship to work.

    I'm not saying that he's a bad person. It's just the nature of the problem and it rarely works out well romantically. There is nothing more attractive to someone than the ability to care for your own self appropriately. That means drawing boundaries where they are necessary, so that you still have something left over to give. If he wants to try with you after several years of work alone, perhaps the relationship has a chance. In the meantime, listen to the qualms you are feeling. They are there for a reason!

    I am speaking out of personal experience as well as observation of people close to me over a period of 30 years. You are not wrong in loving him, but it does not mean that pursuing a relationship with him at this time is a good thing for you or him.

  8. #8
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COLORATURA View Post
    Maybe it is an INTP female thing...?
    INTP really factors into it, I think. There are just things we focus on / are good at (and things we are bad at) because of who we are, which can leave us in these positions. One of my key traits is being adaptable, so I adapted very well to situations where I should have actively broken free. Finally I couldn't adapt anymore.

    I also was in a relationship that I tried to make work for 11 YEARS! We were married & everything, but I eventually got tired of trying sooo hard to make it work when all he could see was his own feelings. I eventually was a miserable shell who didn't know who I was (b/c I ignored my own feelings to preserve his)....that is how I found my way into MBTI.
    Aw hon. Yup. I have been there too. I mean, my ex tried to make things work too (I want to be fair); but there are just some things that hard work can fix, and some things that hard work cannot... and of course both partners also get a say in how successful the effort is to fix the marriage. If your ex couldn't get around his feelings, then you couldn't make the boat float on your own... it's just deciding when that "bail-out" point should be that is hard. It says something that you took the marriage seriously enough that you tried for so long to make it work. (Mine lasted 15 years before we separated.)

    Maybe this makes me even more so jaded in some ways, b/c I don't want to waste my time again like that hoping for change.
    That's a very real thing to consider. I have found I am FAR more impatient waiting for change, than I used to be. Once I realized I could leave, now I am very aware of how I'm feeling about something and don't drag things out nearly as long; I dated someone on and off for a year and saw it wasn't going to work, so I bailed, and I bail early on casual date relationships too if I sense it's not going to happen.

    With this one, I don't really want his personality to change, though. I only his lifestyle, and unfortunately, it isn't something he can fix overnight...
    I guess the question is, are you able to trust that he is trying to make that change happen / working at it? If you can trust him to be trying to (1) stay clean and (2) get work [if that's what you need from him], then you can invest more; if not, it's not a good investment.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #9
    Member COLORATURA's Avatar
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    Without quoting you both, thank you both so much. I appreciate your input.

    I didn't want to go into too many details, but alot of what Fidelia is saying has already come to past. I guess your Ni is very accurate! Either that, or you have had some VERY good (altho that prob isn't the right word) experience with situations like this.

    Nevertheless, I am still unsure of what to do. In the past when I have neglected my feelings toward someone, and broke things off, I had a hard time moving forward. I didn't consider the ramifications of how I would feel after, and although, logically I know what I NEED to do...my heart is really fighting me.

    Anyhow, thank you both for your insight! It helps alot to get other perspectives!
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    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    If he cannot love himself, he cannot love another. The sad truth is, even if he wanted to love you, respect you, and treat you right.. he cannot. He simply does not have the capacity currently.

    He COULD get to that point. Truly, with support and effort and lot of determination he could pull himself up. Are you willing to take the risk of hurting yourself (should he slip back into old habits.. even successful people with the best intentions in rehab tend to relapse at least once before kicking habits), being patient all those years (and years it will be), forgiving crimes you will never put him through, and dealing with a one-sided relationship until that time? Can you possibly be happy in a relationship with him later on down the road when you've had to deal with all of that?

    I can't answer those questions for you, but they're the ones that need asking. Will you still love him, and value that connection, when it is literally the only thing left keeping you two together? Will the value be something to make you happy, or a burden on your heart? A big house is only nice if it's maintained.. if you don't want to clean a big house, you buy a smaller one and admire the big house from a distance.
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