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  1. #1
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    Default INFJs & Forgiveness

    Halla mentioned something about INFJs and forgiveness on another thread, and it got me reflecting on it (Yes, you've been warned, an INFJ is sitting here reflecting..)

    This is something I am putting a lot of energy into working on recently. I mentioned it before, but I'm in the middle of a divorce (I feel pretty much fully divorced, it's basically just paperwork now). I don't know what type he was, some people have guessed he may have been an ISTJ. We were together for a total of a little over four years, married for a little over one year. There are so many details I could add in here, but I don't want to go on this long diatribe with too many details.

    Suffice it to say, I am past playing the "Who's the good one, who's the evil one?" game because it's just pointless as I don't truly believe it works that way. He did cheat though, and he basically told me he loved me on a Monday, we had a fight on a Weds. and Friday he came home to tell me "I don't love you anymore" and he took off to live with a girl he'd known for 3 weeks.

    Looking back over our relationship, I feel there were so many areas where the bottom line was just that we were so incompatible in terms of really important things. Conflict was a big problem. I'm squeamish about conflicts just like anyone, but I feel they are necessary if there is to be honesty. He compared conflict to 'torture' and often acted out toward me when I brought issues to the table, whether I snapped at him or whether I took pains to be direct and calm. I always tried to own my own feelings (I.E. saying "I feel hurt because.." rather than "You MADE me feel hurt because...") so as not to be attacking, but it seemed to make no difference; conflict became a rather awful undertaking.

    I'm not saying I was perfect here, I look back and definitely see where my perfectionism got in the way and my propensity for big expectations (I.E. hoping things turn out the way they do in my head and being a pain the ass moper when they don't). All sorts of stuff like that, I know I made many mistakes and messed up in many areas.

    He never did tell me about it though. I think another big issue was assertiveness. I would tell him what I wanted and needed, and asked him to please tell me too but he wouldn't. I think he bottled a lot up and it just exploded, and the only solution was when this opportunity with this girl appeared. I don't think he would have left had he not had her interest in him.

    I'm talking about these details because in my head I really do want to find a way to forgive him one day. I am very bad at forgiveness but it's something I really want to get better at because I feel like it would ultimately serve to benefit me the most in so many ways, not to mention benefiting the next person I have an intimate relationship with. I do feel perhaps I did not let go of hurts he caused me within our relationship and it added to the tension between us. I think I held grudges most when I felt he did not apologize willingly, when I felt he resented me for having expressed my feelings, stuff like that.

    I'm at the point where I don't feel that seething anger anymore, but it's that deep wounded hurt that goes so deep. It's really not so much that he left me which hurts, it's really the manner in which he left (and subsequent things he did after which were on the spiteful and callous side). I can accept that he lost attraction or affection for me, as much as that of course hurts. I can let that go and get peace with that. The WAY he left though, that is so hard to forgive!

    I am wondering what you guys have to say about forgiveness? Like in the beginning of my relationship it was so much easier to let things go, and believe most in the good I saw in him, reminding myself of the good instead of dwelling on the hurt. It did get harder when he kept doing things that hurt me, and I suppose after awhile I was just on guard for another hurt (Just as an aside, I almost broke up with him a couple of times but did not listen to my gut. I think I read somewhere that INFJs have a bad habit of sticking with relationships past expiration date, something I'm learning from).

    In my head I think "I just need to see him as a person with a flaws who makes mistakes, forgive him for it, and let the anger go" but there's that stubborn part that's like "He deserves no such courtesy". Then the logic shoots back with "It's not a courtesy to HIM, it's a courtesy to YOURSELF!".

    Gah! I'll stop there before I put you peeps to sleep! If you've read all that and have thoughts, I'd love to hear them (and I thank you in advance!)

  2. #2
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloriana View Post
    I'm talking about these details because in my head I really do want to find a way to forgive him one day. I am very bad at forgiveness but it's something I really want to get better at because I feel like it would ultimately serve to benefit me the most in so many ways, not to mention benefiting the next person I have an intimate relationship with. I do feel perhaps I did not let go of hurts he caused me within our relationship and it added to the tension between us. I think I held grudges most when I felt he did not apologize willingly, when I felt he resented me for having expressed my feelings, stuff like that.
    FORGIVENESS is for YOU. You can't change the past. It takes two to make something go right or wrong. Accept your part in things, release yourself of accountability for that which was not your fault. Perform some act of charity for those in need. Close your eyes, release the heavy bags in your hands, and move on to a glorious new future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gloriana View Post
    I'm at the point where I don't feel that seething anger anymore, but it's that deep wounded hurt that goes so deep. It's really not so much that he left me which hurts, it's really the manner in which he left (and subsequent things he did after which were on the spiteful and callous side). I can accept that he lost attraction or affection for me, as much as that of course hurts. I can let that go and get peace with that. The WAY he left though, that is so hard to forgive!
    If you let that seeting anger affect you in the here and now, you give it more power of you than it is entiteld to. He fucked up. That's on him. If you fell for his smae tricks more than once, oh well, live and learn, he's the onew wielding bad mojo, not you, and karma will kick him in the yarbles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gloriana View Post
    I am wondering what you guys have to say about forgiveness? Like in the beginning of my relationship it was so much easier to let things go, and believe most in the good I saw in him, reminding myself of the good instead of dwelling on the hurt.
    It took me almost 6 months to forgive things that had been issues between my wife and I for over 7 years. I wanted nothing more than to do so in my heart. Day by day, bit by bit, I put the pieces of the puzzle together. Once I havd a 7 hour surprise visit with her step-mom alot of stuff opened up and the pieces that hadn't fallen into place did. It takes time, keep up the owrk to do so, consult your support network, and it will happen, and you will be glad it did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gloriana View Post
    VGah! I'll stop there before I put you peeps to sleep! If you've read all that and have thoughts, I'd love to hear them (and I thank you in advance!)
    It's real stuff! You're on the right track!

  3. #3
    nevermore lane777's Avatar
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    Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies; your anger will not improve the situation or make you feel better, it will only wreak havoc on your emotional and physical well being. I find that a helpful way of putting it is, why would you want to punish yourself? Knowing this let's me let go.
    To die would be an awfully big adventure - Peter Pan

    INFJ ~ 4w5 sp/sx ~ RLOAI ~ Inclusion e/w=1/0 (Melancholy Compulsive) Control: e/w=0/6 (Supine) Affection: e/w=4/0 (Phlegmatic Melancholy)

  4. #4
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    Yeah, my logic tells me anger (when held on to) really is a poisonous thing. I think one of my stumbling blocks is that damned fixation on perfect justice. I unfortunately don't believe in karma, though I do believe that people who don't learn from their mistakes are condemned to repeat them. I definitely want to learn from mine!

    I can say I don't feel even an eighth of the anger I did when he first left. I'm not dating right now and not jumping toward another relationship, I want to learn as much as possible from this experience and become better for it. It is teaching me a lot.

    I do struggle to discern what it is I should take responsibility for and what is not my own doing, it can be hard because really, for me it can be easier to own all of it myself. Im working on it though. From what I know intimately of my ex, I do understand a lot of the reasons behind the way he behaved and it helps me let go, sort of taking the emotional connection out of it and trying to view it all as an objective spectator as much as possible.

    I actually get excited when I hone in on something I clearly see I personally messed up, things that would be a detriment to any relationship, because then it's like "Now I can get to work on changing that and growing!". It's those gray areas that can haunt me and mess with my head.

    I am trying to let go of that "justice" obsession, the one that wishes not for him to be hurt or tortured, but wishes there was some ultimate uber-courtroom of truth where we could both stand up before an all-knowing jury and have to look at our wrongs without the ability to hide or deny. I suppose it's wanting to validate my pain in some way that I haven't afforded myself. Again the logic jumps in to say "Pain is part of life, people hurt each other and have to endure it, I just have to validate my pain myself, accept it, and let it fly away". I'm working to get there! I try to remember it's a journey, not a quick tidy flight on a jetliner

  5. #5
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Wowzers! Many bells being rung here (not the cheating part, but nearly everything else). I have found this place very useful in at least trying to piece together the thinking processes that the person wouldn't/couldn't verbalise that would make them act the way they did. It's also been useful in reflecting on why I didn't listen to my gut when it was actually time to break up and that has helped me considerably.

    For me, it's this. It takes awhile to recognize the underlying issues that isolated incidents represent and start seeing some patterns. Even after recognizing them, it takes some time to be sure enough of your perceptions to verbalize them. Then there are the snags in communication styles and perceptions of each other which arise and more time is spent exhausting all possibilities of solving them singlehandedly. Even then, because no person is all bad, you continue trying to adjust, and you also still get enough glimpses of what made you love them in the first place that you continue on, even if you see some huge issues. I can imagine that the commitment of a marriage is one that you would have taken very seriously and been reluctant to abandon. I think the worst is being blindsided then after all of the work and the adjusting you have done and not being given even a chance to discuss the decision before the end is final and it is all set in stone.

    I have found that a big part of letting things go for me is to make sense of them by getting different perspectives and having a chance to talk. One of the things that causes me to have difficulties saying good-bye to someone is when they leave with unfinished business that cannot get resolved and when no answers will be forthcoming from them to figure it all out.

    You seem to have the perspectives in place to come through this well even if it takes time. The fact that you are not jumping into something new and taking time to process it is very healthy, I think.

    I'm so sorry. You did everything you were able to and were not the one taking the easy way out. Being hard on yourself would be a normal reaction, and I think you are well on the road to forgiveness.

  6. #6
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    My INFJ is my first relationship I never needed to apologize for anything. And I think that mainly depends on the fact that she steers into a clear direction, that the ship has got a sailor and I actually feel that my feelings are in good hands and that I can trust her.

    It's a gift. Definitly.
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  7. #7
    nevermore lane777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloriana View Post
    I want to learn as much as possible from this experience and become better for it. It is teaching me a lot.
    I actually get excited when I hone in on something I clearly see I personally messed up, things that would be a detriment to any relationship, because then it's like "Now I can get to work on changing that and growing!"
    You're definitely an INFJ hehe

    I do struggle to discern what it is I should take responsibility for and what is not my own doing, it can be hard because really, for me it can be easier to own all of it myself.
    I truly sympathize; it's always easier applying logic and justice to someone else' situation, but when dealing with personal issues, it becomes much more fuzzy. It's like that for everyone to some extent, but I believe it's especially difficult for our type... we tend to shoulder the blame and be much harder on ourselves than on everyone else. It's something I'm working on not doing either. Sometimes when us INFJ's put ourselves in someone else' shoes, we forget to get back in our own

    It's those gray areas that can haunt me and mess with my head.
    Oh yes, those cursed gray areas! They haunt me too

    I am trying to let go of that "justice" obsession, the one that wishes not for him to be hurt or tortured, but wishes there was some ultimate uber-courtroom of truth where we could both stand up before an all-knowing jury and have to look at our wrongs without the ability to hide or deny. I suppose it's wanting to validate my pain in some way that I haven't afforded myself.
    I suppose since I'm a Christian, I have the peace of mind that God will deal with all injustice done to me. Without this, I would definitely find dealing with these kinds of situations much more trying.

    Anyways, you seem to have figured out how to best deal with the situation - you just needed some confirmation

    Keep truckin
    To die would be an awfully big adventure - Peter Pan

    INFJ ~ 4w5 sp/sx ~ RLOAI ~ Inclusion e/w=1/0 (Melancholy Compulsive) Control: e/w=0/6 (Supine) Affection: e/w=4/0 (Phlegmatic Melancholy)

  8. #8

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    There was some good commentary in this thread.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  9. #9
    movin melodies kiddykat's Avatar
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    Hope it's not too late to chime in..

    Least he did you a favor, right? Better now than later?

    In hindsight, you still have more years ahead of you, and at least you saw the truth for what it was. There is no point in blaming yourself.

    Perhaps you can use that experience to better hone on your intuitive abilities for the next future relationship(s)? Only for the better..

    Easier said than done, but eventually, when something hurts us long enough, we start to grow numb to it, and... move on. Best of luck, and stay strong.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viv View Post
    Easier said than done, but eventually, when something hurts us long enough, we start to grow numb to it, and... move on. Best of luck, and stay strong.
    Yes. Do you know the movie, The Usual Suspects? Here's a clip, and it's how I think of my marriage and subsequent divorce.
    Watch The Usual Suspects: Bad Day Online - VideoSurf Video Search

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