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  1. #11
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    I can totally relate to your post about giving too much and not getting enough back. Being an NFJ myself, I am sometimes guilty of being too 'intense'. I want to give. I want to make them happy. I want them to say "Oh, you make my life so much better" and appreciate me for being such a wonderful and supportive partner. However, sometimes this can get way out of control. Sometimes when I don't get a desired response I feel rejected. I feel like I am being taken for granted. Sometimes this triggers me to give more and more, as if I'm saying "Look at me. Look at how much I'm doing for you! Please love me". But if there is still no acknowledgment, I get hurt and become resentful. I feel unloved, unneeded. Sometimes even when I know for certain that they have no such intention, it still hurts. Because, deep down, I know all it takes is just one thoughtful gesture to let me know that I'm appreciated, and it hurts that they don't even understand that. One little thing would make me happy. Why didn't they even bother?

    One thing that helped me, after going crazy on my INFP for 'not bothering' and later finding out that I was overreacting out of my own insecurities, was that the problem was partially because of my fundamental belief. Fe people have an Fe language, and we all speak it fluently. I've noticed that what goes on in my head gets expressed. Affection is expressed through the 'usual' channels -- talking, spending time together, giving attention. Ti, Te, Fi people don't really speak our language. They speak a totally different language. Sometimes what they do sometimes doesn't mean what we think it means. This isn't a great discovery, but the moment I realized it, I felt that the best thing was just to adjust my attitude -- to be secure in the knowledge that my INFP does like me. And maybe he doesn't feel the need to show it the way I do.

    With T types I think it's a bit trickier, because they usually don't have the emotional vulnerability that Fs do. However, I think they can try to understand it logically. "This is how I function. Please read the manuals and operate me the correct way" seems to work. Back it up a little bit with science and statistics. Maybe you could be very subtle and let him 'figure you out' slowly. Ts don't deal well at all with negative emotional outbreaks. The Ts I know stop listening once I get emotional and think that anything I say when I'm being emotional is 'irrational', 'unreliable' and 'not to be taken into consideration (because she's obviously freaking out right now so better let her calm down and then we can talk)'. They don't understand that it doesn't work that way for us. For us, what we intensely feel is what matters.

    I'm speaking from my experience so I don't know if it is the same thing you are going through or not. Anyway, I really think your relationship can work, because you obviously care a lot for him. Good luck and hope it works out for the best!

  2. #12
    Senior Member BlueFlame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21% View Post
    I can totally relate to your post about giving too much and not getting enough back. Being an NFJ myself, I am sometimes guilty of being too 'intense'. I want to give. I want to make them happy. I want them to say "Oh, you make my life so much better" and appreciate me for being such a wonderful and supportive partner. However, sometimes this can get way out of control. Sometimes when I don't get a desired response I feel rejected. I feel like I am being taken for granted. Sometimes this triggers me to give more and more, as if I'm saying "Look at me. Look at how much I'm doing for you! Please love me". But if there is still no acknowledgment, I get hurt and become resentful. I feel unloved, unneeded. Sometimes even when I know for certain that they have no such intention, it still hurts. Because, deep down, I know all it takes is just one thoughtful gesture to let me know that I'm appreciated, and it hurts that they don't even understand that. One little thing would make me happy. Why didn't they even bother?
    Ouch. Some of my most painful relationship memories (and memories of the closest I've gotten to losing my sanity) are wrapped up in that little bolded area.


    Quote Originally Posted by fireandwater View Post
    You don't say how old you are or whether you have kids, but assuming you have no permanent commitment or children together, this is my advice: I think you need to ask yourself why you want to be in a relationship which makes you unhappy. The intensity you describe, combined with the obvious incompatibility and unhappiness you describe, suggests to me that you are playing out deep seated emotional conflicts/ childhood history/ ingrained mythology.

    I had this problem when I was younger and was drawn to two unhealthy relationships in a row: INTP and ESTP, probably, the types, but more importantly the men and my relationships with them were severely dysfunctional and yet I would not let go. I also felt magically, mysteriously and intensely drawn to them. I recommend you maintain as much distance as you can handle while doing some serious inner work. In particular, since you are an NF like me, I recommend you get ahold of a book called Personal Mythology by Stanley Krippner and David Feinstein which will help you work through the unconscious mythologies which are controlling your life and choose more consciously the mythologies you want to live. I have been happily married for 15 years to an ISFP who I felt drawn to as I was undergoing the process of transforming myself. You may find that if you are healthier you would rather not be with this guy after all, or you may figure out how to make it work from your end.
    One of the hardest things I had to do was wake up and realize that I'm NOT attracted to the types of men I think I am. I just idealize them for whatever reason (that book sounds extremely helpful, by the way), and survived on nothing but the intensity level - which I also convinced myself I needed. Letting go of those types of men as relationship partners was painful, but it was the best thing I could have done for myself in the long run. Sometimes I still miss the intensity, push/pull kind of feeling, but I don't miss the feeling of desperation and the way I almost became codependent with one or two of them - the power every positive and negative moment, action, word, whatever had on my emotions.
    Now I have more energy to invest in myself and the important issues with my ESFP hubby.

    Quote Originally Posted by toast
    The thing that is so friggen frustrating is I am trying so so so hard to stop this judging that starts the cycle and do my part to make it work but he won't give me any support at all. He won't even acknowledge that I'm trying. He always tells me to word thing differently so they don't sound judgmental & I do every time I talk to him now, but he takes his guilt or whatever and twists it to imply that I'm still being accusative. I'll say: "I'm not feeling too good." and he'll say "why?", I'll say "I was really hoping to ... with you" or "It feel bad when you talk like that" & he's instantly just: "There you go again!" Then I'm wrong, & he can walk away from me without even considering my feelings. He has said that empathizing is so hard for him that he has to completely concentrate to do it. I seriously feel like he looks for any excuse to cop out of it. I really think if he supported me, than being with him could really help me grow a lot. I'm sure if I really felt loved by him, and more certain of our future, even once, I'd be able to live in the present with him sometimes & over analyze us less.
    Have you tried writing to him saying the above?
    The sad fact is. we can give you advice on things you can do yourself to make it better, but not everything is fixable, and you can't fix any relationship alone. Trying that route over and over again is just another was to give and give and give and give until you have nothing left to give.
    You HAVE to be able to be yourself, and that includes Fe-ing all over the freaking place. Expressing yourself without tiptoeing around and hypersensitive partner. Needing things and having your partner do his best to meet them without making YOU feel badly in the process, like you're trying to do for him.
    He can either meet you there, or he can't.
    I agree with fireandwater. Alone time and working on being happy and healthy in other areas of your life might just make you realize he's not even what you want, or it might open your eyes to the *magical key* to make things work.

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  3. #13
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    I've been with ISTPs. As remote as they can be, they should want you to the point of sweating blood. They can't hide it which is their greatest fear - being emotionally out of control (welcome to Ti primary land). His activated Fe should be coming at you like a tiger. Constantly holding you off should never enter into the equation. If I were in your position, I'd feel really starved out, misunderstood and confused, three things I find intolerable.

    You know you don't want to live in purgation, my dear Toast. Don't settle for what makes you ultimately unhappy. Contortions are for the circus.
    eNFJ 4w3 sx/so 468 tritype
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  4. #14
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I really, really can identify with many of the NFJ feelings expressed above. While I agree that it is necessary to interpret others correctly, ultimately I think sometimes we can be extremely attracted to people who are not great partners for us. Those feelings of rejection made me redouble my efforts to make things work, even when it was obvious that it wasn't something I should continue investing time and effort into. I am not good with getting no feedback and I felt compelled to somehow provoke some kind of feedback that could inspire change. Even worse, I saw the occasional flash of vulnerability or care that made me keep trying, even though from day to day I felt taken for granted and often treated inconsiderately. That push/pull thing kept reeling me back in. I believe that partially comes from insecurities in the other person which make them cosy up, then distance themselves. The other part probably is exaccerbated by the T/F difference in relating.

    Either way, I think I'm with BlueFlame and Domino...
    Last edited by fidelia; 02-23-2010 at 09:40 PM.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFlame View Post
    But, personally, I've found that I can't exist like that long term. I go from admiration to mild frustration to feeling like I'm screaming at a brick wall and ripping myself into pieces to to be *happy* and keep the peace. I would never have considered myself to be needy until I dated a Ti-dom. He was an amazing person, but the dynamic exhausted us both, and I didn't like who I became with him, so we parted ways.
    The bolded reminds me of something my wife(ENFJ) says to me(ISTP). "I make her EMO and needy" and that this was a sign of weakness growing up.
    Im out, its been fun

  6. #16
    Senior Member toast's Avatar
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    I'm not doing too well. I don't really feel okay at all actually. Last night was so terrible. He's really starting to freak out over our time apart & show his feelings, but of course they are coming out all aggressive, chaotic and completely without any kind of empathy or support for me. Everything I say makes him worse, everything he says makes me worse. When we are happy we can keep making each other happy. But once one of us is stressed its like every method we use is just mace in the other's eyes.

    I just wanted to reply & say I've read everyone's posts.

    The point made about me possibly having some deep-rooted insecurities is something I've gone over again & again. I really don't think it has very much to do with this. I can say with certainty, even as uncertain as I am about everything else right now, that I never considered myself overly affectionate, insecure, needy, EMO, anything like that before this relationship. I had what I considered 'normal' or 'healthy' relationships before this one. I always thought I was independent. Giving, yes, but usually I was the one being asked to give, I never felt like I was pushing my love on someone. I have, of course, had relationship trouble before, but nothing devastating to my sense of self. I remember almost instantly feeling insecurities when we got together... but didn't identify them as insecurities, because the concept was a little foreign. I just felt confused, and bad sometimes, but couldn't tell why. It wasn't until later that I realized I was always questioning what he felt about me & whether or not I was doing anything wrong that was making him act the way he did. The personal mythology concept could probably help me a lot though, because my biggest issue right now is cycling through denial & anger at what I know will never happen but can't stop wanting.

    Alone time and working on being happy and healthy in other areas of your life might just make you realize he's not even what you want, or it might open your eyes to the *magical key* to make things work.
    Right now, I'm just trying to focus on this. Its much easier said than done, considering this emotional crap storm I'm in just keeps telling me what I 'want' is him. Then I have to get away from him, which hurts him, hurting me more in turn. Not to mention, trying to figure out what makes me happy without another person to factor in is almost too overwhelming to bear right now. I don't know if anyone could handle this maelstrom inside of me right now.

    I do know he was really insecure before we started dating... and in the beginning. I'm with fidelia in thinking the T/F thing is further aggravated by his insecurities maybe.

    Another thing... He seems to emote bad feelings so aggressively. Like, when he's stressed, he's reactive; impatient. He'll cry so hard or hit things or himself if he gets upset enough. Positive emotions are the ones he rarely expresses, and doesn't seem to believe in. I mean, its rare, but I have seen him genuinely happy... That kind of sparkly eyed, jumping step, deep sighs, almost squealing kind of happy. But he won't admit it later. He seems to think true happiness is something he never has or ever will reach. He always says his only experiences of "happiness" are false or sketchy, as in he doesn't believe in them, because they always happen in retrospect. He never actually remembers having positive feelings, so he doesn't like to analyze positive memories because he finds out he was actually unhappy at the time something good was happening. He's said it like that straight so many times. Bad feelings overwhelm him, good feelings escape him, and he makes an obvious effort to suppress both on a regular basis (unless the good feelings have to do with objects & not people).
    ____________________________________________
    "In my soul rages a battle without victor. Between faith without proof and reason without charm." - Sully Prudhomme

  7. #17
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    I don't like the sound of this, Toast. At all. Proceed with caution, my dear. And ask yourself if you'd ever let a girlfriend of yours continue on this way.
    eNFJ 4w3 sx/so 468 tritype
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  8. #18
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    T types express insecurities in a way that is typically very hard for F types to relate. Their feelings appear to remain very compartmentalized and any displays of pain are contained within themselves rather than involving the other person (kicking/punching something, becoming more solitary, silence etc). I can't remember who said something about T types when insecure tending to expect people to be on ice for when they want them there, but pursue as many of their own interests or solitude as they like. It seems like they are the one to be considered and adjustments mae for without ever reciprocating. It's hard not to feel rejected and resentful.

    In my experience, insecurity really makes it difficult for there to be an equitable back and forth exchange between people. The most insecure person tends to be caught between longing for closeness and being terrified of the vulnerability involved in it. Therefore, whether things are going well as a couple or poorly, they will usually end up doing something to keep things as a comfortable distance.

    From what I remember, you said that your bf did not have an easy childhood. Until he faces the effect it had on him and experiences the sadness and futility associated with that, he cannot change course. He will never be able to trust the good things that happen in his life, nor find good in the bad experiences he went through without looking at what happened to him.

    They often talk about people with phobias developing an unreasonable fear of something which causes them to avoid it and it keeps growing bigger and worse psychologically in their mind. Over time, the fear is no longer based on any kind of reality at all. The only solution is gradual and frequent exposure that eventually assures the person that they can handle it. I think this is kind of the same way.

    Until he is able to attend to his own emotional needs, he will not have either the perception or the energy to deal with yours, even if they are very legitimate. Insecurity makes a person selfish. It doesn't mean they are a bad person, but they sincerely believe that if they don't look out for themselves (even in a misguided way), no one else will. No amount of love you can heap on him will change that. Until he recognizes where that belief comes from, he cannot absorb your love, nor reciprocate it in the way it needs to be reciprocated.

    It sounds to me like his panic at losing you is like a child being afraid of losing a parent. He doesn't sound like an equal partner looking at the relationship that feels he has some control in the outcome. He perceives himself as a helpless bystander, at the mercy of fate or you or whatever else, when in fact, he carries the majority of the power in the relationship. In overcoming insecurities that he has carried with him for years, he would gain back a feeling of hope in being able to influence what happens to him as well as resilience even when he suffers loss. He would also then be able to pick up the appropriate load of responsibilities in the relationship, instead of you having to carry everything.

    Unfortunately, the prognosis for progress is not generally good in these situations. His wish to overcome his insecurities must trump his fear of facing them. That requires some element of emotional maturity, which he might not have gained if he didn't feel the love and attachment of a caring adult during some of his most formative years.

    I don't think he has to be doomed to this fate, but it does take a powerful desire for things to change. The one thing that will help that to happen sooner is if he can find even small ways of becoming more vulnerable. That will soften up some of the defenses so that he can absorb enough love to feel it is safe to look at what has happened to him. An example would be interacting with a pet, which is alive (therefore more vulnerable than an object), yet not as scary as entrusting another person with even positive feelings.

    The brain is remarkably resourceful and if it encounters something that is emotionally too much for a person to bear, it will do anything to block their view of it, until it is safer to face. The higher the defenses, the more likely the person is to not have the sight needed to avoid walking into more situations which will wound them and put their defenses up further. The only solution is to soften up some of those walls through becoming vulnerable in little ways first. This will also help him see that what he has been doing is hurting him further and making the situation worse.

    It remains for you to ask yourself whether you are willing to take a chance on this never happening. I have experienced a milder form of what you have, and it had a very powerful effect on me. I probably still would be together with the man if he hadn't very suddenly initiated the breakup (despite the fact that he still loved me and desperately wanted to be together). Strangely enough, I recognized even at the time that his behaviour had made me atypically needy, resentful, sad, and emotional. It had a terribly negative effect on me but I couldn't bear to initiate the breakup (until we both were going to leave the isolated community that we were living in and it would force a more permanent sort of decision like moving to the same place and getting married or else breaking up). I craved assurance that I did matter to him, I saw flashes of occasional vulnerability, and I wanted to make things better for him.

    After a year, I have realized that his behaviour was a reaction to realizing that there were some issues I couldn't compromise on. This meant that we couldn't be together forever and he was terrified of losing me, so he distanced me before I could leave. Those reactions were long term patterns and he still is unable to face his own fears and feelings even this long later.

    My reaction would be to advise you to cut your losses, even though you love him dearly and he is a good person. Staying with him could destroy you in the process and you may actually be preventing him from coming to a place where he faces it all. If he straightens things out, you could always get back together. If he doesn't, you won't have wasted valuable years of your life on someone who can't love you in the way you deserve to be loved - not out of a place of need, but because he has chosen and wants you.

    I'm so sorry for you dealing with this, Toast. I can empathize with how much you care and yet how distressed and frustrated you are. I think it's important for you to have the chance to talk about it with a variety of people.

  9. #19
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    i think what is important is too look at what you feel now and how you want it to be in the future.
    1. "I most definitely want to be with him, but I don't know if I believe it will work anymore"
    it is ideal to stay with him but sounds unrealistic based on your experience.

    2. "feeling better is right now correlated with feeling farther from him"
    do what feels good. his feelings may be hurt but it is your own feelings you need to monitor so you can take of your real emotional needs.

    3. "no idea where I'm going."
    you sound like you're ready to move on but maybe afraid to make the final decision.

    4. "very unfair to him"
    based on your post, it is unfair to yourself to remain in the relationship

    5. "I failed at the ranting"
    you didn't fail and you will make the right decision for you.

    focus on how you'll feel after you make any final decisions.

  10. #20
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    What an insightful post, fidelia. I feel like I'm going to have to ask myself some of these questions in the future -- something I'm sort of aware of but never even want to think about right now.

    Toast: I've been thinking more about this. It takes two healthy people willing to work together for any relationship to really work. If he is unwilling to work with you on this or if his insecurities are getting in the way of better understanding and communication, there is nothing much you can do. It's sad that love alone is not enough to make someone healthy and secure again.

    I guess I'm at the beginning stage where I still believe that no matter what, I'll make it work. My situation is entirely different, but I can imagine myself getting burned out in the end. I honestly have no idea what I would do if that day comes.

    What struck me the most in your first post was this:
    I'm afraid that when he does try again & / or I feel more capable, I will have recovered by resigning myself that it would never work.
    I can totally relate. It's part of my fear for my current relationship too. I don't know if simply wanting a relationship with him would be enough, and I know I want it bad. Maybe it's best in the long run to make an adult decision and let it go...

    Sorry I don't have any useful advice. Hang in there. Listen to your heart. Only you know best what's the best decision. You'll pull through it

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