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  1. #1
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    Default My INFP has lost interest in the r/ship, is there no chance?

    Hi all, I was hoping that some INFPs could give me some insight into my situation.

    First, I've only just started reading up on the MBTI, and so am not 100% of the types my fiance and I are. He has tested for both INTJ and INFP, and I've gotten INTP and INTJ. I'm taking the position that he is INFP and I am INTJ for now.

    Next, on the background of the relationship: We've been together almost three years. He proposed in July last year. However, sometime earlier this month we had a big fight which led to a week of "cold war" where we didn't speak at all. That was my first red flag actually, because we've always been able to text each other good night even when we were unhappy. We just had a talk yesterday and he said:

    1) he has lost interest in the relationship and is not attracted to me physically anymore. He doesn't know which came first or if they are related.
    2) being with me is a habit, a comforting familiarity.
    3) When I asked "so what does it mean when you say you miss me?", he couldn't express it and said something about how there's a hollow space when I'm not around.
    3) when i tried to find out why and how he lost interest, he couldn't really say either. When pressed, he said: he thinks it's because of the constant fighting (which to me weren't that big and constant, but I'm beginning to realise we have vastly different perceptions of this - because of the INTJ vs INFP way?), and how he doesn't feel he can get the support he needs from "us" anymore, which is making him question if "us" is worth the effort. And he has started to feel this since the start of 2013. (which was really news to me, I guess I could sense he was a little more distant, but not that much and i put it down to the fact that he has just changed his job)
    4) When I asked why he is still hanging on, he said there is a sense of not wanting to give up. When I asked for specifics, he couldn't really express it. He then said perhaps it's more of his stubborn nature of not wanting to give up easily and he wants to know he has given it a fair shot. And nostalgia?

    I'm sure there are details that I have missed, but this is what I can remember right now.

    So I have a few questions:
    1) Why did it take so long for him to tell me these? Was it simply because I had never asked before? Or is this common for INTJ-INFP pairings? Ie I was being an oblivious INTJ and he was just bottling it up for the sake of harmony?
    2) When INFPs say they have lost interest, is there no chance of resparking it again? Does it sound like there's no love anymore or could it be that there's a little ember deep down inside that I just need to nurture?
    3) Any suggested course of action? Is taking a break a good idea? Should I be positive and continue as normal but with more awareness of his feelings in the hopes that it will pick up again? Should I trap him in bed even though he doesn't seem interested?

    Any insights will be much appreciated. The more I read about MBTI, the more I feel it resonates and could be helpful, so I'm keen to hear what you guys have to say about this. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Abbey's Avatar
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    1) He probably took so long to tell you because it took him being angry to tell you how he truly felt. He didn't want to hurt you out of the blue. Yes, he probably was bottling it up for the sake of harmony.
    2/3) I'm sorry Rache, there's probably no chance he'll be reinterested in you. Has your relationship been lacking in passion? He's likely idealizing a better relationship is his head and then deciding yours is inadequate. There's a chance you could nurture it if you
    1) take a step back/give him space
    2) try hard to understand him, care about what he cares about
    3) make yourself/your relationship with him as perfect as possible, try to think of everything he loves and add it in the mix
    4) give him (NONVERBAL) reasons why the relationship shouldn't end, remind him what he'll miss
    5) if you're a TJ DON'T BE OVERBEARING, PUSHY, BOSSY- GIVE HIM SPACE (not trying to sound harsh, idk if you are any of those things)

    I hope that helps, best of luck

  3. #3
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    Hi Abbey, thanks very much for the reply. It helps to have a second opinion instead of just having my thoughts going round in circles. I've more or less came to the same conclusion you had about giving him space and trying to be more understanding and supportive.

    If you don't mind, could you explain what you mean by nonverbal reasons?

    And also, I'm wondering - given that he's prone to bottle up his feelings until they implode, how do I find out what his feelings short of asking him? I feel like I'm kinda in a catch-22 here - if i don't ask, i don't know and it festers, but if i ask, he doesn't want to say/feels like i'm not giving him space.

    I'm just confused about what he says vs what he does. For example, if there is no interest, why does he still reach out for my hand/kiss me/stroke my hair/use terms of endearment? I guess my question here is, is there any affection behind those gestures or it's just pure habit?

  4. #4
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I'm not a male INFP, so this is more generalized..

    It can take Fi-dom a long time to express unhappiness for many reasons. We tend to see fault in ourselves, which can lead to invalidating our own feelings, and also giving others too much benefit of the doubt & not wanting to push our personal standards on them. It can also be difficult to find the words, especially ones others will accept as valid, since it's not unusual for them not to easily understand our feelings.

    The "worth the effort" part is significant. INFPs are J-dom who gauge things in terms of how significant they are to their human experience. So there's a weighing of worth. I've used this comparison: Imagine you have a car you love, but the car is giving you problems. You will probably weigh the expense of fixing it over junking it. If it costs more than it's worth to fix or you don't have the means, then you'll likely get rid of it. You may also foresee how little problems can grow into big ones or become an ongoing hassle, and then consider whether you want to deal with that long-term. INFPs are unlikely to do pros & cons lists, or to analyze in the kind of detached manner you would do when considering the car. It's more like knowing what something means, what it's worth to you, what you need, and how these balance out. Ne comes into play with considering potential & where things could go. Between likely feeling a moral obligation to stay with someone/something the INFP has committed to & seeing glimmers of positive potential, it can be hard to just walk from something that is currently violating their needs/values. And yes, there's probably a mourning of "what was", which can be romanticized in the mind.

    What can help is reinforcing the value & potential of the relationship in your eyes. You don't want to do this in a way that invalidates the INFP's feelings (ie. the arguments aren't a big deal, get over it), but that shows the relationship is valuable enough to work on & has potential to improve. INFPs can make the mistake of doing all this negotiating in their head, so they're NOT getting all the "facts", just ones which loom large to them, and they aren't always seeing the ways to change things practically, so they can get overwhelmed in knowing what they need/want but not knowing how to map it out. So your strength here can be the pros-cons list and a plan of action, but you don't want to bring that out until you've grasped how & why he feels a certain way. This way, you're not solving the wrong problem or invalidating how he feels. It would be more like, "While those problems are real, so is (good stuff here)" and "I see how the arguing bothers you, and I can help ease that by _____". When it comes to solving something, think in terms of not solving it by changing how he feels (which he'll just experience as invalidation), but changing the outer situation so how he feels towards it changes.

    There can be a point of no return when it comes to feelings, kind of like the car that you decide to just junk, where you've detached prior to taking action. But you don't know if he's there yet.

    As for getting him to talk, it sounds like he has a bit. It's hard to say how to create a context for someone to really open up in detail. I'm not entirely sure what does it for me. Sometimes someone else opening up first themselves helps, but other times I'll still hold back so as not to make it about me. You certainly don't want to come off like cro-bar. You might, again, offer why you're hanging on, and then ask what you can do to make things better or something like that.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    There can be a point of no return when it comes to feelings, kind of like the car that you decide to just junk, where you've detached prior to taking action. But you don't know if he's there yet.
    Thank you - that was a very helpful analogy. Yes, i don't know if he's there yet. I see what I think are signs that he's not but I can't be sure. And I suspect perhaps he's not sure himself, and in that way there's no answer to this question.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    When it comes to solving something, think in terms of not solving it by changing how he feels (which he'll just experience as invalidation), but changing the outer situation so how he feels towards it changes.
    This explains a lot. I thought immediately of how I would say something I thought was neutral, just a throw-away expression of a thought I had, but he would perceive as a complaint/criticism/whine. And then I would be puzzled at why he saw it that way. My natural tendency is to ask why to try to understand it but eventually he would just say something like "never mind, I took it the wrong way" (which I now think is him invalidating his own feelings?). It's not even about changing his feelings, just questioning seems to be the wrong thing to do. It got to a point where, when I actually did want to comment on his action, I felt I had to examine every word I said but still I would say it wrong. I suppose that created resentment on both our parts that the other party is not being understanding enough.

    It brings up a question: if he sees a situation as A (eg argument) but i see it as B (eg discussion), then how do I approach this? It strikes me that maybe I should go to the NT forum to ask how to deal with it .

  6. #6
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    Well this is hard. We met for dinner and it was lovely (or so I thought). After we went home (we don't stay together) I texted him "I miss you. It's selfish but sometimes I wish I could have you all to myself". I thought that was an expression of how much I wanted him. I thought it's a nice sentiment to to hear.

    But he seemed to see it as a criticism. He became defensive. He said "if you are referring to the texting, i wish you wouldn't feel that way. It's not like I'm ignoring you. Everyone else i know can text while in another person's company."

    Yes, I don't like people to text or use their phone while they are with me, or at least when they do it, they should say something along the lines of "sorry, but i just need to reply to this text". He knows I think this because I have said it before. And yes we've fought about it before.

    But this time I hadn't said anything about it. I had tried not to be bothered by it. I don't know, maybe I shouldn't have walked ahead while he was texting on his phone. But what was I supposed to do, stop in the middle of the mall and just stood by his side? I went looking at shop windows instead. Then he caught up and we talked about other things.

    So after he texted that, I said "I'm not referring to the texting. How did you interpret my sentence? I'm just trying to understand." And he goes "ok sorry I'm overreacting. I'm going to do something else that doesn't involve me feeling inadequate. in explaining myself or otherwise".

    So I apologized and said i didn't mean to make him feel that way. And then there were more but it'd be too long to go through here.
    (And this happens a lot - he will say he doesn't want to talk about it any more but we end up talking about it anyway)

    It just seems like no matter what I say, I hit a raw nerve. And these nerves didn't seem to be there until recently - if he proposed in July last year, he must have wanted me then, right? I don't know how things can get so bad in just 6 months or so until everything I say is taken in the worst possible way.

  7. #7
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    Every guy should understand how to communicate and act with some modicum of decisiveness, so the sooner you put him in the rearview, the better.

    Asking strangers how to troubleshoot an important personal relationship also falls into the red flag, everyone freeze category.

    thinking of you

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleuthiness View Post
    Every guy should understand how to communicate and act with some modicum of decisiveness, so the sooner you put him in the rearview, the better.

    Asking strangers how to troubleshoot an important personal relationship also falls into the red flag, everyone freeze category.
    I'm not ready to give up on this yet. And I was just hoping that I could get some insights here, which I may not have thought of because I am obviously vested in the relationship. Plus I guess I wanted to "speak" and thought this was one place I could do so.

    Thank you for your input though.

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    Nothing Gold Can Stay

    thinking of you

  10. #10
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    He sounds pissy and spoiled. Is he like that in person, too? Because that doesn't sound like much fun.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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