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  1. #1
    Junior Member megm87's Avatar
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    Default Help! ENFP + INTJ woes and questions

    Let me start by saying I hope that I can convey everything I need to in this post, I might have to go back and add things (which will be inevitable as the conversation develops.)

    I have/had been with an INTJ now for two (wonderful and amazing) years. I have never felt so understood and comfortable, as many other people have posted about their ENFP/INTJ relationships. Although he wasn't always showering me with I suppose what he would see as 'superficial' gifts (jewelry, flowers, etc.) he cared about me so deeply and was always there to help me. I have also never had someone so on my side, I swear sometimes it's like his usual logical self stepped back and he would almost blindlessly defend me - which was unexpected but made me very happy (even if sometimes I knew I was probably in the wrong in whatever situation, usually one involving some kind of family altercation I was complaining to him about.) The best part for me was definitely all the exciting discussions and how fun it was making plans with him (and how nice to have a J to actually help carry them out haha.) He had somewhat of a weaker J so he enjoyed joining in my crazy love of exploring possibilities (but was definitely a J, but I think the weaker J he exhibited was one really good point in our relationship as I am pretty much 100% P.) I could go on for days about all of the things that made our relationship 'perfect', or at least as close as a relationship can be (I definitely know that no relationship is and that they all require work.)

    However, I will start to get to my point (hard to believe I am cutting myself off to get to a 'point' ). He is currently in the process of applying to Medical School (this is now his second round applying) after just completing a master's degree program. He is very intelligent (surprise surprise), has high scores and a very high GPA (3.9) from his Master's program (not as high from undergrad which he assumed is what hurt him first time around applying), as well as amazing rec letters and definitely deserves a slot in a Medical School but has had poor luck getting accepted. I am a year behind him in school and graduated last spring and got a job somewhat in my field (it is technically in my field but not exactly the job I want to end up doing forever, however right now it is just fine-especially with the job market the way it is) and have been working since May when I graduated (finally able to support myself, yay! .) Ok, I can already tell this is going to be a very ENFP-organized (or lack there of) post, I already left something out haha. We have been long distance for the last year and a half of our relationship (we started dating in January two years ago and he left to get his Master's degree and lived 3.5 hours away.) He now lives back at home as he finished his master's program early and is now only 1.5 hours away from me. I feel like this, combined with the tension of him not getting into medical school has put a serious burden on our relationship. We began bickering about six months ago (something we never do) and then things just went downhill from there. Before I go on to the next section I'd like to add that when we first started dating (he was in his last semester of college) we would go out and hang out with our mutual friends every weekend and he was very social (especially for an INTJ.) I'm not sure if he did this to please me or not (not sure how much he went out before, seemed like almost as much), we are both very interested in Myers-Briggs and he knows I am an ENFP and would enjoy such things. However, I am find with spending a good number of nights alone with him. That said now he refuses to hang out with all of his friends that have tried getting in touch with him and invited him to go hang out- I know it's because he is brooding about his medical school misfortune and I realize it is hard for him to get out of his own shell of self-pity or his own looping thought process trying to constantly figure out why he hasn't been accepted. I have tried to encourage him to go out with people and hang out with them but to no avail.

    Now I will begin to get into the more severe problems we have developed over the past 3-4 months or so.

    1. He found out that I had slept with one of our mutual friends right before we started officially dating. I understand why he is upset as I realize now he was very serious about dating me but at the time I was convinced that he would never actually date me-not an excuse for the careless behavior as regardless of my INTJ I regret sleeping with him anyway. This in his eyes completely destroyed his 'perfect vision' of our relationship (he actually said some phrase using the word perfect to describe our relationship before he found this out and how after he found that out it 'tainted' everything we had ever experienced and me as a person as well.) It took him a week of intense pondering and in the meantime he texted/called me some pretty awful things while working through everything. I will say that from the beginning of finding out he admitted that he technically couldn't be mad since we weren't dating but also said that I had sneakily found a 'loop hole.' Finally he decided that he could deal with it but he let me know that he would be suspicious and wary of me for awhile while he continued to work through it. I was very understanding and am also very patient and love him so much that this was no issue at all for me.

    2. Over Christmas I was home (he lives in the same town my parents do right now) for a week off of work. I told him I couldn't wait to be able to see him every day and hang out so much. Turns out, as usual (something I need to work on), I poorly balanced all of the friends that were home, him, and my family. Unfortunately he got the short end of the stick, which upset him greatly. Also, still being kind of wary of what I was doing he was kind of uncomfortable with me going out with my friends late. Anyway we started fighting pretty intensely and one night I turned my phone on silent (advice of my ENFP father, actually) while he was constantly calling me (after that day telling me he wanted to break up but wasn't sure.) I feel bad especially in retrospect because the last thing I had said to him on the phone was that I was on my way to his house and then I just texted him (seemingly out of nowhere) that I thought it would be better if we talked the next day because I thought things would only escalate with us being so worked up. He 'officially' broke up with me and I proceeded to scared ENFP drive as fast as possible to his house at 8 am and wait for someone to be awake to let me in so I could talk to him. 24 hours of talking things through later we were back together. Important side note: When I wasn't answering my phone he tried calling my EST/FJ sister since he had her number to see if I was okay and she pretty much told him off going into super protective mode over me and also proceeded to inform him (falsely) that my entire family hated him and did not want us together. This was one of the main things we discussed in that 24 hours as he was under the impression I had 'betrayed' him to my family by talking shit about him time and time again - also not true. I have on occasion complained benignly when we have had a spat but have never dissed him or given my family the impression that they should hate him. However, still my mom (I believe an ENFJ or P with a weak N) and my EST/FJ sister greatly dislike our relationship. This is because they have not had the patience needed to open him up and give him time to get to know him and he them. He now refuses to talk to them or come to my mom's house (my parents are divorced, he and my ENFP father and ISFP sister still get along very well.) So hoorah more tension for the relationship

    3. Last Friday I was home for one night as my dad was buying me tires on Saturday (yay!) My INTJ was studying interview questions for a medical school interview that he had the next week (which was last week) and we decided to not see each other as I was only there one night anyway. I hung out with an old ENFP male friend of going on 8 years who is seriously more of a brother to me than anything. I stopped by his friend's apartment where he was at on my way in town and caught up with him (this was a good opportunity as I was unable to see my INTJ anyway and I'm always blowing my old ENFP friend off to my dismay) and then went home. I did not tell my boyfriend about it because he was so stressed about his interview and honestly it was no big deal and nothing for him to worry about. However, I should have told him based on our understanding of his wariness with me and other guys and whatnot. Then my friend wrote something on my Facebook wall and my INTJ questioned it. I tried to lie about it (panicking, made an absolutely stupid move) and then he proceeded to look through my text messages to discover the ones where I was telling my ENFP friend I would meet up to catch up. He proceeded to become more infuriated than I have ever seen him (he generally is very cool and does not lose his temper - this time he did even though it only lasted about 1 minute before he became his cool, distant self.) He then told me that he could never trust me and that we have to break up and that even though I told him nothing out of the ordinary happened that night he said that he must assume that I cheated on him. I have insisted time and time again that he is the only one I want and the only person I've wanted since we've been together and that he has nothing to worry about, but he says he cannot trust my word. This hurts so bad and I do not know what to do. He obviously is unsure about us breaking up and is still weighing the pros and cons because he has yet to remove me from his facebook relationship status (something he told me he would do as soon as he got home from visiting me) and keeps texting me random things regarding the fight, or relationship, or how we 'have to break up.'

    My thoughts: Obviously he is now insecure in the relationship, he has been since the discovery that I slept with the guy we know right before we dated which has only been exacerbated by the incident last week about my ENFP male friend. He has no reason to be insecure but there is no way for me to convice him, or is there? Please help me! Also, I truly think that he needs to be a little more social (we are talking 0%, not like aww but I want to go to a party every night and he only goes 3 times a month.) Also I would LOVE for him to hang out with people without me and reconstruct his own social identity that I feel he has lost. If you are not hanging out with anyone and always staying at home it is easy to feel envious/insecure about your SO going out with their friends, especially in a scenario where you live in different cities. He is also currently trying to convince himself that I am the worst picture of an unhealthy ENFP (maliciously manipulative, pathological liar, only out to please myself etc.) and has been texting me things trying to get ME to affirm this belief so that he can finally let go and break up with me officially. I have refused to give in and reiterate that I think he obviously knows in his gut that I am not that way which is why he is still holding on and is trying to get me to be the one to say 'you're right I am a horrible liar who has had it out for you from the beginning and everything was an act MUHAHAHAHA' (seriously, this is dead on what he wants me to 'admit' so he can finally let me go.) At this point I'm sure his thoughts are very convoluted as he as been brooding by himself over this (of course, wouldn't want to talk with someone about it...) and don't even have an idea what scary place his mind could have taken him by now, especially with that mile-a-minute idea connecting speed (which I so adore.)

    So, enough from me (I fear no one will even read it to answer me it's so long haha! ), I want to hear all of your opinions, questions, ideas, insights etc. I need all the help I can get! If nothing else I would love to hear other people's takes on our relationship. And if you feel a piece of info is missing then please ask and I will be more than happy to answer/inform.

    thanks all, I can't wait to hear the responses!

  2. #2
    Junior Member megm87's Avatar
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    Default Help! ENFP + INTJ woes and questions

    So I posted this first in the NF Idyllic and have yet to get any responses, and realized that the people I really need to answer this are the INTJs themselves (although every person's opinion is welcomed and encouraged.) Sorry it's so long, I didn't realize while I was typing

  3. #3
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Yes your post is oober long....

    If someone is being/feeling insecure, then the only thing you are really do is go way out your way to reassure them... If you can make massive efforts to reassure him and undo some of the damge the last few months have caused.

    It doesn't sound an easy situation to be in, hopefully he will get accepted somewhere he is comfrotable with, for an INTJ to be rejected like that is bound to be super tough...

    I don't really have the answers, but it sounds rough after being so good for so long, hope you can manage to bridge the gaps

  4. #4
    Junior Member megm87's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for responding, tinkerbell . It is indeed very rough. After the things that have transpired today I am starting to lose hope for us. He just keeps trying to turn everything on me and play games so that he can 'gain control' of me but if I let that happen it will be a miserable relationship for both of us (him constantly exercising his control asking me where i've been/checking my phone/making sure I know that I have messed up and it is necessary to be under such tight reign, etc.) He might think that would be ideal in his insecure state but that would leave us with a shell of the relationship we once had. I'm at work and he keeps calling and calling, I picked up the second time but he started telling me that it was over and it's all my fault etc. so I ended up hanging up (I couldn't talk at work anyway which I explained before I hung up and he 'warned me against hanging up.') Whew this so dramatic! Anyway after I hung up he has since been calling non-stop. I just need to know how to handle this in order to make him realize that he has been over-reacting and that although I know I did do wrong by not telling him about hanging out with my ENFP friend (I apologized in great length), he has to be able to let go. I just hope he can

  5. #5
    Junior Member megm87's Avatar
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    Please! Others let me know what you think! Lost cause? Not lost cause? How if you were in as dark a place as he would you want your SO to coax you back out without relinquishing total control of the relationship to you (even if that's what you wanted i guess? what a mess haha.) I've tried massive reassurance and apologizing, and leaving him alone to think, trying to nip toxic convos in the bud when they start.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ubiquitous1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megm87 View Post
    Please! Others let me know what you think! Lost cause? Not lost cause? How if you were in as dark a place as he would you want your SO to coax you back out without relinquishing total control of the relationship to you (even if that's what you wanted i guess? what a mess haha.) I've tried massive reassurance and apologizing, and leaving him alone to think, trying to nip toxic convos in the bud when they start.
    Well, I’m not sure how much help I can be because I am an INFJ not an INTJ, but maybe some of the thought processes are the same. I had an ENFP friend who I ultimately felt betrayed by and our friendship ended over this, but obviously the dynamics of a romantic relationship and friendship are quite different. If I were behaving like him I would be looking for reassurance that you understood how I felt, and that my feelings were valid for me. Also, for me, the more I think about something the more “issues” I see. So, he may be constantly thinking and seeing events in your relationship in many different ways. He may want to discuss his revelations with you, he may need validating that his perceptions of your relationship prior to this incident were accurate and that he was not being a blind fool. For me, it takes along time for me to regain trust once I feel trust has been lost. If I were in his shoes the only hope for the relationship would depend on how much you sought to understand my point of view and the amount of time you sought to spend with me. Because if someone sticks with me when I am acting like this, then they have to really love me.Good luck!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Uytuun's Avatar
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    He's in a bad place...he's also making unreasonable demands of you.

    I'd tell him calmly he's overreacting (which he seems to be in your version of the story) and go through the whole situation in a rational way. Affirm that you care about him. Then when you've done that just let him think about it. He needs to gain a little perspective on everything in his life. He's angry and martyring and irrationally Fi. Easier said than done.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Anastar's Avatar
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    His focus right now should be getting accepted into medical school. He can worry about being “social” after he's gotten accepted. Introverts DO NOT NEED PEOPLE! When we want people we seek it out. What you consider “healthy” is completely relative to you as an extrovert. Having people around is extra energy spent he can't afford to spend right now. If you can't understand his need to be alone then maybe you should let him let you go. He needs support right now, not the constant drama and anxiety that you keep shoveling down his throat. The reason he wants to be rid of you is because you keep on taking extra energy that he can't afford to give at the moment. JUST BE SUPPORTIVE AND DO NOT LIE! INTJ 's hate liars. Stop whining at him to go out. This is not the source of his problems and it will not help. It will only serve in making him feel guilty that he's not giving you what you want. PLEASE STOP putting your INTJ through the ringer and just try to take care of him.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Heart&Brain's Avatar
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    I've never been with an INTJ, but I've had a long and nice relationship with an INFJ that started a bit like you describe. I had been sleeping with someone else after I had met the INFJ but before we had a relationship. When I told him about it a month into our relationship, he shouted a sound of disgust, jumped a meter up in the air and curled himself up in the corner as if he was being attacked. It took him a few days to relax again. But months later he would still be questioning me about it, like I had been doing something wrong or dishonest. Which I hadn't.
    I had been completely honest, understanding and comforting, not being defensive, because I knew how the thought of the past can hurt when you're in love. For months, but still he would interogate me in this covert-aggressive way.
    One day, at a walk, I had had it. I broke out in tears and shouted that he was being unfair, that I had done nothing wrong, that the past could not be changed no matter how much he pressed me. I told him he should deal with it and stop treating me like this.
    He was shocked because without a warning I stopped being the soft, undestanding ENFP-cushion. It made him snap out of it and realise he had been acting unreasonable all these months and that he was hurting me in the process.

    After that incident we had the agreement always to ask the other for confirmation and comfort if we were feeling hurt or insecure about their relation to others. But: we also agreed to realise that asking implies trusting the answer you get. Otherwise there's no point in asking at all.

    I think your INTJ needs to snap out of it too. You haven't done anything wrong, you haven't violated any trust or any agreements of your relationship. He will have to take responsibility for his emotions now, since they don't come from anything that 'you do against him'. He is in a spiral of his own making that takes him down at the moment. It would be better if he could choose to appreciate the patience, support, love and honesty you offer when he shares his fears and vulnerability with you. Which IS huge and scary. But CAN build trust and deeper love.

    I wish the best for the two of you!
    Last edited by Heart&Brain; 02-02-2010 at 08:29 PM. Reason: typo

  10. #10
    "Everything in its place" fill's Avatar
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    Sounds a bit rough. Don't take this the wrong way, but more so for him than you.

    I think as I've jumped around the Ne/Ni boundary, I can understand what he's going through. The big difference here is expectations. Ne sees something in the current situation and thinks of the endless possibilities it may turn in to, while Ni sees something in the current situation and creates the "ideal" future for that element. Think of it as someone taking a picture of an empty field then drawing what they think would be ideal in this field- and sitting on it for a long time, adding immense detail. Ne would draw multiple, less detailed drawings, and pick the one it likes most.

    So if Ni creates these elaborate pictures of what is ideal, its mortal enemy is unknown past information that changes the very foundation of the picture it took in the first place as a reference, making the drawing obsolete or less solid. Here lies your problem.

    How do you fix this? You don't. Give it time. Lots and lots of time. To him you've broken his trust- Ni doms take forever to regain trust. So give him forever- or at least show him that you're willing to. You'll do fine.
    "Poor bastard. Wait 'till he sees the bats. "
    enneagram - 7/5/3

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