I made this post over at INTJf awhile back as a couple of enfps were having issues with their INTJ and INTP marriages. The INTJ-ENFP was going well but the INTP-ENFP was having a lot of issues. The INTP enfp said the post would save her marriage, so I thought I'd post here as well since it seemed helpful in case someone searches on the topic. It's pretty random and sort of contrasts the two relationships. A good friend recently ended her 10 year relationship with her INTP husband and it left me saddened as they still love each other and have kidlets-they just cant get past some of the the stuff below and kept stumbling. Many of the issues were similar to what I faced with my ISTP ex as well. It weighs upon my heart heavily that innate, personality based behaviors can detsroy relationships so easily-some of this stuff is so easy to work around-if you know it is there in the first place:
Both the ENFP-INTJ or ENFP-INTP relationship could work, but both take some work. I suspect the ENFP-INTJ relationship will hit bumps early on and either deal with them or break up. The ENFP-INTP relationship can just go stumbling on through the night without ever really addressing the underlying differences until something finally explodes and they detest one another.
A friend once noted that INTP men will seek out "moms' to sort of take care of the day to day details. The INTPs also seem okay with others tweaking on their emotions to change behavior. Both of these are things you would expect out of an ENFJ (I know 6 ENFJ-INTP couples ). The ENFP can sorta mimic ENFJ behaviors at times, so ENFP-INTP relationships can end up in long term marriage.
The INTP sees sweetness and nurturing behavior and mistakes Fi for Fe.
Eventually the diffs that seem to arise and cause the worst issues:
1. As the IXTP matures, his inf Fe will emerge and all things Fe become more valued. Old INTPs are like really sarcastic, young ISFJs and can be very judgmental. An odd desire for domestic harmony and tradition emerge, things ENFPs do not provide. The IXTP also can find the extroverted emotions of the ENFP to be inappropriate or "crazy", as they are not processed in the way a display of Fe would be, leaving the ENFP judged via the INTPs shadow function. Quenk calls this out very clearly in “Was that really me?” This cycles badly as the ENFP, feeling rejected upon display of their emotions, will withdraw emotionally from the relationship, until they become very silent and stony.
I feel for the IXTPs here, as they can be extremely sweet, wonderful people, it is just a miscommunication issue.
2. The INTPs seem to find ENFPs stupid mostly. The problem is that ENFPs take giant Ne leaps on a skeletal Te structure. Ti, even when backed with Ne, CANNOT follow those leaps-thus a very visceral "bullshit" flag gets called. The INTPs fall back on their tert function-Si-and just cry "stupid". Perhaps at first the INTPs try and be open minded, but after seeing this same leap occur several times, they seem to assume they are dealing with an idiot. Now, no doubt, enfps can be full of bullshit, but we also can be pretty good at flying by the seat of our Te pants in situations where you just need to take a leap rather than try and delineate every single detailed step. We excel at logic in fuzzy areas like market analysis. We thrive on sharing of ideas-but have to learn to respect ISTPs idea space.
IXTPs also HATE to be told what to do-and ENFPs begin to use Te to try and care for others like a TJ would-thus can seem pretty bossy as we age, thus we can really grate on them by not only telling them what to do, but trying to tell them what to think about an idea, a huge no-no. (Oddly, it is totally okay to mess with their emotions....and tell them what they feel is wrong. *shivers*)
3. The Ti users across the board find Te generalization....offensive? For instance the previous sentence I just typed "The Ti users across the board find Te generalization....offensive" states for ALL Ti users, in EVERY instance of Te usage, assumes that Te is ALWAYS a generalization, and assumes they ALWAYS ALL find it offensive. Another ENFP will read this and recognize the whole thing is a generalization at every step, useful but flexible,-but most Ti users see it and then have to stop and check it against their internal logical system for every single generalization stated...Eventually they just seem to hit too many bumps and say fuck it. The harder you push the idea, the harder they push back.
The INTJs however, live in Te generalities themselves, so the generality isnt going to typically offend them. Additionally, I have heard many INTJs say "If an idea has even the slightest chance of being true, I'll listen to it". The INTJs love ENFPs as we spew ideas endlessly. We are Ni context generation machines. Now the funny part is that you will have a long convo with the INTJ, think you convinced him of your point, then find yourself argueing the same convo later-"dude, I thought we agreed on this???" They agreed to listen and consider your context, but that doesnt mean they agreed in any way with the idea.. LOL.
4. ENFPs will communicate in Fi, then Te. Thus they share about their own experiences, in a desire to prompt the other person to share about their experiences-mirroring. Then they problem solve by giving suggestions-Te. Thus it sounds alternately selfish, then bossy from the perspective of inferior Fe given it is totally backwards from Ti/Fe communication patterns. When stressed the enfp will revert to Te to gain control of the situation-which can seem really controlling to the INTP.
Instaed-the enfp needs to share and use emotion in a soothing way to request change from the IXTP. It feels really *ewwww* at first, feels terribly manipulative and even abusive, but is like speaking the correct language.
The enfp will also want to talk problems to death in terms of what each DID, not what each FELT. This is amazingly easy with an INTJ, but with an IXTP ends up snagged up as you have to convert actions back into emotional requests. It is very...confusing.
5. The IXTPs will tend to place the burden of structuring the outside world onto the enfp-bills, appontiments and so on. The enfp sucks at this, gets stressed, becomes more Te-ish, which sets up a cycle in which the IXTP feels more and more bossed around and controlled-while the enfp feels more and more burdened unfairly. This seems to result in the end of the relationship as it is a nasty cycle.
One last bit-Based upon what my ENTP friend has told me, Ti users have some sense of value/importance/merit/respect from others attached to the actual idea, just as we attach our sense of self to our internal Fi values. If you attack the INTPs ideas harshly and bluntly, in a rough tert Te manner, you may be devaluing him as a person . (An INTJ may seem attached to the actual idea, but rather fears being incompetent...thus will defend the extroverted idea vigorously and defensively..)