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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Can an ISTJ forget the love of his life?

    Hello everybody,

    I absolutely need your help!
    My ISTJ broke up with me after 4 years together, because he thinks that our evident differences (I'm a INFP) create excessive conflict inside the relationship.
    But he says that he loves me and he will always do, he says that I'm the love of his life. What I can say is that I love him more than myself and that I have never been loved so deeply by a man as by him. Furthermore, I find that our differences complement each other and I enjoy them, but he seems so stressed by the fact that we like different things or that we have a different approach to life (mine WAY more laid back)
    He seems to be very determined to stick to his decision. But when we are together - after the first moments in which he remains rigid, unemotional and cold - he always sweeten up and I really can see and feel how much he still loves me.
    how do you see the situation. Can I hope for an happy end?

    Many many many thanks for your help!!!

  2. #2
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Hi and welcome!

    I'm sorry about the situation. I think there might be deeper issues than just "differences in personality". I mean, you don't really break up with someone just because they like different things. How bad are the 'conflicts'? Do you want totally different lifestyles? There must be something important that he felt wasn't working out?
    4w5 sp/sx EII

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    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    That really sucks.

    This week I've become most fascinated with the INFP+ESTJ romantic combo. I'm really curious about how this dynamic plays out.

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    Default More details

    Thanks guys for your answers,

    I will try to be more clear. I and my love come from very different backgrounds (country, family, social environment, experience of life).
    I have now a very good job and live and work in a "conservative environment", and I feel good and serene in it, but in the past I had difficulties finding my way and I did some "borderline experiences". In addition, I'm very liberal, "live and live" is my way.
    My love has always lived in a very conservative environment, he has always been very responsible and serious. He is very strict about how life has to be lived. Tend to per-judge a lot. He says that "the past explains the future" and he thinks that I will be back to behaviors that he disapproves.
    I left my past behind me years ago, I feel happy, satisfied, and safe in my current life. But my partner try to find signs of fault in every little thing or word. I have to admit that once I lied about a mail that I sent to a former boyfriend for his birthday, as this guy was living in a very difficult situation. I didn't tell my partner because I was scared of his reactions knowing how much he is insecure and scared of my past, he discovered this mail (absolutely innocent and brief) and since then on he has created a system. Every word I say is a proof that I'm not good for him. He sees things that don't exist (that I flirt or smile to men).
    Please don't misunderstand me. He is a wonderful person. Caring, loving, generous, but scared of everything, with the mania to control everything. I love him sincerely, I have always respected him deeply. I want to share with him my whole life, but I fear that he is gone for good.
    Is there any ISTJ that can answer my question: An ISTJ can overcome his fears of what is different for love?
    I have learned that I have not to lie anymore, not even on small things, but he doesn't give me another possibility, he has gone to far, has built a system in his mind.

    Pls HELP. I feel lost

  5. #5
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion_and_cobra View Post
    Thanks guys for your answers,

    I will try to be more clear. I and my love come from very different backgrounds (country, family, social environment, experience of life).
    I have now a very good job and live and work in a "conservative environment", and I feel good and serene in it, but in the past I had difficulties finding my way and I did some "borderline experiences". In addition, I'm very liberal, "live and live" is my way.
    My love has always lived in a very conservative environment, he has always been very responsible and serious. He is very strict about how life has to be lived. Tend to per-judge a lot. He says that "the past explains the future" and he thinks that I will be back to behaviors that he disapproves.
    I left my past behind me years ago, I feel happy, satisfied, and safe in my current life. But my partner try to find signs of fault in every little thing or word. I have to admit that once I lied about a mail that I sent to a former boyfriend for his birthday, as this guy was living in a very difficult situation. I didn't tell my partner because I was scared of his reactions knowing how much he is insecure and scared of my past, he discovered this mail (absolutely innocent and brief) and since then on he has created a system. Every word I say is a proof that I'm not good for him. He sees things that don't exist (that I flirt or smile to men).
    Please don't misunderstand me. He is a wonderful person. Caring, loving, generous, but scared of everything, with the mania to control everything. I love him sincerely, I have always respected him deeply. I want to share with him my whole life, but I fear that he is gone for good.
    Is there any ISTJ that can answer my question: An ISTJ can overcome his fears of what is different for love?
    I have learned that I have not to lie anymore, not even on small things, but he doesn't give me another possibility, he has gone to far, has built a system in his mind.

    Pls HELP. I feel lost
    I know you are hurting right now. But based on what you said, especially the bolded parts, are you sure he is going to be good for you? Yes, your past is part of who you are now, and if he rejects that, it means he is putting his 'ideals' before 'you'. Even if you get back together, he is going to reject who you are and try to change you into something he wants you to be. That, in my opinion, is selfish. Do you think you will be able to have a fulfilling relationship with this man?

    That said, I know you can't help it sometimes. Love is irrational. The key to everything is to communicate, and love is about compromises. He cannot expect you to make all the compromises. He might be facing mental blocks at the moment, because it is very hard to go against what you have been raised with and taught to believe in. That is his part to do, if the relationship is ever going to work out. So, yes, he may still feel something for you, but if he cannot overcome his own ideas of how things should or should not be, there isn't anything you can do about it. Your post didn't say, but I'm going to guess that your ISTJ came from a strict, religious background. For such people, you have to understand that it is very, very hard for them to rebel against that.

    All I can say to you at the moment is: be strong. Be yourself. Stand up for what you think is right. If it's going to work out, then it's going to work out. If not, no matter what you do it's never going to work. Right now, try to heal, try to become more independent. If you love him, then love him. But don't expect anything in return. If he cannot see past that, it's his loss. Right now try to work on yourself now to build up the strength to become secure and healthy and forgiving.

    4w5 sp/sx EII

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    I'm already working on myself with the help of a psychiatrist as the pain of this break up is for me unbearable. And about being forgiving this is easy: it is in my nature.

    @21% .. you are right in almost everything but about the religious stuff. We are both atheist. He is conservative for the social environment where he has always lived (bourgeois, moralist, linked to values as honor, family, modesty).

    However, while he always was scared by my past (very liberal sexuality and some drug use), he managed to control his fears at the beginning. Everything has changed after I lied on the mail to a former boyfriend. It is such as, all in a sudden, his ghosts became real. Afterwards he has started to see me under a different light and entered in a deep paranoia that ended up with this break up.

    How to gain back his trust? And how to help him to understand that my past has helped me to understand what I really want , that is the life I have now. I try to tell him but he answers "facts not words". But how I can proof something that lays in the future? I have never cheated him, I try to dress more conservative as possible, I am a devoted partner Nothing is enough for him.

  7. #7
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    This is just from my own experience, so take it as anecdotal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lion_and_cobra View Post
    Hello everybody,
    I absolutely need your help!
    My ISTJ broke up with me after 4 years together, because he thinks that our evident differences (I'm a INFP) create excessive conflict inside the relationship.
    Furthermore, I find that our differences complement each other and I enjoy them, but he seems so stressed by the fact that we like different things or that we have a different approach to life (mine WAY more laid back)
    There are going to be major differences for the rest of your lives, which isn’t a bad thing, especially with the TJ/FP differences. The ability to view them as complimentary rather than antagonistic is going to depend on the maturity of the individuals involved. Mature STJs (any type that is mature, actually) will learn to appreciate the differences that drew them to you in the first place. Immature ones will view you as a lifelong pity project that they are responsible for and pour all their energy into fixing what they see as broken rather than nurturance. My ESTJ openly states ESFP is the ideal type, and continually tries to push me in that direction and probably always will. He has little tolerance and appreciation for my N-ness, which he labels weird and inferior. I adore him, feel completely satisfied with my life and wouldn’t change a thing, but in general I ascribe to the idea that iNtuitives should be with iNtuitives, and Sensors should be with Sensors. I think in our case it would have made him infinitely happier, and that is my one regret.

    It sounds like ultimately he appreciates your personality differences or he wouldn’t call you the love of his life. Are you sure it’s the personality differences, or your past and current behavior that is the problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lion_and_cobra View Post
    I will try to be more clear. I and my love come from very different backgrounds (country, family, social environment, experience of life).
    This is my case as well. My husband comes from an affluent, east coast background. I come from a rural, blue collar background. I worked hard for everything I have in life. Although he is hard-working, he had most things handed to him. He is very aware of the classes, and is disdainful of people from different backgrounds and perspectives. Difference in background can factor heavily for this type. I know it has factored heavily over the years for mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lion_and_cobra View Post
    I have now a very good job and live and work in a "conservative environment", and I feel good and serene in it, but in the past I had difficulties finding my way and I did some "borderline experiences".
    This is very nebulous. It seems to factor heavily into his decision-making, so it is hard to understand where he might be coming from without knowing more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lion_and_cobra View Post
    He is very strict about how life has to be lived. Tend to per-judge a lot.
    This is just how STJs are. They tend to expect that they get to make the rules. This is just something you’re going to have to learn to adapt to and negotiate with if you continue together. Often it is good, because it results in growth on our part, for which I’ve always been thankful. However, it can become extremely demoralizing when you can’t perform to their expectations as fast as they demand, or don’t agree with the expectations in the first place. I’ve never been a sensitive person and take criticism well, so that helped immensely, but assertiveness with those I care for was never my strong suit. I’ve developed quite a backbone over 10 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lion_and_cobra View Post
    He says that "the past explains the future" and he thinks that I will be back to behaviors that he disapproves.
    I left my past behind me years ago, I feel happy, satisfied, and safe in my current life. But my partner try to find signs of fault in every little thing or word. I have to admit that once I lied about a mail that I sent to a former boyfriend for his birthday, as this guy was living in a very difficult situation. I didn't tell my partner because I was scared of his reactions knowing how much he is insecure and scared of my past, he discovered this mail (absolutely innocent and brief) and since then on he has created a system. Every word I say is a proof that I'm not good for him. He sees things that don't exist (that I flirt or smile to men).
    You screwed yourself here, sorry.

    1. These types (and most people) base trust on established behavior. Present behavior if given enough elapsed time can definitely override past behavior and demonstrate genuine change. But if your past involved lying, betrayal, and omission, no matter what the reason, and he caught you doing it again, he has every right to be distrustful. Even if he didn’t like that you were sending it, if you had told him about it, he would at least have the assurance you don’t hide things from him and you can have an honest dialogue and the integrity of the intimacy is preserved. Now you have two problems instead of one – he doesn’t like that you did it, and he thinks you’re sneaky and not safe. And once you have that problem with an STJ, good luck, you’re in for some work. They have the memory of an elephant.

    My ESTJ was screwed over by an ESFP before we got together. He was incapable of trust, and says he picked me because he knew me and knew he would never be hurt or betrayed by me, and that I would never leave/abandon/reject him, and yet I still spent 8 years cleaning up after a mess that I didn’t even have anything to do with. I considered him completely worth the work needed. I am extremely transparent with him. Even if he doesn’t like something I do, he knows I don’t hide things. That is the foundation of intimacy and trust. If you yourself were/are the one demonstrating dubious behavior, you’d better mean it when you say you love him, because it’s going to take an incredible amount of work and time to fix it.

    2. If it were truly innocent, you should have been able to tell him about it. And he knows this. He shouldn't hold your past against you if your behavior is clearly different now. We all make mistakes, we all can change, and we all need grace. We also need sympathy, empathy, and for people to see and appreciate and call forth the real us despite our struggles. If you have a struggle, be honest with him. Trust can be forged when transparency is there.... having a problem isn't the problem....hiding the problem is the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lion_and_cobra View Post
    Please don't misunderstand me. He is a wonderful person. Caring, loving, generous, but scared of everything, with the mania to control everything.
    Yes, they are wonderful people. And yes, control is everything with them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lion_and_cobra View Post
    I love him sincerely, I have always respected him deeply. I want to share with him my whole life, but I fear that he is gone for good.
    Is there any ISTJ that can answer my question: An ISTJ can overcome his fears of what is different for love?
    I have learned that I have not to lie anymore, not even on small things, but he doesn't give me another possibility, he has gone to far, has built a system in his mind.
    It took 8 years of consistent behavior on my part as well as professional therapy on his part for my ESTJ to get over something that didn’t even originate with me. You have do some serious introspection to ask yourself how committed you are to him and cleaning up any messes you’ve made.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lion_and_cobra View Post
    I have learned that I have not to lie anymore, not even on small things, but he doesn't give me another possibility, he has gone to far, has built a system in his mind.
    If someone will lie in small things they will lie in big things. Especially if they used to lie about big things in the past and that path is already familiar. Not lying or omitting any longer is a great start. You just have to figure out whether you want to put the time into cleaning it up given the road might be extremely difficult with this type, whether he himself is up for the work involved, and the rigorous transparency necessary to providing the contrast between then and now.

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    @mia_infp

    Thank you very much for your long and detailed answer. It is somewhat comforting to see that a relationship between a STJ and a NFP can work even if it requires a lot of work.
    You can't imagine how much I regret my lie. I really hope that I can make up for it one day. He is the most precious part of my life.
    My question to you would be the following. He says that he still loves me and always will. Do you think that an ISTJ can deliberately kill the love in their heart if they think that the relationship can't work?
    The fact is that I think that until there is love there is hope, but I fear that he is trying to disconnect emotionally from me (overworking, trying always to be between people, etc.).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion_and_cobra View Post
    @mia_infp

    Thank you very much for your long and detailed answer. It is somewhat comforting to see that a relationship between a STJ and a NFP can work even if it requires a lot of work.
    You can't imagine how much I regret my lie. I really hope that I can make up for it one day. He is the most precious part of my life.
    My question to you would be the following. He says that he still loves me and always will. Do you think that an ISTJ can deliberately kill the love in their heart if they think that the relationship can't work?
    The fact is that I think that until there is love there is hope, but I fear that he is trying to disconnect emotionally from me (overworking, trying always to be between people, etc.).
    We all make mistakes, hun. Regardless of what happens, don't continue to beat yourself up over it. Ask for forgiveness, then forgive yourself and go into the future empowered.

    To be honest, I have no idea. I know with mine, he continued to have feelings for her for years and years afterward, despite the relationship being over. I say that because he had so much extreme anger, and the opposite of love is apathy, not hate.

    He might deny or ignore them, but his feelings for you will most likely still be there is my guess. Whether that will affect his decision-making, I can't say.

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    Thank you very much again! I'll keep you posted.

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