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  1. #1
    Senior Member lauranna's Avatar
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    Default ISTPs and Marriage

    Hey,
    Just wanted to ask a question to any ISTPs who are married or contemplating marriage. Do you really look on it forever? Are you able to plan ahead and commit completely like that?
    I am 25 but struggling to comprehend the concept of being with one person forever. i just don't see myself being able to commit like that. I am honest about it and therefore wouldn't ever make commitments i felt unable to keep.
    But i was wondering if this is just me as a lot of ISTPs on here seem to be married/in very settled relationships.
    However on the ISTP type description it says: "If the ISTP says 'I Do' it usually means 'I do for now'" and there is a lot about ISTPs struggling to commit and plan for the future etc.
    Has anyone else felt like this or not? Is it something you have had to deal with and get over in order to make lifetime commitments?

  2. #2
    Member yugyug's Avatar
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    In high school and college, I had a hard time committing. I was routinely the one to break it off with boyfriends for one reason or another. Once I got to college, I realized my high school boyfriend wasn't really my type. The college boyfriends turned out to be jerks or just plain scary. I eventually ended up married to someone who turned out to be the scariest of all. After that one, I determined never to marry or date long-term ever again. Plus, looking at my history and my nature, I was scared I'd never be able to commit, anyway, and didn't want to hurt anyone else because of it. I was perfectly content to be on my own. Then, Mr. INTJ came along when I was 29, and we meshed like I didn't know was possible. Despite my best effort to hold myself back from him, we were drawn to each other. (I know. I know. This all sounds so sappy. (grin)) And, before we uttered a word aloud about marriage, I'd committed to him. We had talked about it being okay to date others and I got asked out on dates by others, but I declined. I determined, then, that if we ever married, I was committed to this one for life. And, we married. And, I'm still committed to make this last...unless he ever wants to be with someone else. In other words, it was an internal decision of loyalty...a conscious decision to make it permanent. Because I know of my tendencies, I wait out the rough spots of the marriage, and haven't regretted it. I've become stronger in my commitment and have been rewarded to find that my love for him has grown. So, I've seen that it is possible for an ISTP (possibly INTP) to commit. Determination and knowing yourself seem to help.

  3. #3
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    I won't be in a position to get married for a long time (I'm only 22), and I certainly wouldn't rush into it quickly or without a lot of thought, but I don't think it'll be a problem for me.

    Of course my opinion may change later....meh.

    I know of at least 3 ISTP husbands on this site, and there's probably more than that.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    I recently got married, and no, my personality was not very... helpful... in getting me there.

    I've done a lot of things, but that was probably one of the hardest for me to do. Even now I have doubts - not with who I am with, but this feeling of being trapped in something. I was happier when we were just dating, in some ways, even though (literally) nothing has changed. If anything, objectively, things have gotten better all around.

    Just wanted to ask a question to any ISTPs who are married or contemplating marriage. Do you really look on it forever? Are you able to plan ahead and commit completely like that?
    I'm a hardcore planner, but commitment to my plans? That's a whole other issue. I do look at it as forever, or better put, so long as we continue to work well together (yes, that's kind of what I said o_O).

    I feel much the same way as you do, however. It still feels like a "for now" kind of event. I can't say I have resigned myself to my fate. Feeling like this is ridiculous - I know I'm not going to walk away, I know I'm going to spend (probably ) forever with her... but my nature still exerts itself.

    There is a strange duality to it. On one hand, I don't make any commitments because I feel very held by them. Better put, I feel that each commitment I makes limits me as a person, and so I make as few as possible. On the other hand, I really want to find the right person, to spend my life with them... I want the support, the certainty and everything else.

    And then you have the more 'male side' reactions. The realisation that I can't date anyone else, even though I had no interest in dating for the better part of the decade (half spent with my wife), actually comes to mind. And the responsibility part too... putting us first. Then the tug of war - I realise she gives me tons of freedom, supports me to do anything, even pushes me to do more than I would on my own. I have more limits, sure, but she removes a lot as well. But the sense of responsibility never goes away, and responsibility bothers me. Having people depend on me bothers me.


    So... I can do it, I am doing it, but it doesn't come naturally. In this case, I view it as a negative side to the personality. It prevents the bonding that I do want (notably when I don't have it!) and puts a strain on myself and my partner.

    It can really be summed up when my wife asks me if I'm happy with her. When I really have to answer it, the answer is a resounding yes, but most of the time I don't really have to answer it, or think about it, I just do. In those times, having to take her into account is draining. It's ridiculous there too, because I was doing this when we were dating and living together - for 5 years - and yet, it feels different just because I had to vocalize 'forever'.

  5. #5
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    ^ I wonder if you tell your wife these thoughts you have?

  6. #6
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hmm View Post
    ^ I wonder if you tell your wife these thoughts you have?
    Not in a summary like that. We have talked about it - she knows getting married was difficult, and she knows my need for freedom. As I said, at the practical level, she respects this and gives me way more freedom than average. I pay that back by ensuring I keep myself in check - give and take.

    I put a lot of effort into the relationship because I know that our particular combination (ISTP-INTJ) is prone to... spiralling out of control. So, I force a lot more communication from myself (and from her), and she does it to me.

    (I didn't include any of the "how we dealt with it" in my post since it didn't really relate to the OP. I know it isn't a popular view, but ISTPs on average will need to make a lot more relationship effort than other types. This isn't something I tend to say because it gives the wrong impression - that ISTPs are bad mates, but that isn't the case. We just have to watch our own internal sensitivity and our external... lack of sensitivity.)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Grayscale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    It can really be summed up when my wife asks me if I'm happy with her. When I really have to answer it, the answer is a resounding yes, but most of the time I don't really have to answer it, or think about it, I just do. In those times, having to take her into account is draining. It's ridiculous there too, because I was doing this when we were dating and living together - for 5 years - and yet, it feels different just because I had to vocalize 'forever'.
    i think this is because ISTPs like to take things one day at a time, and when a concept of such longevity presents itself it is stressful to analyze. for lack of knowing factors to consider for such a long period, we are prone to assuming the worst and feeling a need to "get out" before these often times non-existent circumstances arise.

    we may want to be with that person for the rest of our lives, but commitment aside, that is still something that needs to be taken one day at a time. as you say, it's when we start thinking about the fences, or "forever" that we feel burdened. i have become aware of this tendency in myself, and have tried to make an effort to not put up imaginary fences around me, cause when i do i always want to hop them and run away.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayscale View Post
    i think this is because ISTPs like to take things one day at a time, and when a concept of such longevity presents itself it is stressful to analyze. for lack of knowing factors to consider for such a long period, we are prone to assuming the worst and feeling a need to "get out" before these often times non-existent circumstances arise.
    I kind of agree. It is kind of the opposite for me, however. What I find stressful is the daily thought of being trapped. It's when I think about the long term - that she is there for me, etc. that I do better.

    In a way, I think it is similar for me and my parents. When I was around them, they drove me nuts (they all do, I know). But I was so consumed with wanting to get away that I never looked at the big picture - eventually I would move away, eventually I could see them more on my terms, etc.

    In this case, when I find myself going "stuck here", I need to look at the big picture - she hasn't done anything to limit me, not really. I'm being unreasonable, objectively. She supports all of my silly projects, listens to me get all excited about the stupidest things (she has to put up with me talking how incredible have 0.9 degree stepper motors have incredible resolution, and with linear screw motion transfer, I can get resolutions up to 0.00625mm! I mean, common, how is that NOT exciting?)... where was I. Oh yah, she puts up with me, sure, but she also supports me. She goes down to the hardware store with me, takes an interest in what I'm doing, encourages me to do things - will even call around during the day for me if I can't.

    I don't talk to her about it a lot, not until I really need something changed (she being the kind of person that would do something about it, being INTJ and all ) because it is mostly my burden. That's where I agree - I don't want to "think" about the future so much, because then the trapped feelings come out... but at the same time, my coping mechanism does look at the big picture.

    So, looking at the future = not so good. Looking at the big picture = works very well for me. You could read this as "directly trying to get a handle on what triggers it = bad" and "seperating myself from my emotions to cope = good"

  9. #9
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    I've been married for 17 years - to an ENTJ no less! The decision to get married really wasn't that difficult, I was in love and it made 'sense' to me.

    I determined, then, that if we ever married, I was committed to this one for life. And, we married. And, I'm still committed to make this last...unless he ever wants to be with someone else. In other words, it was an internal decision of loyalty...a conscious decision to make it permanent. Because I know of my tendencies, I wait out the rough spots of the marriage, and haven't regretted it. I've become stronger in my commitment and have been rewarded to find that my love for him has grown.
    I could have written that! I also made that conscious internal decision of loyalty. I think the first 5 years were the hardest and every time we hit a rough spot, I would immediately think 'this is it, I'm bailing!' but once I thought it through I remembered by loyalty decision. Over the years it got easier and I'm so glad I stayed. Yet, I admit that I tend to have a "pro and con being married to him" list filed in my brain somewhere and I refer to it at least monthly.

  10. #10
    Member yugyug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alicia91 View Post
    ...every time we hit a rough spot, I would immediately think 'this is it, I'm bailing!' but once I thought it through I remembered my loyalty decision. Over the years it got easier and I'm so glad I stayed. Yet, I admit that I tend to have a "pro and con being married to him" list filed in my brain somewhere and I refer to it at least monthly.
    Exactly. That's why my internal commitment was so important. And, because I've seen where it's gotten easier and I'm glad I stayed, that simply reinforces the decision -- "Yup, this was a good choice." I also have the list in my brain. Mine consists of comparisons. "Yes, hubby and I conflict in this area, but this is trivial compared to the problems I had with ex," and, "Hubby may have this issue, but I'm glad I'm not with that guy over there because I wouldn't last long with all that drama." And, I keep a journal of all the neat things I've experienced in this marriage and hubby once wrote a small book on how he feels about me and there's this write-up hubby showed me when we were dating about loving each other enough to give them freedom. Anytime I start to panic like "I'm trapped" (as mentioned by others here), I read through a bit of those and I'm fine again.

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