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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2015

    Default HELP ME. (male INTJ/female ENFP, romantic)

    Hi. First post. ("An INTJ asking for help from other people? It must be serious!")

    The Background:
    July 2014, I started dating an ENFP. I was captivated. She was so full of life and joy and hope that I couldn't help myself (the INTJs out there who have dated an ENFP can probably attest to this, as I suspect my experience isn't all that unique).

    However, about three months or so in, work got incredibly busy (as it tends to do- we INTJs seem unnaturally- or perhaps naturally?- attracted to highly-demanding careers/studies), and I was in a state of high-focus mode; almost all of my energy was expended on getting through the task at hand. My ENFP felt that she was not getting the attention she craved/deserved, specifically (as she has mentioned) physical intimacy. There was a day when I didn't hear back from her- no texts, no calls returned, etc. It seemed fairly strange but not out of place- I figured she was tired. She had the day off, so I figured she was relaxing (because I was looking at it with my INTJ glasses).

    She was not. She was getting drunk. And then sleeping with her neighbor.

    I saw her the next day, and she was acting incredibly distant and unhappy- nigh suicidal, perhaps. I tried to find out what was going on but she wouldn't tell me. Three days later she tells me we have to talk, at which point she (to her credit, finally) confessed she cheated on me.

    Which was devastating, understandably. You don't ever, ever betray an INTJ's trust, ever- and then especially you don't withhold it from them, not even for several days. Further complicating this was that the first serious relationship I had, a very similar experience occurred (my partner at the time had slept with someone else)- so this particular breach of trust is something that hurt perhaps even more than expected.

    However, I decided this time, with this person, it was going to be different. I would give her a second chance. After all, we INTJs are (fancy ourselves as) the Übermensch! We're above such silly things like grudges, and emotional ties! (I am, of course, speaking with sarcasm- but I'll be darned if we don't legitimately think this at times, at least in the quietest, most core voice we have in our minds).

    The Present:

    However, it's now roughly a year later. We've both grown a lot. But I feel that now we've reached a point where we need to evaluate where we currently are at, rather than where things were before. We need to see where we're headed.


    • She wants me to spend more time with her. I can't, I am physically unable to do this. We spend all our time together when we're not at work. I get about one night to myself every week. (ENFPs, pay close attention- a translation of this would be if you only got to spend one night interacting with someone a week. Otherwise, you would have no contact with people at all. This is roughly analogous to what only having one night to one's self a week feels like to an INTJ.)
    • She wants me to enjoy the things she enjoys. Not to join her in them- I do. Example: I hate hiking. I hate it an incredible amount. (I do love camping, though.) She loves it. She was dumbfounded and hurt deep to the core of her being that I went hiking with her when she would ask me to, but would not enjoy it. For comparison, despite my invitations to join me in the social functions I attend/volunteer at (tech-related conferences, mostly) that I take part in (and DO enjoy), she has yet to join me in a single one. (Sidenote: ENFPs, please stop dragging your INTJs to things you like doing if they don't like doing them. It's okay to have different interests.)
    • This past friday, she wanted to "talk". She brings up the above, after being snappy/moody with me for a week (fairly different from the kind and colourful ENFP she usually is). She seems to want to make this work, but perhaps doesn't understand what she's asking of me.
    • Because (I presume) I do not share the same type of emotional response that she does- she has, on more than one occasion, called me a "robot". She knows this hurts me, and shortly after apologizes- but it just brings more to light that we can't communicate (and to an INTJ, because we always strive so very hard to only speak what we fully mean and are very intentional with our words, you can understand my hurt by this- "She said it. That means she meant it. It doesn't matter if she said she doesn't mean it, because now it's only an attempt to coddle me emotionally, and I don't want or need that."). She hates that I'm calm and cool, yet (supposedly) appreciates it. I hate that she gets so reactive and dramatic, yet understand this is an expression of her passion.

    Of course, she's dragged me to social events where the person she cheated on me with will be at. She's even ignored me for most of the time at one of the events, and then prompted to talk to this feller for a bit. Right in front of me. He's also been at her house several times after the incident when I came over (he's friends with her roommate).

    I told her the next day (after explaining the above I presented) that I need a week to think things over, and that I need space. Which, aside from the occasional text message, she's thankfully granted me. At this point, I have no idea what I'm going to do. As an INTJ, the occasional fighting (rather than dialogue) becoming more frequent and more severe each time, being made demands of me that would compromise the integrity (INTJs love that word) of who I am without an equal set of example from her end,... it all adds up to me ending the relationship. At the same time, I recognize that she's provided me with a LOT of growth and challenges.

    But I can't help but feel that a piece of me has irrevocably died, and my attempts to bring it back to life just leave it in a zombie-like fashion.

    So first and foremost, INTJs- do you think I'm being unreasonable? Are there any other male INTJ/female ENFP's out there that have struggled through this- and came out successful on the other side?

    ENFPs- if it comes to it and I decide to end the relationship, how would you prefer it be done if you were in her shoes? I realize breakups are never easy, but as an INTJ we can sometimes be considered... "heartless" or cold. I still care about her a lot, but unless something changes I feel as if this relationship is unsustainable and cannot be made to work (which I understand is typically y'all's modus operandi- that the end is "never the end", all can be repaired, etc.) any longer. So if it does happen, how would you prefer it? Face-to-face, a letter? The hard truth, gentle truth, etc.?
    Last edited by CO-in-Gnito; 10-06-2015 at 12:46 AM. Reason: formatting

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2015


    also, i apologize for that book.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RedAmazoneFriendZone's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
    7w8 sx/sp


    Let's be clear, we more or less feel attracted to our opposite sides.

    I feel in "your book" you have a lot of praise -just like too many men probably to live the real love _

    I'm teasing you, just relax and see what my dear miror offers you now :

    You go out with a girl you like. Whatever her qualities seem to be, you realize, or even worst than that :

    she betrayes you with her drunk neigbour !

    She hates that I'm calm and cool, yet (supposedly) appreciates it. I hate that she gets so reactive and dramatic, yet understand this is an expression of her passion.

    Can you bear that ? Are you still respecting yourself ?
    If the answer is no, I'd just run away.

    Which was devastating, understandably. You don't ever, ever betray an INTJ's trust, ever-

    I can imagine... Nobody wants that !!! Betrayn an XXXX's trust and he/will will suffer a lot.

    I clearly think this girl is pretty unhealthy. Whatever the 1st qualities you saw in her when dating her since 1 year ago.
    Today it seems things have changes.

    As I am an healthy human being, whatever the man, if he has shit behaviours = he is a shit.
    So I am ok to deal with my own shits every day, not to swallows others or take others' bullshit on my back.

    When one gets attracted to an unhealthy person, or he/she is playing the role of the psychanalyst/nurse,
    or it means she represents a "shadow" you don't wanna see within yourself,
    or that it is simply a way to fill up some voids and gaps in your own life, may be very unhealthy too.

    Hope it will help you INTJ !

    Sorry to ask (answer if you want to of course) : how old are you ? How old is she?

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2015


    "Can you bear that? Are you still respecting yourself?
    If the answer is no, I'd just run away."

    well, i feel that i'm respecting myself, but i'm not giving myself the care that i need. or rather, not getting the opportunity to self-care. then again, this could just be the conflict-avoidant part of the "dark side" of my INTJ speaking.

    "I can imagine... Nobody wants that !!! Betray an XXXX's trust and he/[she] will suffer a lot."
    INTJs are reallllyy funny about trust. it takes us a fair while to give it, but when we give it- we give it deeply. if you break it by doing something egregious enough, it can take us YEARS to grant it back (if ever). we tend to operate in the past (introspection) and the future (consequences of current context), whereas an ENFP may be more likely to grant trust more quickly (as they tend to operate primarily in the present).

    "As I am an healthy human being,"
    i think everybody's got their own shit and nobody's fully "healthy"- there's always an opportunity to work on yourself to become better than what you presently are. but there are definitely some that are further along this path than others.

    "whatever the man, if he has shit behaviours = he is a shit.
    So I am ok to deal with my own shits every day, not to swallows others or take others' bullshit on my back."

    i don't think i'm taking responsibility for her actions, nor should i (though being an ENFP, there was SOMETHING that made her seek it out- i'll take responsibility for that, but no more. and that doesn't necessarily mean i was in the wrong, other than perhaps not understanding her needs fully before i pursued the relationship).

    "Sorry to ask (answer if you want to of course): how old are you ? How old is she?"
    i am 30, she's 28.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Apr 2008


    For all the people that think this is a stellar relationship you go.

    I completely get where you are coming from with this. Naturally, the fraternizing with the guy she cheated on you with is the most critical issue but the smaller things (the suffocating neediness, the lack of compatibility in interests) are in no way small. The somewhat suicidal incident would have me packing my bags too. If she hates your calm coolness and sees her loosing her shit as just an expression of her passion - this will never change and only get worse as time goes on. This is an important thing to point out because it is a core part of your personality and hers. I don't like being called a robot anymore than you do but someone kind of has to be when dealing with a more volatile personality.

    Unfortunately, I don't think it matters which way you try to end it, if you decide to do so. It's going to be bad. Probably in the most forward (in person) gentle way possible would be the best but you may not get that far.

    In my experience, ENFP's can rationalize and justify almost anything. This would including cheating. I also understand regaining trust (if ever). Long time for INTJ's and some can't or won't ever understand this. My ENFJ doesn't either so you're not alone. While I understand being attracted to your opposite, this is just too opposite in a lot of cases.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.
    Likes five sounds, SpankyMcFly, uumlau liked this post

  6. #6
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    Oct 2015


    well, i wouldn't say it'd be a good model to base ALL INTJ/ENFP after our experience- but 4/10, would not do again. the goods are *awesome*, being able to actually "click" with someone is pretty foreign to us INTJs and feels awesome when we find someone we do click with.
    but the bads are... well. the bads are rough as hell.

    thank you for your input, ceecee.

  7. #7
    breaking out of my cocoon SearchingforPeace's Avatar
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    Jun 2015
    9w8 sx/so
    EIE None


    I am neither a INTJ or a ENFP. I do have an ENFP sister married to an INTJ, as well as a very good friend who is a ENFP.

    For my sister, she provides the emotion and excitement for their 33 year marriage, he provides the stability. He is very patient and she tries his patience. It works in the balance.

    My ENFP friend is a bit more like your GF. For decades, whenever she got angry with her SO, she would go sleep with another guy in attempt to get her anger out. And justify it for herself. She manipulates and plays with the affections of her BFs. Her current BF is a ISTJ and she needs his ability to stand firm while she bounces around.

    ENFPs can be very intelligent, but stable is not really in their playbook, even in their 40s and 50s.

    I get the trust thing you with us INFJs too. It is extremely hard for me to have confidence that someone is worthy of my trust in the first place, someone I believe won't betray me. I couldn't do what you did. And from my understanding, she might do it again. ENFPs really struggle to settle down.

    I can't believe she is socializing with the guy and in front of you. Or that you are still with her in spite of that. It tells me how much she really regards your feelings.

    And I completely get how annoying it is that she dislikes so much about you, even though those attributes attracted her to you. I struggle with similar issues with my wife expressing distaste for much of me (why marry a brilliant, insightful guy if you don't like that....)

    Run away. There are other women out there.

    I might suggest you examine why you didn't end it after she cheated on you. I go that way because I have spent the last 6 months discovering things about myself I had not realized. Ni can really do a number on us with things like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Archilochus
    The fox knows many things--the hedgehog one big one.
    And I am not a hedgehog......


    Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers" not "blessed are the conflict avoiders.....

    9w8 6w5 4w5 sx/so


    “Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2015


    thank you, SearchingforPeace. i like INFJ's a lot- y'all challenge us but tend to present it as some sort of pragmatic puzzle to solve using the feeling parts of us instead of "analyzing our feelings"- we INTJs sometimes struggle with nebulosity (at least, nebulous to us, operating in T instead of F)! excellent guides for navigating the emotional/mental bridge.

    i am still processing it (of course), but i think i stayed with her because i didn't want to run away, yet again. i didn't want to avoid the conflict, i wanted to grab it by the horns and grow from it- i really believe(d?) in this relationship. i felt a need to prove to myself that i could do it, and felt like a failure that i was still struggling with it. but all in all, i think a year is a pretty good run, even with all the drama and fights- looking back, i definitely grew from it. so i guess, and i have to step outside my worldview a little bit here, that it was still a success even though it looked different from what i expected. at the same time, i feel like i lost part of myself along the way. i feel that i can get this part of me back, but certainly not under the way things are presently. i just don't know if the part of me that was lost was a good or bad quality of me. (or perhaps both.)
    Last edited by CO-in-Gnito; 10-06-2015 at 11:23 AM. Reason: typo
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  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2008


    If you can't accept her actions and you refuse to satisfy her then let her go. I saw in one of the posts above that you can't give her what she needs do to the way you structure your life. Your actions lead to her actions. Your rationalization and justification lead to hers.

    Key to an ENFP is to give her what she wants in a relationship. It's that simple. She should have cut it instead of cheating if talks didn't help. Talk first, cut relationship, then sleep with someone else. This is with all relationships, not just ENFP actually. Find the right person or do what you have to in order to keep this one. You already know what you have to do.
    Im out, its been fun

  10. #10
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    6w5 sx/sp



    Good luck. You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders. Sometimes a little distance is good for both parties. You can always put your foot down about getting some alone time. I think that is critical to an introvert. It's like sleep. Necessary to function properly.

    If she has an issue with this, and you are explaining it as eloquently as you do here, I don't think you are with a very understanding partner.
    ~luck favors the ready~

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