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[ISTJ] Help me (INFJ) understand my ISTJ boyfriend

EcK

The Memes Justify the End
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I've been dating my ISTJ boyfriend for just under 2 years now, and I think we've gotten to the point where it's becoming crucial for us to be able to understand and read each other. As in, it's serious and not just-for-kicks anymore.
you decided that understanding each other could be important after.. 2 years?
low standards anybody?

But I can't for the life of me understand why it's so difficult for him to grasp how I'm feeling and what things are really important to me.

Along those lines, I'm sure there's a lot about him that I'm having a really hard time grasping, but it's difficult to be specific, as I'm paranoid that I'm reading him completely wrong.

I'd appreciate some ISTJ advice, especially if you have ISTJ-INFJ relationship experience.
structural incompatibility?
 

Donna Cecilia

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you decided that understanding each other could be important after.. 2 years?
low standards anybody?


structural incompatibility?

Great way to define all this problem. I agree.

You have to compliment the two approaches. While I prefer to find a solution, I understand that, for some people, like INFJs, talking things over is the way to find a solution. So, I open up and listen to them, because I don´t want to limit my options, and, of all the things they say, I can always find something useful (this applies to all my NF friends, who feel the same way as you)

When I hear that something, I bring them back to ground and use it as a starting point to find the solution we need.

As for hearing them for their personal comfort, it´s all right, as long as they tell me before that they only need me to listen to them. That way, I can prevent myself from saying anything that may make them feel bad.

I think two years are more than enough to understand a person close to you. And to speak honestly about each other´s needs.
 

suttree

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If you two cant sustain a meeting of the minds after two years, you should really question the relationship.

I was with an ISTJ for way too long due in part to her sense of duty and need for stability which were poor substitutes for good communication and shared priorities.
 

hybrid_rainbow

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you decided that understanding each other could be important after.. 2 years?
low standards anybody?

low standards? whoa whoa, a bit un-called for since you don't fully know the situation. we're young. we're having fun. neither one of us thought this would be a "death do us part forever and ever thing" when we first got started. we just grew to care about each other. i don't think it's bizarre to *start* thinking about long-term (e.g. marriage) type commitment after 2 years of being together. in my mind, people should date for at least 5 years before even thinking about getting married.

I think I'm going to try to avoid INFJs. I can spark an argument with them fast. >< ISTJ - xNFJ is *way* different than the differences between ISTJ and ENFP. We have completely and utterly different world views.

It just so happens that we INFJs love a good argument...we call it stimulating debate ;)

You have to compliment the two approaches. While I prefer to find a solution, I understand that, for some people, like INFJs, talking things over is the way to find a solution

This is true, talking things over makes me feel TONS better, but I have the hardest time getting him to talk. Mostly, an argument goes like this:

I voice my opinion
He gives me silence
I ask him what he thinks
He thinks about it for a long while
I get frustrated that he won't at least think aloud so we can have a real discussion
He apologizes
Wash, rinse, repeat.

Sometimes I truly believe that I know what he feels and thinks better than he does.
 

swordpath

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Hey Hybrid. I live in a house full of INFJs. My parents and my sister are all INFJ.

Like Take Five said in the first response in this thread, just be clear and direct in what your thoughts and feelings are. Lay out what you're lacking and need from him in return. Try to understand what makes him tick and where he hopes to be in the future, and see if that's compatible with your own vision.

Do you know the strength of his S function, and also your N?
 

raz

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It just so happens that we INFJs love a good argument...we call it stimulating debate ;)

There's a difference between stimulating debate and an emotional defense mechanism when an argument goes against your personal views. I work with 2 INFJs. One of them is my supervisor and I barely want to talk to her about problems because she gets emotional too easily. The other gets offended and judgmental if your viewpoint doesn't coincide with her beliefs.

I'd just rather not deal with the emotional response during what I interpret as a rational discussion. Besides, I don't argue for the sake arguing. That's pointless. I usually enter into discussions or arguments to either contribute my stance, or when I feel like being annoying and constantly breaking down someone's arguments.
 

Donna Cecilia

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This is true, talking things over makes me feel TONS better, but I have the hardest time getting him to talk. Mostly, an argument goes like this:

I voice my opinion
He gives me silence
I ask him what he thinks
He thinks about it for a long while
I get frustrated that he won't at least think aloud so we can have a real discussion
He apologizes
Wash, rinse, repeat.

Sometimes I truly believe that I know what he feels and thinks better than he does.

Like Beat (somehow) said, it´s a problem in S/N differences. I have the same situation happening with my best friend (yet another INFJ)

It could be that he does not feel comfortable about the way in which you voice your opinion. Are you straight and to the point, or you make a two-minutes speech? I prefer the first.

Also, try to mention something that is familiar to him while voicing your opinion. It will help a lot to get him respond faster, since familiarity -or lack thereof, is the first thing a Si dom will notice in a new situation or context. If it reminds him of something he already knows, or has experienced before; he will have it much easier to voice an opinion, out of similarity or out of contrast between what you said and his experience.

My friend, when we get to this part:

"I get frustrated that he won't at least think aloud so we can have a real discussion
He apologizes"

just says: "it is just like (something I, or we both did, a place I know, a situation I had been dealing with before)", allowing me to engage in a discussion faster. You can try this breaking point yourself.

And, the other way round, when he stays silent, I propose him to think about the situation in perspective, like "you see this happening now, how will this develop in the future (people´s reactions, changes in a situation)?", or "how does this (situation, event) fit into the present context?" to keep his interest in the discussion.
 

IZthe411

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I voice my opinion
He gives me silence
I ask him what he thinks
He thinks about it for a long while
I get frustrated that he won't at least think aloud so we can have a real discussion
He apologizes
Wash, rinse, repeat.

Is this a female thing, or maybe an F function thing? Because my ex expressed that frustration about me. She wants to hear where I'm at in my thought process - so that's she's part of the thought process. My gut thought towards this approach is that she's going to screw it up- and take my thoughts in a different direction. The last thing I want is to be asked a bunch of questions to which I have not fully developed an answer.
 

Lily flower

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I can't even imagine an INFJ and an ISTJ in a relationship together. You obviously have something, since you have been together for 2 years, but realize that as an INFJ you are probably looking for a soul mate, and an ISTJ will never ever be that. They are logical and practical and not at all looking to emotionally bond or hang out with anyone. I know an ENFJ and an ISTJ who have been married for decades and their marriage works for them, but I think it is a business partnership, not an emotionally close relationship.
 

raz

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I can't even imagine an INFJ and an ISTJ in a relationship together. You obviously have something, since you have been together for 2 years, but realize that as an INFJ you are probably looking for a soul mate, and an ISTJ will never ever be that. They are logical and practical and not at all looking to emotionally bond or hang out with anyone. I know an ENFJ and an ISTJ who have been married for decades and their marriage works for them, but I think it is a business partnership, not an emotionally close relationship.

Wrong.
 

miss fortune

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if you can pick up on non-verbal cues an ISTJ can get very emotionally close to you... or if he gets inebriated and actually spills everything he's thinking :)
 

raz

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if you can pick up on non-verbal cues an ISTJ can get very emotionally close to you... or if he gets inebriated and actually spills everything he's thinking :)

I just hate how people say we're not prone to do normal emotional things, like forge relationships or have outbursts. We're just like everyone else, we just go about them in different ways.
 

miss fortune

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yeah... I think that ALL Fi users are a bit odd and un-expressive :thelook: (that includes ExFPs as well!)

ISTJs are people too... I never doubt for a second that mine loves me, is proud of me and appreciates me even if he isn't icky-sticky emotionally gooey (which I appreciate!) :wubbie:
 

teen rose

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Although I'm not an ISTJ, I can say that the xNFJs that I've known have not only had an uncanny ability to read people and "see where they're coming from", but have also expected others to have that ability too. The thing is, we don't. (ESTJs and) ISTJs aren't nearly as good at that as INFJs are, and that's really just how it is.

But I don't have that much information about this, so I don't know how unreasonable he's been with regard to your feelings.

NFs have that. Iam INFP and this empathy makes my soul painful on daily basis.
 
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