[ENFP] ENFPs and Infidelity - Page 2

ENFPs and Infidelity

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This is a discussion on ENFPs and Infidelity within the ENFP Forum - The Inspirers forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; Yeah... If a relationship is about telling 50% of the world that you can't be friends, it's not worth it ...

  1. #11
    ENFP - The Inspirers


    Yeah...

    If a relationship is about telling 50% of the world that you can't be friends, it's not worth it to be in a relationship. What is a relationship without trust? If someone's irrational jealousy is more important than my ability to be friends with whomever I choose... that situation borders on abuse. It is not OK to be a control freak partner who needs to know all the ins and outs of your partner's life at all times and freaks out over platonic friendships. Not remotely OK.

    (I'll answer the other questions later.)
    sriracha, Paradox1987, TheWildOne and 7 others thanked this post.

  2. #12

    Quote Originally Posted by chimeric View Post
    Yeah...

    If a relationship is about telling 50% of the world that you can't be friends, it's not worth it to be in a relationship. What is a relationship without trust? If someone's irrational jealousy is more important than my ability to be friends with whomever I choose... that situation borders on abuse. It is not OK to be a control freak partner who needs to know all the ins and outs of your partner's life at all times and freaks out over platonic friendships. Not remotely OK.

    (I'll answer the other questions later.)
    +1 Perfectly stated, and I agree whole-heartedly.

  3. #13
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Quote Originally Posted by fguewriter View Post
    Is the idea that there was active withholding and it was really abnormal, or it was normal, or - ?
    I guess that was my thing, not trusting someone due to lack of communication and other factors. It's okay, because I can't be in love with anyone like that again (prevention being worth more than an impractical cure here). I haven't felt that way about others; not that it's common for me to trust anyone romantically, but it happened once.

    Curious how it's generally viewed to have opposite sex friendships while in a relationship, and I'm especially interested in ENFP perspectives. I'd think that if you trust a partner, it shouldn't be an issue for them to have opposite sex friends, but it also shouldn't seem like they're sneaking around. I think it'd be better to have doubts removed, like if such "friends" are clearly unavailable.

    Then again, it's hard for me to imagine trusting anyone that much anytime soon, and I'd rationally consider it a danger, since human nature can be an unpredictable influence. Possibly even more so with free spirits?

    This could be grouped under what constitutes infidelity. Just an idea... nobody feel compelled to respond. ;p
    TheWildOne and fguewriter thanked this post.

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  5. #14
    Unknown

    Oh boy. Somehow I felt like this topic would eventually cross my path.

    My views used to be so harsh, and now...

    I see cheating as a very, very gray area, and its definitions are extremely dependent both on the couple and the circumstances involved. Is it ideal? No, of course not. If you're unhappy in a relationship, or need something more than you're able to get, of course the ideal situation would be to just break things off and pursue said other person, or to work out how to meet that need with your partner's assistance/permission. However, sometimes life just is not that simple.

    If I had to come up with some sort of definition, I guess I'd say that cheating is when:

    -Two persons are in a relatively healthy relationship
    -Clear standards have been set and agreed upon on what is acceptable and not acceptable in a relationship
    -One of those standards is broken in a big way, or repeatedly over a period of time

    I added that first bullet to address abusive relationships specifically, because that's where some of that first gray comes into play. Again, the ideal situation would be to break things off with such a person, but it's not usually that easy. For the victim, there's often a feeling of being trapped and powerless, of thinking no one else could love them, want them, or be attracted to them. They may even feel afraid for themselves or others in their life, afraid that their partner could hurt them.

    What if you're trying to separate from your current marital partner, but you can't afford a divorce, or your partner is fighting you tooth and nail on the subject? What if you're trying to stay away from them altogether to save your sanity? What, are people supposed to stop living and loving because of circumstances they can't entirely control? If you're in a situation that's that bad, that's when you're going to crave (and need) human affection the most. We're only human. To expect a person to stop having needs because it isn't "right" is unrealistic.

    In my opinion, if you stop treating your partner with love and care, if a person goes so far as to trap their partner in a relationship with abuse, the abuser loses their "right" to the other person's loyalty/affection in that relationship. The contract of love between the two persons is null and void, and therefore the relationship is already over. It's just a matter of the victim becoming strong enough to state that they are leaving, or to reach legal means. The abuser loses their right to care if the other person seeks company elsewhere.

    I agree with @fguewriter 's theory that ENFP's (I'd say NF's in general) have a hard time hurting another person in a relationship. It's the very stigma against falling for another person that makes it difficult for one to leave a relationship when they know they should, especially for NF's. A lot of us ENFP's hold ourselves to a pretty high standard in relationships and wouldn't want to be "that" kind of person. "Cheating" can end up happening anyway for this reason, when a person floats between being unable to deny the love/attraction and wanting so badly not to have to hurt anyone involved. That's my personal experience/observations from fellow NF's, anyway.

    (On that note, I think it's better to break things off when you discover your wandering eyes/mind. You'll hurt the other person still, but it's more respectful than to let things drag on when you've clearly lost interest.)

    For the second bullet, precisely because people have such diverse opinions on this subject, from the moment a relationship becomes "serious", the couple MUST communicate and set a standard for their conjoined boundaries. Nothing should be assumed.

    I'm not trying to put cheating in a golden light here. If there's a person "playing" two other people without their knowledge, simply because that person likes getting attention, and that person hides it so the playing can continue without "drama", that's a crappy ass thing to do.

    It's about honesty, trust, and respect, for the most part.

    For me, I would expect my significant to only have sex with and be in love with me, as we are in an agreed monogamous relationship with specific boundaries set. Fantasizing is ok, given it remains just that. I could forgive a kiss or something small like that if it was one instance. If he needed something sexually that I could not provide, and he brought this up to me… Well, I'd cross that bridge when I got there. If he had sexual relations with another person without my okay, that would be cheating. If he has romantic feelings for another person while we were together, that would be cheating.

    Depending on the circumstances, I may be able to forgive him for a one-night stand, but if he was in love with another woman while we were still together… If that happened, I would be absolutely crushed and in no way would be able to continue a relationship, or even be friends. If he fell for someone else, he better have the respect and courage enough to end things with me first, before he gets involved. I put a lot of effort into being a good girlfriend, and therefore see no justification for such an action. A betrayal of love to me is far more disturbing and hurtful than temporarily being slave to the libido.

    I don't understand people who think having friends of the opposite sex is cheating. That just seems really controlling to me… And in any case, my beau has pretty much all lady friends. I trust him with them, and I trust them with him.

    I haven't cheated on anyone. I've been in love with someone who was in a relationship, but those feelings were not acted upon until said relationship was over. (Sooner than I would've liked, perhaps, but that's a whole other story.)

    I have to let it be known that, unless it's an extreme example like the "player" one I gave above, I don't think cheating necessarily denotes anything about a person's character. Some people just have issues when it comes to having relationships.
    Paradox1987, TheWildOne, chimeric and 3 others thanked this post.

  6. #15
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Quote Originally Posted by Raewyn View Post
    Oh boy. Somehow I felt like this topic would eventually cross my path.
    Thank you for a lovely and well-modulated answer. I think couples agreeing on what works for them is the sane path. I've been in varying kinds of relationship, and I think almost any model could work (at leas for two people - children are a factor we haven't spoken of here much, given the age of most folks) when approached with honesty, warmth, and what I like to call emotional ambition.
    TheWildOne thanked this post.

  7. #16

    How do you guys feel about your SO having opposite sex friends and meeting up with them without your presence or knowledge of what's going on?

    I'm fine with it. I'd like to hang out with them on occasion. However, I respect that my SO needs to have time with his friends without me just like I need my time with my friends without him. If he insists on hanging out with me and my friends all the time then I'll start to wonder if he really trusts me...and we'll have a talk.

    But I'd like to meet his friends and have them get to know me. I want to meet their approval.

    Now if my SO is going out with friends then what I do want is for him to regale me with stories of fun times when he gets home. Even if he was just playing video games at a friend's place, I want to hear about how he nuked the hell out of noobs in that PVP.
    Paradox1987, TheWildOne, Julia Bell and 2 others thanked this post.

  8. #17
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Wow! So happy to see this discussion take off. Quite a few interesting points of view here!

    I'll try to reply to everyone, post by post. Here goes:

    @StaceofBass: I agree, it's all about honesty. And I can't believe that ex-bf of yours! On top of such a horrible experience... what a jerk. You are obviously better off without him. *hugs*

    @AyaSullivan: No, it's not illogical bullshit. There are obviously many different opinions of what cheating actually is, and I'm interested in your opinion, too. Thanks for sharing it. I just wonder: if drooling over a model is fine, and having parallel families is unforgivable, what's the middle ground for you? What would you consider harder to forgive, but not necessarily deserving death penalty?

    @cudibloop: True, dependable people are hard to come by, if they exist at all. Still, I'd like to know: are you saying that you find cheating acceptable, or that as long as one is not in a serious relationship, there's no such thing as cheating? How do you *define* inacceptable sexual behavior within your relationships? ... if you're comfortable saying, of course.

    @Sat Nam: Thank you for joining in! I can relate very much to your views, actually. And this line in particular tickled my curiosity:
    I don't think cheating is fair to me.
    What do you mean by that?

  9. #18
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    @fguewriter : Very interesting! And boy, do I agree with your definition of infidelity.

    So, to address your last question directly: under my definition, yes. I've cheated in some years past. And you know what? It wasn't worth it. When all the smoke and dust died down, there wasn't that much to it.
    Thank you for your honesty. I think many people would agree with you there.

    So maybe everyone can meet in the middle, and openly negotiate what cheating is and is not - and, like any good system, include some give and play in it, to keep things healthy.
    That would be a wonderful approach! But I don't think we'll see that becoming standard procedure any time soon. Sorry, humanity, but I have little faith in ye.

    The way I see it, the problem is that not everybody you enter a relationship with will straight out tell you what they would or would not take from you, so it's tricky to know what your partner considers cheating. And then respecting that can also be hard, for many reasons, including the ones you mentioned. So, if for example, one's partner considers "such and such" as infidelity, but one doesn't know, is it okay? Where does common sense apply here, and to what extent? For example, how about I do something to my partner that I wouldn't forgive from him, but that I am certain he would forgive from me? Is that cheating? I'm not sure, but I think it "should" be...
    fguewriter thanked this post.

  10. #19

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWildOne;[email protected][I
    AyaSullivan[/I]: No, it's not illogical bullshit. There are obviously many different opinions of what cheating actually is, and I'm interested in your opinion, too. Thanks for sharing it. I just wonder: if drooling over a model is fine, and having parallel families is unforgivable, what's the middle ground for you? What would you consider harder to forgive, but not necessarily deserving death penalty?
    I think the night one stand would be something harder to forgive but not deserving death penalty especially if it's once and with someone we both don't know, like once you go out and get completely drunk to the point where you remember nothing.
    TheWildOne and fguewriter thanked this post.

  11. #20
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    I guess it's time I answered my own questions.

    I've seen it stated around here that us ENFPs are closer to serial monogamers than outright cheaters.
    I have been inclined to agree, but then stopped myself. I think it depends on every individual ENFP's definition of cheating, and even monogamy. Within those variations, yes, maybe "we" could be considered less prone to cheating. As in, if we can't justify it to ourselves, or it clashes with our definition of an honest, healthy relationship, it might be easier for someone value-oriented to naturally reject cheating on their partner. Key word here: might.

    So far, I have never met confirmed ENFPs who admit to having cheated on their partners, or consider themselves capable of doing such a thing. Maybe I don't know enough ENFPs in RL, but this is my observation.

    What is infidelity to you?
    I agree with many of you, that faithfulness is all about being honest, and never doing anything that could deeply hurt your SO. But my problem with this definition is that it would entail that some things that are unacceptable to my current partner might not be so to a future partner. I can't tolerate the idea of my values wavering, depending on the opinions and sensibilities of the person I'm with at the moment. Feels flakey to me.

    So maybe, infidelity to me is closer to intimate exchange(s) with someone who is not my current official partner. By the way, for me, "official" starts with the first date (no, I've never dated more than one guy at a time). And "intimate" is the kind of thing that I have or desire to have with my sexual partner, but generally speaking, not with anyone else. If I can't forgive myself for it, I couldn't possibly expect my partner to forgive me either. For the technicality-oriented out there, it would include all forms of sexual contact, kissing, touching, and romantic expressions. Probably there's more in there, but that should give you an idea.

    Strangely enough, I would demand from myself far more than my partner does. (For example, my husband claims he'd forgive me if I drunken-made-out with a stranger, while I could never forgive myself for something like that while I'm in a relationship.) And logically, I might also demand more from my partner than what he demands from me. I just think that if I feel like getting physically or emotionally intimate with someone other than my SO, I'm already betraying him, whether I actually consummate it or not. So I think I'm closer to @Julia Bell than @fguewriter on that respect.

    I'm a Christian as well, but I don't consider fantasyzing as cheating. Even though I feel it is morally wrong to do so, and definitely it would be showing little respect to my partner (and vice versa), I don't consider it cheating. Maybe I should, though; I don't know. Again, I find @Julia Bell's opinions closer to my own, here.

    How much are you willing to forgive from your partner?
    Very little, I'm afraid. I can't tolerate infidelity. Even forgiving the 'offender' and still terminating the relationship is a difficult concept for me. Maybe I should be more forgiving, but as the naive, loving creature that I am, I already let the world abuse me far more than I should. I draw the line at sexual disrespect, and that's that.

    Would there be extenuating circumstances?
    Maybe. If my partner strays, I should check myself, in case I've neglected something. But even if I have, the sentence would be the same.

    Would you continue in a relationship with someone you know has been unfaithful to you?
    Nope.

    Have you ever cheated on a partner?
    Not by my definition of cheating.

    I'll continue to reply to you guys' posts, after a short commercial break. ;-)



     
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