[ENFP] ENFPs and Infidelity - Page 5

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; @ Pucca : I see what you did there. ;-) PM coming up. @ bookjunkie :Wow. Sounds terrible, what you ...

  1. #41
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    @Pucca:
    I see what you did there. ;-) PM coming up.


    @bookjunkie:Wow. Sounds terrible, what you went through! Thank you so much for sharing such a personal thing. It's so great that you and your husband found a way to work it out. I don't know you, but I wish you and your man the best in the world!

    Your story sounds very similar to that of a dear friend of mine's. (Had to go and check your profile to make sure you're not the same person --she has a lovely cat just like yours, too!)

    This part quite impressed me:
    The second I was away from him and going home to my husband I felt sick. I've never cried so much, I've never felt so horrible about myself. To me, I had cheated. To others maybe that's not cheating, but in my value system it is. I violated my value system and I was FREAKING OUT. ... It was one of the most painful experiences of my life, knowing I hurt him.
    That's more or less the kind of reaction that I associate with ENFPs, especially those with a very strong sense of faithfulness/loyalty/fairness. To be completely honest, that's what I imagine I'd feel if I went through the same...

    This I found particularly honest, and particularly interesting:
    So now when I think of leaving or "running off" I know that in reality I would NOT be happy. I think that just comes as a result of not focusing on appreciating him and not being grateful for what I have (I do this in all areas of life...its frustrating). I just need to remember how great my life is already.
    What a great reminder for the rest of us out here. Thank you.
    Pucca and bookjunkie thanked this post.

  2. #42
    ENFP - The Inspirers


    Quote Originally Posted by TheWildOne View Post
    We're still waiting... ;)
    Everyone else has been so eloquent, though.

    Basically: There is no universal definition of what "cheating" is. It's something to be negotiated (and negotiated again...and again...) within the couple itself. Complete, painstaking, nitty-gritty honesty at every step.

    I'm younger and therefore less seasoned than many posters in this thread. My two significant relationships have been a 4.5-year monogamous relationship and a 2-year open relationship. I've discovered through this process that I prefer a monogamous relationship but have a very low tolerance for jealousy/possessiveness. It's important to me to be able to talk openly with my partner about everything, including past relationships and current crushes. (Yes, I did say "current crushes." It's hugely idealistic to presume you won't ever find other people attractive, and if you're secure, it's really not that big a deal. It's a kinda fun conversation topic even. Maybe I'm weird.)

    The closest I've come to infidelity was taking advantage of a period of openness that was reluctantly agreed-to by the monogamous partner when I was away for a year, and then not -lying- about what happened but definitely underplaying it. It's taken me far longer to forgive myself than for him to forgive me. It's actually the action in my past that I most regret -- not because I wish we were still together, but because it was a really shitty way to behave.

    It's not an excuse for my behavior at all, but his intense jealousy and insecurity made me anxious about opening up to him about things. It was a weird situation where he was allowed to talk openly about his exes (I didn't mind), but if I ever broached the subject, he got extremely uncomfortable.

    While I prefer monogamy, I would far rather be in another open relationship than be in a closed one with someone who is too fragile to have frank conversations with.

    Open/closed isn't actually a deal-breaker for me either way. I put way less emphasis on that than most people. It's funny. The main thing is prioritizing each other, being open/honest, and treating each other with respect. How that plays out in an open relationship, and my feelings about open relationships, is a whole other topic.

  3. #43
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    @chimeric :
    See? You had something to say on the subject, after all!

    It's actually the action in my past that I most regret -- not because I wish we were still together, but because it was a really shitty way to behave.
    This! It seems like most people with experience on the issue and a working conscience would agree, but so far, the ENFPs seem to be particularly affected by this. Interesting.
    fguewriter thanked this post.

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  5. #44
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Quote Originally Posted by bookjunkie View Post
    I told my husband immediately. We are amazing at communication and over a period of weeks worked through it. He forgave me.
    Without minimizing anything else you wrote, I've heard it said that sometimes affairs (more broadly, cheating) can be the best things that happen to a marriage. I'm glad you were able to establish communication and make things better!
    TheWildOne and bookjunkie thanked this post.

  6. #45
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    This made me think of your post here, too: Mad about you: The upside of jealousy | Fox News - It depends on your bonds - Men and women with "avoidant-dismissive" attachment styles—like Mad Men's Don Draper or Summer from (500) Days of Summer—care more about sexual infidelity, while securely attached types are more distraught over emotional bond breaking, according to a Penn State study.
    TheWildOne and chimeric thanked this post.

  7. #46
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWildOne View Post
    - What is infidelity to you?
    What do you consider cheating? What are your parameters?
    As in, "It's not cheating if I'm not married", or "... if we're not living together", or "...if it's just making out", or "a one-night-stand with no deep emotional attachment", or "...even fantasyzing with someone else is cheating in my book"?
    Cheating to me is showing the ultimate disrespect to your SO. It's deception for gain, it's manipulation with malice or calculation behind it. It's OK to have crushes, fantasies, dreams etc. It is not OK to renege on your word. If you have agreed to be open, even open relationships have rules. Breaching the rules that the two of you crafted together is disrespectful and dishonourable in my books. If you've said you'll do something and don't deliver, that is simply poor form in my opinion.

    - How much are you or have you been willing to forgive from your partner?
    Do you consider infidelity an unforgivable offense? Or would there be extenuating circumstances? How much would you be (or have you been) able to tolerate? Would you continue in a relationship with someone you know has been unfaithful to you?
    As in, "I would forgive my partner if they told me immediately and promised never to do it again", or "...if it's a purely sexual thing", or "...I know about it and they wouldn't leave me to be with this other person"?
    It depends on the situation. If I have children, for example, with this person, or I've taken the financial and legal commitment of marriage on my shoulders then I'd give it a lot of thought before I broke up. If the children in said example are of an age, then I might be more inclined to call it a day. On the other hand, breach of their given word is something I would be very loath to tolerate.

    - If you're comfortable sharing, have you ever cheated on a partner?
    Within that line, feel free to elaborate as much or as little as you want, please. ;-)
    I don't agree to things as important as relationships on a whim. So however we've agreed to treat each other, I fulfil my end of the bargain. To not do so would be cheating, and I wouldn't want them doing that to me. So no, never cheated :).

    Any other comments or questions on the subject would, also, be very welcome.
    I think that relationships are a lot of hard work and that a fair amount of people do not appreciate just how much work they really are. Rather it's easier to just believe that this new, strange, mysterious and almost fantastic creature has the qualities of a panacea for the hard work. Invariably though, chasing fantasies yields perverse results. So if you're thinking of reneging on your word to someone; renege on it for something concrete rather than chasing chimeras and phantoms in perpetuity.
    TheWildOne, chimeric, kaleidoscope and 5 others thanked this post.

  8. #47
    ENFP - The Inspirers


    Quote Originally Posted by Paradox1987 View Post
    So if you're thinking of reneging on your word to someone; renege on it for something concrete rather than chasing chimeras and phantoms in perpetuity.
    Paradox1987, TheWildOne, kaleidoscope and 2 others thanked this post.

  9. #48
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    @chimeric

    ! Don't chase chimeras, but if it's chimeric, it's obviously sexy! So you're totally in the clear

  10. #49

    - What is infidelity to you?

    To me, infidelity encompasses behavior and a certain kind of intimacy you would feel the need to hide from your partner. This is not to say that every little detail/fantasy/thought should be shared.. minds wander, people have fantasies that don't necessarily involve their boyfriend/girlfriend - and that's natural - but acting on them is an entirely different story. By acting on them, I don't necessarily mean physical cheating, it can also mean willingly establishing a bond that goes beyond platonic limits.

    - How much are you or have you been willing to forgive from your partner?

    I don't know, honestly. I've never been in a situation where I've been physically cheated on, but I can only assume that if someone goes as far as to be physically intimate with someone besides their partner, they likely don't respect their boyfriend/girlfriend and are looking for fulfillment elsewhere. Even if they were drunk or I don't know, not that much in control of themselves, the intent was there & they only needed the encouragement.

    I'd talk to them after getting over the initial shock and devastation. I wouldn't just shut them out without hearing their excuses reasons but I'm not sure I'd be able to forgive them unless I was able to feel and see how guilty they felt, and how hard they were willing to work on things - if possible.

    Emotional cheating is a much, much more delicate situation. Emotions are muddy, complex, and in most cases not very easy to control. Most of the time, developing an attraction for someone besides your partner is not something you can help. The difference lies in whether or not you act on them, and how far you decide to take it before actually coming clean to the person you're dating and/or putting an end to that bond.

    - If you're comfortable sharing,have you ever cheated on a partner?

    I've never physically cheated, but I have been 'emotionally unfaithful'. I was very dissatisfied in the relationship I was in, and so the feelings I started having for that other person were kind of like, a symptom of how unhappy I was with my partner at the time. I ended up breaking up with my boyfriend and pursuing a relationship with the other person.
    Paradox1987, TheWildOne, Enfpleasantly and 3 others thanked this post.

  11. #50
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    [Ok, so I only read/replied to the OP since I knew my reply was going to be long already ; ) hehe so hopefully that's still ok!]

    In the past I’ve always felt torn : / I definitely can agree with your first paragraph. When I fall for someone, it’s usually rare and *hard*, and I don’t want to do anything to jeapordize the relationship or them. However, there is still that restless part of me that doesn’t want to miss out on ‘something better’ (even though I feel guilty just writing that >.<). So I’ll find myself almost trying to find a way to have my cake and eat it too (not necessarily cheating, but thinking about stuff like that more than I’d like : / *guilt guilt guilt* >.< heh) I’ll want to keep the love I have, but then I’ll worry if it’s holding me back from something better, or if I’m missing out on better opportunities.

    For the questions:
    --What is infidelity to you?
    When considering my SO, I don’t think I would label it outright ‘cheating’ unless they slept with/kissed/were intimate with someone else. If things started to get intimate between them and another person, if they were to stop before it happened and turn away from the temptation I don’t think I’d even consider that cheating. Things like fantasizing about someone else would definitely hurt, though. I don’t know I would be able to call it cheating, but I wouldn’t like it, and it would definitely make me feel like I wasn’t ‘enough’, which would sadden and anger/insult me a little.

    --How much are you or have you been willing to forgive?
    This calls for what my friends know is my favorite answer: It depends :P hehe. It really depends on all the circumstances and the state of my heart. I think if the love was true enough the extenuating circumstances were dire enough, I could forgive and continue in a relationship with them. BUT it would take me a looooooong time to trust them again and fight all the negative/sad/jealous feelings inside : /

    --Have you ever cheated on a partner?
    In terms of sleeping with/kissing someone else, no. But I have definitely pushed boundaries and toed lines I know I probably shouldn’t have : / That was in a long distance relationship though, which, while it doesn’t justify it, might help for others (or those in relationships with ENFPs) to know. I think I would have been better about controlling those impulses/managing those temptations if it hadn’t been long-distance (again, not that it makes anything ‘better’ or ‘worse’).
    Paradox1987, TheWildOne, Pucca and 1 others thanked this post.


     
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