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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; @ TheWildOne and @ fguewriter thanks for your comments :) I'm happy to share if I can help others....

  1. #51
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    @TheWildOne and @fguewriter thanks for your comments :) I'm happy to share if I can help others.
    TheWildOne and fguewriter thanked this post.

  2. #52
    ENFJ - The Givers

    What a thread...
    I want to participate.. but I admit, it hurts.

    What is infidelity to you?
    The lie. The promise they made that they broke.

    How much are you or have you been willing to forgive from your partner?
    I am willing to forgive nearly any act. Yes even the act of infidelity and in fact I have. Twice. I have gone to great lengths to accept that it is part of who I am. I am forgiving. Though the trust has been breached I firmly believe that trust can be rebuilt. I donít know if I would be willing to forgive a second time. I worry that because of this I set myself up for a great hardship that would rattle a piece of who I am to the ground if I allowed her back and she did it again. But.. thatís the point of forgiveness. You forgive AND you forget. If you truly forgive them then you have to give them that clean slate. If you let them back in.. theyíre back in 100% but I also need to be sure that theyíre back in 100%. You trust that they won't do it again.

    If you're comfortable sharing, have you ever cheated on a partner?
    Yes, a number of times. The most notable ones are my most recent ex who is still partaking in such a horrid activity and my SO before this most recent one. The earlier SO cheated on me first emotionally, over the internet. She then left me and moved in with him. 9 months later she returned wishing to come back to me. At that time, I just took her back and asked questions later. But we did work things out and she did rebuild that trust and I accepted it. I didnít hold it against her ever. I still donít to this day, because I chose to forgive her. Not anyone else. It was something I really had to ask myself. The most recent ex, I have already forgiven her, though as I say, she is still doing it and I donít foresee her return. Now, if by some magical awakening she would want to come back, there would be a conversation, but she is already forgiven. Itís the trust that needs to be rebuilt.
    We all make mistakes in life. We all do something that is really horrible to another person. I donít believe that either of these women in my life did this things in spite of me. They were responses to their emotions. It wasnít an attack, though I know some will and have debate that.
    Maybe I am forgiving for these acts because I have made the same mistakes in the past. Things that I regret. Things that I have learned from. Things that I wonít do again. I was forgiven and that trust extended meant everything to me.


    Hmm.. a rather cathartic exercise. Thank you for reading.

  3. #53
    Unknown

    ...Oh my gosh, I can't stop staring at my other post and seeing parts I wish I could edit slightly... How embarrassing... i'mnotsureIlikemakinghugepostsbecausewhenpeoplequotemeandreplyit'sweirdbutIwilltrytorespondwithoutrunningaway.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheWildOne View Post
    @Raewyn:
    Okay, I'm back with some comments. :) I hope you don't mind, but I sort of 'dissected' your comment according to how it made me reconsider the whole infidelity issue. Please don't see it as an attack to the ideas you have expressed, but as a display of how they have served as 'prompts'.

    So... first, thanks for an honest, comprehensive answer! Lots of things to consider in there. Here are some that worked for me:

    This made me think. I mean, I agree but I don't agree. I guess maybe, in my very personal set of beliefs, it's about learning to tell between needs and wants. And also, even when one needs some things that one isn't getting in the current relationship, does that make it okay to go and get them, just because one needs them? I know that's not what you're saying; that's just the line down which your original thoughts led me.
    That was specifically to those in abusive relationships or extremely unhappy yet inescapable commitments. Getting out of one, I think especially for NF's who hold love as such an important aspect of life, is incredibly difficult. It's such a blow to the soul.

    As I said, once you treat your SO that badly, I don't think you get a say in what they do anymore. I would never say to someone, "Well, I know he treats you like crap, and I know you can't afford divorce, but you're still married, so... you better honor that commitment." WHAT commitment? That commitment was broken. I've seen this several times with women who were deeply religious Christian, who thought God would be displeased with them getting a divorce and breaking their vows, but in truth, the abuser is the one who broke the vows.

    Don't get me wrong, I understand the value of holding up a commitment, but not when it's causing more harm than good. People need love and attention. It's not a "want". It's a biological need. We need it, or we will get depressed and anxious and suffer all sorts of medical complications and die earlier.

    Sorry. This is something I'm quite passionate about. It bothers me when the need to have good relationships (of any kind) are treated like a "want".

    Here we differ. Meaning that, yes, walking out is better than cheating. But for uptight little me, leaving is just as selfish as cheating. I'm not sure what'd hurt the most: having my partner cheating on me, or walking out on me for fear of cheating. I think any would be terrible! Surely there must be some kind of middle ground. I hope.
    I guess I wasn't clear. I meant if you're pretty damned sure you really are in love with that other person, and it's not just temporary attraction of some kind.

    And if that was understood, well, I don't really get how staying with someone when you're clearly in love with someone else is less selfish than leaving. You're just leading them on. Breaking the relationship off before the secondary love leads to cheating shows the person with those feelings has enough respect for their partner's feelings to be honest. They set their partner free to be with someone who WILL love them.

    Again, I'm also aware that it's not always that easy.

    Completely agree! As a matter of fact, I do this, too. Still, personally, I don't see how failing to do this would excuse infidelity, mostly because of this:

    So I'm not sure whether I'm agreeing or disagreeing with you, Raewyn. Maybe both? *scratches head*
    Because even those words are not on a set standard. For example, honesty. Some people think just telling misinformation is lying and would argue that omitting information is not, while others say both misinformation and omitting are lying. Some think telling the truth means TELLING ALL THE THINGS EVER EVERYTHING ALL THE THINGS ALL THE EVERYTHING EVER EVERY THOUGHT! while others would find that to be TMI and maybe just want to hear what's relevant and certain.

    I recently read a book called "Friendfluence", and inside, the author described that surprisingly, relationships (friendships and romantic/sexual both) tend to work out better when brutal honesty is not practiced, when words are sometimes withheld and opinions sometimes left unvoiced. It's not necessarily a lie (unless you're hiding something big), but rather, holding back because you're not sure if what you're thinking IS the truth, or even how you really feel.

    The same with respect. Let's take an example: a gentleman holding a door for a lady. Some ladies would think, "Oh how nice a gesture!" and the lady would smile and walk through. However, other ladies may think, "Uh, I can get my own door, Clyde." Some like chivalry and find it respectful, some think it's offensive and slightly patronizing.

    I mean, for Pete's sake, we're on a personality forum! Here of all places, it's quite clear that points of view and expectations are waaaaaaaaaaay different, depending on the person.

    I guess most of us who posted here agree with that. It can't be just an NF thing, or could it?

    Yes, I agree. The way I see it, cheating is not acceptable behavior (at least to me, while I know other folks would see it differently), but I donít think cheating makes one a bad person all on itself. It only means, perhaps, that one has a different view on the subject (whether it sits well with my own or not), or that one is capable of making a mistake, big as it is. Or so I think.


    (highlights mine)

    That's a very interesting perspective! So there would be circumstances in which sexual contact with another person would be forgiven, but not an emotional connection! I feel a new question for all ENFPs around pricking the back of my mind... hmmm... *lost in thought*
    Having him fall in love with someone else would be far more painful, because it would be an outright rejection of me, of who I am as a person, and not just losing himself temporarily to his libido.
    TheWildOne and fguewriter thanked this post.

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  5. #54
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    I was married to a man who didn't want to be monogamous, and I thought I could get into that. I am perfectly capable of having a sexual fling and not getting feelings attached, and remaining deeply in love with my primary. Where it all got f'd up was when he fell in love with someone else despite our agreement to not let that happen. (by the way, I still think that's possible, but hey I'm an idealist)

    I have since divorced and decided I want monogamy, and as terrifying as it's been to learn to trust again it has been worth it. I still have an uncomfortable feeling that lurks around fearing my devastation when my current partner decides I'm not enough, but I know that's me projecting my issues and I work hard to grow past that.

    My previous husband managed to cheat on me twice during periods of monogamy, and the first time I really did forgive him. The second time I didn't.

    I have not cheated. I think if I started wanting to, I would be more likely to end/redefine a relationship so that I could do what I want while still following my morals. That being said, y'all know how easily Fi can justify something in our minds.

  6. #55
    INFP - The Idealists

    I have a close ENFP friend who told me once that unlike most girls, who are presumably afraid that their husbands might cheat, her fear is that she would be the one to cheat. I found that so interesting, especially since she wasn't even in a relationship at the time.
    TheWildOne and fguewriter thanked this post.

  7. #56

    - 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"?


    For me it would be for someone to break an agreed upon arrangement. And for me, I don't think I could be serious with someone where we didn't draw the the line at a 'deep, romanticish, emotional attachment'.

    - 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"?


    I don't know. I guess I've never been there. In the past, though, I've been able to forgive people for all kinds of things as long as they showed me that somehow they understood what they did wrong, and promise to change. I wouldn't tolerate a breech more than once.

    - 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've been in a shitty marriage, and didn't bail on it when I should've for a lot of reasons. I've had opportunities to cheat, had even been aggressively pursued, and never had sex or any romantic physical contact outside the marriage. But I felt like I had cheated anyway, since it was something that I (realize now) subconsciously encouraged, and invested a lot of energy into. I.E. emotional cheating.

    Any other comments or questions on the subject would, also, be very welcome.

    Ultimately, I wish to be, and really can only be monogamous. I love the idea of free love and polygamy, but I'm just not wired that way. I'll never be in another relationship where I'll 'wish' to be somewhere else instead. If I had thoughts of that again, I'd work to fix the problem, and if it were unfixable, pick up and move on. Life isn't worth holding onto skeletons.
    TheWildOne thanked this post.

  8. #57

    Quote Originally Posted by fguewriter View Post
    My theory about people is that we can rest easier about our sexualities if we think of ourselves as having several sexual systems - possibly consisting of several evolutionary layers. There's the more everyday one, and then there's the deeper and more obscure, which we usually conceive of as the most primitive. We don't just have one sexuality, so some of the inner conflicts we feel can be resolved that way. That's on the inside! Externally, it's behavior, and that falls under moral care.

    I think in general, yes, ENFPs are value-driven in sexuality particularly when it comes to our relationships. But our more primitive sides, if you will, are still there, same as anyone's, and from what I've read we seem to have high sex drives, most of us. So one can stand by for drama when ENFPs are around! And yes, I think most ENFPs have high empathy, so hurting an SO would be hurtful to them.

    *However* ... partly speaking from past personal experience, ENFPs with their giving natures can get in relationships or situations where we feel empathically responsible or beholden to a person - I think it's said that ENFPs are reluctant to break up, because of not wanting to hurt the other person - and that can lead to a wandering libido in some way. I've lived that sometimes (will specify more below).

    > What is infidelity to you?

    Well, the simplest answer is "whatever your partner thinks it is, that you have good reason to know or should know they would." A very monogamous, say possibly also highly religious, couple might find having a fantasy about another cheating. A more libertine couple might find having sex with another person without prior agreement with one's SO to be cheating. Then there's what "should" be considered cheating - an insoluble question, since "shoulds" are so difficult. So, let's stick with #1. Cheating is behavior related to romance and/or sex that a partner finds betraying of trust, which the actor knows or has good reason to know their partner would so find, and the actor consciously does it anyway. Probably a good basic definition would include some kind of deceit, at least to the point of non-informing. I can get behind that definition.

    My own relationships have tended a little more on the libertine side - but not too far. I'm probably somewhat naturally polyamorous. I've liked when my partners have been sexually experienced, and the whole untouched/chaste virginity thing held little appeal to me as such. (Now, a *corrupt-minded* virgin could be a different story. @phony, you keep quiet.) I like women who are strong in themselves and are doing what they like without submission to the "community's" regard. This can include being sexually dominant or submissive - doesn't matter, so long as it comes out of fire and delight. So the subjective criterion for cheating is good by me. Both of my longest relationships had times when we saw others, and in a few cases there were some interesting menages; let's leave it at that. It was done aboveboard, but there were times when one or the other of us made the other uncomfortable, and got somewhat close to the cheating line.

    I've forgiven my partners quite a bit, and they've forgiven me quite a bit. Not so much direct crossings of lines as things around that area - for instance, something that drives me crazy is when a partner of mine has a crush on someone - and doesn't tell me. That's just intolerable to me, because I want to be in *deep* contact with my partner, and that means there's a withholding going on. Which means there's a mess underneath. Okay, to criticize myself, it's driven (some of) my partners crazy if among my numerous friendships someone starts to feel possessive of me or like they own me. And sometimes I didn't pick up the signs, though they were quite obvious. So it's a complex line, and really more a matter of zones.

    Now, to go head on into forgiveness: I could probably forgive a very great deal if my partner made a clean breast, was not blaming me falsely or otherwise being political, was working to make it better, and it wasn't a massive prolonged deception. I think all interactions are transactional - both sides contribute - so I'd rather focus on why we went off the rails and what does that say we need and should do. Of course I would be angry, hurt, and the rest - but my decisions would hopefully go toward finding out what happened and healing, if healing could be done. (That could be the ENFP unwillingness to break up, of course.)

    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.

    I try to look at things both humanistically and biologically. Biologically speaking, cheating is a reproductive strategy - and it seems to be well-implanted in our species. Something like 20% of all kids, supposedly, bear a different paternity than the Dad thinks they have. (This is one of the secret powers of women. Men have their own.) If we'd evolved differently, we wouldn't be *able* to cheat: we'd be bound to one person at a time. But human sexuality is above all ingenious and creative. It would flourish more if we bought some compassion to it (and also a commitment to keep passion up). 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.

    I was scrolling and halfway reading everything, when I saw that whole "corrupt minded virgin" bit.
    My first thought was.. Oh gosh, I hope I'm not going to be lotted in with people like @phony .
    After all, I'm not corrupt minded.. I'm just a 19 year old guy. :P (That's older than my parents when they got married...)


    Yeah, I think I'll go to sleep now.. I feel my brain getting fuzzy and nigh nonsensical.
    TheWildOne and phony thanked this post.

  9. #58
    Unknown Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by Undoubtedly View Post
    I was scrolling and halfway reading everything, when I saw that whole "corrupt minded virgin" bit.
    My first thought was.. Oh gosh, I hope I'm not going to be lotted in with people like @phony.
    After all, I'm not corrupt minded.. I'm just a 19 year old guy. :P (That's older than my parents when they got married...)


    Yeah, I think I'll go to sleep now.. I feel my brain getting fuzzy and nigh nonsensical.



    TheWildOne and EternalNocturne thanked this post.

  10. #59

    Quote Originally Posted by phony View Post



    Totally unfair.. Tangled is one of my favorite Disney animated movies.
    (And considering my favorite animal is the Ocelot, I'm fairly sure it's safe to say I'm a sucker for large eyes....)

  11. #60

    - 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 fantasizing with someone else is cheating in my book"?


    I'm sure there are probably plenty people that will think I'm insane, or overly strict, but this is my take.
    What do I consider cheating? Any action that betrays the trust, replacing you (even temporarily) with someone else to fulfill your role.
    Mainly, what matters is the thought behind this. If I'm in a relationship, and my girlfriend is chatting with a guy, and feels this overwhelming urge to make out with him, that's genuinely upsetting.. Even if it is "Just making out".
    On the other side, if she just decided "Oh hey, I think I'll just do this for the heck of it!". Essentially, that sort of callous disregard is nigh equal to the mindset possessed by those who just carry on non-emotionally attached affairs. I want a relationship where she knows if she has any needs or desires, she can come to me about them.. Trust me, I'd be happyto fulfill these.
    As for fantasizing, if she comes to me about it, it genuinely means that she wants help and she's trying to stay faithful. I can respect that, and I would be happy to help her get through it. We're humans, we all make stupid mistakes, and any attempt to keep yourself from making one, that's a positive thing. Outside of polyamory, and borderline psychopathic disregard, I think there is little room for emotionally detached affairs. Put simply, here's the signal chain that leads to an emotionally based affair:
    Thoughts (oh hey, he's attractive), feelings (I kind of wish I could spend more time with him), emotions (I really like him), actions (I know I shouldn't do this, but I'm going to anyway, because I love him). At present, I am not really into the idea of polyamory.. I like the idea of monogamy (because I'm abnormally idealistic for an ENTP.. haha), so if my girlfriend/wife tells me that she has been struggling with some feelings for some other man.. Sure it might have a slight sting, but the very fact she's trying to amend the situation before it becomes a problem.. That's respect.

    I will say this much.. I've seen plenty cases of emotionally attached affairs, where one of the leading contributors was the spouse/significant other not putting any effort into the relationship. You may care about the woman, but if you do not care about the relationship, it will decay, and while she may choose another man to fulfill her needs and desires as you should, ultimately you are also a cheater, by replacing her with a million other things that at the time seemed "more important".


    - 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"?

    Well, I probably covered a little on this, in my massive bit above, but I'll add a bit.
    If I have to find out that she's cheating, due to some sort of investigation, or really bad timing (on her part, meaning I just walked into it), there will be one chance granted, and a LOT of trust to be rebuilt.
    If she comes to me, that probably means she wants to be faithful, but has been genuinely struggling.. I'd forgive that, and although the trust has been broken, it's not anywhere close to being as destroyed as the previous scenario.
    If I'm cleaning a bit, and I find something that leads me to suspect she's having an affair, and I find out she's having an affair with multiple guys, I honestly don't know if I would be able to continue with her. To give an extreme example:
    If a man kills someone after a massive fight where things simply got out of control, and he turns him self in, he's a man who killed once.
    If a man kills someone, and you find out he's killed another 8 people, there is clearly a much larger problem than what meets the surface.

    - 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. ;-)

    No, and I pray that whoever I end up with, that I will do well enough to always captivate her.
    TheWildOne, chimeric and Pucca thanked this post.


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