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I am hoping for some advice on how I can help my ENFP partner as she struggles with confusion over who she is and who she will become. She is constantly wishing she had chosen a different path. I know that she deeply loves me, says I am her best friend and rock, loves our kids and she says she always will and she feels safe with me. I am truly comfortable and accept her 100%. At times I have been hurt as (her Fi doesn't always let me in, or keep me updated with where she is at). At times the confusion is around choice of career, although a lot of time has been taken up with our large family, and particularly at present she is struggling with not having explored more relationships, more deeply when she was younger before we got together. She says she feels she is missing the experience of having had very bad relationships, where she was treated badly, so that she could recognise just how much she has now. The relationship point I recognise is tricky as I wonder at times if she isn't being completely open for fear of hurting me.

I am focussing on being there when she needs it, giving space when needed too, listening, accepting and not trying to "fix" anything as I know this can be my trait. I wonder though what advice you might give me, as I do feel the pain of her dilemma and see her very emotional around this whole point. It is also being made more challenging by the sense of being mid-life, late forties, and recognising stuff that hasn't been done.... thanks for your help in advance.
 

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Introduce her to Personality cafe ))
Have you tried to introduce her to MBTI?
It seemed to be a great help for me in figuring out some things about myself that were confusing as hell. The similarities that are described here on ENFP forum between me and other ENFP's at times feels like theres someone spying on me.
It takes a great load off your shoulders, seeing that there are other people with incredibly similar life stories. (Virtual support group?)
I do not feel so confused as I did before. I just blamed it all on my ADD. Now I see a bigger picture.
 
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You sound like a wonderful companion for her. She sounds like she's getting restless/reaching a point in life where she feels she needs to re-evaluate. Also changing hormones at this point can play a part too perhaps.
Is she in a position where she can take up a new area of study? My mum (an ENFJ) decided to change careers recently and has actually started college with me - we're study partners. It has really picked her up a lot as she doesn't feel she's going nowhere anymore.
 

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I know that she deeply loves me, says I am her best friend and rock, loves our kids and she says she always will and she feels safe with me. I am truly comfortable and accept her 100%.
The gift of absolute acceptance is one of the most wonderful things you can give to an enfp.

At times I have been hurt as (her Fi doesn't always let me in, or keep me updated with where she is at). At times the confusion is around choice of career, although a lot of time has been taken up with our large family, and particularly at present she is struggling with not having explored more relationships, more deeply when she was younger before we got together. She says she feels she is missing the experience of having had very bad relationships, where she was treated badly, so that she could recognise just how much she has now. The relationship point I recognise is tricky as I wonder at times if she isn't being completely open for fear of hurting me.
For myself, Speaking of my inner emotions can make me extremely vulnerable, as I am sharing my deepest secrets and giving another person access to my core, where any hurt inflicted is almost impossible to deflect. Assuming she shares this trait, that she shares with you emotionally already about many of these fears is a very good sign. There is a rather dumb assumption made, that other people can see our internal angst and react to it, without having to voice those feelings-thus it becomes very important to emphasize how essential it is that she tells you what she is feeling, as she encounters those emotions. Perhaps ask her to treat it as data points that you need to have, to be able to understand how to care for her. In turn, my experience with estps, has been that unprocessed Fi can be very intense for them to deal with, as it appears to be rather irrational, rather than the more finished emotional communication of fe-thus be patient and aware of this.

Her interest in experiencing a bad relationship is very type 4-sort of a striving to experience emotional intensity at both the highest and lowest levels to feel you really understand the world.

I am focussing on being there when she needs it, giving space when needed too, listening, accepting and not trying to "fix" anything as I know this can be my trait. I wonder though what advice you might give me, as I do feel the pain of her dilemma and see her very emotional around this whole point. It is also being made more challenging by the sense of being mid-life, late forties, and recognising stuff that hasn't been done.... thanks for your help in advance.
 

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@richclarke99

I thought over your situation a bit more. I can share my own perspective, as some of it may be applicable to your wife, but take it as just an additional piece of data as I don't have all details if the relationship at hand.

A bit of information- we do not have Se... The immediate present- Thus when I get depressed I note that I can't feel emotional about the individual moment at hand. It feels empty. I can feel strongly about potential moments I imagine via Ne.... Thus, a bit like your wife, I can sense the emotional intensity and depth of both very good and very bad possibilities- in her case the bad imaginary relationships she mentions- and comparably, the present feels almost numb. It is difficult to appreciate.

However, if Ne is our flagship, Si is our rudder. It stores our core self.... We just sometimes forget to stop and look for it. Oddly it is like forgetting to pay attention to a foot ...it's always there, but until you stop and watch it, it is easy to sort of tune out.

I would suggest two possible solutions to her delimma. The first is mindful meditation, as this grounds one in the present, and forces you to pay attention to what you are feeling about THIS moment. The second is to help her relive her own emotional Si moments, so she remembers them. Ask her to describe the moment you met and how she felt in that moment. Ask her to describe her feeling as she held your first child in her arms after it was born and as she kissed its head. Repeat this everyday for these very detailed moments- the recollection of the moment will recreate the emotional response, but actually intensified. In doing so, you will remind her emotionally of all the beautiful things you have built together and it reminds her of the shared emotion and helps her ..... Sort of rebirth the emotions of the moment? She should avoid dwelling on the possibilities as those are not reality.

Don't underestimate the beauty of your own Fe in this process. Fi judges harshly and unforgivably for those who are outside the norm too far emotionally, where Fe has a beautiful acceptance for the fact that we all are emotionally out of tune at times. I find my entp best friend to be the very best at helping me self forgive and self analyze emotionally, so having you as a loving accepting partner is a wonderful gift.

Good luck Rich!
 
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