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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

Found out I was an INFP about a year ago. I couldn’t believe it and retook the test many times, each time it confirmed I was an INFP. Looking back, I’m not sure why I was dissapointed, but the test was spot on. I have developed a lot of adaptive strategies through the years that allow me to survive in uncomfortable situations before I was labeled INFP. Some of the big things in my life that have allowed me to mature and develop those statagies are from being married to an ESFJ for 12 years and working as graphic designer for 13 years. My wife has helped me mature into a better rounded person (pulled me out of the clouds) and my job has forced me to learn how to deal with criticism on a daily basis but still allows me to nurture my creative side. We have always been social drinkers and during times of our marriage we have both taken that too far sometimes. For instance when her father passed away, she was in the dumps for while.

Our marriage has morphed into us living parrallel lives. Similar to roommates with similar interests, which are our children. We are stuck in a horrible cycle which there is no begining or end. It usually goes something like this, realize this is a simplified example.

1. She critiques, belittles, bullies, emasculates me constantly with tone and frustration,
2. I tell her I’m doing the best that I can with tone already in defense mode,
3. She calls me a names
4. I escape inside to protect myself
5. She calls me more names, really bad ones
6. We have some drinks, mask what we are feeling for several days
7. We agree to try again without having addressed any issues and things are calm
1. She critiques, belittles, bullies, emasculates me constantly with tone and frustration

I’m joining this forum because I’m looking for some guidance from others that have been in similar situations as this terrible cycle I’m stuck in. This cycle has destroyed us and there is no intimacy left in the marriage. I’m too hurt by her words to want to even touch her, she’s now hurt because I’ve pulled away and won't allow any intimacy. I don’t want a divorce and I’m tired of going to therapy and learning coping skills to to deal with her behaviour.

Our marriage has been both a beautiful and treacherous road. I was a junior in college when I met my wife. I was living in California and she was living in Wisconsin. I traveled home for Christmas break with my only intention of hanging out with my friends I had not seen in months. My friends and I went out on New Years Eve to a hole in the wall bar. We shot pool and hung out until the countdown started. I looked at one of my friends and said, “we have to go find some ladies to kiss!” I walked onto the dance floor made eye contact with my future wife and gave her a kiss exactly at midnight. Dancing after the kiss, we shared each others names and she asked me, “Where are you from?” I replied, “California!” She jokingly punched my chest. She then asked what I did for a living, I said, “I’m a student.” She punched me again. Then she asked how old I was and I got punched again. We all departed the bar extremely late and went our own ways. There was no funny business that night. As I drifted off to sleep that night I knew then that I was going to marry her. I had never thought that about anyone in my life.

At this time I was immature with very little experience with relationships. My longest was probably 4 months up until I met her. She’s several years older than me and had relationships that were measured in years. She had finished school and was settling down and working professionally.

We spent most of my break together and I went back to California. We decided to try the long distance thing and made it work for about year when we decided it wasn’t working and we needed to be closer. Before I met her I was contemplating transfering to an art school closer to home. I transfered to a school in Illinois.

Fast forward eleven years and my wife is stay at home mom to our 3 year old and 6 month old boys. I support the family with my job and freelance. She’s a wonderful mother and wife. But since the children have been born our marriage has been pulled apart by the attention she gives the children and play dates, Mom’s groups and the house. Once I’m home I help out with the boys and housework. By the time the boys are put down for bed she is done. Usually can’t talk much and goes to bed. She goes to bed and I work into the early hours of the morning to make enough money so she can stay home with the boys. I usually work 10-20 hours of freelance on top of my 40hr week job. Then she hands the baby off to me at 6AM until I go to work. Really no time to breath, ever. I understand this is a phase but she has given me a date. This date is when she will decide if she wants to continue with the marriage. Pretty scary stuff. Like I said, I don't want a divorce, still love her and have been putting effort to improve but the cycle we are stuck in is terrible.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.


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1,688 Posts

It's really hard give advice on such a thing. Kids are known to suck the passion out of the relationship you have with your significant other and puts you between a rock and a hard place. Of course, you'll always love your kids, but they strain most anything in their path.

We tend to think breaking up is an end. Something that can never be fixed. But if you end up separated, know that there is a possibility that you two can always come back together in the future. Hopefully with an open mind.

It really sounds like neither of you have developed the ability to communicate your emotions to each other. You hide and she internalizes everything until she bursts. I don't want to speak to much on this topic as this is something you might need to see a couple's counselor for.

Anyway, welcome to the forum. I hope you find some perspective to help better your relationship!

13,976 Posts

welcome to the forum
now for your issue
1- unless things make a drastic change for the better, it's pretty much over
2- accept that it probably will not change
3-face the facts, it's over

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wanted to follow up regarding my post above, which was about a year ago. Still married. My wife and I have worked hard to mend the marriage. I quit drinking. I realized I had been drinking moderately to heavy (at times) for more than half my life. This single thing has helped greatly. No longer in the conflict/alcohol cycle I wrote about above. We drank during our entire courtship and marriage, with the booze out of the picture the process of getting to know one another again is difficult but we are making progress.

Thanks for the replies.
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