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Hello, fellow INFPs. I've been a long-time lurker, but have not been inspired to create an account and post a thread until now. I recently broke up with my ex this past Sunday after finding out about how he had cheated on me three times and had engaged in unprotected sex with God knows who from the bar. We were in a poly relationship, but he formed these relationships and dynamics behind my back without my consent or knowledge - hence the cheating part. I'm also now terrified about my health after finding out about the unprotected sex part.

Of course there were other unhealthy aspects of this relationship, but this was the second time I have ever been in love with a partner. The first time I fell in love was a ridiculous mess and nothing about the break-up or four years after was healthy in any sense of the word. My first love was an INTP, and this second one was a INTJ (oh, NTs, WHY am I always attracted to you?!). By the end, my most recent ex was having a major identity crisis and I am fairly certain was and still is struggling with untreated depression and self-destructive and high-risk behavior.

It broke my heart to end it and to give up on everything we had shared. I had worked so hard with him; I was even willing to forgive the cheating and the unprotected sex. But after I found out what he had said about me to the first girl he cheated on me with and confronted him about it (it was really rather cruel and awful, particularly since during that time he was showering me with positive comments about us and was working on long-term plans for our future together with no hint that he was upset with me at all), he could not give me a straight answer about whether he actually loved me. At that point, I just could not handle it any longer. I can be an immensely forgiving partner in committed relationships, but to hear that he either did not know if he actually loved me or that he did not actually love me right now was just the end of my tolerance. It was only a few days prior that he was overwhelmingly and insistently claiming he loved me, so to hear that just hit me hard.

In my anger, I told him I was done with him and never wanted to speak with or see him ever again. Of course, now I regret this because all I want is to be back with him and work it out and just cuddle with each other for hours. The rational part of my brain is telling me I made the right decision, but my emotional one is an intense roller coaster. I have had to reach out to friends who know about the entire situation of our relationship whenever I am feeling this urge, to reassure me that I did the right thing and that I should not try to contact him again (at least for now while the emotions are still raw).

Since this was breaking ground for me (standing up for myself in an unhealthy relationship and actually ending it rather than hanging on until the very, very bitter end) and I actually felt the love I had only felt once prior, I am just curious how other INFPs have coped with these kinds of break-ups in the past. I have been through many a break-up, but this is the first time I think I will have the opportunity to cope with a break-up where I was in love in a healthy way. Any tips, advice, or pointers would be appreciated. Thank you. :)
 

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Hey there, I've never had a break-up and I'm not good at giving advice, but here's what I have to say:

To me, it seems like you did the right thing. I'm all for forgiving and cuddling too, but if he really was back-mouthing you and couldn't explain it, I don't think he was sincerely in love with you. At the very most, I think he would have to prove himself definitely to you before leaving it in the past.

Be strong, hang in there :)
 
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In my anger, I told him I was done with him and never wanted to speak with or see him ever again. Of course, now I regret this because all I want is to be back with him and work it out and just cuddle with each other for hours. The rational part of my brain is telling me I made the right decision, but my emotional one is an intense roller coaster.
You did do the right thing. More importantly, from the way you wrote the rest of the post, it seems pretty clear to me that you already know that.

I myself broke up not too long ago, but it was more the kind of relationship that had just fizzled out. It was very painful, still, so I can only imagine that yours must be infinitely more so.

Advice, I have none. Except the observation that time goes on. Emotions wane, and what you rational part of the brain is telling you now will be how you feel in a month's time. In the meantime, well, have a hug. *hug*
 

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Since this was breaking ground for me (standing up for myself in an unhealthy relationship and actually ending it rather than hanging on until the very, very bitter end) and I actually felt the love I had only felt once prior, I am just curious how other INFPs have coped with these kinds of break-ups in the past. I have been through many a break-up, but this is the first time I think I will have the opportunity to cope with a break-up where I was in love in a healthy way. Any tips, advice, or pointers would be appreciated. Thank you. :)
Love isn't a relationships skill. Loving someone more doesn't fix relationship issues.

Poly relationships, more so than mono relationships, have to have a very strong foundation of communication, trust. That trust comes from establishing strong boundaries (here's what I'm comfortable with you doing and what I'm not comfortable, this is what I need to know, this is what I don't really care about) and then keeping those boundaries but still be able to review and re-negotiate those boundaries every 6 months or so. That's where communication becomes important and to be willing to talk to your partner even though what you say may hurt them in order to keep to the boundaries. Your SO didn't respect the boundaries you had established. It's extremely difficult to re-establish that trust after someone blatantly disrespects those boundaries.

After any type of loss, you'll end up going through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. For INFPs, I think the Denial part manifests as "maybe it was something that I did" instead of realizing that he was being selfish which I find to be a major issue with INTJs, this coming from someone who's been married to an INTJ for 16 years. Learn about the stages so you understand which part of the Grief process you're in. Realize that it's okay to continue loving him. But this doesn't mean that a relationship will be possible. Realize that things don't have to last forever to be perfect. Give yourself time.

And most of all, find support in your close friends. That's what they are there for.
 

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If relationships are a contract, when someone breaks it, the relationship voids itself. To stay would have been kidding yourself; if someone doesn't bring issues with you to your face, then what you see is not really what you get; everything is based on omission, or half a lie.

For getting over heartbreak, some tips

1- don't idolize the person. I felt I should not be petty and punish them by making them out to be the bad guy, but instead I went to the other extreme. By forgiving all their flaws you can end up seeing a perfect person who isn't really there; and you have to be aware of who the guy really was. so look at his flaws and what was wrong with the relationship and know you were justified. feel good in that.

2- establish clear boundaries for yourself- yours were "no more contact", and I think that's great. whatever you need, just make sure to follow through. if you want/need emotional resolution, like writing him a letter, limit it. say, one letter only, and i won't send it, for example, or, I will not talk about the situation with all my friends.

3- don't analyze it or turn it over in regards to what this means about you, your life, your future, or think about him until you have moved on in your life, be it become immersed in a new job or found a new guy. right now your feelings and perceptions will be clouded by the loss and need you feel; only later when you can truly look at the situation with unclouded eyes will it be worth analyzing.
 

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I would just give myself some perspective and then if I still want to be with him when i'm thinking clearly, then I can crawl on back to him. But at least give yourself the chance to distance yourself emotionally and get a good perspective on things. Then you will know if you made the right decision.

You wouldn't want to go running back in a raw moment of weakness now, only to regret/question it soon after...

My motto is kindof like...
you owe it to yourself to give yourself the chance to get over him.
clear your head until you feel you don't need him anymore. then you'll find out if you really want him.

as for him being available at that point, you can't control what he does.
if he's with someone else by the time you realize you want him, then that's it.
all you can do is fight your hardest to get him back. if he wants you too, he'll make himself available.

so if you suspect you made the right decision in breaking up with this guy, then good.
keep on truckin' til you get to the point where you can look back and decide if you feel good about this decision.
i think you will!

so in the meantime i would suggest the standard things:
-staying busy with friends, adding more things to your life
-give yourself time to reflect and wallow in self pity sometimes
-take CARE of yourself

good examples of the last one would be: wear comfy clean pajamas and clothes,
get nice hot showers, take baths,
drink tea, get fresh air in your lungs,
read books, talk to people, hug a teddy bear,
or better yet, BUY YOURSELF a teddy bear,
try to watch funny movies and clips when you feel like it,
realize how many people in the world are going through
exactly this same thing at exactly this same moment,
drinks lots of water and eat well, get lots of sleep,
help someone else with a problem,
go for a walk, annnd paint your toenails.

depending on how rough you're taking the breakup, some of those might be more relevant than others, haha.
good luck though!
 

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@Speranta

so... you're actually attracted to people that reflect some level of subconscious activity for you? because it's a pattern here. you've dated unhealthy people and engaged in an unhealthy relationship consecutively. interesting.
he could not give me a straight answer about whether he actually loved me
well, you figured that out. if someone can't give you a straight answer, i mean does this guy love you? i can't say no.. because only he knows. but commonly, you're able to communicate whether you do or do not. if he can't give you a straight answer/beating around the bush/pussy-footing its highly possible that he doesn't.

In my anger, I told him I was done with him and never wanted to speak with or see him ever again.
don't make any decisions when you are in that emotional state. you're not thinking clearly, and you're not able to make a rational decision. cool off, and proceed. i can't tell you how many times i hear people regretting what they've said or done when they are in that state.

he rational part of my brain is telling me I made the right decision, but my emotional one is an intense roller coaster.
very common. stick to your decision. you're a big woman.. or girl.. adult. you're an adult. you made your bed, now lie in it. you're only emotionally upset because you're not used to being single and alone. being alone does not mean that you are lonely. give it time. i can tell.. you seem to be someone not of rational nature. give yourself time, if you're that impulsive, give it a week tops. and than decide if you want this person who blatantly disrespects you, obviously does not reciprocate whatever you do for him, to be in your life. once again.

also, i mentioned you seem to be committing serial patterns here.. you date unhealthy people. why is that? why do you find these people attractive? it's a reflection on you. give yourself time to think. you don't want this guy back because you 'love' him whatever that even means.. it's possible you'd want him back to heal whatever emotional wound you've allowed to fester. really.. what do you see in this unhealthy relationship? what is it doing for you. i don't see any pros to being with this guy.

yup. don't contact him. when i broke up with my ex, i literally did not contact her for 6 months. it was pretty much, 'hey. we're over. i'm breaking up with you. good luck with your life. peace.' type of thing, she called me everyday for 2 months. i did not reply, or respond. at times i wanted to call, i fought the urge, why? i made a decision to move on, it wasn't right for me, she wasn't right for me. some people cannot do this, they cave in so easily. don't cave in. distract yourself. remove yourself emotionally.

ps, congrats, you're a healthy person. the one who leaves the healthy relationship is healthy, or on the right path to being healthy. you should pat yourself on the back. there are so many people that continue to stay in abusive and unhealthy relationships. they will not grow, or progress psychologically, emotionally or mentally. you did the right thing. i don't know man, you did something a lot of people really don't have the galls to do.

biggest time? spend all the time you can. around healthy people. remove him from your life. highly possible that he will con his way back in, you're better than that. proof? you got out of the relationship.; anytime you have that nagging emotional feeling of caving in, and when he calls - and he will call trust me - tell yourself 'i left you. you do nothing for me. i am a healthy person. i deserve respect, in order to get rest, i must respect myself. i will not settle for less, i am better than that." and whatever cliched self-affirmative talk you can create for yourself. really, the best thing, advice i can surely give to you, is time, time heals your wounds. give it time. don't settle for less. and be selfish - do what makes you happy, go out there and discover yourself, if you wanna go out to drink, go drink but be wise, if you want to go fly a kite, fly one. make yourself left. you are alive, and well!

oh and now you've moved onto the next step - being aware. your experience and i hope you are self-reflective enough to pick up on cues and redflags in potential partners. basically a cessation of all the points to why you left your two ex boyfriends. do not be a repeat offender.

yes you are an idealist, but there is asbolutely nothing ideal about dating a douchebag.
 

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also, give yourself time to get ready whenever you're going anywhere. wake up extra time, have a nice leisurely breakfast, and don't always be rushing and stressing yourself out. i know it sounds silly but when a douchebag broke my heart last year, the only thing keeping me sane the next day was giving myself like an extra HOUR in the morning to get ready for a work meeting. i took a nice long slow shower and just kindof slowly depressingly mulled around the house getting ready until i had to go in. it doesn't SOUND very fun, but to be honest, if had to get up and rush around while that was on my mind i probably would have cried and not gone into work. haha. :(
 
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