Personality Cafe banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm an ENFP man and my (now) ex-girlfriend is an INFP. Trouble was, neither of us knew the details of this until very near to splitting up. I would be grateful for any advice from female INFPs about whether there is a chance in their opinion that I can save my relationship.

When I met my gf we established an immediate rapport and empathy. I loved her calmness and she loved my energy. We did not know anything about FP types at the time. Our relationship grew and for the first three months was warm, happy, sensuous, reciprocal and glorious in every way.

By the fourth month I began to be alarmed. Both in our forties and kids having flown the nest, we had a lot of time on our hands, but she obviously needed more space than me, and I gave it without any problems. But then I noticed she was becoming more and more controlling, and started to block out my friends, keep her own (very few) friends at a distance, and before long we were meeting up in conditions of virtual secrecy.

At the same time she started displaying mood swings, one moment warm and inviting, the next in a dream world, but in a way that came over as rude and aloof. I found this quite upsetting. She never explained or accounted for this. She simply cut off. After a while she would gradually join the living again.

No sooner had I backed off and given her space than she accused me of neglecting her. I got into a lose-lose situation and nothing seemed good enough for her. The empathy was still there and we talked and talked, and when we didn't talk we had fantastic sex. But I began to feel hemmed in and at the same time feeling we were in a cosy little prison. She ended up shutting out the whole world so she could "pay me better attention". I told her this was getting unhealthy but went along with it.

Eventually I gently confronted her that we needed to reach out and I asked about the mood swings. BLAM!!! She switched off, saying I was "attacking" but all I'd done was ask for a discussion. The more she dug her heals in the more I confronted and we got into a needless spiral of blame and defensiveness. She point blank refused to discuss anything and then began to imagine I was criticising when I wasn't.

After a couple of bad arguments then making up, I split, telling her I couldn't handle her switching off any longer, her controlling and the prison atmosphere. It was only after we split that I began to learn more about INFP and saw carbon copies of her behaviour all described almost exactly as in the INFP profile. I realised the dreamy switch off was just a "feature" of her personality, and then saw the perfectionism, neatness, calm, aloofness and controlling were other features of the type.

Had I known all these things, I think I could have better coped, but because she would never discuss these things it was hard to know (and you INFP guys will hate me for this) whether she was acting out her personality or to be frank, just being selfish, 'cos that's how it came across. I thought about it for a while then contacted her again, telling her I loved her deeply (which I do) and would she like a second try? As quick as a flash she said I had "destroyed her" with my criticism and sabotaged the relationship by rejecting her, which she found unbearable and devastating.

It now seems she doesn't want a retry. My question is: Do INFP's like her leave then never return or is there hope after a suitable period of no contact? I don't want to hang around for months and am getting on with my life. We had a special connection which I would regret losing. I just wish we had communicated better. Should I forget her and move on or will she come round?

Thanks for any input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,300 Posts
If you keep trying there is a good chance she will give in and try again with you. INFP's get angry and cut people out in an instant (or certain time period) but then we (or I) let them back in after the storm has cleared.

The big issue here is that she needs to be able to trust you again, since you have "rejected" her and she'll be hesitant and perhaps a little vindictive (hehe) but you should expect that and give it to her. She'll enjoy a little "revenge".

It's really hard to see from your posts, but perhaps you were spending too much time with your friends and she felt neglected. You felt cloistered. ugh. Tough situation.

That she got angry kind of indicates that she again was feeling rejected because you said you were spending too much time with each other -- that's why she got so angry. The translation is: "I don't like you". Or something along those lines.
I don't know what you can do about that...

But yes, if she loved you then I would say that in an INFP that goes really deep and doesn't go away easily, especially this soon. Unless you violated some major trust issues, you have a chance. Keep trying and expect rejection/anger at first. Secretly, she'll hope you keep trying and I think there's a good chance she'll cave if you can convince her with your persistence and behaviour that you really do care for her.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Miss Scarlet

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi Amanda,

Thanks for taking the trouble to reply. I must make something clear. I NEVER neglected her. I was extremely attentive, sometimes at the expense of my own social life. I didn't spend too much time with my friends and in fact it was her that restricted access to a rigid timetable. The problem was that she increasingly became, in effect, an agoraphobic, shunning opportunities to be sociable. It is not that I ignored her at all. I was always there for her. Perhaps I gave the wrong picture.

If anything it was she that became uncommital, remote and distant. I was consistent in my attention. She was the one blowing hot and cold. I felt she was playing a game on the surface, but underneath was simply fearing intimacy. I hope this time I've expressed myself better!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,300 Posts
Hi Amanda,

Thanks for taking the trouble to reply. I must make something clear. I NEVER neglected her. I was extremely attentive, sometimes at the expense of my own social life. I didn't spend too much time with my friends and in fact it was her that restricted access to a rigid timetable. The problem was that she increasingly became, in effect, an agoraphobic, shunning opportunities to be sociable. It is not that I ignored her at all. I was always there for her. Perhaps I gave the wrong picture.

If anything it was she that became uncommital, remote and distant. I was consistent in my attention. She was the one blowing hot and cold. I felt she was playing a game on the surface, but underneath was simply fearing intimacy. I hope this time I've expressed myself better!
O, sorry I misunderstood. Hm...well, like you said, maybe it was her need to "retreat"? I don't understand actual "agoraphobia"...though I understand withdrawing for a time or times.

Anyway...try to get her to express herself in messages? That might be easier for her and you might get some more answers and details about what was going on with her.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
INFP woman

I'm INFP and while I do have abandonment issues I certainly wouldn't cut off anyone close to me without very good reason - it would have to be real and not imagined emotional or verbal abuse that would cause me to distance. Is it possible your xgf suffers a mental illness? Some of her behaviours sound similar to borderline traits especially the imagined abandonment, push/pull, projection and blame and her black and white thinking. You can check out an informative site called Out of the FOG for more info on Bpd.

You obviously care very much for this woman but the bottom line is unhealthy behaviours and poor treatment are not ok, especially when it sounds like you are in fact doing your best to accommodate her 'needs'. Imo, there are big red flags here, becareful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
I was just thinking the same thing. My husband has BPD which is very similar to what you have described here - the agoraphobia, paranoia, mood swings etc. What you have decribed is not a picture of a healthy INFP, it's similar but sounds as if she could have mental health issues. You might be better off moving on if that's the case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Glad I am not the only one who picked this up. Empathicman, i would definitely recommend you check out the site I mentioned above it is a great resource of information and support for those who have been affected by the fallout of such behaviours from family members or relationships. I cannot post a link as i am not over the 10 post rule here yet. Good luck, KB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Hi All,

I'm aware of Out of the Fog, and I had considered BP disorder and possibly AvPD too. I wouldn't say her mood swings were that extreme. They are sort of dream states or switching off and the pattern of them usually follows sexual contact. The build up to meetings and sex sees her opposite, warm and friendly.

There is none of the violent language of Borderline Disorder. She always keeps her calm even when arguing her point. The only really disturbing thing is that when she argues there seems to be a lot of shifting of accountability and refusal to see that her behaviour impacts on me. For example when I tell her that switching off as she does gives me very mixed signals and therefore uncertainty, she doesn't see it, claiming it is just her natural state.

Also, many of her traits seem to be those commonly described right here on this INFP forum as "normal" characterisitcs of the type. I see lots of posts here by INFPs saying they hate criticism, avoid confrontation, like their space, don't have too many friends and are shy etc. I suppose it is a question of degree.

I think the most worrying of traits I see is that she will not budge her position, and is unwilling see the other side of the discussion or recognise any view than her own. She regards any criticism as insulting rather than absorbing the information the criticism is trying to put across.

We have talked and she's very defensive, giving every impression that the relationship is untenable now I have confronted her, rather than taking on board the issues behind the confrontation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Nikson - glad the link was of use to you, also sorry to hear your hubby has Bpd, that must be tough for you to deal with. My own relationship history has mostly been spent working my way through the DSMiv! PD behaviours are so hard to live with and deal with - my sympathies.

Emphaticman - The behaviours you described in your gf sounded on the unhealthy end of the INFP scale. Many of us are NOT that unhealthy or treat those around us so badly - many of us are working hard on ourselves to be as healthy as we can.

It is worth bearing in mind that many INFP's were raised in difficult circumstances or suffered significant early trauma/abuse - emotional wounds can take years of self recovery to heal and oftentimes trauma victims are left with Ptsd or Complex ptsd. Thankfully I am now aware of my issues and insecurties and how I developed them, I am self aware and take responsibility for my own healing process. Perhaps your xgf hasn't reached the point of self awareness yet or been able to look at and process her own past traumas - you are trying to help her but if she is still in denial of her own stuff you could be banging your head. Good luck.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top