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My boyfriend and I are an unlikely match (he is an istj and i am an infp). We have been together for almost a year and overall things are excellent, but i have noticed during arguements it feels like we are speaking two different languages. I am the messy creative one and he is the organized planner. I have gotten much better through the years, but it is still difficult for me to not take a personal angle in something he says. To give an example, he felt like he was giving more in the relationship and that i don't do thoughtful little things for him. When i went through a list of things i had done and continue to do, he didn't seem satisfied. I asked what types of things would make him feel more appreciated. He got frustrated and said he shouldn't have to tell me what to do. I completely get that, but it still hurt my feelings because that is the last thing I ever intended for him to feel. So basically, when he said this, I felt disappointment in myself that i had failed to show him appreciation, but also frustrated that he didn't seem to appreciate or notice my thoughtful gestures meant for that purpose. I guess we have different ways we show love and affection, therefore expect the same types of things back in order to feel loved and appreciated. I've noticed that the longer him and i have been together the easier it is to relate to one another and see each others point of view, but we are no where near perfect. I am curious if there are any other istj/infp matches who want to share their pearls of wisdom on how we could improve our relationship??
 

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I'm an INFP and my sister is married to an ISTJ (she's an ISFJ) and even SHE has big problems making the ISTJ happy. He's a great guy but quite demanding and in a way, unappreciative. He sees all she does as, her "duty". lol.
And they aren't big on compliments, if he is any indication -- or they sparse, though he feels love for her he rarely speaks it.

But, back to your point. How to express appreciation for an ISTJ? I imagine it's through doing your duties. Whatever he thinks they are. I'm guessing he got frustrated because in his mind you should know what your duties are. hehe.

Seriously, it seems like ISTJ's are a little difficult to please -- especially for an INFP I would imagine. I wonder if you will ever be "good enough" for him or up to his "standards". They have very high expectations of themselves and others. Which in a way is good, my brother in law is a very hard worker and he rarely complains, he's also a good father and isn't lazy -- however he's as demanding of his mate as he is of himself and they also have a tendency to always think they're right and are only persuaded otherwise by facts and statistics.
 

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That sounds so much like my boyfriend! I would say he is very well rounded and developed in his character, and will show love easily (though he doesn't talk about it), but he is very demanding and i think you are right on about the duties! I'm trying to understand him better and i think he wishes I would take charge and assume certain "duties". I can see where i can do more in that department, I guess i have assumed that since he takes charge and either likes to do everything himself (so that its done right) or oversee whatever is being done by someone else, that its easier to let him be. I don't like working with someone standing over my shoulder critiquing my every move and telling me how their way is better. He knows how he can be at times and usually a playful eyebrow raise will have him backing off. Haha. Thanks for the reply, it helps in understanding his way of thinking a little better!
 

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I'm an INFP and have been dating my ISTJ boyfriend for a little more than 2 years. We are great friends and generally get along grandly, but YES, during arguments, we seem to speak 2 different languages! And those arguments have become much more frequent as we have moved in together...I just wrote a long post and realized that you were asking for pearls of wisdom rather than commiserating, so I'll delete that and say this. I do value that my ISTJ boyfriend thinks differently from me. I value that he has a different way of viewing the world and I love how trying to live with him has forced me to get better with my organization and cleaning skills, in particular.

I do have a hard time because I do think he will never be satisfied, no matter how hard I try, and sometimes, I am pretty sure that he's just picking out things to criticize because he is in a bad mood (I think this because I am starting to realize that he is really inconsistent with his expectations and I never quite know what is going to set him off. Not sure if that is a typical ISTJ trait, because it seems like a little bit more of an unhealthy one to me). I try not to take this stuff personally (in a calm moment when I told him how much some of these rants and near rages over little details hurt my feelings, he told me that he wishes I could just brush it off, because it isn't a big deal to him), but I DO feel hurt and it's hard to keep pushing that under the rug.

I would just say (not sure if this relates to your situation or not) that you should make sure you are BOTH willing to compromise and see from the others' point of view. My relationship is most likely coming to a close, as he has gotten a job in a different country and is not interested in talking about commitment in a way that I need to try to do a long-distance relationship at this point in my life (he says career is #1, and he hasn't thought much about our future, but I'm 29 and I want to find my life-long relationship). Perhaps it is because I am in the process of weighing the pros and cons, but I am starting to realize that over the years, I have really been the one to make most of the compromises. I really value his opinion and I enjoy that we are 2 different people, but lately I have realized that he isn't as interested in trying to see my point of view as I am in trying to understand his. I don't quite think he sees the things about me that I really like most about myself, so that's starting to be a real problem. (Maybe he sees them and he just doesn't tell me or show me....)

I feel like over the last 2 years, I have made a lot of compromises and sacrifices and he's been really unwilling to make any real compromise for me. Additionally, I know that talking about feelings is not his MO, but when I ask him to do it gently and rarely in times when I really need it (for example, talking about his upcoming move and how he feels about me and our future), he's often unable to and I don't need it all the time, but in such a big deal situation, something is really missing for me and I don't feel so loved if he can't even try.

At any rate, I DO think that 2 well developed people from any personality type can get along and share a healthy relationship together or whatever the phrase is that they say. Definitely. As I said, I love how we view the world differently and I know I have learned a lot from this relationship. BUT, the relationship doesn't work if only 1 person is willing to do the work! I think with a lot of INFPs (I know with me), it's easy to be self-effacing and really go above and beyond for the relationship. Just make sure that he is willing to meet you half-way in his own, special ISTJ way....! Don't let it be a 1-way street, like I am starting to think my relationship often is.....!

I'll have to leave the words of wisdom and success to another wise soul. But those are my words of wisdom from a not-so success story!
 

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Tell him "only women expect people to read their minds"
Say it just like that.
I bet you you'll get better explanations.
 
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