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Discussion Starter #1
Hi people...My SO (ISTJ) has three older kids and parents with a direct disciplinarian approach which is in line with his type. I have been studying our types in order to better understand the reasons for our conflict and continual trouble living together. I'm now very aware of the complexity of our differences but since we share the same values and are both prepared to put in the work; we are doing really well.:happy: I have a genuine appreciation of his ISTJ personality and we are working together rather than against each other. Long story...I'll spare you the typical ENFP / ISTJ problematic combination details as no doubt you are well aware of what they are.

The issue I would like help with is regarding how I can give my support regarding a serious family conflict that he is in the middle of with his three children (16M, 17F, 20F). The two eldest (F) have left home on bad terms and are avoiding him at all costs since they believe he is so abusive and refuses to tolerate their 'pig ignorance' (his definition of their choices / behavior). The girls are typical young adults and testing the boundaries at most levels but their father's serious lack of affection toward them & others and inability to be flexible have taken their toll. I am the only person they have ever seen him be affectionate with and genuinely happy around. Obviously my ENFP lovable nature :laughing:...mind you I can really push his buttons at times...but I get that these days:laughing:

There was a big party Friday night (held by his sisters) and his son (16) lied to his dad and went to the party. There are photos of him and sisters are on face book and my SO has just discovered them and that his kids are totally different to his high moral expectations. He has grounded his son (fair enough) and is going to the police about the underage drinking. (keep in mind that 17 F is also underage)

My SO is very quiet and reserved at the moment, has decided to not attend an informal dinner party this evening because he doesn't want to be around anyone but needs time out. I am very supportive and have let him rant and vent his anger and frustration regarding how he is obviously feeling at the moment about their actions.

I want to help and not make things worse for him ...any suggestions?:confused:
 

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ISTJs generally seem like jerky over-controlling parents. Why don't they just stop being over-controlling jerks and pushing everyone away? Seems like the issue for every parent/child relationship where the ISTJ is the parent.

I know this doesn't really help much for you to come to a solution but I think it needs to be said.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ISTJs generally seem like jerky over-controlling parents. Why don't they just stop being over-controlling jerks and pushing everyone away? Seems like the issue for every parent/child relationship where the ISTJ is the parent.

I know this doesn't really help much for you to come to a solution but I think it needs to be said.
Qadosh...he definitely does come across as you've stated but I do realize his motives / reasons are always very valid. What I would appreciate is knowing precisely how to react to his stressed out demeanor so that I don't make it worse. I know not to talk about it with him, especially at the moment but simply leave him with his feelings and let him deal with it. He is aware that in the same way I am not good with details and he helps me to focus when and where I need to; he is totally useless at the larger picture as he only deals with the negative details. Obviously at the moment he is in shadow which means very negative version of me! :confused:

How do I help him to see that looking at the situation more broadly, and that there are so many positive qualities about his kids which he tends to ignore or play down without having him blow up? I am really good at saying the wrong thing if I become overly emotional...
 

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I think my father MIGHT be an ISTJ or something very similar anyhow. He never showed affection the 'normal' way but instead shows it through acts of service. I think it helped that my mother explained to me the things that he did that showed he loved me (opening my eyes in a way). I'm not sure exactly how your children view their father but more mutual understanding for both parties would probably be beneficial and also make sure that your children know that their father does love them (and perhaps explain his 'hidden' ways of showing this). My father is very strict and in his view he is 'always right'. My mother's explanation of his strictness was, "he's trying to make sure you make the right choices because he cares about you. That's why he has these rules for you because he wants you to have the best life possible. He wouldn't bother enforcing these rules if he didn't care about you". If my mother had never provided 'insight' into my father I would have probably grown up thinking that he had never showed that he loved me.

It would help if you knew the personality types of your children and then looked up the best way for those types to interact with ISTJs and educate both parties (if they are open to it). I'm not sure if it would help in this specific situation but it may help similar incidents from happening in the future.

As to helping your husband I'm not sure what else you can do. Allowing him to vent is definitely a good thing. Trying to let him see the viewpoint of your children would probably be best done after he has calmed down and is no longer in the 'heat of the moment'.

Perhaps a reason why he is so mad is because he thinks that his children have broken his trust and lied to him. Trust is a big thing with ISTJs. If this is the case, it might be a very long time before his children can gain his trust again.

One thing I have noticed though is that my relationship with my father has gotten better as I have aged, possibly because he sees me more as someone who is nearly an adult as opposed to 'just a child' who doesn't know anything. So maybe your childrens' relationship with their father will get better with age ^^

I don't really know the 'inner workings' of an ISTJ parent as I have only ever been a child under an ISTJ parent but some of the older ISTJs will probably be able to gives you a good viewpoint from a parent's perspective ^^
 

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Discussion Starter #5
And on top of all of this we are supposed to be moving in together in approx four - five weeks. This will be me (ENFP), SO (ISTJ), my 23 yr old son (ENFJ) studying, my daughter 15 (ENFx), my son 13 (xNFP), his son 16 (xxTJ)...not sure

I am well aware of the dynamics of our family member types and I do worry that my SO may not handle living with us although we've discussed boundaries and rules well ahead of time to make things clear. Well as clear as possible that is...hopefully we will be able to present a united front. :happy:
 

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Elysia- thank you so much.
My SO and I are engaged and have children from previous marriages...we've lived together a couple of times previously (three - four year relationship in total) The connection we share is truly amazing and we both want it to work; but also both realize that we need to work at things.
 

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I want to help and not make things worse for him ...any suggestions?:confused:

Yeah, tell dad to grow up already. He has to realize that he is the dad in all of these relationships and these kids are rebelling because of his approach--they don't have a voice and he sees to it that they don't. As dad, it is HIS responsibility to maintain a relationship with all of his kids. A dad's love must never be conditional--it must be never ending. He does need to maintain the physical safety of everyone, so kids giving alcohol to minors must be warned of their behavior and told that he will report it if it continues. However, his motive must be pure. He can't approach the daughter supplying the alcohol with a "do as I say because I'm dad" attitude. He must reason with her and allow her to connect the dots. If she refuses to listen long term, then he would have to follow through and take action to make sure the alcohol was no longer available to minors--be whatever that action is.

Your primary role will be that of carefully walking a fine line. You should listen to him and let him vent, but ever so gently remind him that what the real goal here is to maintain a relationship with his kids. He must be made to realize that if they completely reject him, then he cannot influence their lives for the positive. His role is less of an authoritarian at this juncture and more of an advisor. He must know his limitations and work within them.

You should also reach out to the kids. You can patch up much by explaining their dad's actions to them. While they only see hurt and intolerance, you can see disappointment and the hurt inflicted on dad. Help them see his love and his good intentions.

But again, most of this is on dad's shoulders. He's da man--now it's tough going, so the man gets to shoulder the load. This is a tough row---I've walked it. He must change or he will lose his kids. You are going to be the biggest help you can never imagine. Seriously, play your cards right and you are worth your weight in gold to the people in these relationships.

Good Luck!
 

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Thanks so much Niss...

Yeah, tell dad to grow up already. He has to realize that he is the dad in all of these relationships and these kids are rebelling because of his approach--they don't have a voice and he sees to it that they don't. As dad, it is HIS responsibility to maintain a relationship with all of his kids. A dad's love must never be conditional--it must be never ending.

You are so right and in the past when I have taken that line with him it always blows up although he always comes back to me once he's cooled down whereas his kids either switch off, argue back or as in this case; the girls finally left for good. He is very angry and bitter since he has actually lost control now that they have choices but in his defense his niece (their cousin) which they've moved in with is really bad news. He blames her for corrupting them but in reality she was merely an opportunity for them to leave.

When all the kids (his and mine) lived together with us; the only one that had any problems was my SO because there was basically no conflict b/n the rest of us. I parent very differently to him although I too need to follow through more regarding consequences but after reading a good parenting book and several on being more assertive, etc... I am doing so much better with my own family and friends these days. I tend to ask for co-operation, esp since the kids are basically all young adults now and generally they get in and help out. OK- Not always! :laughing:

Right now he is so angry at his kids...disgusted in fact especially at the girls. He wants nothing to do with them whatsoever. Guess he's just really disappointed and hurt by their behavior. Do you think deep down he knows that he has contributed largely to this happening? I see how hurt he is and find that agreeing but also using humor at the appropriate time helps get the messages through without sounding condescending.

Personally I don't think he knows how to have a good relationship with anyone, esp when he believes that people always let him down due to their various shortcomings. Funnily enough; he tolerates pretty much anything and everything I do that irritates him. Maybe because he knows I really do genuinely care about his well being and happiness. The decision to not come tonight is to do with needing time to recharge alone and also since he knows I detest negativity. I appreciate that.


He does need to maintain the physical safety of everyone, so kids giving alcohol to minors must be warned of their behavior and told that he will report it if it continues. However, his motive must be pure. He can't approach the daughter supplying the alcohol with a "do as I say because I'm dad" attitude. He must reason with her and allow her to connect the dots. If she refuses to listen long term, then he would have to follow through and take action to make sure the alcohol was no longer available to minors--be whatever that action is.

I am aware of this but he will insist they do as he says- period. His presenting attitude is that of it's my way or the highway. hence their choice to leave. Of course there's much more gone on than this including a mentally-ill ex-wife. It's really tough and I can see everyone's viewpoint and exactly what's gone on. But how to deal with it...really beats me apart from as you've stated to remain calm but strong. We definitely share the same values, but view, interpret and go about things so differently.

He will go to the authorities about the underage drinking for sure. The niece previously crossed him (a couple of months ago) by driving his oldest daughter's car which is only insured for my SO and the daughter to learn to drive in. Despite the warning to not do so again, she chose to do so. He then reported her for that. When he initially bought the car for her; money borrowed for it in his name trying to do what he thought was correct; I suggested she should be buying something a little cheaper without his help; but he refused to listen. This car situation has caused so much conflict between them as she hasn't bothered to get lessons in 18 months but has made the payments regularly, etc. She now blames him stating he made her buy the car. It owes a large sum of money which would not be recouped if sold and he is I believe very annoyed with himself at what's happened here. At the moment the car is in my back yard as he has taken it off her until she speaks to him about it. I can see his point but he does come off looking like a bully.

The other daughter has now ignored him, turning her back to him twice (this last week) when he dropped some mail off at her work- he's furious. He has worked very hard to provide them with the best of everything and in general they are nice kids, but very spoiled in many ways. They have very little life skills and are very fussy eaters, etc. He has catered to their whims in many ways but also constantly talks down to them. OTOH he babies them in many ways as if still little, but expects them to be mature in other ways. He treats his son differently to the girls also.

Originally he detested my daughter because she told him she thought he was a cranky old fart and she would show him respect if and when he deserved it. There was lots of conflict back then, but not so much these days as they tolerate each other much better and he actually likes her a lot.


Your primary role will be that of carefully walking a fine line. You should listen to him and let him vent, but ever so gently remind him that what the real goal here is to maintain a relationship with his kids. He must be made to realize that if they completely reject him, then he cannot influence their lives for the positive. His role is less of an authoritarian at this juncture and more of an advisor. He must know his limitations and work within them.

Luckily I am pretty skillful at tightrope walking! :laughing:

You should also reach out to the kids. You can patch up much by explaining their dad's actions to them. While they only see hurt and intolerance, you can see disappointment and the hurt inflicted on dad. Help them see his love and his good intentions.

This is what I intend to do, but again am afraid of making things worse.

But again, most of this is on dad's shoulders. He's da man--now it's tough going, so the man gets to shoulder the load. This is a tough row---I've walked it. He must change or he will lose his kids. You are going to be the biggest help you can never imagine. Seriously, play your cards right and you are worth your weight in gold to the people in these relationships.

Good Luck!
Thanks for the kind words and your wisdom...sometimes that's all an ENFP needs. :happy:
 

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^^^Quick thoughts:

*Niece Relationship = Displaced anger. She didn't do this. He is upset about his kid's actions in response to his controlling anger. He is now blaming niece for providing a place to stay and using her influence.

Ending Relationship w/kids = Selfish Protectionism He is more worried about himself and maintaining his control over the kids than he is developing a relationship with his kids.

Car Situation = Weapon to abuse daughter He sincerely wanted what was best for her in the purchase of the car. However, since she refuses to be controlled, he now uses it as a bludgeon to attempt to force his will on her.

Entire Situation = Unhealthy individual He is destroying his relationships with some of the most important people in his life because he has not taken the time to examine his motives. This man is clueless: He doesn't know himself, his kids, or the reason that he or they are acting in this manner. For him, it is about fear: He is protecting himself against possible hurt by attempting to control his environment and the people in it. He doesn't even see that the common factor in all of his problems with his various relationships is HIM!

Thanks for the kind words and your wisdom...sometimes that's all an ENFP needs. :happy:
Is it ok if we go there?

This man is out of control, has little understanding of his motives, and in a classic ISTJ fashion is attempting to control those around him in a period of transition (children growing up and leaving home). He is an emotional basket case: Unhealthy, controlling, manipulative, and very unsafe.

Without a doubt--and I mean this literally--He will eventually attempt to control you and your kids in a similar fashion. Right now, not so much--you aren't really under his control. Later, this will change. I. Am. Serious.

Now for the personal part. What is it about yourself that attracts you to a person that is this unsafe? I know that ENFPs see the possibilities, but surely you can see the possibilities for abuse and heartbreak that also lie ahead? Can't you see that entering into a relationship with someone going through this level of stress and how he is reacting to it is the equivalent of emotional suicide? Go get the book, "Safe People" by Henry Cloud & John Townsend, and read it before you enter into this relationship--it can save you a ton of heartache.

Then read "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. It will help you understand that seeing only possibilities is not a healthy outlook on life. Your reality checks must come from within yourself--they can't effectively come from someone else.

You need to get emotionally healthy and he needs to get emotionally healthy before you can form an emotionally healthy partnership. Counseling and self help books will get you started. He MUST come to grips with the "why" of his actions.

Now, I know I've been harsh--and that was not my intent. I really want you to stop and appreciate the gravity of the situation. You are modeling for your children--don't screw it up!

I feel for your SO. That demon lives within all the ISTJs I know. The difference is that the healthy ones have learned to recognize that trait in themselves and have learned to think of the larger implications and to reason with themselves about controlling their natural impulses. Uncontrolled, that demon will destroy every relationship we have. ISTJs must learn to control it or it will control them.

Personally, I do battle with that sucker every single day of my life.

I wish you both the best.
 

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I don't have time right now to comment on more, but I'd like to touch on this, which dovetails with what Niss said:

What I would appreciate is knowing precisely how to react to his stressed out demeanor so that I don't make it worse.
If he was happy and content right at this very moment, would you be so concerned about how your actions and words would affect him?

*You* are not responsible for his reaction to the situation. His response and reaction is his, and his alone.

I can't begin to count the number of times I have thought the same exact thing that you have in regards to my ISTJ mom. I've spent the vast majority of my life trying to please her. It is exhausting. xNFP's are the consummate people-pleasers. It's obvious you love your SO and would go to great lengths to make this relationship work. It is easy for an ENFP to overlook another's controlling behavior and make concessions in her actions and words (so long as the changes don't violate her values) in order to maintain harmony within her relationship. I can't help but wonder if this situation is an example of you making concessions.

I would imagine, that if it is the case, ultimately you'll grow to resent that you have to accommodate his controlling and stifling behavior and give him a "come to Jesus" talk or end the relationship all together.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you Niss for your response and helpful comments

I have spoken with my SO and discovered much more regarding the entire situation and why he feels the way he does...he has reacted very well to what I had to say about his behavior & attitudes, listening and appreciating my input.

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^^^Quick thoughts:

*Niece Relationship = Displaced anger. She didn't do this. He is upset about his kid's actions in response to his controlling anger. He is now blaming niece for providing a place to stay and using her influence.
His concerns regarding niece are valid as she continually breaks the law without consequence, manipulates others, has been diagnosed as bi-polar and refuses to take her medication, has been involved in prostitution (may still be) and many other illegal and harmful choices / addictions. She also has a 3 yr old child but seems to take care of him adequately although I have seen her leave him in a car out the front of my home unattended on one occasion. I assumed she was simply longer than she expected but as she couldn't see him at all, I let her know that she needed to get him out of the car or leave straight away...ie: safety issue. She is very irresponsible as well as defiant in many ways. She is 27 years old. She is very quickly getting a bad reputation in our town which isn't very large (60,000)

After my discussion with him, he assures me that he has no problem with them choosing to leave home but isn't happy with where they have gone due to her demeanor, lack of morals and influence on his girls. His words to describe her were: evil deceitful manipulative bitch and he is furious with her...disgusted in fact especially since she is the one that offered and made his 16 year old son the alcoholic drinks and said to go for it. There's a lot more but I won't go into it.

I explained calmly that she isn't evil but has some serious mental-health issues and low self-esteem for starters and that I certainly understood his concerns.

Ending Relationship w/kids = Selfish Protectionism He is more worried about himself and maintaining his control over the kids than he is developing a relationship with his kids.
He has stated that the door is open to them but he will not tolerate their ignorance / disobedience and lack of loyalty to him. I tried to explain that he will not establish or maintain a relationship with them this way as much of what has happened and how they treat him is a direct result of how he has treated / parented them. When confronted with the fact that it is the unspoken things have greatly impacted on them over the years and speak the loudest over-riding much of his good intentions and motives... it hit home I believe.

Car Situation = Weapon to abuse daughter He sincerely wanted what was best for her in the purchase of the car. However, since she refuses to be controlled, he now uses it as a bludgeon to attempt to force his will on her.
He has spoken to finance company to find out what he can and cannot do. He isn't interested in keeping the car, selling it, etc...he wants her take responsibility. She refuses to make payments, owes him 18 months of insurance premiums and rego. His other daughter has a mobile phone account in his name and often pays late as she too has little if any responsibility.

Personally; I have so BTDT as I have older kids than he does...eldest is 26, 23, 15, 13 and although I am ENFP that hates conflict; I set very clear boundaries regarding lending money to my kids because I don't want long-term conflict and believe they need to learn to manage money themselves. My kids get paid an allowance; his don't.

Entire Situation = Unhealthy individual He is destroying his relationships with some of the most important people in his life because he has not taken the time to examine his motives. This man is clueless: He doesn't know himself, his kids, or the reason that he or they are acting in this manner. For him, it is about fear: He is protecting himself against possible hurt by attempting to control his environment and the people in it. He doesn't even see that the common factor in all of his problems with his various relationships is HIM!
I have to agree with you but not entirely as I do believe he is starting to see the pieces of the puzzle he has created for himself. I found that when I let him know that the things he doesn't say to them speaks so loudly to them...he got it.

What he chooses to do with it is up to him.:happy:

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Is it ok if we go there?
Most definitely...

I agree totally...he is way out of control and unhealthy. I have let him know this very clearly.
Regarding that he will attempt to control me and my kids...we've been there, done that to death and I don't put up with that crap from anyone these days. I used to walk around on eggshells when we were together in the past, but I have been going through some very radical changes over the last couple of months which have seen my life completely turn around. I am now able to say what I think to him and certainly my natural caring attitude and nature is always present but MY needs come first these days. That's with my kids, my parents, friends, work...everything!

I still get down at times and have been tremendously tired but it's a really weird kind of tiredness...like when you wake from a really deep sleep. I have had 2 serious mental breakdowns in the past (years ago) and have survived plenty of abuse. The shackles of my innate need to please others feels like it's finally been unlocked...not broken because I finally decided to remove it by changing ME. I have managed to acknowledge and keep that special ENFP nature that always sees the good / positive in life but I now am able to utilize my more logical side along with my intuition and empathy.

We have been through so much over the last three - four years together and I have NEVER known someone so intimately and vice-versa. I have never let anyone in until now. I am well aware of his faults as I see them ever so clearly but I actually accept him; warts n all. However this doesn't mean that I will tolerate bullying or manipulation as I have already lived that life.

Why am I attracted to someone that appears this unsafe? Personally...I believe that we are actually very compatible and the opposite attributes and weaknesses have found in each other a vehicle for personal growth and solace. It's hard to put into words, but we actually work very well together; especially since we are learning to speak the same language nowadays. I guess I am the one that has been doing much of the preliminary work learning how to communicate with him and better understand his world; but then again that is my nature.

As a rather gifted ENFP when I am happy; unbelievable magic certainly happens all around me...I see it in the lives of those I care about and the momentum when I fully trust my intuition and feelings is never wrong. I know that we work..and I am never wrong. :happy:

My family is my world...but I am also a part of something much larger as are we all

YES...as an ENFP I am the eternal optimist; but this particular ENFP also uses a great deal of logic these days as well

Again...thank you so much Niss as I truly appreciate your insight and help x
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Gees I can so ramble on...:laughing: I meant to say the momentum really gets going...and of course I have been wrong about plenty of things...but that's usually when I don't pay attention to my deepest inner-self. Oh and pay too much attention to those pesky details :laughing:
Have a great night...and thanks again
 

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There is much that could be said, but it sounds like your mind is made up--which leaves me confused as to the purpose of this thread. :confused: Best of luck to you.:happy:
 

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There is much that could be said, but it sounds like your mind is made up--which leaves me confused as to the purpose of this thread. :confused: Best of luck to you.:happy:
Thanks again Niss...I agree that there is a great deal that can be said still and as far as the purpose of this thread is that (I am sure you already know) ENFPs, like myself often need to get stuff out there and allow others to give a different perspective / advice in order to properly sort the details out in our heads (I do anyway)

I am very new to forums and threads, etc and discussing this in this manner is actually very different for me but I didn't want to involve family and friends in this situation as their advice is always biased in one way or another. I also simply didn't want to put it on them. (bad choice of words...but don't have time at the moment to write in my usual manner which is nothing like on this thread or forum-sorry) I am very fussy and careful when I write and choose my words and phrases carefully / appropriately getting my point across clearly) unlike when I speak to people as I get somewhat flustered and very emotional or passionate / excited, etc)

I suppose I have made my mind up but in all honesty that often changes as new insight or information comes into play. That is ENFP...always looking at all the possibilities and weighing them up. At 48 years old I have accepted many things these days about life and the various relationships of which I am involved in. I've also observed my own family and friends regarding their inter-relationships with one another, etc and have come to realize that the experiences we have and how we view the world are really in our own hands, so to speak.

Again...this isn't very inspirational at the moment as I have heaps of stuff to do this morning. Have a fabulous day and thanks so much again.

Di
 

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I expect the purpose of this thread is you asking "What can I say to him / how can I say it to him, so that he sees things more clearly and gets an idea of why his children are acting this way and how he can patch up his relationship with them?"

What I would suggest is:

Ask him:
'What is most important to you in this situation?'
'What do you want the outcome of this situation to be?'

I imagine that what is important to him in this situation is the fact that he is bewildered and deeply upset by the fact that his children have walked away from him. (We know that he is reacting in his natural way, which isn't helping anything, I think that's clear and that has been said enough). But if he can establish that what is important to him is this issue, then we move on to:
"What do you want the outcome of this situation to be?" Which, I imagine, is that he would like his daughers to come home and for everyone to calm down. At this point, you can tell him a few important things which are: "You cannot control what your daughters do. You have to accept them as people and gain their trust and respect not by demanding it, but by showing them your trust and respect in them." You can also say that, illogical as it may seem to him, affection, relative freedom, trust and respect are the most appreciated things a teenager can receive from their parents, and that in giving them these things he will get what he wants in return - respect as well, trust as well, them being far far more likely to listen to his advice and him feeling like he has an influence on their lives.

These situations are horrible but they often end up bringing people closer together at the other end - the same way as in a personal crisis, when things hit rock bottom in a relationship crisis then things have to change and they can change dramatically for the better.

I think the best think you can do is keep it simple, explain to him why his behaviour has had this effect and what he can do to change it in view of the outcome he wants. And, as I am sure his daughers want the same outcome, if you can I would explain to them as much as you can about their Dad's personality so that they can feel more forgiving.

Hope this helps
 

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Btw if it's not too late I would seriously dissuade him from going to the police about underage drinking. The best way to get them to stop drinking is to again - genuinely trust and respect them. If you're treated like an adult then you want to act like one. By starting a fight against them on this matter they will feel more inclined to drink on purpose and they will feel more alientated from their father. If he has already gone to the police I would suggest that he should apologize to the girls and explain what his reasons were. I know that sounds weird but it's the start of an atmosphere of trust and forgiveness.. and without that you get nowhere in a family.
 

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Thanks again Niss...I agree that there is a great deal that can be said still and as far as the purpose of this thread is that (I am sure you already know) ENFPs, like myself often need to get stuff out there and allow others to give a different perspective / advice in order to properly sort the details out in our heads (I do anyway)
OIC--Thinking out loud. I didn't think about an ENFP doing that on a forum.:frustrating:

SWMBO and I have an agreement: If she is thinking out loud, she must say so. Otherwise, I'm free to jump in and "fix" her problems.

I'm glad you said this as it helps me to see your purpose. It's still a bit frustrating though.:frustrating:
 

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Sunrain...I so enjoy reading your posts and the way that you word things is utterly amazing; a big thank you for your suggestions.

I expect the purpose of this thread is you asking "What can I say to him / how can I say it to him, so that he sees things more clearly and gets an idea of why his children are acting this way and how he can patch up his relationship with them?"
Exactly...and also what can I do to ease the tremendous pain and betrayal that he so obviously feels?

We spent the afternoon together today just chilling and having some spontaneous romantic fun...it certainly helped a lot. I know for a fact that he is exhausted from having to be mom and dad, housemaid as well as work fulltime for many years; including during his marriage.

In reality he sort of accepts that he cannot control what they do and actually has allowed them lots of freedom except when it comes to moral issues and what he deems as common decency. When we discussed a few things today; he still maintains that his expectations are quite rational and not excessive; and truth is that does make sense.

I have let him know that we are on the same page regarding underage drinking, safety and adhering to the law; but that fair rules and consequences need to be worked out before we live together to avoid this type of situation from simply repeating itself later on. He is happy to work with me on this and I can trust him to stick to what we decide. Being ENFP the only real issue I have is that I live by the rule that rules are simply guidelines and should have a degree of flexibility. He too agrees with me; and the only real conflict is when people / kids cross that line regarding integrity and honesty. I can see his point and understand why he is firm on this. After all; these specific ISTJ traits are truly priceless. And like all strengths; they can also be a double edged sword at times.

I am planning to write to the girls and suggest we meet for a coffee later during the week to shed some light on their father’s character and hopefully they will feel better about the entire situation.

Regarding the police; I think he’s already been from what he has said about it. He is extremely touchy on the topic of his niece and I believe wants to teach her a life lesson. I will try what you suggest though as he has given his son an ultimatum about making a statement to the police. I have expressed my strong concerns regarding the obvious consequences of what he is doing here. The main thing that concerns me at present is that he may either clam up and withdraw or get angry if discussions about all of this go wrong! I don’t want either to happen...not because I cannot handle the situation but because he does not think rationally in either state of mind.

As far as agreeing to apologize to them? He has a great deal of trouble with that...and I will try to get him to see reason. I am hoping for a little mutual respect and a truce at best if we are lucky.

I think the girls are: ESFP (20) and ISFJ (17) and son is ISTP (16)...but I am not totally certain

And Niss...I also wanted advice as stated in the thread title but I always churn stuff over and over before making a firm decision...my thinking out loud often takes the form of research and writing stuff out as this helps to clarify and sort for me.

I am sorry that it is frustrating for you and BTW I will get hold of the books you mentioned as I am always reading the type of information you suggest. Personally...I love to study and learn new things as well as expand on any knowledge I may already have, etc. I have previously studied counseling and return to formal studies to complete a Bach of Psychology next year...funnily enough- a little knowledge is quite dangerous!

Again... your input is greatly appreciated and feel free to fix if you like :happy:
 

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I am planning to write to the girls and suggest we meet for a coffee later during the week to shed some light on their father’s character and hopefully they will feel better about the entire situation.
This wasn't directed at me, but just something to roll around in your mind from a daughter of an ISTJ mom:

Someone needs to apologize. It will mean so much more if he apologized (seeing as how he's the adult in their relationships), but it would most likely go a long way if you were able to validate how they feel. If he is unwilling to do so, then you need to say, "He cares about and loves you both very much. However, his approach to X was unfair/wrong/heavy-handed." If you don't, your silence will be construed as you condoning his actions. And then you'll be shut out as well.

(It seems imperative that you are able to maintain a good relationship with his girls. They are both young, naive, and spoiled (as mentioned in a previous post). They're going to need the guidance and acceptance that you can provide them as they enter adulthood, especially as their own mother sounds like she may not be capable of giving it.)

Truthfully, the only reason I have maintained any sort of a relationship with my mom is because of my ESFP dad. He has always been able to sit down and tell me, "Lisa, what your mom said to you was wrong. She was worried about X when she said that." He wouldn't undermine the value my mom was trying to instill in me and always presented a united front, but was able to let me know that I was justified being hurt. Him being able to validate my feelings has enabled me to much more willing to work things out with her.

Don't be surprised that, should the girls return to the fold, that they will covertly be making their escape plans (and maybe even have an "emergency escape route") if these issues aren't resolved. They'll be able to keep the peace (especially since they are most likely feelers) until they have the means to be completely independent of him.

Here's a bit of hope for you: Should the girls grow up and mature a bit, they'll be able to see the motives for their dad's actions.

I see it now. I do. It took being clinically depressed, a "near" suicide attempt and years of therapy, but I do see it. (Just want to note here that not all of my issues were tied to my mom.) I had to grow up. I had to become a parent to understand. At 20 and 17, there was no way I would have been able to comprehend why Mom acted the way she did.

Today, I'm doing everything within my power to repair and maintain a good relationship with her. It's going pretty well now, but we still have our moments (as every relationship does).

There is hope, yet! :happy: If anyone can help mend these relationships, it's an ENFP! :happy:
 
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