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I'm new to the forum,so it is a great discovery to have a large community of NFs! :happy:

Im a INFP with 20 - 0 in F! I'm not going to go into detail for fear ill write 3 pages, and no one will read it all, but basically I married a very nice ISTJ girl about 4 years ago.

We do have many common intrests (Dancing, Geek culture, TV shows, ect.), but because of our very different emotional makeup (NF vs SJ), I feel more and more alienated from her as the months go by. Also because of health problems, she is unable to have intercourse very often. (every 2 - 3 months). So with not a big emotional connection, and lack of a physical one I'm finding little to make me want to do anything else but just exist in the relationship.

I do admit to Idealizing our relationship in the beginning, and disappointed with the reality of married life, but what I would like to know is there some NF advice with relation to an ISTJ spouse/girlfriend that would help me connect? She is a great girl, but I don't feel a connection/love at all, but that's not her fault. If anyone who is/has been in a SJ/NF relationship could give me advice I'd appreciate it. I admit a lot of the problem is me, and my disappointment with the relationship, but I don't want to throw in the towel just because it is hard. If anyone could give me some advice on things that helped them work through the disconnect, and made a success of the SJ/NF relationship, I would really appreciate it.

I'm sure a Male SJ/Female NF is a more common relationship then the other way around like mine, but I look forward to any advice! :happy:
 

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Well I have the bad habit of idealizing all over myself at times ;) I was drawn by common interests for sure. On paper we were a good fit. All our family and friends thought so. But feelings, and connection don't necessarily translate on paper as well. Unfortunately I idealized her so much that it wasn't until a few years in I realized the disconnect even existed. Now its all I can see. Without the rose colored glasses, I think I convinced myself of true connection, when it was one I think I created for her. I definitely fell prey to family pressure to marry, but it was ultimately my decision, so I cant blame others for wanting us to be together.

As I said she is a great girl, but now that my curtain of idealization has been thrown back, its hard to reconcile our huge emotional differences. (it seems huge to me) And with that curtain went my romanticism, and my idealism in life. And as a NF male, a large part of my value is based on close interpersonal relationships. So to have one that I feel I am slowing failing at both scares, and hits my drive to work on it (for fear of failing worse). I cant be the first NF guy to go through this, so I guess I'm asking for advice how others have made that "True" connection with SJ a spouse/GF when they were in a place like I am. Without it, I feel like I am lying by being loving. It is how I feel, but I would welcome being able to grow in my relationship instead of feeling in a "stasis" like I do now. Please forgive me for being all over the place. It took a lot for me to be able to post here, but now that I have..... trying not to floodgate over people ;)
 

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I'm with an ENFP female and I know exactly what you're going through. My rose-colored glasses have shattered this year when last year I held her up the highest pedestal. Nonetheless, I'm with her because she loves me a lot and gave me a chance to be with someone when hundreds of girls rejected me in the past. Sure, this relationship makes me feel miserable at times but I remember my single life: lonely and always hunting for the one.

Now, I don't think 'the one' ever exists. Even if any person meets the one, then what will happen down the road? As half of the marriages end up in divorce, I have to say that every one who married does not intend to divorce. Those who marry must've had one person get down on one knee and propose because he/she thought that they were the one.

Here I am today where the ideal woman (man) no longer exists in this world. We are imperfect. We grow and change. We become different in a way. And that difference sometimes drives our SOs away.

I look forward to the day I become a father to a beautiful girl than to become a husband. Perhaps I don't have good advice for you but just understand what you're feeling. Hang in there, man. Maybe you'll get an epiphany one day: "You (my wife) was there for me all along. I should've treated you better" "You were always on my mind (by Elvis Presley)" type of shit.
 

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Well I have the bad habit of idealizing all over myself at times ;) I was drawn by common interests for sure. On paper we were a good fit. All our family and friends thought so. But feelings, and connection don't necessarily translate on paper as well. Unfortunately I idealized her so much that it wasn't until a few years in I realized the disconnect even existed. Now its all I can see. Without the rose colored glasses, I think I convinced myself of true connection, when it was one I think I created for her. I definitely fell prey to family pressure to marry, but it was ultimately my decision, so I cant blame others for wanting us to be together.

As I said she is a great girl, but now that my curtain of idealization has been thrown back, its hard to reconcile our huge emotional differences. (it seems huge to me) And with that curtain went my romanticism, and my idealism in life. And as a NF male, a large part of my value is based on close interpersonal relationships. So to have one that I feel I am slowing failing at both scares, and hits my drive to work on it (for fear of failing worse). I cant be the first NF guy to go through this, so I guess I'm asking for advice how others have made that "True" connection with SJ a spouse/GF when they were in a place like I am. Without it, I feel like I am lying by being loving. It is how I feel, but I would welcome being able to grow in my relationship instead of feeling in a "stasis" like I do now. Please forgive me for being all over the place. It took a lot for me to be able to post here, but now that I have..... trying not to floodgate over people ;)
Well, have you spoken to her and told her how you feel? I mean, you say a large part of your value is in close interpersonal relationships, and there are few relationships closer or truly interpersonal than marriage, so that alone should stand for a lot of things, though? What do you mean by "true" connection with an SJ spouse/GF? I mean, you know already that ISTJs think and act differently, but I'm assuming you both are already aware of that, so are you making sure to meet on common ground? Do you talk to her about how you feel, and does she talk to you about how she feels? Do you show her you love her in a way that she appreciates?

If you haven't, perhaps you could look into Love Languages? Do you know her Enneagram type? Do you spend time together? I mean, I can't help but think that the connection is still there, but maybe it's fraying due to the nromal (surprisingly damaging) routines of life? Perhaps the Ask an ISTJ relationship question thread might be of help?

Just one thing, though - if you're looking for emotional displays of affection etc, ISTJs seem to be more reserved regarding them (for good reason, I'd add). That doesn't automatically imply a lack of love, though.
 

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I have to interject on this post. I am warning you that my viewpoint is fairly negative on this match-up so please forgive me in advance, I will try to keep my emotions out of it as much as I can.

My dad is an ISTJ and I ended up marrying an ESTJ at age 19. My dad was very controlling towards my mother and I always thought I would grow up and marry someone who represented the opposite of him. At the beginning I felt like I had been successful in finding someone that was different from my father and that I had avoided that cycle or trap of marrying into what is comfortable and familiar. I was so wrong. The two types are very similar in that regard. One is more detail oriented control and one is more environment oriented control, if that makes sense. My dad was all about everything being in its proper place, assigning, labeling, accounting for things. Objects were his focus, not emotional connection or interaction. Order and task oriented hobbies filled in his time and it was difficult to feel any real sense of connection or bonding with him. He was cold in a lot of ways but yet it felt safe because the necessities were always taken care of and well accounted for, and it made you feel safe. I think being an INFP that feels good because we have a tendency to be in disarray/aimless a lot...so the stability you feel when around an STJ is comforting.

I was with my husband for 15 years, until this July actually. I spent most of my marriage trying to become who he wanted me to be, to fix the parts that he shined a light on and made me think I should be ashamed of. Not much of anything I did or could do was ever appreciated, accepted or even approved of. Basically, no response was his only form of a compliment? I felt like I was up for inspection and scrutiny each and every day and that I never could measure up to any of his demands or expectations, because in the end when you dust off all the sugar coated deliveries, that's what they were. If things weren't done to his standards or in a way he found acceptable, then you were meant and left to feel that. He let you know, you were made very aware. That is such a mentally and emotionally draining life to lead. It is exhausting to feel on guard and like you can never quite relax. It wears on your own self worth and esteem over time to not be allowed to ever just idle in your own natural state.... for lack of a better way to phrase it.

Anyway, fast forward to now and I have finally brokeb free and am defrosting myself, I truly felt frozen and numb after I left. I spent 15 years questioning and feeling like there was something wrong with me and now those same parts I was trying to amputate and remove from myself, are what bring me joy. That is what was missing. I was not allowed to grow or be myself because to him those were the things and parts he disliked the most. I am finally comfortable in my own skin. I left him last October and have gone back to school and trying to redefine myself and just get to know myself again. It took finding MBTI and understanding the differences between the personality types to comprehend what had always felt so imbalanced in my marriage. It gave me the permission I needed to finally say enough, to accept it and to move on.

I guess I am sharing all of this with you because I truly feel it doesn't have to be this way as long as you are both open and accepting of one another. Resisting that urge to change or tweak things all of the many differences between these two types I think would be a challenge, but if there is love and respect there anything is doable. I can only caution you to stay fully aware of that for yourself. Not everyone that has a relationship with an STJ has to feel taken over or held hostage and I'm happy that you mention nothing of feeling that way in your post. I am sure there are many healthy relationships between these two types, however I think it is very easy for INFPs to want to please STJs and when that balance shifts and they are allowed to take the reigns, it is very difficult to get them back. They gallop away full steam ahead with you dragging behind.

My only advice to you is to just make sure you express to your wife your own needs and desires and don't lose sight of what you want or need out of life. In any relationship and over time, it is easy to lose sight of how much of yourself you have given away in small increments until one day, you stand before yourself truly transformed into something you don't even recognize or maybe even desire to be. I would just encourage you to set boundaries and express your needs when you have them and if at some point you get to where you can't shake that something is missing or just not right or you just can't live without that deeper connection that you describe, don't keep trying to convince yourself that you can. You are an intuitive. :p Get to counseling, work on it early, don't hide or push down what you need in a marriage so that you don't upset her. Life is short and we only get one shot at it, don't spend it with someone that makes you miserable or even unfulfilled. Either change it for the better, or recognize it and move on. Realize that your needs and desires are as important as hers are and don't down play them just to keep your relationship going, or you will never feel happy, content or at peace.
 

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I can relate to ABSOLUTELY everything @TyTy has said. This pairing is a lot more common than it should be, in my opinion. I think the INFPs feel really secure and grounded when they meet STJs. They are practical, pragmatic, duty bound, safe, and ISTJs in particular have a great sense of humour. They aim to please and if they see you and the relationship as a priotrty, I can bet you they will see nurturing it as their duty. On the other hand, I think SFJs and STJs very often feel attracted by our "infpness". They love the spontaneity, our imagination, etc. We help them see the world in different ways and that's attractive.

At first.

But after the years the qualities that attract both types to each other are the ones that will create the most conflict. What was spontaneous and fun at first soon turns into sour unrealiability (capital sin for SJs). The security and protection to an obstinate refusal to ever change anything.

As an INFP you will try very hard to measure up to your partners expectations and you will feel either stressed or like the object of constant criticism. At the same time, you will be judged for not being reliable, duty oriented, constant, etc, qualities that werent yours in the first place, and also put down for what makes you yourself. You may try to discuss a movie and you will be told that sometimes they just want to experience things at face value, they dont want to analyse everything all the time, you know?. In my experience, things end up in this bitter place where they are always right, their values are right, they way they live is right and you are the one who is always found lacking. I mean, an Istj told me today to not put my foot next to the car, and move that bag because it was too close to the door, etc. Im not a kid, Im in my thirties.

So, perhaps Im wrong, and Im really really sorry to be so negative. From reading your post, I fear that you wanted an emotional connection so badly you made sure it was there, you probably analysed lots of small gestures to prove that connection existed, you found meaning in lots of things..etc etc. Im not disputing your ISTJ doesnt love you and doesnt feel that connection, I am sure she does, but in a very different way. If you expect her to make that connection spark how you want it, it's just not going to happen because they communicate very differently. You must find what it was that attarcted you to her in the first place and find her love in those things. Does she do things for you? does she tell you where she is so you dont worry, does she tell you she loves you even if to you it "feels" like it's just another one of her chores? It's in small things like that you have to focus. I'm sorry but if you want sparks, you are likely to be disappointed. Although everything is possible, and people try hard and change, and your personality can be adapted blah blah, chances are she will never fulfill you emotionally. But, she will have a great deal else to offer to you in a relationship, so it's your job to decide what you need in this life. same goes for her, she will have to learn to accept you how you are because we can only try to be sjs, for a while before stress and our deep need to be loved and accepted for who we are and our true selves comes to the surface.

It didnt work for me, so ​ wish you better luck.
 

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I am INTP male aged 26 and have never been married.

Take this opinion with a grain of salt. I'm not sure exactly what I'm doing.

There was another INFP thread similar to this about 1 year back. It was about an INFP who idealized about her boyfriend. Basically she tried to gain all happiness in her life from her boyfriend and did not focus on making new friends or career.

Because relationships are so important to NFs, they tend to idealize and over-expect from their spouses. You yourself admit to idealizing.

Have you tried to find satisfaction from other aspects of your life? Friends, projects, career, etc.?

Realize that your wife needs you as she has health problems. This is your opportunity to practice compassion towards your wife and take care of her. You can be her super hero by taking care of her and feel adequate as a man taking responsibility for his wife's wellbeing. "... in sickness and in health.." Remember that? Being a spouse means weathering whatever problems there are in life together ( Life is a mixture of what you want and plan for and what you never see and just happens - you have to deal with both parts of life). You lose freedom and choices in marriage but if you want to honor your marriage, you have to stick around even if you are less than satisfied.

From what I know about NFPs, it seem that they appreciate loving affirmations. In place of intercourse, could you try cuddling and telling her how you love her and telling her that you need to hear the same? It seems that you have to find emotional satisfaction in another way. When you tell her how you love her, tell her to show her love for you as well. I think that will get you feeling love for her as well.

It seems that you have trouble communicating with her about your need for displays of love. Tell her directly that's what you need. Js are very direct about communications and doing as they are requested. They don't need subtlety and indirect indications.

I hope this helps. Please stay in your marriage. 50% of Americans are divorced. The real unemployment is 10%+. You are fortunate to have each other. Please ride this out. It's not your ideal but try to find different ways to find more satisfaction with her. It will be worth it.

"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." -Philosopher

Try to change things and be direct in what you want from her and try to find different ways to enjoy each other's company. You will do the right thing and you will find your relationship good and satisfying in so many ways.

I hope this helps.
 
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