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I'm in a relationship with an ISTJ. I ride the line pretty evenly between an INFP and an ENFP. We have been together for over 2 years and I still feel like I barely know his friends. He's not close to a lot of people, except the people he keeps in touch with online from his home country. He says he feels most close to them. I HAVE met them when they are visiting (at least!).

I seem to be his closest friend in this country. He does go out with his co-workers often though, and he never has once invited me out (in this whole 2 years we have been together!). Once, he volunteered my services and car to help a co-worker who was moving. I felt a bit used because he still never took me out to get to know his co-worker/friend either before or after the move, even though I helped with the move for several hours and provided the only vehicle to move.

There was a period when he re-located to another country and I was there for part of the time (he asked me to come). Sometimes he broke our dates to go out with his co-workers to try to network and advance his career, but still I was never invited out, even though he broke our dates. Once, he did invite me to a movie with them all, but immediately after the movie, he wanted to leave and didn't talk to anyone at all. I thought it was because I was there, but he insisted that he was just not in a mood to be social.

I try not to feel hurt, but I often invite him out when I am going out with friends and co-workers because I want to share the joy and because I know it is harder for him to meet people than it is for me (since he is more of an introvert) and I wish he would sometimes return the favor (especially the time when I was abroad with him and didn't know anyone). I think it is important that we have our separate social lives, but I think it is a little strange that he doesn't make an attempt for me to over-lap with his social life a little bit sometimes. I can't help it, I just feel hurt because I feel like this is an indication of another underlying issue. We've had so many discussions about this and it just seems like we can't understand each other on this issue. His excuses (er, logic?) don't make sense to me and he doesn't want to hear me talk about my feelings about the issue.....

Another ENFP on this site mentioned that her ex-ISTJ boyfriend seemed (to her) over-protective of his friends and always wanted to keep her separate from them and that she was the only one who was pro-active about organizing their social life together. This makes me wonder: IS THIS A TYPICAL ISTJ trait? I can't help thinking that this means there is something else wrong, but am I just totally mis-understanding him? Can anyone (especially you ISTJs out there) help give me some insight into what is up here?
 

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While larger groups of people I don't know make me uncomfortable, I had no problem introducing SWMBO to all of my friends. He should feel comfortable around you and he should feel comfortable around his friends, so hanging out with you and his friends should be no big deal....:confused:

Trust your instinct. Somethings amiss and there is more to this story than he is letting on.
 

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Could be because the majority of the people mentioned in your post (that he hasn't introduced you to) are his co-workers. At the same time, I note that you've seen the friends from his country he feels close to.

I used to do this too, without being aware of it.

I loved introducing my girlfriend to my few closest friends. I was proud to show her around, happy to see together the people who are most dear to my heart, and grateful to her for agreeing to meet with people who would've been complete strangers to her.

On the other hand, it didn't occur to me to introduce her to the larger number of acquaintances I hang with, whom I don't consider as being 'close personal friends' (yet). I realized my mistake when one day my girlfriend asked me why I didn't show her to more of my friends. With 'meeting people' not being on my favourite list of activities, I had no idea that she would *want* to meet with my casual friends.

Hindsight is 20/20. Just because I don't place the highest importance or meaning to the time spent with casual friends (to me, that's reserved for my girlfriend and my family), doesn't necessarily mean that she would see it the same way. I learned the lesson and rectified the situation.

I say talk to him about this, and see what comes out of it.
 

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Uh I just saw the additional information that you've already had a number of discussions, and that he doesn't seem to listen to you, as he should. That changes things a bit- I'll have to think about this some more.
 

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Unfortunately I seems like there is an underlining problem as you mentioned. I would love to let my friends meet my gf, unless I was embarrassed of her? -I'm using harsh terminology to get a point across, i'm NOT suggesting this is the case with you and your bf- what I am suggesting is I would agree there is something else going on, what it is, I have no idea. And for him to not really communicate with you his feelings on the matter in a way were you can understand them is a giant red flag to me. It can't be security (unless you've given him a reason to distrust you in the past) because speaking as an ISTJ, when I have a gf -especially after 2yrs- i'm very confident with her, and really only get 'involved' with the interaction she has with other guys if I absolutely need to. I'm assuming its neither of those, I'm simply giving you something to gnaw on.

Another point; this is clearly bothering you, a lot; as it should. This issue will only escalate, unfortunately... have you ever had a REALLLY serious talk with him about it? Or did he always feel he had an escape out the back door? I'd have a hard time he wouldn't be willing to really work with you. If he still refuses to, you need to reassess your position and your life with him, is this something you're going to be able to overcome? Is this the ONLY issue you have with him? Assuming this is actually a problem, I would think it spills over into other aspects of your relationship, as to most 'problems' - if its really not a problem, and its just an unconscious personality trait of his, you will probably find this is in fact the only 'issue' you have with him.

Have you considered the fact he might be hiding you from someone? If thats the case, that will for sure show up in other parts of your relationship... especially if he hasn't been doing this the whole duration of your relationship. If he has, you can probably rule that out.

Honestly this is really hard to 'figure out' without knowing either of you. But I do want to drill home one point: follow your intuition, it is almost always right.
 

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I have done this same thing in the past. At the time I didn't want my girlfriend to be around anyone I knew. I didn't want to share her with anyone. She was my little secret hiding place from the rest of the world, where I can shut off my robot-man, and become myself for awhile.

Also, looking back on it and having re-written this multiple times... I have to admit that I was not happy with how my friends and family would perceive her. I guess she didn't meet my standards of a life long partner, but I didn't want to give up my secret place of safety. It was really selfish, and she suffered for it... =( I feel this may be something similar to your situation, and my heart goes out to you if it is. I'm sorry.
 

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I used to be like that too, like I'd avoid hanging out with my ex's friends...I'm not really sure why, but I had this anti-social tendency when I'm around new people. I generally have a few close friends, and I sometimes I just want to stay with the familiar.

It wasn't until I understood how my behavior was affecting others until I opened to meeting new people and such. Just be straight up with him and tell him how much it's bothering you. Tell him how much it would mean to you if he spent time with you and your friends. Just keep reminding him, hopefully he'll get it.

Maybe he has a hard time opening up, so why don't you also tell your friends to open up to him
 

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This is an area I have struggled with. I tend to keep all my different relationships separate- work, family, school, etc. This doesn't mean that a friend can't meet my parents or that a coworker can't come in contact with my friend. But its hard to imagine people from different "areas" of my life hanging out together. I have this terribly great fear that if people from different "areas" of my life hung out with each other, that one might find the other lame or corny or something negative and that will be a reflection back on me. I guess that sounds self-absorbed and insecure but I take my personal relationships seriously with much depth. I don't know if its being afraid to lose a friend but i don't think that's it, i think it has more to do with integrity, its hard for me to explain. I have this recurring image clip in my head in which a childhood friend in which I am very close to met a friend who i knew from my previous college. They live in different cities and to my knowledge have never met, but i had a dream in which they did and my childhood friend found the guy to be incredibly lame and while he did not judge me, it felt like a reflection upon me. It could have been an insecurity on his part but i feel the burden.

I don't know why I have this great fear. Most of my other best friends are also friends of my best friend whom I've mentioned. I don't know if its an insecurity on his part, my part, or both. I value harmony and while nothing has happened, i always fear something like that will destroy the harmony in my mind. Therefore I become trapped in my mind in this regard.

This post makes me sound strange imo, i dont' have many things that I have a borderline phobia of. Bottom line is I feel that if i "allowed" (sounds arrogant) people from different areas of my life to get to know each other, it would disrupt the order in my mind. I'm not a control freak or anything, but i've always had this need to keep different people in my life separate and "compartmentalized" in my head. In other words, I don't like "people mixing"; I keep different social groups together and try not to let them mix or overlap with my other social groups. That's why I fear something like a wedding in which people from different areas and times in one's life who may have never met, come together. I've never even celebrated a birthday with more than one "group". I hope I will overcome this fear and would be open to any suggestions and anecdotes, comments, etc.
 

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While larger groups of people I don't know make me uncomfortable, I had no problem introducing SWMBO to all of my friends. He should feel comfortable around you and he should feel comfortable around his friends, so hanging out with you and his friends should be no big deal....:confused:

Trust your instinct. Somethings amiss and there is more to this story than he is letting on.
I highly agree with niss, there is definatly more to this story.
 

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I agree with what Wake and Rhee have said. Why don't you just tell how you feel on the matter clearly to your ISTJ. Tell him the issue, your perspective and what you expect out of him. Ask for clarification/ explainations if needed.

Also, as Rhee said, I think the ISTJ doesn't see any need to introduce you to his coworkers. After all, they are only co workers. No one important. He introduced you to his close freinds/ family and in his eyes, that is more than enough. However, you don't feel so. So, you must explain your position to him clearly with reasons and see how the matter goes from there.
 
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