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So, I'd like to hear all your experiences of being married (or being in an otherwise long-lasting relationship). What are in your own experience the downsides and upsides of being in such a close relationship with someone else? If you're divorced, what are the processes that you think led to it?

It's said that INFPs are second highest of all types to report marital dissatisfaction.

I want to know more about what are the causes for this dissatisfaction? And how do you deal with it? What are the ways or tactics that you use to get over these rough patches in your relationship?
 

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My answer won't be elegant, as it's so early in the morning, but I love my husband and I love marriage so much. The greatest life lessons I have ever learned in my 55 years, have been through the relationship I had with my husband. He has got to be the best person on the face of the earth. We've been together 22 years. We have had a few problems but we hung on and learned and recovered and developed a deeper love. I may add to this later because I feel I have left so much out but breakfast calls!
 

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I have been married for 5 years and in a relationship with her for 7 years. I’ve known her for about 9 years. So far, my marriage has been amazing. Not all happy times, but I do feel blessed that the only real difficulties we have experienced were due to financial issues.

Upsides are plenty. I have constant support. I can be myself and make the stupid mistakes I always make and not worry if the other person will leave me. I just apologize and move on. She is artistic and quirky. She has the ability to keep things in perspective and not let me take myself too seriously. We both wanted children and neither of us would be fit or financially capable as single parents. My wife is very much in the here and now, which has been a life saver for our son who is also very much the same.

The downside of being in a close relationship is the lack of novelty. I have always loved the process of getting to know someone. I always got a rush over the potential a new relationship would bring. I like falling in love and the anxiety of new romantic entanglements. Which is strange because as I look back, I was miserable a good portion of my dating life. The highs were through the roof but there were quite a few lows associated with it. I absolutely adore my wife and lover her more than words can describe. But the butterflies in my stomach rarely appear anymore. But I am able to keep this in perspective as well. I rarely have the lows I had before we were in a relationship. I wouldn't trade our marriage for anything.

I would probably say the cause of dissatisfaction in an INFP’s relationships (although I can only speak for myself) is the discrepancy between what we see as the potential or possibilities the relationship could be with what the reality is. As long as you and your spouse have the same goals in life, you can manage any rough patches that arise. INFPs can blind themselves with “potential.” The potential we see is rarely realized. If you find someone who tolerates your weirdness, doesn’t belittle or downplay your system of beliefs, and who you are ok living the rest of your life with the way they are now, then don’t over analyze it.
 

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So, I'd like to hear all your experiences of being married (or being in an otherwise long-lasting relationship). What are in your own experience the downsides and upsides of being in such a close relationship with someone else? If you're divorced, what are the processes that you think led to it?

It's said that INFPs are second highest of all types to report marital dissatisfaction.

I want to know more about what are the causes for this dissatisfaction? And how do you deal with it? What are the ways or tactics that you use to get over these rough patches in your relationship?
Being married is actually kind of awesome.

The downsides:
less freedom to be spontaneous because you're working around two people's schedules,

having to alter when you go to sleep to accommodate a partner's needs makes it impossible to have 2 am crafting sessions that last until noon. Having to structure your life around someone else's convenience will almost certainly hamper your creativity and make you less productive,

things that would have been reasonable expenses for a single person are too costly when you have to buy two tickets, entry fees, dinners, etc. and you really don't want to have to go to events alone when you're married. You'll end up going out less.

You might not always get enough introvert time and will probably get overwhelmed occasionally. Long periods of quiet focus will be a rare luxury when you are living with someone who likes you and wants to connect with you,

Living your dream of becoming a wandering nomadic hippie will depend on whether your partner wants to go along, and you'll also have to live with the knowledge that you are the only thing keeping your partner from living out his dreams of climbing Mount Everest, or doing something else you wouldn't be willing to do with him,

In situations where a single person could have hitched a ride, found a place to couch surf, or would have been offered other types of hospitality, a married couple probably won't. There just isn't enough room for someone to accommodate both of you, so you will miss out on some useful help or fun opportunities,

you won't get to take up the whole bed with your knees and elbows and outstretched limbs when you sleep, because being married is about sharing everything.

the upsides:
You have somebody to talk to about your feelings whenever you get excited about a cool idea or need comforting,

you get all of the cuddles you could ever want, possibly more,

When you are sick or injured, you have someone to take care of you,

Your ideas will all get very clear in your head because you'll be able to bounce them off of someone who can offer a different perspective. He will brainstorm with you and you'll both come up with new ways of thinking about things that will mutually enrich your minds,

You'll laugh more and you'll end up with all kinds of "in jokes" that only the two of you understand,

Your mental health issues will likely get better because you'll have someone in your life who knows exactly what to say when you start to have a panic attack, who makes you feel less alone in the world.

Having shared values will remove the terror of alienation you feel around most people, because you will have the certainty that there is at least one other person in the world who really understands and feels the same,

You get to pick up the slack for each other when there are difficult circumstances, and neither of you will ever end up having to face hardships alone. If one of you loses your job, it isn't quite as horrible, because the other one might still make enough to pay the rent. There is safety in being able to depend on each other. With that kind of security, everything is less tense, because something would have to incapacitate both of you to become a true disaster.

Just in general, you will be able to use each other's strengths to make up for your weaknesses. If your husband has illegible handwriting, you can be the one to write a cute greeting in the Christmas cards. If you have a horrible sense of direction, he can be the one to navigate when you're on vacation. With two people working on everything, you are more likely to have the skills you need to get everything accomplished.

You will learn to resolve disagreements kindly, in a connected manner, and will become a better negotiator. You will develop really useful conflict resolution skills that can be applied to other areas of your life.

Oh yeah, and also that whole "love" thing. You'll feel safe and cared for, and you'll have somebody you want to protect and nurture. It is a good feeling. It's very worth it.

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I think the reason INFPs tend to be dissatisfied with marriage is that we thrive from getting to follow our own "flow." We wait until we feel like doing something, and then we are able to excel at it because we are involved in it with our whole being. Trying to force motivation leaves us feeling inauthentic and exhausted. That means that being an INFP requires a lot of room for spontaneity so we can follow our impulses, a lot of time when we are free to focus on whatever we want without any interruptions, and maybe a bit of loneliness as the sharp grain of sand we can use as a catalyst for creativity to make a "pearl" around. Being married pretty much demolishes all of that, and if we are overly focused on what we are losing, we're not going to be happy. Idealists often focus on what needs to change to make things perfect.

...but marriage isn't going to ever be perfect. You'll wake up some mornings and accidentally elbow your partner in the face because you forgot you couldn't stretch out your arms all the way, and it will wake him up too, so he'll ask you to make coffee because he is tired, and you'll pick up the slack with that little bit of energy you were going to use to work on that song you wanted to write. After breakfast, he'll want to cuddle at the exact same time when you're needing your introvert time to precharge for something you were supposed to do that night. You'll cuddle him because you want him to know you care about his needs, but it will drain you because it wasn't what you felt like doing. You'll go online to try to refocus your thoughts, and five minutes later, he'll want to tell you about some fun project he is working on, and you will have to make yourself feel enthusiasm for him, because if you had the energy, you know you would think it was something exciting. All day, you will be forcing your flow to fit someone else's needs instead of riding it into that perfect state of optimal productivity you could achieve on your own terms.

But then, there will also be days when you wake up looking sleepily into his loving eyes, because he woke up first and was just staring affectionately at you, watching you sleep. You will cuddle because you feel like it. You will feel inspired, and instead of having to push it aside, you will get to tell him all of your ideas, and he will suggest something even better that you hadn't considered. You'll make something beautiful, and he will give you a compliment about how clever it was, which will make you feel appreciated. Maybe you'll go for a walk together, and you'll tease each other about that one time when his mother said something really embarrassing, and nobody else will have any idea why you are both laughing and acting silly. You'll get lost because you were distracted, but that's okay because he always knows exactly how to find his way home again, even when you don't. You will cook dinner because he is busy working on something that requires a lot of focus, so you will get all of the time you want in the kitchen to come up with something expressive that symbolizes your love for him. He will understand it and will feel touched by it. Afterward, you will fall asleep in each other's arms, grateful that you found each other.

Both types of days happen when you are married (assuming you are married to the right person). I think whether you are happy or not often depends on which ones you consider more important.
 

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Married for going on three years (ENFJ). It's pretty awesome.

What are in your own experience the downsides and upsides of being in such a close relationship with someone else?

Upsides: We can cut through the BS in dating. Always have support, always have someone to drag you out of ruts.
Downsides: Generally just typical roommate stuff. I guess there's a lack of the chase, but I miss that less and less as time goes by.

It's said that INFPs are second highest of all types to report marital dissatisfaction:

I wonder if that's people not understanding us? Or we aren't sharing enough of ourselves?

I want to know more about what are the causes for this dissatisfaction? And how do you deal with it? What are the ways or tactics that you use to get over these rough patches in your relationship?


Learn your partner, learn yourself. When you have real problems, learn to deal with them directly but with compromise. I pretty much know what behaviors I need to reduce that would create issues with my wife. Learn to vocalize your feelings; you're an equal partner so your needs are just as valid as your spouse's.

Be spontaneous. Do something really nice for your spouse every once in a while.
 

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I would also like to add that if you are with the wrong person, there are likely going to be more difficulties than the ones I mentioned. The ones I listed assumed an ideal situation where you have found your perfect match.

problems with an incompatible partner could include:

-Having to be afraid of criticism or contempt, which can lead you to evaluate all of your choices as harshly as you expect your partner to evaluate them before feeling comfortable taking any action.

-Having to argue constantly about the things that are important to you, and feeling perpetually defensive or at war with the world because of it. This can make you more prone to hostile arguments in other areas of your life, where you lash out in frustration almost immediately because you have resigned yourself to the certainty that nothing you say politely will ever get through to the other person.

-Having your feelings invalidated and your boundaries disrespected to the point where any authentic expression feels like an act of defiance.

-Feeling punished for having your own opinions or reactions to things, and dealing with that alienation completely alone.

-Not feeling free to pursue your hobbies or select meaningful friendships, to dress according to your own personal taste, or to spend your time in the ways you choose.



In those kinds of partnerships, sometimes a few of the good qualities will still be there, but they will be outnumbered by things that ought to be dealbreakers.

If you are going to get married at all, be very picky and make sure your partner is the sort of person you will be comfortable keeping for life. Even then, it isn't always a sure thing, as we saw recently when one of our long-time members unexpectedly got left by someone that person had been in a committed relationship with for over 19 years, and married for 15 of those.

I'll be completely honest. That scares the crap out of me. I hate that there is no such thing as being careful enough or good enough to have perfect security.

So, I guess I should really add something to the list of negatives that will occur even in an ideal situation:

When you have a marriage that is really special, you will likely become terrified of losing it. Every time you get sick, you'll worry that you're going to die of cancer and leave your partner behind. Every time your partner is out of your sight, you'll worry about whether he is going to be hit by a car on his way home. If you don't say you love each other every time it comes into your minds, desperately as though warding off an evil curse, or give each other affectionate looks on a regular basis, you will worry about whether somewhere down the line you will wake up one morning to hear your partner say he has gotten bored and doesn't love you anymore, which would be the worst thing imaginable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@Sily @Kappa @snail @bigstupidgrin

Thank you so much for your long and thorough answers. I'm glad to see how much positivity your answers contained. I agree that marriage is a great thing and it does bring a lot of joy and also balance in your life.

I'll be completely honest. That scares the crap out of me. I hate that there is no such thing as being careful enough or good enough to have perfect security.

So, I guess I should really add something to the list of negatives that will occur even in an ideal situation:

When you have a marriage that is really special, you will likely become terrified of losing it. Every time you get sick, you'll worry that you're going to die of cancer and leave your partner behind. Every time your partner is out of your sight, you'll worry about whether he is going to be hit by a car on his way home. If you don't say you love each other every time it comes into your minds, desperately as though warding off an evil curse, or give each other affectionate looks on a regular basis, you will worry about whether somewhere down the line you will wake up one morning to hear your partner say he has gotten bored and doesn't love you anymore, which would be the worst thing imaginable.
This is actually one of the things I was a bit looking for. When you're in a committed relationship with someone you inevitably become dependent on them and there's nothing wrong with that, it's actually nice to have someone to depend on and who also depends on you but it also causes a terrible fear of losing this person that is possibly the most important person in your life. And there's never really a 100 % guarantee that this loss would never happen. In think a lot of INFPs have pointed out in several other topics that it is terrifying let anyone so close to you. I can relate to this. I mean, closeness gives you all these great things like having someone always supporting you and being on your side which makes it totally worth it but it comes along with this terrible fear of losing it.
 
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