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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been with my INTJ partner for just over two years now and since probably 6 months into our relationship I noticed that each and every time I try to arrange to go out with friends (9/10 times with her also - and if not, she is always invited) she always finds something wrong with it, or a reason to be upset with me.

When this first started happening, (I am ENFP) I IMMEDIATELY felt extremely guilty about upsetting her or causing an argument, as I saw it at the time. At that point, I would typically go into "I'm such a bad GF" mode and feel intensely bad for ages. Each time though that it happened, she gave me a different reason for why it is inconvenient that I/we go, e.g. We haven't spent time alone together in a couple of weeks or that she's tired or as is now often the reason she gives me "We haven't been the way we usually are together in ages cos of the arguments. I just want to relax with you and chill out together".
Obviously, because of a) We literally fall out every single time I try to go out, and b) Because about a year ago for the first time ever (I was only just 18) I went out for the night in the pubs with my friends - it was a friend's 18th at the time - she had a problem with that too (she had a problem with that because she said that she was going to now be up all night worrying if I'm OK and she's got work tomorrow) - when from my point of view, I felt that I wasn't dragging her with me this time, it was on a night we weren't meeting up (so wasn't interfering with our time together, etc) so I thought that as she isn't going to be a social situation that she dislikes, the argument will be eliminated - nope. And it never is.
Because it literally works like this: I suggest going out + Asks her what she wants to do = massive argument that lasts hours and leaves us still feeling crap a day or so after, and that no matter what approach I take in making an arrangement with friends, e.g. arranging it for in the future/arranging it for later that day, arranging it for just myself/arranging it with her also, arranging it with one or two friends and her/arranging it with lots of friends and her..no matter how I approach this issue to avoid pissing her off, she gets pissed off.
As a result, intense frustration over the last two years has built up in me, to the point that I've seriously started questioning whether or not I want to continue this relationship. This needs to stop. I hate feeling a sense of ominous doom each time I'm asked by my friends if I'd like to meet up with them, I'm sick of the stress I have to go through when I ask her if she'd like to meet up with my friends, I'm sick of the arguments we have about it before going, that put me in such a crap mindset that it ends up partially ruining the meet-up. I also feel that this behaviour is manipulative - that she tries to indirectly make me choose to not go out by making it so damn uncomfortable for me to maintain a social life.

What I want to ask INTJs is:
Do you feel and act the same way as my GF? How do you handle social situations like these? Do you let your GF go alone if/when you don't want to go? Are you tolerant of her wanting to go out? Do you normally have arguments with her about this? Also, is there any way I can handle this? How do I keep her happy in this issue whilst still being able to have a social life - or as is now - the remains of one?

I'd also like to mention that I don't go out a lot. I'm 18 years old and go out with friends only once every few months. Also, I'm ENFP, if that helps.

Any help is very, VERY appreciated. I love her to bits and everything about our relationship is so perfect...except for this one, massive issue that is driving me crazy at this point.
 

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What I want to ask INTJs is:
Do you feel and act the same way as my GF?


No. I'm introverted, I love the people I love and one-to-one time with them is an absolute must-have. So is one-to-one time with nobody else but myself. But I don't think I would ever do that. I've had one partner who was a definite extrovert, and now another who seems to be somewhere in between both. In both cases, my feeling is really clearly 'No, I don't want to go. No, I don't want you to punt it because of that. Go. Just so long as you leave me out of it.' As a matter of fact, the only times I've ever had fights/spiral cycles like the ones you're describing here, it was with extroverted partners who just couldn't stand it that I didn't want to go out when they did.

I think the issue, whichever side of the intro/extra fence you are on, seems to me more about control and how much 'ownership' is appropriate. With the guys who gave me a lot of aggravation, the real issue to my mind was that they couldn't stand it for me to have preferences that were different from theirs.
 
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Discussion Starter #3


In both cases, my feeling is really clearly 'No, I don't want to go. No, I don't want you to punt it because of that. Go. Just so long as you leave me out of it.' As a matter of fact, the only times I've ever had fights/spiral cycles like the ones you're describing here, it was with extroverted partners who just couldn't stand it that I didn't want to go out when they did.

I think the issue, whichever side of the intro/extra fence you are on, seems to me more about control and how much 'ownership' is appropriate. With the guys who gave me a lot of aggravation, the real issue to my mind was that they couldn't stand it for me to have preferences that were different from theirs.


Thank you for commenting :)
From what you've described, your attitude/mindset/preferences is exactly the kind I would be happy with in my GF on this subject. The idea of having the relationship that you had with the first exes you mentioned: where you both could do what made you happy - you not going if you desired, and myself being able to go without an argument or fuss - is EXACTLY what I want with my GF. I would LOVE to be able to do that and have that.
I'm not sure whether I have misunderstood your reply (and I apologise if I have) but are you thinking that I am trying to 'control', have 'ownership' over her, and that I can't take that my GF just isn't extraverted like I am?
My position is that I want us both to be able to live out our I and E without either of us trying to coerce the other into our own favoured lifestyle. When myself and my GF go out with friends together, I have by no means spent time trying to persuade her to come/getting upset that she'd rather not and trying to emotionally blackmail her into it. I have always told her if she'd rather not, that's fine, and it isn't an issue at all. When we have arguments, it is because my GF is getting immediately angry that I am wanting to socialize. It is NOT because I am angry because she doesn't what to.
I respect my GF and how she is. I know she gains nothing from being with others (she is very highly introverted). What my issue is that I feel that because she is introverted, that means that I have to be also - or at least, I have to lead an introverted lifestyle. If I go out with my friends (with or without her, depending on her own choice, she is free to make either without me having a problem with it) she gets angry at the suggestion. That's my problem. I'm not trying to force her to come or to enjoy it, I just want to socialize without having to argue about it.
 

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I'm not sure whether I have misunderstood your reply (and I apologise if I have) but are you thinking that I am trying to 'control', have 'ownership' over her, and that I can't take that my GF just isn't extraverted like I am?
No, I was trying to suggest - tactfully, but tact doesn't always work out for me - that actually your GF might be that way. In my case with the extraverts they were the ones who somehow couldn't tolerate me not being exactly like them in the long term. But it can go both ways. I can picture an introvert being that way as well.

I respect my GF and how she is. I know she gains nothing from being with others (she is very highly introverted). What my issue is that I feel that because she is introverted, that means that I have to be also - or at least, I have to lead an introverted lifestyle.
It's frustrating that the issue always turns into a fight. Usually an INTJ will be pretty blunt. although in emotionally risky situations it might take a really long time before they'll saddle up and finally tell you the truth. You don't mention your girlfriend's age, but FWIW I do remember being incredibly cagy and evasive with partners when I was young. Early 20's, that is ;-)

I hate suggesting it since it's clear you do love her and want this to work, but is it possible that she is, in fact, just being controlling in a way that's might become worrying, given time? I couldn't help noticing that you say she'll socialize with mutual friends at least some of the time. It seems to be you having friends all your own that's a problem for her. Or am I jumping the gun and diagnosing too much?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The longer I stay with her, the more I feel that, and fear, my life is going to consist of a) seeing her, b) Seeing only her, and c) Having only other things/people in my life that are unavoidable, e.g. work colleagues or family.
I feel that, in 10 years or so (Particularly when/if we move in together, and I'm no longer with people that remind me of life and the world and people and living) I am going to have only her, and nothing else. I fear that I'll eventually give up trying to have a social life, I'll have no real friends, I'll not see family often (as she's not into that really after), and my life will consist of coming back from work every evening, to her. Only her. Every day. Forever.
It scares the living fuck out of me. Because that isn't a life spent with two people where they are both enjoying life together and feeling free, happy, and fulfilled. That is imprisonment, being somewhere because I feel I have to be because I will be given shit if I don't. I want to spend time with her and only her because I want to, not because its the only thing I can do to avoid an argument. I don't want my life to be filled constantly with her AND everyone else. I want moments with my friends, and the majority of the time with her. But when it comes to what she wants and is trying to acheive, it has to be only with her - no one else, ever.
 

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No, I was trying to suggest - tactfully, but tact doesn't always work out for me - that actually your GF might be that way. In my case with the extraverts they were the ones who somehow couldn't tolerate me not being exactly like them in the long term. But it can go both ways. I can picture an introvert being that way as well.

You don't mention your girlfriend's age, but FWIW I do remember being incredibly cagy and evasive with partners when I was young. Early 20's, that is ;-)

I hate suggesting it since it's clear you do love her and want this to work, but is it possible that she is, in fact, just being controlling in a way that's might become worrying, given time? I couldn't help noticing that you say she'll socialize with mutual friends at least some of the time. It seems to be you having friends all your own that's a problem for her. Or am I jumping the gun and diagnosing too much?
Oh no lol : ) I misunderstood, my bad. Sorry : )
I think if she continues to find a problem with me socializing, then I think it looks like she might be. (Just before Christmas was our last argument, and that was the first time I really told her just how crap this is making me feel, and whereas I normally hold back from the details that I feel could hurt her, I just got angry this time, ranted, and wasn't worried about her emotional reaction). What I put in my last message above is what I was ranting (though I left out the feelings of imprisonment because I was worried that that was going to upset or anger her more than she already was). When I said all this, that immediately ended the argument in the same way it always does: she calmed down, hugged me, apologized (I apologized also) and the argument was over. But I don't know if it truly is over because that's how it always ends. I doubt that is the end of it. I think its lip service the same as it always has turned out to be.

No, I don't think you're jumping the gun at all. I've had niggling little thoughts along those lines, and the more this stuff happens, the more consciously and surely I start suspecting it. Because she must be doing these things for a purpose, a reason. I'm sure she doesn't like our relationship being like this anymore than I do. I can't help suspecting (and it's taken me two years to admit this to myself) that she makes it as uncomfortable for me as possible to suggest meeting up with friends (by arguing, getting very pissed off, trying to make me choose indirectly between them and her - she's also said something before about feeling like it's her against my friends - emotional manipulation, etc), as well as making as little effort as possible when we are with my friends.
For example, when we are with her friends (we've only met them twice though) she drinks a lot, she is jokey, she makes attempts to talk to people, she looks interested, and she doesn't slag anyone off there). When we are with my friends, she refuses to drink any more than a beer/lager (she refuses to get drunk - neither of us drive/we always get a taxi and have money for a taxi, and our parents don't mind us getting drunk), she won't participate in games, e.g. playing pool, she rarely starts any conversations, she looks bored, she has even slagged off one of my friends to me whilst we're sitting on the same table which I find when she does that awful, and she always criticizes me for something I have done wrong in relation to her in that setting, e.g. ditched her while I've gone to say hi to a friend and bring them over. Then after we're back from X place, we have another tension-filled discussion (but not an argument). I think she does this to make it as uncomfortable as possible for me, to make my friends not what to invite her/us again (slagging them off and appearing disinterested) and to deter me from wanting to socialize again. Maybe I'm wrong, but I can find no other way of perceiving it at this point. Oh, and yeah, she's nearly 20 now.

Thank you for all this btw.
 

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The longer I stay with her, the more I feel that, and fear, my life is going to consist of a) seeing her, b) Seeing only her, and c) Having only other things/people in my life that are unavoidable, e.g. work colleagues or family.
That's a really desolate, scary, and may I say it - unhealthy - scenario. I do want you to know that that is NOT just part of the regular introvert turf with a healthy INTJ. For me, the problem isn't who my SO sees or what they do with the time together - within reason of course. It's just simple sensory overloading. I can't deal with that much incoming input for very long. I do get kind of surly and churlish and childish after a while - basically my coping skills will break down as the overload grows faster than I'm able to cope, and I revert slowly back to the age of oh, three. But even when the inner me just wants to burst into tears and start hitting people, it's not personal. I have a distinct longing to just bite the next person who speaks to me, but it has nothing to do with who that person is. I'd bite Nelson Mandela if he looked at me with both eyes at once, in that state. I'd probably sock Stephen Fry in the balls.

My point being, your GF's stuff probably shouldn't be confused with introversion per se. A lot of what you described is something I've been through myself with one guy, long ago - and he wasn't an introvert. He just didnt' want me to have any friends or contacts or reference points but himself.
 

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That's a really desolate, scary, and may I say it - unhealthy - scenario. I do want you to know that that is NOT just part of the regular introvert turf with a healthy INTJ. For me, the problem isn't who my SO sees or what they do with the time together - within reason of course. It's just simple sensory overloading.

My point being, your GF's stuff probably shouldn't be confused with introversion per se. A lot of what you described is something I've been through myself with one guy, long ago - and he wasn't an introvert. He just didnt' want me to have any friends or contacts or reference points but himself.
I think deep down I knew that it isn't an introverted thing all along. It was just easier to attribute all this to her type and brush it away as "Oh, that's just how she is. You need to respect that", rather than actually realise the problem isn't as simple as that. I did wonder also though what the INTJ view would be, in case it was just an E bias thing going on in my mind.
I'd agree with the sensory overload, even with my own type lol : ) I think we just have different people thresholds, but I experience that quite often too haha. The Nelson Mandela part was absolutely brilliant though... I'm still grinning!

About that extrovert guy...did you love him? Was it hard to break up, scary? What scares me about breaking up with my GF over this is because I worry that afterwards I may regret it, and suddenly this problem won't seem such a massive one. Was it a relief ending all those issues of fighting to keep your friends etc? Was it worth it? Had you tried everything - from changing your approach about socializing to explaining how he made you feel?
 

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The only jealous INTJ I have ever known had reason to be jealous. His girlfriend had an emotional affair.

I'm a fellow ENFP with some experience dating INTJs so I hope you don't mind my commenting here. INTJs are generally not emotionally controlling or jealous unless they're threatened. What I've mostly seen is the emergence of passive aggression if their emotional needs aren't being met. Which is generally diffused with a single teasing comment, and then the walls fall down again and they just want to be close to you. It has also been my experience that INTJs have a strong dislike of ongoing conflict, but seek out constructive ways to resolve it (even if it means ending a relationship).

I once dated an INTJ whose extreme dislike of socializing resulted in excusing himself from dinner parties by simply taking a plate to his study, showing up so late for weddings that he would miss the entire ceremony, and devising excuses for not maintaining friendships by becoming a workaholic. He rationalized the entire thing but it was really just social anxiety. He never tried controlling other people, however.

At any rate, sustained jealousy or controlling behavior is not only really unhealthy, it has simply nothing to do with type. I would take a hard look at her previous experiences and see if there is emotional or physical abandonment in there. I wouldn't be surprised based on what you've written. Anyway, best of luck...
 

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I think deep down I knew that it isn't an introverted thing all along. It was just easier to attribute all this to her type and brush it away as "Oh, that's just how she is. You need to respect that", rather than actually realise the problem isn't as simple as that. I did wonder also though what the INTJ view would be, in case it was just an E bias thing going on in my mind.
I'd agree with the sensory overload, even with my own type lol : ) I think we just have different people thresholds, but I experience that quite often too haha. The Nelson Mandela part was absolutely brilliant though... I'm still grinning!
Poor Madiba :D Like he hasn't had enough to deal with, without people like me.

About that extrovert guy...did you love him?
Gmmhph, hmph. I hate admitting it even now, but I have to say that I at least thought I did. Breakup was scarier to think of than do, but that was mostly because he made it that way. He chipped away at my support base so much, the 'outside' grew to look like a frightening wasteland to me.

But that's partly the point, with people like him. He knew somewhere inside that if I continued to have a free choice, he just couldn't compete with the rest of the world. To be blunt about it, he was a prick and a deep waste of space. So his solution to that problem, instead of upgrading himself, was just to remove all the competition and isolate me so I effectively didn't have anybody but him. But by the time I did break away he had my life reduced to such desolation Outer Mongolia would have felt like a party. And it would have been, by comparison.

I worry that afterwards I may regret it, and suddenly this problem won't seem such a massive one.
I didn't regret it. I had a patch of real grief, but it wasn't really about the relationship I had been in, the one I had 'lost'. It was about the fact that I'd gotten into such a mess in the first place. And also it was grief for the relationship I had thought I was going into. That one never happened at all, or if it did it was only for as long as it took for him to get me hooked in. Getting out was a fucking party, to tell you the truth. But bear in my mind that my situation was genuinely abusive and bad for me in so many ways I can't even start on counting.

Was it a relief ending all those issues of fighting to keep your friends etc? Was it worth it? Had you tried everything - from changing your approach about socializing to explaining how he made you feel?
Absolutely. Like pulling a giant splinter out of your heart. I did try absolutely everything, and I only left when I just didn't have anything more I could try. It took a really long time for things to get to that point, but by the time that it did, I was done. He just basically used up all the options there were. Once that point got reached, the game was just over, you know? I got out and the moment I did nothing in the world would have made me go back.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I also think that she is trying to manipulate me into changing my priorities, as in, not seeing my friends because in her mind she should be my top - and only - priority. Because when she talks about other people - e.g. her coworkers and friends - suggesting that she and them meet up sometime, she tells me she tells them "no thanks". Whenever I ask her, "Oh, how come, you like spending time with X at work/etc?" she just comes back with, "Yeah, but I love you/want to spend time with you/would rather spend time with you". Which while initially it comes across as sweet and loving or whatever, actually thinking about it makes me feel that she wants me to adopt the same attitude when it comes to me being asked by MY friends. Because she knows that if I'm asked I'm going to say "Yes" - so it's like in her mind, I don't say "No" because I don't love her/don't want to spend time with her/would rather spend it with others.
I feel that that's yet another example of her emotional manipulation - if that's what it is - trying to steer me away from others.

Plus I don't even think the reason she is saying "No" to them is an honest one. Because even before meeting me she never said "Yes" to meeting up...so actually lol, she isn't sacrificing anything for our relationship. She just wants me to.
 

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I also think that she is trying to manipulate me into changing my priorities, as in, not seeing my friends because in her mind she should be my top - and only - priority. Because when she talks about other people - e.g. her coworkers and friends - suggesting that she and them meet up sometime, she tells me she tells them "no thanks". Whenever I ask her, "Oh, how come, you like spending time with X at work/etc?" she just comes back with, "Yeah, but I love you/want to spend time with you/would rather spend time with you".
Got it. Like she's trying to establish the 'norm', or the 'rules' for your engagement, or whatever, by saying that. She says it and then if you don't counter with a view of your own then it's like you've passively agreed to it as the way that you'll both operate. Or something. Eish.

Plus I don't even think the reason she is saying "No" to them is an honest one. Because even before meeting me she never said "Yes" to meeting up...so actually lol, she isn't sacrificing anything for our relationship. She just wants me to.
This made me laugh. Nailed that one, I think.
 

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Poor Madiba :D Like he hasn't had enough to deal with, without people like me.

Hahaha! The last I heard he was still in hospital... hopefully he doesn't have access to the internet or knowledge of this forum! :D

Gmmhph, hmph. I hate admitting it even now, but I have to say that I at least thought I did. Breakup was scarier to think of than do, but that was mostly because he made it that way. He chipped away at my support base so much, the 'outside' grew to look like a frightening wasteland to me.

That's awful... Why do people do that kind of thing? I'm glad you pulled through though, that you were clearly strong enough to pull through his strange little web. Was he surprised when you ended the relationship? Did your persistence on keeping normality make him stop his behaviour at all?

But that's partly the point, with people like him. He knew somewhere inside that if I continued to have a free choice, he just couldn't compete with the rest of the world. To be blunt about it, he was a prick and a deep waste of space. So his solution to that problem, instead of upgrading himself, was just to remove all the competition and isolate me so I effectively didn't have anybody but him. But by the time I did break away he had my life reduced to such desolation Outer Mongolia would have felt like a party. And it would have been, by comparison.

I'll never understand that. If I felt that I had to compete or remove competition with others by isolating my partner to keep my partner wanting to stay with me, I'd rather just accept they're not right for me. What's the point in being with someone that you feel would rather get with someone else? How long were you with him for, if you don't mind me asking?

I didn't regret it. I had a patch of real grief, but it wasn't really about the relationship I had been in, the one I had 'lost'. It was about the fact that I'd gotten into such a mess in the first place. And also it was grief for the relationship I had thought I was going into. That one never happened at all, or if it did it was only for as long as it took for him to get me hooked in. Getting out was a fucking party, to tell you the truth. But bear in my mind that my situation was genuinely abusive and bad for me in so many ways I can't even start on counting.

Did he appear very, very different to you in those first early days compared to the person you discovered him to be? Was he on his best behaviour for a while? Did he refuse to accept that it was over? How did his abusive behaviour start and develop? (i;m sorry if I'm being way too personal btw...please feel free to tell me to shut up if you feel like it lol : )

Absolutely. Like pulling a giant splinter out of your heart. I did try absolutely everything, and I only left when I just didn't have anything more I could try. It took a really long time for things to get to that point, but by the time that it did, I was done. He just basically used up all the options there were. Once that point got reached, the game was just over, you know? I got out and the moment I did nothing in the world would have made me go back.
That doesn't sound alien to me at all. I think that's the point I'm approaching with my GF. How many times can I possibly keep having the same conversation with her with no change? My only options (I can see) are a) Continue going out, being punished, and arguing, and finishing each argument knowing her words are empty and that it's the same scenario next time, b) Stop going out and have the isolated life I'm trying to prevent, or c) Ending the relationship. The only way to avoid those scenarios is if she stopped, and let me see my friends. I honestly don't know how soon I'm going to possibly call it off if it keeps happening- the next time it happens, the time after, whenever (it's going to be soon though if it continues). But I'm sure I'll know it's got to be when I decide to do it, if it continues.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The only jealous INTJ I have ever known had reason to be jealous. His girlfriend had an emotional affair.

That's definitively understandable then, I think. If I had ever had an affair - whilst with my girlfriend or any of my exes - I'd understand her jealousy. But I've never cheated on anyone (my mum was cheated on by her ex repeatedly throughout my childhood, so as a result I have strong anti-cheating feelings, and would never do that, and my GF - I am sure - knows this.

I'm a fellow ENFP with some experience dating INTJs so I hope you don't mind my commenting here.

Of course not, any help is appreciated : )

INTJs are generally not emotionally controlling or jealous unless they're threatened. What I've mostly seen is the emergence of passive aggression if their emotional needs aren't being met. Which is generally diffused with a single teasing comment, and then the walls fall down again and they just want to be close to you. It has also been my experience that INTJs have a strong dislike of ongoing conflict, but seek out constructive ways to resolve it (even if it means ending a relationship).

I have read online a lot about that. I am not sure whether she feels that her emotional needs are not being met... I assume she would've told me (she's often very vocal about aspects of the relationship she wants to discuss), plus emotionally we are extremely close (we meet up often, text long texts constantly throughout the day, buy each other random presents like flowers, etc, are very intimate with each other emotionally and physically, tell each other loving things everyday, etc) so I'm not sure.

I once dated an INTJ whose extreme dislike of socializing resulted in excusing himself from dinner parties by simply taking a plate to his study, showing up so late for weddings that he would miss the entire ceremony, and devising excuses for not maintaining friendships by becoming a workaholic. He rationalized the entire thing but it was really just social anxiety. He never tried controlling other people, however.

At any rate, sustained jealousy or controlling behavior is not only really unhealthy, it has simply nothing to do with type. I would take a hard look at her previous experiences and see if there is emotional or physical abandonment in there. I wouldn't be surprised based on what you've written. Anyway, best of luck...
I understand that. I don't know if you have read yet, but at first I suspected it was because she is INTJ (Mainly, introverted) which is one of the reasons I posted this here (along with wanting to find some specifically INTJ opinions on this so I could maybe understand my GF better). I'm not sure if she's had a history of emotional/physical abandonment...she's never told me of any experiences. And I've told her memories of my childhood that are personal and that are themes of loneliness, rejection, and feelings of being lost and unvalued (not the same as actual abandonment, I know, but she's revealed other things to me that would be just as personal) that looking back, if she did have those experiences, I think she might have told me then.
Thank you.
 

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Got it. Like she's trying to establish the 'norm', or the 'rules' for your engagement, or whatever, by saying that. She says it and then if you don't counter with a view of your own then it's like you've passively agreed to it as the way that you'll both operate. Or something. Eish.

This made me laugh. Nailed that one, I think.

That's exactly what I mean. How do you think I should approach this next time there's an argument? Do you think I should ask her why she has a problem with the socializing, and not leave it alone until she answers? Also, I think if we do argue again, I should
.explain everything I've expressed here, and really emphasize how I am starting to feel imprisoned
.That the need/want for a social life and other things in my life also and not being able to have that is making me feel like I'm losing a part of myself
. That I don't think she could be happy the way our relationship is at the moment
. That I respect that she doesn't want the same lifestyle as me, but that if she doesn't want to let me have what I need as a person, that maybe we're not right for each other.

What I'm worried about though, is that she's just going to completely lose it and decide to just cut off our relationship completely. Where our arguments are getting more intense (and while we're always fine and normal in between having a mini battle), and the last couple of times we've argued she's ended up storming out, and the last time she said to me in frustration "Maybe you should find yourself another girlfriend then", it makes me wonder whether she's going to hear all of this, and just resort to the most absolute thing possible. I could be wrong, but it has crossed my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
From my POV, I just want to show her just how intensely unhappy I am at the moment because of this, and that being with her and being prevented from having a social life (and when I do have one feeling punished for it) is not something that I want for the rest of my life. At the same time though, I don't want that conversation to end our entire relationship because she's too angry.

I just want her to at least try to not outwardly moan when I suggest we/I meet up with my friends or do something other than simply go back to hers or mine, and to make the same amount of effort with my friends as she does with hers. I make a LOT of effort with both her family and her friends. And it's not because I necessarily enjoy it more than she does (I have seen her family more than her friends, so have more opportunity to comment) but there have been times with her family where I've just been too exhausted to want to act interested/amused/be responsive, but I've made that effort because I think it's what she would want and what would make her happy.

I just want her to try, at least with the first bit, before it gets to the point where she and/or I give up or decide to go on a break (going on a break is something I can definitively imagine suggesting if it doesn't stop after the next time).
 

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Was he surprised when you ended the relationship?
I wouldn't know; I wasn't there ;-) According to other people who were unfortunate enough to be there, he didn't take it calmly at all. I didn't give a good damn.

Did your persistence on keeping normality make him stop his behaviour at all?
No, if I'm remembering right it just made him keep thinking up new ways of trying to make me give up on pursuing normality. Stop me if I'm out of line, but kind of like how your GF has moved from argument to sulking to manipulations (or however the progression has been) to deter you from social 'behaviour' she doesn't like. When mine got to the point where it seemed like hitting was going to be the next trick he thought up, I cut out. It did take him three years to get there, but it took me that long to use up all the other options in sight and still have my heels dug in.

What's the point in being with someone that you feel would rather get with someone else?
Meh I remember holding my mom's cat by the tail to try and get it to stay with me and sit on my lap - when I was three. Some people never fucking grow up.

Did he appear very, very different to you in those first early days compared to the person you discovered him to be?
Sure. Nobody else around him knew what a prick he was either, and when I dumped him I got a whole lot more 'how could you?' than 'good for you' from people who didn't know him as well as I did by then. Abusers aren't stupid. They're better than most people are at controlling how they come across to others. Especially to people who are still free to choose telling them to go stuff themselves.

That doesn't sound alien to me at all. I think that's the point I'm approaching with my GF. How many times can I possibly keep having the same conversation with her with no change?
Yeah, I relate. That kind of thing drives me MAD. Doing the same thing over and over and knowing the significant results are never going to change. I can't stand being treated like I'm just too stoopid to remember the last time this happened, or the time before, or . . .

It's never easy to call something as significant as a relationship, especially if you're the kind of person who takes them seriously and puts your heart into them.
 

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That's exactly what I mean. How do you think I should approach this next time there's an argument? Do you think I should ask her why she has a problem with the socializing, and not leave it alone until she answers?
I don't know. Not knowing what her real 'problem' is, it's hard to say what the best approach is - for getting the answers or outcome you want. It seems to me like the best you can do is be as honest as you feel ready to be from your side, and at least make sure that your contribution to the discussion is something that you'll want to stand by. What she does with/about what you tell her is kind of out of your hands.

it makes me wonder whether she's going to hear all of this, and just resort to the most absolute thing possible.
I get what you're saying. You want her to understand where you're coming from, feel for you, and acknowledge that your feelings make sense or that she cares about them. As you say, there's no guarantee that she will do any of that. If she did turn it into a veiled ultimatum like that, have you thought about how you're prepared to respond? FAct is, it does take two to tango. You can be as reasonable as you like, and someone else can still throw a fit and spray all your work up the wall.

At the same time though, I don't want that conversation to end our entire relationship because she's too angry.
Yeah, don't blame you. But like I said, that could be out of your hands. If a) you really want her to 'hear' you for real, AND b) actually 'hearing' what you've been trying to say is going to make her angry enough to end the whole thing . . . then that's kind of a rock and a hard place for you. It sounds like it leaves you stuck between maintaining a relationship in which you're not heard, and being heard, but rejected for what you say. That doesn't seem very fair, and I really hope it works out.

I just want her to at least try to not outwardly moan when I suggest we/I meet up with my friends or do something other than simply go back to hers or mine, and to make the same amount of effort with my friends as she does with hers.
Heh. My conscience just bit me. My current darlin - who tests INFP, believe it or not, but for professional as well as social reasons is 'face-timing' right now like the end days are nigh - just invited me to go with him to something like the eighth 'thing' in six weeks. He places no pressure at all and fully understands that he's asking a lot, but I admit that I groaned. I do think he's an I based on the patterns of interaction he prefers, but there's no doubt he can stand a lot more 'human' than I can. He's in the performing arts; I'm in back-office I.T. Of the eight things I think I've gone to half, and it's starting to wear. The fact is, I like all these theatre and writing folks fine - but theatre and writing aren't me anymore than functional specs and writing test scripts are him. If I had a choice I'd rather be at home in PJs.

However, when I do go (I try to, in about the same degree of concession that he's making by continuing to invite me in spite of the 'no's), I behave. If I really feel like behaving myself will be too much of a strain to maintain, I opt out. If the number of times I opt out starts becoming a problem to him, he and I are going to have to have us a talk. The point is, the fact that there might be a problem isn't necessarily the problem at all. It seems to me like 'problem' is more about what happens when the issue's brought up.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I wouldn't know; I wasn't there ;-) According to other people who were unfortunate enough to be there, he didn't take it calmly at all. I didn't give a good damn.

Haha, that's such a great way to put it ;D It sounds like he probably should've appreciated you a lot more then! That's brilliant.

No, if I'm remembering right it just made him keep thinking up new ways of trying to make me give up on pursuing normality. Stop me if I'm out of line, but kind of like how your GF has moved from argument to sulking to manipulations (or however the progression has been) to deter you from social 'behaviour' she doesn't like. When mine got to the point where it seemed like hitting was going to be the next trick he thought up, I cut out. It did take him three years to get there, but it took me that long to use up all the other options in sight and still have my heels dug in.

Damn... he stayed stubborn like my GF is being. That's exactly where my mind went also! Though the only difference is that I think she's kinda used all three more or less as tactics the whole time. It's always manipulation generally, e.g. the "I don't want to meet up with my friend because I'd rather see you" kind of comments, arguing when it comes to me asking her (as well as often having awkward mini arguments when we're out with my friends and when we've gone to the bar or toilet or something), and sulking during the arguing as well as the lead up to when we're meeting my friends. Woah, he was going to hit you?! :shocked: He must've been really determined to get you to stop doing what he didn't want you to do...
My GF, the second to last time we argued (we were at hers) started bashing things down that were in her hands, or throwing them to the floor by her feet as she was sitting on her chair (nowhere near me though, I was at the other side of the room), and slamming e.g. items she had in her hands onto her table. She was clearly making an outward behavioural attempt to show me how pissed off she was, but the sudden movements and the crash of objects as she wasn't saying anything immediately shot my heart rate up and made me feel uncomfortable. I knew she wasn't going to launch anything in my direction or anything like that (or even get really verbally nasty) but that made me feel almost threatened for a second. Especially when I wasn't expecting the first crash. I'm mentioning that because I thought at the time that I wanted to say something cos to be in a relationship with someone that is aggressive in any kind of way in an argument with me is a MASSIVE warning sign in my mind. I know she constantly throws stuff and hits stuff when she's angry and alone or with family (her mum has apparently told her she has "tantrums") but I strongly dislike that and that is something I'm going to say something about if she does it again. That's a definite no to putting up with that, discussion over IMO.

Meh I remember holding my mom's cat by the tail to try and get it to stay with me and sit on my lap - when I was three. Some people never fucking grow up.


LOL! Another classic example of why INTJs are so great... that made me laugh so much.
Shockingly true though....

Sure. Nobody else around him knew what a prick he was either, and when I dumped him I got a whole lot more 'how could you?' than 'good for you' from people who didn't know him as well as I did by then. Abusers aren't stupid. They're better than most people are at controlling how they come across to others. Especially to people who are still free to choose telling them to go stuff themselves.

I hope you managed to convert them to sanity reasonably quickly? Lol. Did you tell them about what he'd been doing? I have wondered whether what my GF is doing is emotionally abusive, but I've looked at lists of signs, but things like: insulting their partner, degrading her, controlling her by taking her phone/keys etc, checking her phone, etc..she doesn't do anything like that to me, not even the once. Also (luckily for me in this instance) she doesn't try to charm my friends, I think most of them wouldn't be that fussed if we split up.

Yeah, I relate. That kind of thing drives me MAD. Doing the same thing over and over and knowing the significant results are never going to change. I can't stand being treated like I'm just too stoopid to remember the last time this happened, or the time before, or . . .

It's completely pointless. I'd much rather just be told flat out that they don't think they're in the wrong, they're not going to change, and that they don't care that it's the same thing each time. At least we can stop messing around and just get straight to the point and stop wasting time and energy.

It's never easy to call something as significant as a relationship, especially if you're the kind of person who takes them seriously and puts your heart into them.
Agreed.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't know. Not knowing what her real 'problem' is, it's hard to say what the best approach is - for getting the answers or outcome you want. It seems to me like the best you can do is be as honest as you feel ready to be from your side, and at least make sure that your contribution to the discussion is something that you'll want to stand by. What she does with/about what you tell her is kind of out of your hands.

I get what you're saying. You want her to understand where you're coming from, feel for you, and acknowledge that your feelings make sense or that she cares about them. As you say, there's no guarantee that she will do any of that. If she did turn it into a veiled ultimatum like that, have you thought about how you're prepared to respond? FAct is, it does take two to tango. You can be as reasonable as you like, and someone else can still throw a fit and spray all your work up the wall.


Yeah, I think that's probably the best I can do too, and all I can really prepare for. I can't control her reaction.
That's exactly what I want. I've tried to think about what my response would be - I think I'd respond first with, "Don't you even want to try to sort this out? I'm not being unreasonable in what I want, and other people resolve issues like this and socialize while still being with their partner" and then I think she'd either back down then (or if she was working on anger) or she'd be more firm in wanting to break up. I think then I'd ask her if a break would be better for both of us, to see if not being together is definitively what we want. And depending on her response to that, a break or a split would probably happen.

It's just a nightmare though to imagine her ending it completely the next time a social event comes up. I've only just started to even admit to myself that I am very unhappy and dissatisfied, it's the first time I've told someone about all this, and it's only since a couple of weeks ago I started getting really angry and not holding back with her about it. It seems to have gone from a silent, persistent, nagging uncomfortable tension to suddenly acknowledged powerful deep feelings in quite a short period of time. I'm still getting used to actually feeling angry and bitter towards her, and so the thought that we could split up the next time this happens just feels a bit uncomfortable for me (though I know when we have that argument, I'll be so angry and wanting to split up - as I felt last time - that I might not care).

Yeah, don't blame you. But like I said, that could be out of your hands. If a) you really want her to 'hear' you for real, AND b) actually 'hearing' what you've been trying to say is going to make her angry enough to end the whole thing . . . then that's kind of a rock and a hard place for you. It sounds like it leaves you stuck between maintaining a relationship in which you're not heard, and being heard, but rejected for what you say. That doesn't seem very fair, and I really hope it works out.

You described that better than I could've. It's not great either way is it lol : (
At least I know that if we do split up, it would open up my life. I'd have people, opportunities, time, and a massive amount of stress obliterated out of my brain if our relationship ended. But I know that logically...I just wish I was a T. Fucking F.

Heh. My conscience just bit me. My current darlin - who tests INFP, believe it or not, but for professional as well as social reasons is 'face-timing' right now like the end days are nigh - just invited me to go with him to something like the eighth 'thing' in six weeks. He places no pressure at all and fully understands that he's asking a lot, but I admit that I groaned. I do think he's an I based on the patterns of interaction he prefers, but there's no doubt he can stand a lot more 'human' than I can. He's in the performing arts; I'm in back-office I.T. Of the eight things I think I've gone to half, and it's starting to wear. The fact is, I like all these theatre and writing folks fine - but theatre and writing aren't me anymore than functional specs and writing test scripts are him. If I had a choice I'd rather be at home in PJs.

However, when I do go (I try to, in about the same degree of concession that he's making by continuing to invite me in spite of the 'no's), I behave. If I really feel like behaving myself will be too much of a strain to maintain, I opt out. If the number of times I opt out starts becoming a problem to him, he and I are going to have to have us a talk. The point is, the fact that there might be a problem isn't necessarily the problem at all. It seems to me like 'problem' is more about what happens when the issue's brought up.
I'm sorry, I should've actually thought about that. I'm sure he appreciates that you come though, and he must surely respect that you try and that you do make that effort for him (which sounds like you both definitively compromise with each other then? :) ) as it's important that you get to have the lifestyle that you prefer as well. I think that when my GF does it it grinds on me quite a bit now because of the whole social situation in general - it's just another thing she does out of about 10 other things. 1 amongst 10 other things suddenly makes it a whole lot more noticeable if it isn't just a solitary mode of behaviour.
 
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