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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm fairly new to learning about personality types, but I feel I need some help in better understanding a situation I find myself in. I could do with some opinions of whether people think issues lie with me, my wife or our "compatibility".

The background ....

I am INTP and my wife is ENTP. We have been together 5 years, married nearly 1 year and have 2 children under 3 years old together. In January this year I found out my wife had become emotionally involved with another man who is INFJ. I am not going into specific details about how that happened as I am not sure it is necessary. The fact is, she used an opportunity she had to pursue this man (who initially rejected her) until he decided to "get involved".

We had many arguments, discussions, etc, between Jan and March. The upshot was that she feels like she loves us both but in different ways. She refused to end her relationship with him (which wasn't physical beyond kissing - but that's still bad for me) but also refused to be the person to end our marriage. I decided to move out, but we have found separating hard.

As a result we are in the strange position where we are still seeing each other in the romantic sense and sexually. She is not being sexual with the other man but still seeing him and feels deeply emotionally involved with him. She is clearly torn. I am maintaining things as I love her and hope she may choose me in the longer term and cannot tear myself away.

Since I moved out I actually feel like we have become closer, sorted out some of the issues in our relationship, become more honest (not totally, yet) and our sex life has NEVER been better.

I should also add that she has heavy interest in personality types, so I think she thinks about its importance and relevance a lot.

So ...........

How important are our respective types? Who is she more compatible with? What was my downfall and in terms of being self-aware, what can I do to change myself?

Thank you for reading this far!!
 

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How important are our respective types? Who is she more compatible with?
Irrelevant. She needs to pick one, especially since she is hurting you this way.

What was my downfall and in terms of being self-aware, what can I do to change myself?
If you speak of changing yourself again, I will find you and beat you with a sock full of soap.

Okay, not really, but still don't change yourself because your wife is cheating on you dude. I'm all for forgiveness, but you gotta work out your relationship together without other people involved. Your relationship doing better could be because of external variables (the INTJ) rather than your relationship actually getting better. If you want to have the marriage work, tell her you want to work on your issues without any external variables, and work on your marriage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When I refer to changing myself .... there ARE things I know I have done wrong or not done. In retrospect I see mistakes I made and I did play my part in our relationship getting to this point. She did as well and she ultimately decided to cheat .... but I have to be objective about this.

You are right, that would be the best way to resolve our issues. But the bottom line is, she now feels like she can't cut the INFJ out of her life at the moment. They may just be at that exciting stage, or it may be more. I feel I initially pushed her away towards him and now I have moved out she realises what she misses about me. And finds herself torn.

I know in theory I should walk away from her and move on. Man, I have a chance to as I have just met someone else and been on a date. She was a lovely girl and really likes me .... and I know I should pursue that. But I can't get my wife out of my head and am obviously still involved in physical terms as well.
 

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Regardless, if you both made mistakes in the relationship, you should work them out monogamously if that's what you both want. And do make sure your kids know what happens and why. I have had to counsel too many kids who thought their parents' marital problems were their fault. It sucks and it breaks my heart every damn time.

But yeah, it sounds like you still love her and she loves you, so I think it's important that you two at least try to rebuild your marriage without anyone else interfering. I believe you are willing and able to do this. She has to decide what she wants, and that will be the determining factor. If things don't work out, yeh still have yer Bonnie lass to take out with yeh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You are right ... it is her choice if she wants to participate. Am I doing the wrong thing by still spending time together, being physically intimate, etc? I did try giving her the ultimatum but failed miserably in following through when she avoided choosing either way.

I don't want to burn bridges, but at the same time I do want her undivided attention if she does feel like we have a chance. We went to one Relate counselling session which was a disaster as we were not at a good point (middle of the arguing stage) .... so I think that may be an option again now we are on better terms and perhaps more productive.
 

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Yeah couple's counseling is good for a lot of people. But yeah, it's best to withhold sex until she's exclusive again.

And ENTPs don't like situations where they feel as though their hand is forced to decide on two outcomes the ENTP doesn't like. She probably tried to manipulate you into failing miserably, and it sounds as though she succeeded. This time, make it absolutely clear with total finality that there is no third option. Part of the problem with ENTPs is that a lot of them will want to have their cake and eat it too through manipulation, and when put in a situation where they can't manipulate, they don't know what to do. I am suspecting that this is the case with your wife. She probably will try anything to delay, deflect, or otherwise distract you from the issue. Just remember to
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I get what you are saying and it makes perfect sense. I want to be strong willed enough to do it ... but I have an underlying worry that if I do take that stance she will just think "Well, I will go with the other guy then. Screw him." And losing her is the last thing I want to happen :(

My plan was to bide my time a little, continue seeing this new girl so I am not obsessing over my wife and see if her behavior changes at all. I'm not willing to be in this situation forever but I'm scared to death of forcing her hand and pushing her away. You say "when put in a situation where they can't manipulate, they don't know what to do" .... so I worry what she WOULD do if in this situation. Argh! Ha, love is a right pain in the backside :-/
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess the other part to this post was around INTP male and ENTP female relationships. Does anyone have any experience of this kind of relationship? We have been together for 5 years, so in one respect it must work. But it has essentially failed now, so in the other respect it hasn't.
 

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First off, good for you for being so calm and understanding in this.

I would tell my wife to choose one now or I'm leaving. Leave, don't come back (or talk) until a decision is made. This is 100% about your wife... not about you. She needs to think things through and think about what is best long term for her relationship and for her kids. As long as you both hang around, she doesn't need to make a decision.

To girlfriends in the past who have cheated on me (your situation is not physical but still cheating in my opinion), I told them that I deserve better and asked them to leave (my house).

So ask yourself, do you think you deserve a woman who loves you and only you... or do you think this pseudo relationship you have is good enough. I say psuedo relationship because she says she loves you in different ways. Which in my mind means that there is something you lack in your relationship that makes her have to seek it out elsewhere... not a full relationship.

And when I refer to love... I don't mean mushy feeling romance love. I simply mean mutual respect and submission to a life partner. Love is more than chemicals in the brain but also personal choice to dedicate yourself to a single person.
 

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This is sad. If she isn't fulfilled by you she shouldn't be keeping you on the side... That is extremely selfish of her. She seems to have absolutely no concern as to how you feel and you seem to be telling her that this behavior is a-okay. It isn't. I really isn't. She needs to make a decision and you need to stand your ground.
 

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I should also add that she has heavy interest in personality types, so I think she thinks about its importance and relevance a lot.

So ...........

How important are our respective types? Who is she more compatible with? What was my downfall and in terms of being self-aware, what can I do to change myself?
Your respective selves are more important than the way your functions are ordered. It's time to decide: do you want a monogamous relationship, or do you want an open relationship? If you want a monogamous relationship, drop her like a hot potato.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You are of course both right .... and I am a logical person. When I think about my situation logically, as if it is happening to someone else, I come up with exactly the same responses. But then when it comes down to it, I find myself clouded by emotions - specifically jealousy and a fear of losing everything I had.

We have spoken in depth and I know the things which I lacked which made her look elsewhere (or at least notice someone else). Since we separated (in terms of living arrangements) I have made changes to myself. Mainly FOR myself, to try to mentally move myself on and make a break. And it seems to be those changes which she has noticed and made her want me even more. She hasn't said as much, but I think it is the case that had I of made those changes 6 months ago of my own accord (i.e. not needing an event like this to prompt it) then it would have changed the decisions she made. Like I say, thats purely my own analysis.

So I am where I am. I think we do have a chance. She has cheated, yes. Not sexually, which is still important to me and means I THINK i can still forgive. But I do realise it won't happen until she commits. I guess sooner or later I will have to retreat fully and let her do her thing. Honestly, if we didn't have kids that would be SO much easier. But having to see her every couple of days when I want to put my kids to bed or whatever, brings it all back :(
 

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I'm fairly new to learning about personality types, but I feel I need some help in better understanding a situation I find myself in. I could do with some opinions of whether people think issues lie with me, my wife or our "compatibility".

The background ....

I am INTP and my wife is ENTP. We have been together 5 years, married nearly 1 year and have 2 children under 3 years old together. In January this year I found out my wife had become emotionally involved with another man who is INFJ. I am not going into specific details about how that happened as I am not sure it is necessary. The fact is, she used an opportunity she had to pursue this man (who initially rejected her) until he decided to "get involved".

We had many arguments, discussions, etc, between Jan and March. The upshot was that she feels like she loves us both but in different ways. She refused to end her relationship with him (which wasn't physical beyond kissing - but that's still bad for me) but also refused to be the person to end our marriage. I decided to move out, but we have found separating hard.

As a result we are in the strange position where we are still seeing each other in the romantic sense and sexually. She is not being sexual with the other man but still seeing him and feels deeply emotionally involved with him. She is clearly torn. I am maintaining things as I love her and hope she may choose me in the longer term and cannot tear myself away.

Since I moved out I actually feel like we have become closer, sorted out some of the issues in our relationship, become more honest (not totally, yet) and our sex life has NEVER been better.

I should also add that she has heavy interest in personality types, so I think she thinks about its importance and relevance a lot.

So ...........

How important are our respective types? Who is she more compatible with? What was my downfall and in terms of being self-aware, what can I do to change myself?

Thank you for reading this far!!
Son, I don't meet to give you a snub of an answer, but unless you are a masochist, you need to have her choose between you, or end it. From your wording, it sounds like she wants to end it, she just doesn't want to do it herself. Personally, if I were in that situation, even if she chose me, I'd end it anyway. She sounds too fickle. If she can't commit (which she obviously can't) to one person, then it's not worth the work and the pain.
 
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When I refer to changing myself .... there ARE things I know I have done wrong or not done. In retrospect I see mistakes I made and I did play my part in our relationship getting to this point. She did as well and she ultimately decided to cheat .... but I have to be objective about this.
Yeah, I get it. we tend to isolate responsibility just to ourselves; you are responsible for your responses no matter the causes pinging off you, and she is responsible for her choices, so you're still going to work on your flaws.

But realistically....

You are right, that would be the best way to resolve our issues. But the bottom line is, she now feels like she can't cut the INFJ out of her life at the moment. They may just be at that exciting stage, or it may be more. I feel I initially pushed her away towards him and now I have moved out she realises what she misses about me. And finds herself torn.
... I just want you to know that, regardless of what you might have screwed up, the above paragraph explains pretty clearly that she's the one mucking things up right now. She can't "cut the INFJ out of her life"? Well, you guys have been together for five years, married for almost one, and have two kids you are both committed to caring for.

There. I know how hard it is for you to be judgmental right now, especially toward a woman you love, so I've done it for you. Realistically, she needs to either fish or cut bait. This "INFJ" is a late addition to your relationship and should be nowhere near prioritized. If she's unwilling to cut him out to save her marriage, then she's just not that committed to your marriage but isn't having the cajones to call a spade a spade. She's being very self-absorbed right now by not working through things.

Interesting that she didn't cheat until AFTER you were married... but very shortly after, after you were together for four years first.


I know in theory I should walk away from her and move on. Man, I have a chance to as I have just met someone else and been on a date. She was a lovely girl and really likes me .... and I know I should pursue that. But I can't get my wife out of my head and am obviously still involved in physical terms as well.
It's just the way it is. This year would have marked my 20th anniversary. My spouse and I separated over four years ago. We have three teen kids. We're finally finalizing our divorce this year. Amicably. In some ways, we are still very good friends, especially with the kids being a shared point of interest and our wanting to do right by them. We can never be together again (long story), but that love doesn't just go away -- all that time invested, all the effort to love each other over the years, the sacrifices we made, the kids, whatever else. Even when we are no longer a "couple," we will still always be a part of each other. I wish it were simpler sometimes... that ending the legal relationship severed the rest... but no, life is a bit more complex than that.

Anyway, your feelings toward your wife are understandable even after what she has done, and it doesn't really have bearing on "what you should do next." You just get to evaluate and decide what the best long-term decision is for you and your kids.

You are right ... it is her choice if she wants to participate. Am I doing the wrong thing by still spending time together, being physically intimate, etc? I did try giving her the ultimatum but failed miserably in following through when she avoided choosing either way.
Sigh. not sure. A relationship is a relationship that you both agree to terms on. If your current relationship is what you want, and she has what she wants, and the kids are not being harmed or deprived, then it's likely to be okay. However, if you are not really happy, or the kids are not happy, or she is not happy, then it's not a good arrangement and something needs to change.

It sounds like you really don't want her with Mr. INFJ, and you are selling yourself short because you love her and because conflict sucks and because you don't know what else to do without drawing a hard line and losing her forever.

I don't want to burn bridges, but at the same time I do want her undivided attention if she does feel like we have a chance. We went to one Relate counselling session which was a disaster as we were not at a good point (middle of the arguing stage) .... so I think that may be an option again now we are on better terms and perhaps more productive.
Like I said above, it's very reasonable for you to request that she either fish or cut bait. You need to know that she is committed to your marriage. If she is not committed, then you might take steps to end it so that you can find a partner who is committed. You just have to be willing to accept the outcome, if you draw that line. But right now it seems like she's getting the best of all worlds -- she's still getting you, still getting her kids, still getting her lover. She's making no sacrifices. It's all about her and getting what she wants, without having to sacrifice. And she is making you (and possibly the kids) pay the price for her getting what she wants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Your respective selves are more important than the way your functions are ordered. It's time to decide: do you want a monogamous relationship, or do you want an open relationship? If you want a monogamous relationship, drop her like a hot potato.
This is a very interesting point. As I did ask her bluntly once whether she actually just wanted to be with both of us at the same time. Which is when she replied "No, but I wish I could merge you." Hmmmm. I am actually not against open relationships in theory, but I couldn't do it with my wife and the mother of my kids. I'd have to go into the relationship with that idea in mind first and know the other person thought along the same lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
jennywocky - thank you for the considered reply. You are very right. I do think I know what I need to do ... I just need to find the courage to do it. And maybe I should give my new "interest" more of my attention and see where it leads. I don't want to fall into the rebound relationship trap, so I've been weary.
 

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Hmm, it's clear she's getting a bit of the "best of both worlds" here. She's probably getting quite a bit of emotional fulfillment from the INFJ and physical/intellectual fulfillment from you. I'm rather disappointed in the INFJ, honestly -- typically these types are so idealistic and value-centric that they refuse to entertain notions like that. Of course, the real world doesn't always align with typology...

It might be worth it to you (or not) to find out what it is that is tethering her to this guy. Is that something you can or will provide for her? If the answer is no, then she will always seek that elsewhere. In some cases, it's a good thing -- I always think it's great to have friends who meet a variety of emotional and intellectual needs that cannot be met by a partner. But he's entering an area of intimacy that should only be shared by the two of you given the monogamous agreements you both made to each other.

Besides all that - it's easy to get wrapped up in your emotional connection to her... after all, you did marry her. But now is an excellent time for you to self-reflect on what you need in a relationship and what you deserve. Work on your sense of self-worth and entitlement and I think you will begin to draw clearer lines on what you can and will tolerate and that which is completely unacceptable to you.
 

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This is a very interesting point. As I did ask her bluntly once whether she actually just wanted to be with both of us at the same time. Which is when she replied "No, but I wish I could merge you." Hmmmm. I am actually not against open relationships in theory, but I couldn't do it with my wife and the mother of my kids. I'd have to go into the relationship with that idea in mind first and know the other person thought along the same lines.
The "I wish I could merge you" sounds exactly like Erika Berger in The Girl Who Played with Fire. Sorry, sorry irrelevant.
I totally feel you with the going into the relationship with that in mind. I'm only two years into my own relationship and if he said he wanted to go have a deep emotional relationship with someone else, I would have some serious issues. Good luck with it all, seems like a very sticky situation =/
I wonder how it would be if your kids were older and more aware of what was happening (really just pondering, you don't have to answer or address this at all). It would be interesting if she didn't just have you to contend with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hmm, it's clear she's getting a bit of the "best of both worlds" here. She's probably getting quite a bit of emotional fulfillment from the INFJ and physical/intellectual fulfillment from you. I'm rather disappointed in the INFJ, honestly -- typically these types are so idealistic and value-centric that they refuse to entertain notions like that. Of course, the real world doesn't always align with typology...
The way things unfolded, he did initially refuse to engage in anything. There had been flirting between them, but when she made a move (no idea how/details) he backed off because of her status. So this falls in line with your analysis. But she pursued him further and it seems broke him down until he gave in to her. He probably does have genuine feelings for her, I remember exactly how I felt when we were at that intial 3-6 months stage. She was amazing to be around, very addictive as a person and I couldn't get enough of her (emotionally and physically).

I was very angry with him at the start and I am less so now. I still hate the choice he made and feel it was wrong, but I know she pushed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The "I wish I could merge you" sounds exactly like Erika Berger in The Girl Who Played with Fire. Sorry, sorry irrelevant.
I totally feel you with the going into the relationship with that in mind. I'm only two years into my own relationship and if he said he wanted to go have a deep emotional relationship with someone else, I would have some serious issues. Good luck with it all, seems like a very sticky situation =/
I wonder how it would be if your kids were older and more aware of what was happening (really just pondering, you don't have to answer or address this at all). It would be interesting if she didn't just have you to contend with.
This brings me to something else I have considered ... I really don't want her to end things with him and try to repair our relationship if she isn't 100% committed to doing so. Otherwise it's pointless and a waste of time. It all sounds so black and white in writing, ha.
 
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