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Discussion Starter #1
I've two best friends - one an INTJ guy who's in his mid-30's, and another an INTJ woman in her late 20's. The INTJ guy is now married to an INTP/INTJ woman for 6+ years. They knew each other from their childhood days. He cannot ask for a more loyal housewife. She's well educated and quite intelligent, but still her choice is to be a homemaker and to take care of her children. The two hardly ever get into any kind of misunderstanding and I don't think they would have had even one open, serious conflict till date. They are both willing to adjust for the sake of the other, and I remember thinking too many times that she'd be the perfect match for him, as he himself is not expressive at all in my opinion, even if his feelings and emotions run deep - that much I'm confident of; after all, I am his best friend and we are like soul mates, and can read each other's minds very well in many situations. In many cases, I've noticed that he suppresses his feelings, especially when he believes that it's not wise to go deeper into it. I'm an ENTP, and maybe in his opinion, I'm too expressive and talkative? But we really like each other and hide nothing.

It is only recently that we had this conversation. I told him about my female INTJ best friend - she and I are close/best friends for 15 years (we do live in different cities for several years now) and maybe I'm the only friend of hers who knows at least some personal details about herself - like, about her family and her difficulties, etc. Till date, I don't know if she's ever had any feelings for even one guy or if a man ever approached her. If she's ever had even a crush or a been interested in a serious relationship, I don't know! Yeah, and I'm supposedly her bestie! I don't want to probe, so I generally don't get into all that, plus she hardly ever contacts me - she's occupied with a lot of work and family problems (don't tell me that work and family problems can stop you from developing any kind of liking towards the opposite sex for 15+ years!).

When I told him about my female best friend, I also told him that she'd remind me of his wife - an INTP/INTJ woman. On the very first day of their marriage, he told her everything about his past and present life and decided that she should know, but it seems that he feels about his wife the way I feel about my 'best' friend: he knows nothing at all about what's running in her mind, whether she expects him to do something special for her which she wouldn't openly express and maybe that's why she's not opening up, if she's ever had any crushes or liking towards some man ever in her life (zero crushes or liking or attraction in 30+ years is impossible, right?). He wouldn't openly tell me about how frustrating things can be at times to be a husband, live under the same room with a wife who wouldn't express anything at all and only do the household chores, take care of their child and cook and pack food. He's a really sweet husband, and he told me about how he's tried both - giving her all the space and freedom she wants, and also trying to get not only physically intimate but also mentally close and be totally open, but I told him that thoughts of that kind of a married life in future really scared me. He's learnt to accept reality, that that's how his wife is and he can't change her, he says, but still, as his closest and most caring friend, I am able to realize how difficult/frustrating/painful it can be at times. When I told him about why I wanted to reject marrying someone who was interested in me - I said, "I'm a romantic, highly playful and expressive, and he doesn't seem to be that. What if I give him a few hugs repeatedly and he just sits there like a rock? I don't want to live with someone like that!" - He told me something like this: "Exactly! I know what you mean. There would come a point where you'd almost want to stop trying (to get them to open up or display love in any way or win their attention or affection)".

It's not like my friend's wife is unhappy in any way. He's given her all that she can ask for - riches, security, freedom to do anything, spend on anything she'd like, work if she wants and be herself or even go for a complete makeover. And if she'd ask for anything more, he'd always be willing to give. But forget asking him, she doesn't even say anything. I don't want what type yours is, dear reader friend, but you can imagine how it'd be for him. The sex life is normal - she seems to be more into it than she used to be, still she hardly ever gives him any signs that she wants that intimacy and approaches him by herself only twice or thrice a year, it seems. Still, he does not complain because he's a really good husband. And she's not arrogant, not one bit. She's also very loving, caring and loyal, but why doesn't she or why can't she open up? And in case of my best friend, sometime last year, I couldn't take it anymore - all conversations should happen only when she feels like talking, not otherwise, which is again, twice a year! - so I told her goodbye and ended the so-called friendship. Yes, I still do care a lot about her and think of her quite often, but phew! I told him that I can't take that behaviour coming from even a friend, how could he deal with that coming from a life partner?

Is this the case with some INTJ/INTPs? Isn't it really cruel that they don't open up even to their nearest and dearest? Know anyone like that or are you one of that kind yourself? What do you expect from someone really close to you like a best friend or life partner to do for you? We don't want to be best friends or life partners with rock-like people all our life!
 

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they are 5w6 sp
we never open up, reason being is whatever problem we have are our problems
we are the only ones to SOLVE them, solving problems is what INTJ is best at
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's a matter of emotional unavailability/or awareness than a type, although there might be some loose correlation (especially with enneagram/instinct).
How could someone be emotionally unavailable for several years together or even decades together when they don't really have that many things that seriously affect them?

If it's a lack of emotional awareness, what's the best thing you think someone in my position or my friend's position can do to make them open up? What's the point of someone considering you their closest confidante or life partner or bestie when they'd not share anything at all with you occasional, very much predictable robotic talk and even more rarely anything funny, if they don't want to share anything that'd make them appear weak?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
they are 5w6 sp
we never open up, reason being is whatever problem we have are our problems
we are the only ones to SOLVE them, solving problems is what INTJ is best at


Okay, let go of the problems - they are absolutely yours. Why not share with us what you like, what you love, what makes you happy, what you'd like us to do for/with you, where you'd like to go, something like that, something positive and fun at least?

We're not expecting you to indulge in small talk or anything. If someone I'd been dating for a short while would behave like this, I'd not question much. But in case of best/only friend and life partner, don't you think this is really bad? Don't mean any offense by the way. Just trying to find some valid or acceptable underlying reason for this kind of behaviour and tying to find a solution that'd make things smooth for all those concerned.
 

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Okay, let go of the problems - they are absolutely yours. Why not share with us what you like, what you love, what makes you happy, what you'd like us to do for/with you, where you'd like to go, something like that, something positive and fun at least?

We're not expecting you to indulge in small talk or anything. If someone I'd been dating for a short while would behave like this, I'd not question much. But in case of best/only friend and life partner, don't you think this is really bad? Don't mean any offense by the way. Just trying to find some valid or acceptable underlying reason for this kind of behaviour and tying to find a solution that'd make things smooth for all those concerned.
we just can't
it is a physical obstacle we cannot break through
no matter how hard we try there is this invisible force field that prevents us from doing so
if some one tries to gain entry we will cut them off
we need time to think things through
 

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How could someone be emotionally unavailable for several years together or even decades together when they don't really have that many things that seriously affect them?
If you're emotionally unavailable you won't change, just like that with time. It's a personal matter. And since they're emotionally unavailable to you- you don't have any idea if they "don't really have that many things that seriously affect them". Perhaps they've never learnt to.

If it's a lack of emotional awareness, what's the best thing you think someone in my position or my friend's position can do to make them open up? What's the point of someone considering you their closest confidante or life partner or bestie when they'd not share anything at all with you occasional, very much predictable robotic talk and even more rarely anything funny, if they don't want to share anything that'd make them appear weak?
Well, first off I think he should have checked that before marriage, she's not to be blamed, imho. Although I've seen that in women, they often wish their husband talked to them, but not making any efforts (other than nagging maybe), just expecting.

It might not be easy, some people are like that and it's better not to stress it out. They have a blockage. But what I'd try to do...*DO NOT CONFUSE IT WITH MANIPULATING SOMEONE TO TALK TO YOU* I'd make them feel safe, show them they're accepted, that I won't judge, assure there's nothing weak in that. Maybe try to "teach" them, to familiarize them with emotional openness by doing it myself, talking, seeking emotional support(not too much, not to overwhelm them), giving them emotional support (mirroring).
Maybe when if I saw they feel safe and comfortable I'd ask them some open ended questions. And expect nothing.
I'd probably try to figure out why they're this way and took it from there.
They might also simply not know (how to name) what they feel... thus be unable to speak about it even if they wanted to. You could try to help them figure it out but only if they were up to it and you weren't trying to tell them what they feel(stay distanced and objective). Just like a therapist of some sort. But an actual therapist would be safer, probably. You can create damage.

Books can be helpful too.
 

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Is this the case with some INTJ/INTPs? Isn't it really cruel that they don't open up even to their nearest and dearest? Know anyone like that or are you one of that kind yourself?
I am one such INTP. And I'm perfectly aware of the reasons behind my closed off nature. There's simply nothing to gain by opening up, and yet there's so much to lose. Nothing in my life would change for the better and all I would get in return is pity and sad looks from people closest to me. I'm pretty sure that I'm not strong enough to handle that. Some of those people might even find cause to blame themselves, and my demons shouldn't haunt others.
 

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Cruel? No. That's personal data that's dear to them. If they want to 'open up,' they will whenever they feel like it, not on someone else's time or terms. And if your friend had such a problem with it, he shouldn't have married her.

What's concerning is the amount of information the both of you are sharing about the wife and other friend. It's borderline gross when you consider that you're talking about private people that you think should be more open.

This thing reminds me of when a celebrity's estranged friend or family member runs to the press thinking that doing so will open the doors of communication. It won't.

Honor the person's privacy and talk to them directly. If you can't accept it, then I dunno what to tell ya. It seems like your friend has been this way for the 15+ years you've known her and the wife since they were kids, so I'm not sure what the both of y'all expect at this point.
 

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Is this the case with some INTJ/INTPs? Isn't it really cruel that they don't open up even to their nearest and dearest? Know anyone like that or are you one of that kind yourself? What do you expect from someone really close to you like a best friend or life partner to do for you? We don't want to be best friends or life partners with rock-like people all our life!
From the perspective of one of the "rock-like" people I think I can relate, having been called numb, harsh, non-human etc.. (rock-like is a new one for me, good one!:applouse:), all from women I had been intimate with. i also experienced a friend of many years ending the friendship because I didn't want to go see him, and he was always the one initiating contact.

I feel like I let my friends and close ones in all the time, but they don't understand it because there is no tears, and not much laughter and hugging going on. It's just words, and for most people that is not enough. Without the bells and whistles it doesn't feel "real" to them.

So my point is, maybe your friends wife is open to her husband, but it gets lost in translation. He expects her kind of opening up to look like his opening up.

Also for your friend. Even if she never reached out to you, she knew she always had the option to do so and that was probably very valuable for her. And since you contacted her every now and then, she didn't have to bother reaching out, she knew you would do it again one of these days anyway.

As it were, you didn't wanted her as a friend (which is fine, your choice obviously), you wanted someone else, someone more like yourself.
 

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This guy talked to you about his sex life and his wife's sex life? Geez. I wouldn't open up either, if I was her. I would be afraid that he'd go chat about it with his friends who would then post details on the internet.

How do you know she is happy? Because he'll pay for whatever she wants and she has a nice home? That's quite an assumption. My personal rule is to stay out of my friends' marital problems, because you never know the full story, and the potential for giving bad advice and doing harm is huge.

Some people are private. I am one of them. I don't open up easily, nor do I want to. The way I connect to my friends is by doing things with them, being a good listener, and talking about parts of my life that I am comfortable sharing. If someone needs me to share all my private hopes, dreams, and fears, then we probably won't have much of a friendship. That's okay - it just means we have different needs and expectations.
 

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Plague Doctor
INTJ, 5w4, Ni-T type
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I tend to open up with people I like and who I trust. That's it.

I dislike meddling and if I knew a friend was meddling in my marriage or concerned about my marriage, I'd be very offended. Why would they even care?

As an INTJ who has been with an INTP for a very long time, we do open up, but it's very different from other relationships I've seen (outwardly, in public). If I found out that he had a conversation with someone else that was similar to the one you had with your friend, I'd be horrified, not just because of the airing of grievances to the wrong person, but also because that would show that my INTP feels more intimate and comfortable with another person than me.

I'm not jealous by nature, but just considering that my INTP would have it in him to talk to someone else the way this person talked to you about our relationship makes me upset and my instinct is to get that other person out of my and my husband's life as soon as possible. It would also indicate that my INTP, for whatever reason, has ceased respecting/trusting me with direct communication. I would be MUCH less likely to tell any partner/husband anything about myself if they blabbed to their friends about it. Similarly, I don't talk to others about any problems I have with my partner. I talk to him. Unless it's really light stuff that's already resolved or it's something I find cute or whatever.

Lastly, there's something about this situation apart from what I've covered that also strikes me. The meddling.
 
I wonder, do you understand that the conclusions you've come to are completely based in fantasy - all theory? You're spending your time theorizing about the quality of relationship and assuming that the wife has a problem and needs to be somehow forced to open up.

Perhaps she is opening up and the guy is only telling you that because he wants an affair with you? Perhaps she is opening up but the guy is incapable of understanding her "opening up" language. What exactly does "open up" mean anyway? Why does this wife need to fulfill your definition of opening up? What if opening up isn't her thing? Or maybe she has a really good reason for not opening up. I can make up theories about her, too. Maybe if she tells him something about her past, his life will be in danger because she's really the daughter of a mafia man and if he knew what she knew, she knows her dad would kill him? Because that's just as plausible as other things you have said (I think; I could be misreading what you're saying).


Other people don't need to understand my relationship with @hornpipe2. That's between me and him; not anyone else. And anyone trying to play couples counseling to me unsolicited ... I just can't even finish that sentence. I do want to let you know that there's a part of me that doesn't even understand why I'm so upset/disturbed by this. Perhaps there's a truth in here that rings true to some hidden part of my psyche that I can't name at the moment. But this whole thing just seems dangerous.
 

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i don't understand how most of this is your business at all. sure, it makes sense drop the female friend if you don't get what you're looking for in a friendship out of her actual interactions with you. but the rest of your post seems to me like a mass of projection, assumption, competitive judginess about their terrible relationshipping. and your tattle-tale tone about your male friend's wife just seems to me to be general butting in where imo something's not business of yours.

i don't think you should be surprised your female friend didn't 'open up' to you, personally. there seems to be a huge compatibility gap there just about what it's okay to judge in someone else and what it isn't. as for your friend's marriage, who the hell knows. but i do know i think it's very questionable for someone who claims to anybody's a 'best' friend to be so enthusiastically helpful at dissing the person he's married to and signalling towards all the ways she's so much better than the friend's wife.
 

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Just trying to find some valid or acceptable underlying reason for this kind of behaviour and tying to find a solution that'd make things smooth for all those concerned.
okay; how about this: the person you're preaching to does not like you enough to want to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Perceptions! Interpretations! Alright. They can differ from person to person. For all those who suggested that it's too personal for a friend to interfere,

1. I'm the last person to interfere in anyone's married life or personal life unless and until a close friend is truly upset (I hate listening to "you know what my husband/wife said/did this morning" talks) and seeks my advice or comes to me for comfort. How would you react if I told you that I knew a man that was cheating on a woman (both were my friends even before they got into a relationship) and I didn't say a thing to her, avoided both of them, till she came to me with a few questions and that's when I told her that she was being cheated on (fact, not assumption)? This time, would you ask "Why didn't you tell her earlier?" or "Why did you tell her even then?"?

2. Why doesn't it seem to occur to you that if he got all that emotional connection and warmth from her (as a husband, he deserves that from his wife, I suppose, because that's what I'd expect from my partner, too), he wouldn't even approach me in the first place? Being a guy's confidante is wrong for the woman (when the husband subtly expresses his pain after suppressing such it for years) or even the man (when he was the one who approached me; I didn't get into his business myself!)?

For all the good souls in here, do you assume that I would've never suggested that they go see a therapist or a counsellor? That's something I did a few years ago. I know him for over a decade and can read him very well; he doesn't have to "open up" to me for me to realize that he's got something bothering him consistently. He refused the moment I suggested. And in the case of his wife, when he himself feels as though she's got an invisible wall around her, how can i suggest anything. Plus, she didn't approach me; only he did. What do good souls do in this position? Listen and do nothing, or pretend to listen while you are reviewing a paper in your mind?

3. Oh! I posted it on the Internet! How could I post something that's personal to people that don't even know a site like this exists especially when I've carefully not mentioned any particulars or specific details! Somebody should brutally kill me for what I've just done!

Thanks, any way! As an ENTP, the more the perspectives, the better it is for me in any situation before deciding on how to handle things. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
As others have said - enneagram types. Type 5 is common-ish in INTJs and this is a Type 5 behaviour. My sister is INFJ Type 5. Never get any personal stuff out of her and she hates being asked just about anything she deems personal.
I wasn't much aware of Enneagram type 5 except that they are "cerebral". Read about them just now. thanks for educating me. :)
 

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Plague Doctor
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@LadyLeo

I'm sorry, I think there's something about your post that I am picking up on that doesn't have anything to do with your questions and maybe I should just speak to your questions, since they are good questions.

1. why doesn't she or why can't she open up?
- Different people open up in their own ways. Perhaps she is opening up, using the only ways she knows how and he's not picking up on it. Or, maybe she's not emotionally available - as others have mentioned (which might be initially appealing to a man who might have had negative experiences with emotionally needy women previous to the relationship). In other words, perhaps he over-corrected by marrying her and now wishes she was a bit different from what he married. She might also lack in communication skills in general. Poor communication can dissolve a relationship. Or maybe, that's not her style.

2. I told him that I can't take that behaviour coming from even a friend, how could he deal with that coming from a life partner? - If you are unsatisfied with your relationship with your best friend, perhaps she isn't your best friend? My closest girlfriend growing up was also very reserved about talking about her romantic interests (I've known her for 28 years). But I didn't need her to tell me everything for her to be my closest friend. We ended up drifting apart, though she still stays in touch. Coming from a life partner? I can't really speak for him - I can only speak to my own experiences. I suppose that if I married someone like that, I would expect that person to stay the same.

3. Is this the case with some INTJ/INTPs?
- Yes, as is the case with any other MBTI type. Some people just don't open up as much as others. There are many reasons for this. In the types you mention, both tend to have low feeling functions. If an INTP with their Fe is anything like me with my Se, I just see Se stuff as irrelevant data most of the time, stuff I either ignore or don't value. If you mean opening up emotionally, some people deal with their emotions on their own and some people need to talk about it with others to resolve their emotions. It's hard to say that this is healthy or unhealthy given that it's an individual sort of gradient.

4. Isn't it really cruel that they don't open up even to their nearest and dearest? Know anyone like that or are you one of that kind yourself? What do you expect from someone really close to you like a best friend or life partner to do for you? We don't want to be best friends or life partners with rock-like people all our life! I think it's more cruel to expect someone to change because someone else is uncomfortable with the way they are. If someone is the sort of person who doesn't care to talk about certain subjects, that's hardly cruelty, but a matter of preference. I've known people with different degrees of reservation and I am reserved around people I don't like or don't trust. If you don't want to be best friends/life partners with someone who is like a "rock", then get out of relationships which are not serving you. Look for people who will reciprocate what you need and treat you the way you want to be treated. Or, just ask the person directly about whatever it is that you're interested in. If they don't want to talk about it, accept/respect that.

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I think the subtext here which is disturbing to me is the behavior of the husband. I don't think it's healthy for someone who is married to complain to someone else of the opposite sex about their marriage. It seems dangerous and like it's not going to end well at all for anyone involved. I suppose I see it if he were talking to a counselor, but I guess I see a marriage/relationship as a sort of sacred thing and, to me, it's taboo for one to engage in the behavior that the husband is engaging in by talking to you (another woman) about it. I think that's why my initial reaction was so strong. I apologize if I misread it, but it just didn't click well in my head initially. I feel compelled to warn you, though, that it's not generally a good idea to pursue conversations about this topic with a married man. I'd suggest that if he brings it up again, to let him know that's between him and his wife and it would be better if he talked to her about it.
 

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Plague Doctor
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Sometimes, double posts happen.
 
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