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The poor fella is married to me, an INTP. Meeting other's needs, even being aware of them, is not my strong point. He's happy with our marriage but on occasion does ask me if I still love him (I then realize I've been lost in my head) or expresses a desire that I be more affectionate.

Here's what I do but I'm interested in any feedback or correction. He really is precious to me.

1. I make a huge effort to express my affection physically. An example would be stepping up to him and giving him a kiss and saying "I love you."

2. I try to express my appreciation for all that he does, both physically (job, house repairs, etc) and emotionally (support, acceptance). An example: About twice a month I'll tell him how much I appreciate what a good provider he is, that he's worked jobs he hates in order to provide for us. Should I express that more? Is it even possible to smother an ISFJ with appreciation? I'm easily smothered so can't quite get a handle on how much is enough or not.

Anytime he does anything he gets a thank you and kiss and a smile, even simple stuff like hanging a curtain for me.

3. Sex...he's expressed his satisfaction with this department. Ha, no juicy details. :laughing:

4. I TRY to run a smooth household. I hardly ever succeed but our life is basically peaceful and a sanctuary. He wishes I'd keep it neater and I do too.

Anyone want to add anything or make a correction? I'm wide open here. :happy: I may ask for more clarification on a response. That doesn't mean I don't agree or am being defensive but trying to fully understand what is truly a foreign language to me (expressing affection, appreciation, love, etc).
 

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It's kind of a long shot, but you might ask him to discuss, or better yet, write down a lengthy rendition of things that you do for him that he likes, and things that he'd want you to do for him. Ask him What does he need or want from you.
Keep in mind that you are not responsible for his happiness. Communication always helps.
Good Luck,
Digger
 

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SkyCloud, thanks. My understanding is that is indeed an ISFJ thing. I can certainly smother him as much as I like but would it be enough for him? :cool:

Digger, yeah, I didn't mean my question in that way (his happiness being my responsibility) but can see how it came across as such. What I mean is he's a jewel, I feel fortunate to have him, and am looking for ways to improve our relationship, which is already great.

I was thinking about this. I think our marriage has been one of my INTP projects. That's worked out well for both of us.

Anyway, good idea on the list. I'll give it a try, but knowing him he'll say "I don't know."
 

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The poor fella is married to me, an INTP. Meeting other's needs, even being aware of them, is not my strong point. He's happy with our marriage but on occasion does ask me if I still love him (I then realize I've been lost in my head) or expresses a desire that I be more affectionate.
I don't think you have anything to worry about...this sounds like typical ISFJ paranoia. I mentioned this idea a little bit in this thread:

http://personalitycafe.com/sjs-temperament-forum-overseers/27984-question-isfjs-istjs.html


ISFJ's crave consistency so much that we sometimes have a habit of worrying about things changing. When he asks you if you still love him, I bet that it's just his mind over-worrying about things. I've done that with someone I cared deeply for...even though they didn't do anything differently and still continued to be nice to me, I always wondered in the back of my head if they were "just doing it not to hurt my feelings" and didn't really care. It was totally irrational and no evidence seemed to be able to sway my mind. The only thing that worked was constant reassurance from this person.

I don't know exactly how you could be more affectionate or show more affection...like Digger said, you may just need to ask him what he means exactly and in what ways he would rather you show affection. If you ask him and then consistently do it, he'll probably be happy with that.





PartlyCloudy said:
Here's what I do but I'm interested in any feedback or correction. He really is precious to me.

1. I make a huge effort to express my affection physically. An example would be stepping up to him and giving him a kiss and saying "I love you."

2. I try to express my appreciation for all that he does, both physically (job, house repairs, etc) and emotionally (support, acceptance). An example: About twice a month I'll tell him how much I appreciate what a good provider he is, that he's worked jobs he hates in order to provide for us. Should I express that more? Is it even possible to smother an ISFJ with appreciation? I'm easily smothered so can't quite get a handle on how much is enough or not.

Anytime he does anything he gets a thank you and kiss and a smile, even simple stuff like hanging a curtain for me.

As long as the appreciation you're showing is genuine, I don't think you can give too much. The only thing is that sometimes an ISFJ might start doubting how genuine it is if it's given too often, especially if it's out of character. But for me, as long as I know praise and appreciation is genuine, I never get tired of it...especially if it's someone I care deeply for.


So basically, I wouldn't worry about it too much...as long as you're showing consistent, genuine appreciation and support, that's all you can really do. His reaction sounds typical, and sounds like typical ISFJ worrying and trying to be ready for the worst-case scenario. He probably just keeps checking in to make sure that things haven't changed, because change can rock an ISFJ badly. But I don't think his actions should make you feel like you're doing anything wrong.
 

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The poor fella is married to me, an INTP. Meeting other's needs, even being aware of them, is not my strong point. He's happy with our marriage but on occasion does ask me if I still love him (I then realize I've been lost in my head) or expresses a desire that I be more affectionate.
How does *he* express his affection to you? That's likely to be his love language, and the way he would want expressions of love reciprocated back to him. Identifying and employing that language as your mode of expression would be the most effective solution. If he's asking for verbal reassurance from you, his primary language could be Words of Affirmation.

My GF and I share Physical Touch as our common primary language, but my secondary language is Words of Affirmation whereas hers seems to be Quality Time. So on my end, nothing makes me happier than hearing her say that she loves me. I'm with Teddy on this one - constant reassurance is a Very Good Thing.

I also agree with the others that your husband is a very lucky fella.
 

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wow....your husband is REALLY lucky! I know it's hard for xxTx to do all these. You've done way more than a typical xxTx. I'm impressed. You really love your husband! :laughing:

To answer your question. Yes, I like my loved ones show appreciation and affection to me. I think ISFJs really need emotional support. You've done your best. There's nothing more you can do. You are a good wife. Don't stress too much about it. I'm sure he's already very happy and content. The occasional "if you still love him" might be a warning sign, showing that he's stressful at work (or something else). It's a good time to talk to him. Ask him how's work and stuff. This also shows that you love him too. I feel touched when someone is able to sense I'm unhappy/sad/down. Also feel touched when someone cares about me by trying to tell me everything is ok and that he's there for me. Something like this would make us really happy and feel loved.

LOL....I often replied "I don't know" when people ask for my opinion too. Sometimes it's just that I don't want to say too much. coz I think some people won't listen even I voiced out my opinion, so I just don't bother. But there are times that I REALLY don't know.

you might ask him to discuss, or better yet, write down a lengthy rendition of things that you do for him that he likes, and things that he'd want you to do for him. Ask him What does he need or want from you.
I'm not so sure if this will work. We often don't ask people to do things for us. We often give instead of receive. But if I'm closed enough with the person, I usually speak out what i want.

But if my husband asked me "What do you want from me". My answer would be "nothing". Assuming he has already done the stuff you mentioned above, he's done too much for me already. :happy:
 

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The poor fella is married to me, an INTP. Meeting other's needs, even being aware of them, is not my strong point. He's happy with our marriage but on occasion does ask me if I still love him (I then realize I've been lost in my head) or expresses a desire that I be more affectionate.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that has experienced that. It seems like asks me something along the lines of "Why do you not like me?" or "Do you love me?" or some variation of that often, especially as of late with all the stress he's been having. I think he's mostly joking about the first one, but still. But what teddy mentioned made sense to me. I think he just needs to hear it, and that's his way of drawing it out of you. I have no problem expressing love in any other form, except verbally which I do struggle with. At first it was insulting to me. Almost like he didn't trust me or have faith in me. But at least now I get why he does that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it. I've gotten a lot of food for thought, quite a few laughs, some appreciative embarrassment by the compliments, and will respond later.
 

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Teddy, that thread you linked was very helpful and solved a mystery I've never understood (and he's never been able to explain) about my hub's tendency to not only catastrophize but to do it about stuff that hardly stands a chance of happening. He was in full-blown mode a couple of nights ago. His end conclusion was life is a waste, all we do is in vain, and it's just time to die. We had a good conversation though that helped him. He always feels better when we discuss this stuff. He has been under stress at work too.

I don't mean to minimize anyone's suffering, but it's so cute that you guys think someone would stay with you just to avoid hurting your feelings. This is SO much like my hubby and in fact I've jokingly asked him why he thinks I've suddenly woken up and decided I didn't love him anymore. His answer: I don't know. :crazy: Good feedback though. I'm always suspicious of how easily he seems satisfied with loving words or a kiss or a hug. That just seems so simple to me and I assume it should be more complicated for some reason. He's very understanding about my efforts. He seems to believe me when I say I FEEL these things I just have to consciously think to translate them into language.

Rhee, I've read that book and hadn't even thought of it. I don't remember his, but I'd assume it's Words of Affirmation and physical touch, which I work on. Mine is Acts of Service, which he thoroughly enjoys playing the martyr about.

Hello, I got a kick out of your "he's done too much already" comment. Yep, that's the hubby. If I ever get him to request more of whatever from me he inevitably backtracks due to....guilt? Discomfort? I then tell him "Okay, you don't have to like it but I think I'll do it anyway. How 'bout that?" And we laugh.

PhillyFox, I used to get insulted also but finally realized he had his reasons. My experience with my hubby has been that he rarely asks for anything directly. He'll inevitably phrase it in a way that sometimes is so vague that I don't get it or conveys his requests in ways that make it seem like my desires. We had a five-minute conversation in the Burger King parking lot the other day where he really wanted to go in to eat but kept saying things like "We can go in if you want" or "Are you sure you don't want to go in? "Cause I don't mind, really." I FINALLY caught on that HE wanted to go in but wouldn't say that directly. We went in. Finally. :laughing:

I'm assuming this is an ISFJ thing rather than his personal eccentricity. ??
 

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he really wanted to go in to eat but kept saying things like "We can go in if you want" or "Are you sure you don't want to go in? "Cause I don't mind, really." I FINALLY caught on that HE wanted to go in but wouldn't say that directly.

I'm assuming this is an ISFJ thing rather than his personal eccentricity. ??
I'm kind of like that. Sometimes. I guess this relates to the typical ISFJ's "not used to asking for a favour". coz if we go in because I said "I want to go in", it's like I asked you to do me a favour. I would feel a bit guilty if you didn't want to go, but you went with me because I said so. I guess it would make me feel better if we go in because you want to go in too. I dont' know. :happy:
 

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Hello, yes, I did interpret it as his not asking for a favor or putting me out somehow due to his discomfort. He needed me to want to go in also.

At other times he's adamant about what he wants or doesn't so it certainly keeps me on my toes. :happy:
 

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I don't mean to minimize anyone's suffering, but it's so cute that you guys think someone would stay with you just to avoid hurting your feelings. This is SO much like my hubby and in fact I've jokingly asked him why he thinks I've suddenly woken up and decided I didn't love him anymore. His answer: I don't know. :crazy: Good feedback though. I'm always suspicious of how easily he seems satisfied with loving words or a kiss or a hug. That just seems so simple to me and I assume it should be more complicated for some reason. He's very understanding about my efforts. He seems to believe me when I say I FEEL these things I just have to consciously think to translate them into language.
Each ISFJ is different, but I know that for the most part I have very simple needs and pleasures, and it doesn't take a whole lot to satisfy me. Appreciation for my hard work and genuine care from those that I love, respect and admire really motivates me and helps me more than anything.



Partly Cloudy said:
I got a kick out of your "he's done too much already" comment. Yep, that's the hubby. If I ever get him to request more of whatever from me he inevitably backtracks due to....guilt? Discomfort? I then tell him "Okay, you don't have to like it but I think I'll do it anyway. How 'bout that?" And we laugh.

I used to get insulted also but finally realized he had his reasons. My experience with my hubby has been that he rarely asks for anything directly. He'll inevitably phrase it in a way that sometimes is so vague that I don't get it or conveys his requests in ways that make it seem like my desires. We had a five-minute conversation in the Burger King parking lot the other day where he really wanted to go in to eat but kept saying things like "We can go in if you want" or "Are you sure you don't want to go in? "Cause I don't mind, really." I FINALLY caught on that HE wanted to go in but wouldn't say that directly. We went in. Finally. :laughing:
Yeah, I remember reading about this behavior in ISFJ sections of a few MBTI books, and it fit right in with what I feel and do a lot of times. I think ISFJ's feel very like they have a lot of duties and obligations to help people, and sometimes we get so much like that that we forget to take time to appreciate ourselves. I read in one book how ISFJ's will complain continuously about how they have it tough, but would feel horrible and filled with guilt if someone else had to do it instead.

I know it's very crazy, and a lot of times the way we feel doesn't make sense and is stupid. It's hard to understand myself. But I think in the end...what makes us happy is having a job/duty that we are capable of doing, one that is consistent but not overwhelming, and to then get that genuine praise and appreciation that I talked about. I think that would be what makes an ISFJ happy, much moreso than lightening our load.

So I think that's why we're not very direct sometimes...we want to put others before ourselves, and we feel bad sometimes to do what we want, especially if it makes someone else uncomfortable. So we have a battle of choosing our own wants or someone else's, and we don't know what to pick sometimes.

But like I said...it's amazing to me how much more I'm capable of if I get genuine love and appreciation. The more of that that I get, the more I can do without feeling overwhelmed or distraught. It's such a weird thing, but it's just the way that I feel a lot of times.

PartlyCloudy said:
I'm assuming this is an ISFJ thing rather than his personal eccentricity. ??
Well, everyone is unique, of course, so I'm sure he has some personal eccentricities. However, I see a lot him in me, especially the me before I learned about the MBTI. Learning about all of these ISFJ traits has helped me focus on my strengths and improve upon my weaknesses. So I'm willing to bet a lot of his behaviors that you find weird are probably pretty typical for an ISFJ, and as an INTP, they're foreign to the way you view the world.



By the way, I haven't really looked at all of your other posts, but in these threads you strike me as much more of an INFP than an INTP. :wink: NT's, at least the ones on PerC, are sometimes a little...harsher, I guess. I don't mean to stereotype, of course, and I like a lot of NT's on PerC too...and Nitou is a very nice and cozy INTP. Still, I found that interesting, hearing this personal side of an NT. :happy:
 

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I used to get insulted also but finally realized he had his reasons. My experience with my hubby has been that he rarely asks for anything directly. He'll inevitably phrase it in a way that sometimes is so vague that I don't get it or conveys his requests in ways that make it seem like my desires. We had a five-minute conversation in the Burger King parking lot the other day where he really wanted to go in to eat but kept saying things like "We can go in if you want" or "Are you sure you don't want to go in? "Cause I don't mind, really." I FINALLY caught on that HE wanted to go in but wouldn't say that directly. We went in. Finally. :laughing:

I'm assuming this is an ISFJ thing rather than his personal eccentricity. ??
Hah! I so recognise this behaviour in myself. I can get all 'I want to go to Burger King' but then we get there and I suddenly realise that I consulted only my needs and that the other person might prefer something else so I'll say something like 'if you want to go somewhere else I really don't mind. I don't want to force you to do this if you don't want to' - it drives my husband mad sometimes but he's doing a good job training me to get over myself and just accept that sometimes I'm allowed to be the one who chooses where we eat :laughing:
 

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My ISFJ husband likes it when I praise him for being such a great father/husband/provider. I don't get asked if I love him because I am always saying it to him and always paying him compliments regarding his physical features and his personality etc. I think it comes very easy for an ENFJ to do this as we are always seeing the best in people, which we then love to vocalise, and the more we love them the more they get that attention from us.

Another thing that my ISFJ appreciates is a harmonious and tidy home. This isn't always achievable but when it is I notice that he is very happy and content. He expects others to work hard at whatever it is that they do because he gives 110% to his job. He has high standards with work, home and with me. It's when I can't be bothered or when I give him some attitude that he packs a sad.

Anyway, hope this helps.
 

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^^ If only housework wasn't borderline unbearable. :dry:
 

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PhillyFox[/b], I used to get insulted also but finally realized he had his reasons. My experience with my hubby has been that he rarely asks for anything directly. He'll inevitably phrase it in a way that sometimes is so vague that I don't get it or conveys his requests in ways that make it seem like my desires. We had a five-minute conversation in the Burger King parking lot the other day where he really wanted to go in to eat but kept saying things like "We can go in if you want" or "Are you sure you don't want to go in? "Cause I don't mind, really." I FINALLY caught on that HE wanted to go in but wouldn't say that directly. We went in. Finally. :laughing:

I'm assuming this is an ISFJ thing rather than his personal eccentricity. ??
the paragraph directed to phillyfox just sums me up. If i want to take someone to a nice meal at a restaurant like, I will make sure it is there 100% decision. I don't want to come off like that it's impeerative we go.

it's like, I want you to go to me with this, but i want you to be able to enjoy it as well, but I don't want you sway you in coercion.

However I'm one of those young fools, who goes out of their way to please others, even if it's detriment to my happiness. This is where the self-hatred comes in, and name calling on my behalf.
 
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