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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm an INFP married to an ISTJ and while things are going great, I kind of feel at a loss for as to the best ways to make him feel loved.

I know that it's probably just my INFP insecurity, but he's so much less expressive than me that I don't really know if I'm hitting or missing the mark. I've tried asking him about what makes him feel the most loved (me telling him how much I love him, gifts, physical affection, doing things together, etc.) and he never has an answer – he just says that he feels loved and that's that.

Yes, something like that is hard to generalize for an entire personality type. But I feel like I'm constantly trying to cover all my bases and sometimes I just want to be able to make one really meaningful statement of love to him and be able to see that it truly went through.

So, I'm looking for some feedback. How do you guys feel loved? Are you also less responsive to gestures of love and, if so, do you still really appreciate them and just don't know how/don't feel the need to show any emotion about it?

Again, no major relationship issues right now. It's just something I've been trying to figure out our entire relationship and haven't quite solved.

Thanks in advance for your help. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@niss –*Haha, we're both so introverted and such homebodies that "doing things together" usually involves watching a movie at home because we don't feel like leaving the house to go to the theater. :) But, yeah, I do think that shared experiences are one important aspect of this. We just bought our first house, so finding a place, buying it, remodeling and getting settled has brought us together.

I am familiar with the love languages, but I'm really introspective and expressive (when it comes to relationships, at least). My husband is neither of those things and so even though I've tried using that paradigm, I haven't actually been able to identify where he falls in that system. He's just not super responsive. We both know we are loved –*I guess I just want to be able to focus my efforts to what's going to be most significant to him.
 

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Haha, we're both so introverted and such homebodies that "doing things together" usually involves watching a movie at home because we don't feel like leaving the house to go to the theater. :)
Seriously, if that's what you guys both enjoy doing, just do it together. I told my husband that all I wanted to do for Vday was watch a movie on the couch together, and I gave him the choice of 2 movies we both enjoy.

Just observing here, I don't think I've noticed any ISTJs that are big on words of affirmation or gift giving. Those can feel a bit...faked?

It can still vary from one ISTJ to the next, obviously, but Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch are preferred for me.
 

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@niss –*Haha, we're both so introverted and such homebodies that "doing things together" usually involves watching a movie at home because we don't feel like leaving the house to go to the theater. :) But, yeah, I do think that shared experiences are one important aspect of this. We just bought our first house, so finding a place, buying it, remodeling and getting settled has brought us together.

I am familiar with the love languages, but I'm really introspective and expressive (when it comes to relationships, at least). My husband is neither of those things and so even though I've tried using that paradigm, I haven't actually been able to identify where he falls in that system. He's just not super responsive. We both know we are loved –*I guess I just want to be able to focus my efforts to what's going to be most significant to him.
Usually it's pretty easy to tell another person's love language if you are close to them. What do they do to show love to others? We show our feelings to others by doing what we appreciate.
 

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Seriously, if that's what you guys both enjoy doing, just do it together. I told my husband that all I wanted to do for Vday was watch a movie on the couch together, and I gave him the choice of 2 movies we both enjoy.

Just observing here, I don't think I've noticed any ISTJs that are big on words of affirmation or gift giving. Those can feel a bit...faked?

It can still vary from one ISTJ to the next, obviously, but Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch are preferred for me.
Yeah, but if he is truly not given to introspection, who's to say that he is really typed correctly?
 

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Just observing here, I don't think I've noticed any ISTJs that are big on words of affirmation or gift giving. Those can feel a bit...faked?

It can still vary from one ISTJ to the next, obviously, but Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch are preferred for me.
:shocked: :angry:

Give me Words of Affirmation or give me death! :tongue: Yes, I know WoA can be faked, but that doesn't stop me from loving them. I think I am 1) WoA, 2) Quality Time, 3) Physical Touch. Why do you think I stay on this site, if not for the thanks? :wink:

Acts of Service just make me feel guilty. Pretty much the opposite of loved.

Usually it's pretty easy to tell another person's love language if you are close to them. What do they do to show love to others? We show our feelings to others by doing what we appreciate.
Yeah 75% of people want the same love language as they give most. 25% of people want a different language than they give most.
 

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Just observing here, I don't think I've noticed any ISTJs that are big on words of affirmation or gift giving. Those can feel a bit...faked?

It can still vary from one ISTJ to the next, obviously, but Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch are preferred for me.
Same order with me as well.

Give me Words of Affirmation or give me death!
 

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Give me Words of Affirmation or give me death!
So ... you do know that words of affirmation are antithetical to the ISTJ motivations and behaviors, right?

Acts of Service just make me feel guilty. Pretty much the opposite of loved.
... and acts of service makes the top two or three.

Yeah 75% of people want the same love language as they give most. 25% of people want a different language than they give most.
Which indicates a 25% margin of error in this self-evaluation.
 

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So ... you do know that words of affirmation are antithetical to the ISTJ motivations and behaviors, right?
... and acts of service makes the top two or three.
You will have to explain this because it doesn't really make sense to me that love languages are in any way correlated to personality type. Maybe we should revive that thread. :tongue:

niss said:
Which indicates a 25% margin of error in this self-evaluation.
That's not what I was referring to?

I don't know which love language I give most, but probably Quality Time followed closely by Words of Affirmation.

I believe that love language is not nature but nurture. Thus, it depends most on how your parents raised you. My mom and dad were always big on giving me verbal praise and criticism, so I grew to love that and utilize that in my own relationships most.
 

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I just want to be able to make one really meaningful statement of love to him and be able to see that it truly went through.
I think this statement is the crux of your post. You want him to clearly respond to your efforts to be loving. You can be direct and say, "Honey, when I do XYZ, it would make me feel better if you would do ABC." I think that may be the best way to deal with it. Then walk away and see if he responds.

Or you can beat him with your slipper. That might get a response.

Seriously, my husband is an INFP and I can see where you are coming from. My husband wants a romantic response from me and sometimes the best I can do is laugh and roll my eyes. It's not that his gestures are unwelcome, but it's often difficult for me to relax and respond emotionally. I know he is happier when he gets a romantic response from me, so occasionally I'll plan some way to blow his socks off.

Keep talking, keep trying, but keep it positive and don't try to change him. You may have to be the initiator. He is who he is.

As for keeping that loving feeling, I think that spending time together is extremely important. It may sound simplistic, but it's easy to get busy and begin to live parallel lives instead of living life together. I think it's especially important for introverted couples to make time to keep in touch with what is going on in their partner's life and mind.

You state that your husband isn't as introspective as you are. I can see how an INFP might think that an ISTJ isn't introspective. INFPs have an extreme ability to ruminate. My husband will just sit and think. However, when I'm in an introspective mood I want to be busy. Sitting and thinking drives me nuts. I don't know if this is what you are observing, but I thought I'd throw this out there.
 

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It's okay, I know Out0fAmmo will never run out. :happy:
If nothing else, @MBTI Enthusiast is definitely a Sensor... it took me a while to figure out that there was hidden text in @Adesi's post :tongue:

Also, why is it so hard to believe that an ISTJ would want WoA? I can see how we're more *likely* to want/give Quality Time or AoS, but that doesn't rule out the possibilty of wanting the other three love languages. And that's not even bringing the Enneagram into it; a 6 ISTJ, for example, doesn't necessarily want the same things a 1 or 5 ISTJ do.

P.S., @MBTI Enthusiast is also a Thinker. Her 9-ness simply softens the edges on it :happy:
 

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:shocked: :angry:

Give me Words of Affirmation or give me death! :tongue: Yes, I know WoA can be faked, but that doesn't stop me from loving them. I think I am 1) WoA, 2) Quality Time, 3) Physical Touch. Why do you think I stay on this site, if not for the thanks? :wink:

Acts of Service just make me feel guilty. Pretty much the opposite of loved.



Yeah 75% of people want the same love language as they give most. 25% of people want a different language than they give most.
I feel loved through acts of service, but this is not the way that I express my love to a SO. I think acts of service are so important to me because my father is an ISFJ and this was how he showed his love for me when I was a child. I think that for most people, our parents' way of showing love to us in childhood is probably an important factor in our adult love language.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, everyone for this fascinating discussion. It's been great getting ISTJ perspectives on this.

As for the question of whether he is correctly typed, I'm basing his ISTJness on an assessment he took, not just guesswork (although it does seem to be his best fit based on observation as well). He tests at 100% thinking, and is moderately expressed on the other traits. (If anyone's wondering, I test as an extreme INFP.)

The idea that the way our parents loved us is indicative of preference is actually interesting. I think it can work the opposite way, too. We're a very physically affectionate couple, but growing up, he received very little physical affection. His mom has recently taken to wanting a hug whenever we're done seeing her and it weirds my husband out like nothing else. She didn't hug him growing up, so why should she want it now? On the other hand, we still hold hands while driving, cuddle several times a day, can't enter the same room without kissing, etc. (Yeah, we're one of those couples.)

That probably makes a pretty strong case for physical affection being his love language, but I feel more like that's a routine more than a way I can make a statement. Also, it feels like while he enjoys it, it's more for my benefit than his. So if I try to make a big statement of love through a physical act, it will come across more as me asking for something than me giving something. Does that make sense?

@littledeer seems to be right about this probably being mostly about me wanting a reaction. I want to know that I did something right. If I ask him, he will acknowledge that he appreciates something, but as a feeler, I want to be able to, well, feel that he's received something.

Maybe I just need to stop worrying so much. We are happy and really, I'm just looking for the cherry on top. Perhaps the better question is something along the lines of, "What signs do you give that you feel loved?"
 

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That probably makes a pretty strong case for physical affection being his love language, but I feel more like that's a routine more than a way I can make a statement. Also, it feels like while he enjoys it, it's more for my benefit than his. So if I try to make a big statement of love through a physical act, it will come across more as me asking for something than me giving something. Does that make sense?
Curious perspective. I've been in a situation like that before. Where I did something for his benefit, but he thought I was just doing it for my own benefit. So in the end we were both doing things "for each other" but each of us didn't really care about it ourselves. (Hope that makes some sense.)

Perhaps the better question is something along the lines of, "What signs do you give that you feel loved?"
Good point. Maybe you just aren't noticing the tiny smile in his eyes, for example, when you do something for him.
 

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my husband likes when i rub his feet, he actually mentioned this in a fight, as something he had liked.
 
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