marriage advice from infjs | INFJ Forum

marriage advice from infjs

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by 80schick, Oct 23, 2010.

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  1. 80schick

    80schick Newbie

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    Hi

    I am new at this so I hope you can bear with me.

    I am desperate for some advise from like minded people!! I am an ENFP and my husband an INFJ. We have been together since we were 15. We have two children (22 and 10). We were married at 17. Altogether we have been together over 24 years. We have moved around the country as a family due to my husbands career, this has meant we have bonded deeply although just being the personalities we are we bonded hard and fast in the beginning. We have had a roller coaster life of ups and downs but always held fast. We were in the national papers as a love story because we married while at high school, our friends and family have always referred to us having a very special relationship - inextricably linked. I am trying my best to convey how deep our bond is/was.

    It is only this past year that I have found out about personality typing (and I don't know that much). My husband has known for some time he was an INFJ as he has taken many tests for his career. He would tell me about it (that only 1.3% of men thought like him) but I already knew he was a rare species and it was no news to me. However, I have now been forced to deal with just how different he is and I am trying my best to understand why and how he processes things.

    I loved him instantly I met him, there was a connection between us and I knew I would be with him forever - soul mate doesn't cover it. It was a spiritual connection, transcended words or description. He was so intriguing and so different to me (to a frustrating level). He was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen but it wasn't this as I am not drawn on appearance. It is hard to explain what I saw in him and what he is like but I will try. He was popular and had friends yet he didn't view them as friends, he would talk yet never reveal anything (to his "friends", not me, to me he would express himself in poetic language, though he could often be reserved with me too). He was shy yet daring in other ways, extremely private, deeply caring yet able to cut off people totally. He has had many work colleagues and been very popular in the sense that he has helped so many with their work and problems and they have been grateful, this has led his career to flourish, due to his values and sense of justice. He has been head hunted often but he is very modest. Yet, he would never call anybody a friend or stay in touch with them when we moved. He could cut them off. He would say he only ever wanted to be top as a husband and father and he would say to the children - it's your mum first, then you. While I have never understood this behaviour (I have many friends over many years and form deep bonds, I am hugely sentimental) it has made me feel 'special' and safe. I could say a lot more but you probably know him already!!!! I understand now he was different because he was an infj!! Suffice to say he is a deeply complex man with exceptionally high standards and values, very private, isolating all but his family yet personable when he has to be. I thought we were bonded for life - whether we liked it or not!!!

    Anyway, (sorry this is so long), about 18 months ago I found something out about him (i can't say what as he is so private and it is deeply personal). It was to me, horrendous, mainly because I have never in my life found him to lie yet what I found out meant our whole life together had been a lie. He had been lying about this one thing all our lives and it was something we talked about often, also it is something I abhor for many reasons. Add to that he has been a very strict husband and father as regards morals and loyalty etc, very hard on our eldest daughter in particular,always on at her about education, trying harder, core values, decency etc (and rightly so, she is glad of it now) so it just made him into a hypocrite over night. My instant reaction was to throw him out (did i tell you i'm an enfp????). I did not see him for two months, I would put our son out the door to his father without looking at him (i couldn't). All this time he keeps sending me very emotional e:mails i.e 'I have had counseling (shocking for him, private, not a talker) and the counsellor says she has never known in her 25 years of practice a man so in love with his wife', 'my only focus is to be with you', 'you are the most wonderful woman I have ever met in my life" etc etc etc. Weight is dropping off him (I watch him from the window!). Eventually, after about two months, he asks for a second chance, I say ok, i will give him a chance and help him work through his problem. Now, at the same time as this I have my own little problem. It actually starts about 9 months before but he doesn't find out until just before I throw him out. We had recently moved to this area and one of my daughters friends (17 at the time) is a lovely lad that I am drawn to immediately (NOT sexually - he is 17! my daughter was 20 then) however as the months pass he starts to text me about weird things,school projects, wanting girl friend advice etc and saying I am the only person he feels he can talk to, I understand him (i feel sure he is an infj too and I know to you alarm bells are ringing but at the time I felt i was a 'mother' figure to him, I certainly didn't think he could like me as I am TWENTY years older than him) eventually, after much, MUCH texting and two 'meeting up' alone days, (my husband only knew about one of them although I have NEVER lied to him, not once and wouldn't) plus many many social events together, i begin to realise my feelings are not motherly at all, in fact I am consumed with 'wrong' thoughts about him and a desire to be with him constantly (ENFP!). He eventually tells me he loves me and I tell him but we both know it is about to get physical and NEITHER of us wants to hurt others or act in such an unwise way for our own futures so we call off all contact (other than family social events). The boys mother finds out, which helps, in that we have to draw a line under it. She says (the boys mother) that feelings for others in marriage are common and natural after so long together, your husband will have had feelings for other women so don't tell him. This is a struggle for me (enfp) I want it all out in the open but I figure that is selfish and for my guilt so I keep it in (it is my daughter that eventually tells him as she feels bitterly betrayed as she kept saying our relationship was wrong!). On the day I throw my husband out i shout at him "i didn't know what love was until i met ********" (completely untrue but i was hurting and wanted to hurt him!). This devastates him beyond anything I could have foreseen. Quite a mess eh? Since I said he could have a second chance 15 months have gone by and this is what has happened.

    Two months after we split he asked for a second chance but was now consumed with pain, TOOK UP SMOKING, drinking heavily (now stopped), throwing furniture around (hates violence), started on anti depressants, sleeping tablets, seeing a counselor. For the first two months it was very passionate and we were very close, he demanded we be absolutely honest about all our thoughts and feelings etc (he still wasn't back home, wanted to get through issues first). Obviously there was a lot of conflict and fights, a lot of very personal issues had to be faced. All through this time he would run away and then come back but he would write letters saying he has never even wanted another woman, I was the greatest, outstanding in integrity, love etc. This went on until he had been gone for 9 months. It was very difficult and was taking a heavy toll on us all. Then he finds a text on my phone from my best friend that was sent months before saying "******(the boy) is nothing like **** (husband) he is lovely looking, very dark (husband is fair) etc and he totally changes. He is crying every day and hostile, he started saying he didn't feel anything for me and was struggling to feel anything for his kids and he starts doing weird things like going our with work colleagues drinking, taking up all sports at work, doing things for the families of work colleagues and pulling out of seeing his children, leaving our son in shops on his own in the city centre while he went in to other shops, letting him watch films etc that my husband wouldn't have watched before never mind a 10 year old. Not getting involved in his school activities, parents things etc, he completely withdraws from our lives, all of our lives, he has barely anything to do with our daughter. Eventually he tells me he doesn't want me. I think there is another woman of course but I cannot find any evidence, if I go around he is at home, even in the day he is in his p.js. I set up a facebook page in his name, I have followed him - I have asked him and he says there is no one else. I have ranted but I have also been extremely loving. Writing beautiful letters, texting poems or quotations, buying books, clothes etc (another thing is that he has got himself in to debt buying designer labels when before he disliked the need for people to feel they had to be accepted for "status"), I have been supportive, buying books on mid life crisis, marriage and searching infj forums about 'the doorslam' or the 'shadow' state. I just don't understand how a person can change so completely and utterly so quickly. He has now been like this for about 9 months but when I bring up divorce he absolutely refuses to go down that road. It has now been 5 weeks since I have seen or heard from him as he caused a lot of emotional upset with our son, having him in a house with a drunk abusive flat mate. HE refuses to even talk about it and says he cannot cope. He has been off work and unable to go in in the weeks before I last saw him. I should say last year when it all happened he was off work for weeks too. He says it was the text that did it but I can't help but think that is an excuse. A text after all we have experienced and done to each other. I didn't even send it !!! So, can you please please give some insight on his mind and feelings. Is it a breakdown? Can you totally change your core values and beliefs? When it feels like we are one person (his words) can we be split permanently? Is there anything I can do? Any help would be great. Please forgive how long it is and that i waffle!!! I am so desperate, I cannot go on without him. I feel torn in half and do not want to move on even if I could begin to accept I have to!!!
     
  2. Bird

    Bird Happy Go Lucky

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    I read all of this.


    And I do not think there is anything that can be done on your part.
    When you threw him out you hurt him deeply. He needed you to be
    understanding, caring, to listen so he could explain himself. And you
    didn't. It's going to take him some time to get over that. He may never.


    I'm sorry this isn't what you want to hear.


    Just try to be there for him. As long as you don't
    leave him, as long as you're there for him now when
    he really needs you it may redeem your previous
    actions.
     
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  3. invisible

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    i'm sorry to read about your situation. i don't understand it. i can tell you that from what i know of myself, the ways that he was before, in regards to telling your children together that you come first over them, and in terms of totally cutting people off for no other reason than moving to a different area, that i don't think that these are signs of well developed emotional health and respect for others for anyone at all, and maybe especially an infj. he may be finding his self in ways that he hasn't before and if so there is no telling what kind of self that could end up being. not that i think it is especially likely to be a "bad" self but it may be a self that does not fit with the relationship you two used to have. this may have nothing to do with reality at all, it is just a couple of ideas or impressions i had while reading what you wrote. sorry as i really have no idea what either of you could truly be thinking and feeling right now. all the best.
     
  4. OP
    80schick

    80schick Newbie

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    Thank you so much for bothering and replying so promptly.

    His lack of need for friends wasn't that he didn't care about others or mix with them just he only required his family for all emotional needs.

    I do feel that he is questioning himself and life. We are at 'that' age never mind hitting these problems. I guess what I am asking is this...being an infj, surely he will come back round to being a decent, caring human being again?? Surely you cannot become the antithesis of all you were before.

    Thanks so for your help, it is hard to disclose such personal information but I feel so desperate to understand him.
     
  5. Bird

    Bird Happy Go Lucky

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    I honestly do think he will come back around.
    If he wouldn't, he would have left permanently
    a long time ago.
     
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  6. OP
    80schick

    80schick Newbie

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    oh and he does keep saying that he will never get over that I threw him out although in his more rational moments he will say it was justified. Please understand he had been lying and deceiving is all over a very awful thing for many years. It is understandable I threw him out (esp for an enfp) he will accept that, he says himself what he did was horrendous. I think he is struggling with his own 'imperfections'. It is as if he cannot accept he is flawed like us all, he had such high standards both for himself and others.
     
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  7. The Jester

    What very awful thing?
    Because things like these are very relative.

    I have a feeling you're just looking for justification.
     
  8. OP
    80schick

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    I think you misunderstand when I say he cut people off, what I mean is he did not keep in touch, did not need to. I do not mean to imply he told them not to keep in touch or anything like that, just he had no need to do so. Even childhood friends that he has strong feelings for, he wouldn't bother with keeping in touch yet I know he feels for them. It was like he had no need for anyone. I think he realise now this is unhealthy, no man is an island. I would say and I think many of my friends and family would say he was 'unhealthy' and that would be being kind, however, I now realise that a lot of his traits are infjness although it is hard for me to say being an enfp. That's why I am on this forum - for understanding and help. He is damaged, as many are, his parents divorced when young and this deeply affected him yet he does no talk about it. He did not see his father when growing up and only a handful of times as an adult, this is one reason why I cannot believe he would do this to his own children. I keep reading that infjs are very faithful and loyal and devoted parents also.

    Sorry to go on and on - I am now going to take a break :-D
     
  9. invisible

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    i'm sorry but the things you wrote about him give me the feeling that he is very emotionally immature. he seems to experience a great deal of difficulty in being responsible for his actions. it is my belief that the things that you describe about the way he relates to you eg high romantic declarations of complete devotion and merging of self are not healthy ways of respecting another person as a separate individual with differences in temperament, thought, and so on, and that these ways of relating are ultimately unsustainable. i battle with inconsistencies in my personality of the kind you mention in him but i have learned to be very honest about them with myself and others i am close to, and i have learned this through being alone and finding myself. i too went through this period of instability when i was younger. hopefully he will come back to assuming some responsibility for who he is but if he does relations between you may be different. at the moment he sounds totally off the rails. i think probably the only thing you can determine at this point is the level of care that you give yourself as a separate person. i don't know though. i am not an authority on this. this is just a perspective. hopefully you will get some more feedback from other people here.

    EDIT, if infjs can be said to withdraw as a way of setting boundaries, what i am saying is that it seems to me that you two have previously had zero boundaries whatsoever between you.
     
    #9 invisible, Oct 23, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  10. Questingpoet

    Questingpoet Not Afraid to Use His Beard
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    In many ways he sounds like a typical INFJ. He's been severely hurt now and is not in INFJ mode, but some other shadow type. This is apparent from his a-typical behavior. Without knowing what the exact issue was that caused this split, I can say that whatever it was kicking him out has caused sever emotion harm that he is not handling well. You may both be going through a mid-life crisis to boot. Your attraction to your daughters friend may be partially fueled by this. Its hard to come to full realization of yourself and see nothing but the same dull routine in your future. Even if its with someone you love.

    My advice for you is this. If you truly love your husband and want things to heal do the following. Address whatever problem split you up head on. Don't shy away from it and don't hold onto it. Deal with it (both of you), forgive, and move on. Secondly, he's an INFJ. We are emotional, empathic, and most of all loving and sensitive. Talk to him about what he is and has been feeling. Validate those feeling, especially the ones surrounding him getting kicked out. It most likely hurt him deeply. What ever the secret that caused this rift, it was likely something he felt to deeply ashamed of, and that he couldn't share even with you. He probably was trying to hide it from himself as well as you.

    He surely feels betrayed for you reaction to it, regardless of whether you were justified. INJF's are very forgiving, but when deeply wounded may never forget it. If you want to continue, you have much work ahead. Start by dealing with the core issue, then the fallout from it (your reaction and his hurt from your reaction), then his reaction, finally what you both REALLY want. Sounds to me like you want the same thing--each other. So there is much reason to still hope. A complicated problem. Good luck to you and your hearts...
     
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    #10 Questingpoet, Oct 23, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
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  11. OP
    80schick

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    Honestly, I do not need justification. If I did I have OUR daughters, and my husbands also, not to mention other family members. By his own admission he kept it hidden as he knew it would mean the end of his marriage. He has said he is a manipulative hypocrite. His words, not mine. I do not need justification as it is irrelevant, just as blame is. What is relevant is two people with two innocent children that all have hearts and need to find a way of healing hurt and pain on ALL sides. We have both hurt each other deeply.
    It seems to me that life IS relationships. They are fulfilling and rewarding but at times take a lot of hard work and forgiveness. I love my family and want to keep them. Because we ALL make mistakes,myself included, if at all possible I think it is best to work through problems rather than 'move on' because ALL people are flawed and so ALL relationships will at some point require work and forgiveness. The deepest bonds come from that work and effort, from overcoming the difficulties. You reach a place of love that surpasses anything else - but that is just my view.
     
  12. The Jester

    That's why you kicked him out of the house, instead of actively working on your problems?

    If you want to make this work, then go for it for crying out loud instead of asking for advice.
    You don't need it, you're saying yourself that you can fix it.

    Just be there for him.
     
  13. KorJax

    KorJax Community Member

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    The thing is, you broke his trust. And trust is like a mirror - you can put it back together again but you can still see the cracks.

    He might come around, but if he does he too will be desperate (which is unhealthy), and will be extremely distant/scared to get close. Because instead of working with him and his "problem" (which might not actually be one, hard to say when we don't know what it is), you decided to disown him, and unfairly judge him which is just about the worst thing you can do to an INFJ.

    We are fiercly loyal to the people we care about, and if you give us a reason to not be loyal, then it's almost impossible to fix.

    Maybe if you guys completely forgot about each other and just lost all care, then managed to get talking again with an impartial perspective, it can work. Maybe.
     
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  14. OP
    80schick

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    Questing Poet - thank you

    As I am new to this I do not know how/if I can reply to you directly (still working it out) but I just want to say the problem now is that he will not/can not talk. His answer is to say he can not deal with conflict and he doesn't want to come back. I have tried all I can believe me - it has been 18 months altogether. You cannot help or talk to someone that doesn't want you. However he tells me his counselor says "you can see the port but are afraid of the break water (the issues)". Counselor speak, I know but it must mean he tells her that he wants back. He will not agree to divorce either. It is so frustrating. I just wonder if I should hope he will come back to being a 'family man'. I cannot believe he will turn his back on all we had and on his family if he is an infj or have I got them on a pedestal!! Also, it is directly in conflict with his life long values thus far.

    Thank you for responding, I notice you are a similar age so it helps even more.
     
  15. OP
    80schick

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    Sorry but if you love deeply then you hurt deeply. My infj was himself deeply disloyal in a way that far surpassed my own. I threw him out from disbelief, shock and pain. Human emotions no??? Also, I do not recall saying I can fix it - quite the opposite or I certainly wouldn't be exposing the most intimate details of my life to the world to get some help or your judgement!
     
  16. Blind Bandit

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    As Bird said you ripped his heart apart when you threw him out. And all the this behavior you see isn't him its INFJ shadow (ESTP / ISTP) mode. He is not himself. He doesn't know how to cope so he's partaking in standard unhealthy INFJ behavior.

    The question you need to ask is can you both live with the mistake and move on? Can you still love him regardless of what happened?

    Life is messy and often unbearable. Sometimes you have to decide what is worth and what is not.

    He made a mistake a big one. And you both need to decide how to proceed. INFJs aren't gods we aren't perfect. We do try and live up to our own standards but its not always possible. Frankly INFJ fail at living up their own standards. Its jut impossible not too. I'm not excusing his actions but he is still a human being and mistakes will be made.

    I get the feeling your more upset that he seemly couldn't tell you the truth than him actually lying to you.

    You need to get over what has happened. Vent any way you can thats not going to hurt your son or husband. Cry,take some personal time, seek a consular anything to help you get these feelings out. Speaking from NF to another you can't move on until you can feel everything you feeling. Then, say ok I've felt everything now I can look at the problem. Then try to deal with the issue in realistic terms.

    it seems such a waste to throw away a marriage for one mistake. Granted its a large on but both parties involved need to be realistic about it.

    Also I want to point out

    As an INFJ who moved a great deal. I tended to leave friends behind. All but my oldest ones. Mostly because its hard to keep a relationship going when going from an in person relationship to online, phone ect. This is not uncommon its very hard on INFJs to move a lot. It breaks our roots and we take time warm up to people. In one way he is avoiding being hurt by losing people important to him.

    Its pretty clear you not ready to forgive him. Either your in or your out. I'm sorry to be so blunt. But you don't strike me as wanting to fix this marriage or even give him the chance. If it is too awful to overcome the issues you have faced fine so be it. But don't play games, don't jerk him or yourself around.

    And if you don't want to work this out. You must first deal with your feelings because they can't be left to simmer. Not if the marriage is meant to work.
     
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  17. invisible

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    let's remember that he broke her trust first and what she did was an emotional reaction that may have been perfectly justified. people are saying "don't judge" but they are in fact judging the OP.

    while typing has helped me a lot i'm also a bit tired of infj glorification. fine, we're special, but we are what we are, and we are also capable of being truly horrible.
     
  18. OP
    80schick

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    Thank you so much for putting yourself across in such a caring way. I don't feel I am explaining myself very well. I can forget the original problem/s, if he can - absolutely, although it isn't as simple as that as it is an ongoing problem for him. However if I come across as unforgiving it is because I cannot forgive this 'person' he has become. I could not love this 'shadow' persona, if it is one, that is why I am on here. I believe in marriage being forever, especially one such as ours was and I think it is futility to 'move on', my children would be devastated and besides my husband is such a part of my I cannot ever 'move on' (how i hate that phrase!). I feel IF we could get through this our relationship would be even better, others manage it. Thank you for your great insight, it helps such a lot, you just have no idea how much.
     
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  19. The Jester

    I'm not saying don't judge.

    Besides, just like Blind Blandit said, you're not quite ready to forgive him.
    Look at what you're saying, you're constantly blaming him.

    Looks like you've got 2 options:

    1) Forgive and get back together if he would forgive you too.
    And don't bring it up again later in a fight.

    2) Cut ties.
     
  20. Bird

    Bird Happy Go Lucky

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    Every type is special in their own way.
     
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