We All Love Differently | INFJ Forum

We All Love Differently

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Asa, Sep 6, 2017.

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  1. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    We All Love Differently.

    Love means something different to everyone. Our 'hearts' feel differently, and our minds define love differently. I believe it is the same for friendship, loyalty, and other relationship attributes. We get into trouble when we assume that others love, are loyal, or define friendship as we do.

    I am not speaking of 'love languages', which frames how we communicate our affections, but defining love itself, what it means, its importance in our lives, and our love hierarchies.

    Ultimately all we can do is accept how others define these bonds, and try to find those most compatible with us.


    How do you love? Or, how do you define love, loyalty or friendship? Have you struggled with others when those deeply personal definitions don't match.

    ----
    When I got engaged my father gave me advice that has always been obvious to me because I grew up watching my parents interact: Your spouse comes first. He told me my SO and I were a family 'now', and one's spouse comes before every single other person, even one's parents, and even one's children. If a marriage is not healthy and happy, the children will suffer. They were deeply in love, deeply romantic and knew how to communicate, so any issues that arose did not last long.

    This is my definition of love. One's spouse comes first, and after that, one's immediate family – the members of the house. I don't have kids, so this means the animals we committed to be responsible for. After everyone under our roof is taken care of and well, other's needs may be attended to.

    My SO's definition of love is far different than my own.
    Self comes first - Spouses should take care of themselves.
    Duty comes before love. Even if he does not love a person, duty to them is the priority, and love comes last.

    Right now we are clashing because he has a sense of duty that takes priority over those under our roof. One of those we agreed to care for needs attention, and it would take only an hour of his time (driving a little out of his way) to provide for them, and he is refusing. He believes I am violating him by asking this 'favor', while I believe he is shirking responsibility and showing he does not value love by refusing.

    The best way to get on my bad side is by harming my animals in any way, and in this case, he is one of the parents and he is refusing to provide for them, so he is harming them and also shirking responsibility and duty. (I'm angry.)

    Neither of us is wrong, nor right, but in my mind and heart, he is wrong.

    -----



    While reading posts on the forum, I often see these kinds of conflicts with couples. We define love differently, and sometimes those definitions clash.... So I'm beginning a thread to discuss it.

    How does this issue arise in your lives?


    PS:
    While hacking at my post to make it shorter and tell less of my story, I left out a key point I wanted to ask everyone about.


    Does type affect our definitions of love, loyalty, and friendship?

    I may be wrong, but Fe/Fi seems to play a role.
    In my parents' "spouse comes before all others, including self" relationship, both my parents were Fe dominant. ESFJ and INTP. My brother's marriage mirrors my parents' values. He is an ISTP - also Fe dominant, over Fi. INFJs are Fe dominant.

    My SO is Fi dominant. The sense of duty is about self. It's about honor.


    Does type come into play in your relationships in this manner?
     
    #1 Asa, Sep 6, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
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  2. ruji

    ruji Well-known member

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    I don't see relationship conflicts resulting from different definitions of love.
    I see it as an imbalance in love.

    In my experience, I've witnessed one's "definition" of love to conveniently expand outside of me when I wasn't enough.

    Relationships are all about balance. The details are just excuses we materialize out of necessity to justify.
     
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  3. OP
    Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    Ooooooh, good point ruji. Balance is key. The expanding definition to justify behaviors is a scapegoat.


    In our case, this is how he is, and this is how I am. It usually works. It doesn't work when those we are responsible for (in this case, our animals) need special care and he refuses because he'd have to go a little out of his way for them. I'd do it myself, but I won't have the vehicle. (Frustrating for me, and I need to change this.) He'll have the vehicle and be close to where he needs to drop the dog off.
     
  4. seira0807

    seira0807 Community Member

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    I heard about differences in Fi and Fe love, as mentioned. I think that I am showing love by giving attention (Fe), while my mom prefers to show her love through gifts/preparing food/providing in some way (Fi). I appreciate it when someone does something for me, and wouldn't force/expect someone to "serve" me, but I'm more touched by outward shows of affection rather than subtle ones, even when I can still notice them
     
  5. selcouth

    selcouth Community Member

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    I don't want to jump too far into an explanation right now because of time constraint, but I have noticed a huge clash in Fe/Fi when it comes to relationships in my life. I find it frustrating to constantly love and place someone above everything and essentially then have to compete with the other person themselves to be cared for the same way.
     
  6. Pin

    Pin Permanent Fixture

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    Love... Romantically, I make it clear. I'll say upfront to a girl, "I like you."

    Aside from that, I show love with actions. I'll buy my family and friends food when we go out.
     
  7. OP
    Asa

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    My Fi dominant SO isn't exactly like this. It could be because he is an INTJ and you may have had an experience w/ an INFP.
    I hope some INFPs speak out here, because I think how they behave in relationships, and what they need, depends on level of maturity, personality development, and mental/emotional stability.
    He feels emotions from his point of view. In situations with people he always says, "They made me feel," (and I map out why 'they' did or said what they did for him.) He can be deeply empathetic and compassionate, but feels empathy based on whether he can place himself in the same situation, or whether he has gone through similar. If he thinks you got yourself into your own mess because you're stupid, he does...not...care.... about you at all and can come off as callous. He will also bulldoze over my needs and feelings if they don't match his, or if he can't relate. I need to communicate my feeling and situations in a way that he 'emotionally relates' to. I think the fact that I empathize with his feelings easily, and understand him, is a key ingredient to why our relationship works, though. Meanwhile, I don't necessarily feel that he understands how I feel and think, but it doesn't usually bother me unless it is something huge, like the needs of my animals, or something huge in my family or career.

    The funniest thing about him is that he will surprise me with plans. For a while I was irked by how spontaneous he was being for an XXXJ. He isn't being spontaneous. He has carefully planned events and failed to tell me about it because I understand him so well, and I'm so supportive of him, that he forgets I don't know his plans. I'm usually fine with it, but I do get that initial jolt of panic and grumpiness at being surprised and needing to change my plans.
     
  8. selcouth

    selcouth Community Member

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    Yes, that's true. My experience has been with immature INFPs. But, my soon to be ex-hub is ISTJ and he has Fi in his function stack and though it's his tertiary, I think it still reared its head throughout our relationship. I definitely relate to what you said about being able to adapt ourselves to them and empathize easier, therefore it makes it easier for them to sort of bulldoze over us. Is he able to be convinced? With my husband, I was usually able to convince him why his lack of empathy towards something wasn't appropriate by creating a parable involving him and he could then understand.

    Sending hugs and good vibes! Our pets can be our babies and so I totally get your frustration. They are family. No room for logic when it comes to their wellbeing.
     
  9. OP
    Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    @selcouth – As you just pointed out, even when way down the stack, dominant Fi/Fe show up.
    That is a good way of coping. I usually just let my INTJ feel the way he feels, but if he is being really "heartless" I let him know that his reaction is a good indicator about why he isn't more popular. (He has plenty of friends, but worries that people don't like him.) His reaction can be scathing. LOL. It really can be funny how mean INTJs can seem.
     
  10. ruji

    ruji Well-known member

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    I think it's justified when people constantly make the same or similar mistakes. I don't agree with the mindset of "you should have known" if you haven't experienced the mistake yet.

    To everything else, I appreciate your point of view.
     
  11. OP
    Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    I appreciate you're POV.
    I'm in-between. Logic will tell me not to feel sorry for someone if they have the experience and made a poor decision despite that, but I still absorb emotion very easily and feel compassion for them. Haha.
     
  12. t56hg2bv

    t56hg2bv Banned

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    I would agree Asa, in a committed relationship, the SO should come first.

    I also agree that harming my animals or children hurts me to my core. That's a good way to make me stop loving someone. At the very least, it would make me withdraw and not want to connect with someone. I've seen this first hand and it made me want to be violent. Of course, anyone who knows anything about INFJs realize that harming those close is a straight ticket to a torture chamber in some form or fashion.

    I don't believe typing has a direct corelation to defining love but I do think there are some strong influences.

    I searched for love definitions on the internet for s good deal of time and the one that came back most often, and really resonated the most was from the Bible:

    I would probably replace the last line with LOVE ALWAYS STAYS

    IMG_2970.JPG
     
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  13. t56hg2bv

    t56hg2bv Banned

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    Where's @acd when we need her?

    I have two daughters that are INFP and with them there is definitely s tendency to give a heavy dose of opinion about a situation yet they hold those feelings very close.

    Also, when they are in the grip, the shit (Fe) is coming full force. Very easy to see, and I've learned how to tone it down and make them feel safe again. Not always easy but there is a method to the madness.
     
    #13 t56hg2bv, Sep 8, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  14. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    I posted earlier and deleted it because it felt too personal, lol. It's a huge question. Not easy to answer. There are many factors.

    I'm very different from say, 10 years ago. I don't experience love the same as I did then. You learn things and experience things and it shapes you. Don't have a lot of insight on infps here. I'd have to really think about it more.
     
    #14 acd, Sep 9, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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  15. Milktoast Bandit

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    Someone needs to help the damn dog!!!
     
  16. wandering

    wandering Regular Poster

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    One might say that I love intensely and another one may say that I just love too much. I agree with your definition of love, alongside with your parents. The SO comes first, the spouse should come first, above all and everybody else. It is when people do this that I see their marriages thriving and it is when I see other people who do not, tend to suffer the most. Something must be in the pudding if this is the pattern I'm seeing. I am also the same way in my platonic relationships, though obviously not as in dept as I am with my romantic ones.

    I hope you and your husband find a way to resolve this difficulty, Asa.

    I believe my spouse is also a Fi user, and although I am exploring my options as to what type I am, there is a good chance that I too, am a Fe type of person. Other people before myself. And then here he is, a lone island. So, yes, I do think that type does play a major role in this situation.
     
  17. infinite dreams

    infinite dreams Community Member

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    I'm no expert on love but I'd think that the cognitive differences between Fe and Fi users would certainly be profound enough to create conflicts under certain circumstances.

    Your SO is demonstrating textbook Fi preference (lower in the stack, at that) by placing his own personal values firmly in front of an important need for his partner. To that point though, I think a primary/auxiliary Fi user might demonstrate better judgment in such matters (the same as higher-stacked Fe users more easily engender relational harmony than say, an INTP :sunglasses:).
     
  18. OP
    Asa

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    He refused. I've been working with my dog on my own. He is usually good when I'm the only human present, so it is hard to catch him in a moment.

    I may hire someone to build the fencing before it gets too cold. My father offered to pay for the fencing to resolve the issue, but I declined.
    It may take the neighbors telling my husband that we need to do something for him to be embarrassed into action.

    He knew I was upset, so he brought me into a clothing shop and tried to make me pick something as a gift. I liked the shop, but I am both practical and picky about clothing, so... uh... "skirted" the issue. ;)


    I delete posts alllll the time, acd. :)
    Life experiences, time, and age make a huge difference in how we approach love, don't they?

    Fantastic insight! Thank you.



    @FreeSp1r1t

    Thank you for your posts, insight and for sharing. <3 I like that Bible verse as is, I think.
     
  19. Milktoast Bandit

    Milktoast Bandit Voodoo whack puppet

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    Bummer.
    What if you asked the neighbors to say something to him about it? That may speed up the process.
     
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  20. OP
    Asa

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    One of the way I love is by not blaming my spouse publicly, throwing him under the bus, or letting him look bad. Even posting about this makes me cringe a bit.
    I've taken the fall for some things I should not have, to save his face, but I just can't behave any other way.
     
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