INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

topic posted Wed, December 26, 2007 - 11:05 AM by  Mary
Someone please help...In your opinion, what is the outlook for an INFP marrying an ISFJ? My boyfriend is an ISFJ and I am the INFP, and while our relationship seems good from the outset, I sense something deeply incompatible going on.

The biggest thing to me is we have no understanding of other's "big dream" in life. His biggest ambition is to settle down and get married and spend his life providing for his wife and make a living at something that has no personal meaning because to him, the fun of work is in providing a happy domestic kingdom for himself and his family. A noble goal on the surface, sure, but for any INFPs reading this, I think you'll agree it's somewhat lacking in fufillment. I should also mention he is 37 and I am 25 and he's never been married or in a commited relationship, although it was always his dream to be.

He has no idea how to relate to my "dreams and goals," as abstract and non-concrete as they are. He can't understand how I can be so comfortable with having everything in life so open-ended. He doesn't understand why I can't find my life's fulfillment within a 60 mile radius of his job, nor why I would find it necessary to move from place to place to search for such a thing. He doesn't see a job as anything more than something to pay the bills and believes career has nothing to do with life fulfillment. This is so infuriating to me, but as he points out, has little bearing on our relationship with each other. Harumph.

Here's the thing though...He's the most incredibley loving, giving and attentive man I've ever known. He loves me so deeply and is very sincere and emotionally expressive, which I love about him. He has a deep heart and a few creative/intellectual tendencies, though I wish they were more developed. He is also enthusiatic about security and being repsponsible. He would always take care of all the little details in life that I find so difficult and would support me doing anything as long as it didn't take me away from him. He is extrememly kind and gentle, tender and sensitive and I know finding another like him will be impossible, my idealism aside. He would make the worlds best husband, and wife for that matter. He finds the greatest joy in doing anything for me, especially domestic activities like cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, fixing things, running errands, paying bills, rubbing my feet and keeping me safe.

So wow, what a guy right? How could I ask for more, right? And yet I do. For all the loving things he does and as much as I will always mean to him, I feel like he will never understand me. He would support me in any endeavor, but he wouldn't support the endeavor itself, nor care about anything I care about. But somehow this is not important to him...but it's everything to me! I always envisioned my significant other being my "partner in crime," the one who I could relate all my passions and ideals to and we would go out and save the world together, side by side. But apparently my boyfriend thinks it's a perfect arrangement if I go do these things without his passion while he just keeps up the homefront and brings me dinner. He says he wants me to have and do anything I want in life and he will help me do it, but I just feel disheartened that he doesn't share my passions. Trying to talk him about the things that consume me is like talking to a brick wall sometimes; even though he always listens attentively, he never has anything to add to discussions I start.

It's like he would deal with reality, leaving me free to exist in the impractical. It makes me feel foolish, as though I'm freeloading, but he doesn't think so. He always says, "I want to be the man behind the woman." He has little care for his own personal success, only supporting me with mine.
He would provide room and board, and I would be left to wander alone in my abstract world. This seems grossly out of balance to me, what do you think?

Tell me, does this sound like a pretty sweet setup for an INFP, or a ticket an unsatisfying permanent relationship? I know we INFPs tend to deeply idealistic and unrealistic, so I am passing up a wonderful thing for someone who may not exist if I dump him, or will I be settling if I marry this man from Planet Good Husband?

I am very curious to know your opinions....Thanks! -Mary
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    Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

    Wed, December 26, 2007 - 9:37 PM
    Well, my mom is an INFJ while my dad is an ISFJ. Sort of the same scenario as my father does all the things that your ISFJ does while my mom pursues professional and educational development. She went back to school in her forties to get her bs and ms in medical records and is now a nursing home administrator and a teacher at at least two technical colleges while my father works at a factory. They've been married for almost 28 years. As their child I cannot say how perfectly it has worked out but they seem to be doing ok. I've turned out odd (the only P in a family of FJs) but they seem to work well. As you and I are similarly aspected as INFPs I can say that I understand how the details can drag you down and the desire to talk about certain things, my father and I get along and can communicate now but there were rough spots growing up. In your own relationship you may be able to talk about some things but not others until an understanding is developed.

    Random thought: If the man is good go for it., having beautiful ideas with you doesn't mean the same kind of devotion that he seems to have to you.
  • JW
    offline 0

    Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

    Sat, December 29, 2007 - 4:49 PM
    You've done a good job describing your thoughts. While I haven't been in a situation like that, I can imagine feeling much like you do. "Thoughts" instead of advice - maybe you rightly anticipated that INFPs don't like giving advice :) I do want to be "judgmental" for a moment and say that I wish people would discuss these issues with outsiders before they're enmeshed and before giving them feedback feels like intruding on a relationship's sanctity. Now I think that, being so private, not especially social, and having friends who don't want to speak up, the struggles we INFPs have with relationships might be connected to a disinclination or inability to get advice.

    How long have you been with him? What if you meet someone who is only slightly less warm and caring (he seems to be ideal there) but more in tune intellectually and with whatever your goals are? Regardless, do you see the interaction between you changing? I don't. He sounds like a classic SJ provider male. Long-term marital satisfaction of INFP wives with ESTJ husbands seems to be poor, I feel compelled to report. I don't know about INFP wives with ISFJ husbands. What are your goals? For example, having a family? Living in the country or the city? What are you needs? For example, do you need to be pushed to follow your dreams?

    Finally, it's no joy to say that his age and goals makes due soon a decision from you.
    • Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

      Wed, March 5, 2008 - 1:02 PM
      Thanks for taking the time to go more in depth with me before giving "advice." I appreciate it so much.

      Well, as of right now, we've been together a little over a year. We met online and have been in a long distance relationship from the beginning; he lives in Olathe, KS and I live in Columbia, MO...that's a 2.5 hour drive, and he often makes it every weekend. Due to less weekend commitments, a better financial situation and the fact that he's just plain crazy for me, he usually does the driving to see me and not the other way around. This has become very draining to him and I've suggested we cut down on our visits, but he wails that he can't stand being away from me. The big push right now is to get me a new job in his town so I can move from Columbia to there. That seems like a good idea, but I feel really apprehensive. I like it here, I like my job and I'm not sure if I really want to move. What if I met someone else? Well, I've thought about that...I know for a fact that I would never meet anyone as warm and caring towards me as him, but I often wonder if I require the level of warmth and care. I wouldn't mind a small amount of emotional distance with my partner as long as I still felt we were in love. But I enjoy his attention and so worry that leaving him for the "chance" of finding someone more intellectually compatible might leave me coming up short in all the areas that he excels. But I feel this is so essential that I am almost willing to do it.
      If you can imagine this, I feel like a whole 1/3 of our relationship is missing. On the other hand, he feels completely fulfilled by me, says I am over and above his expectations and hopes for a woman and has no complaints. He always comments on how much he admires my intellectual or creative pursuits, so while he doesn't understand them or relate to me, he doesn't discount them...well actually he does sometimes...the few times I've tried to watch a film with him, I try to talk to him about how great it was and all he can say is how he hates movies and doesn't understand them. He throws up his hands when I try to involve him; he gets frustrated with his lack of ability to give me what I want from him. It's infuriating the way he falls asleep when we try to watch good movies or read books together. He has no comprehension power or intuition at all. I don't get what he thinks is funny and he doesn't get what I think is funny. I just can't connect on the levels I want to! I picture it like this: we are both cup measures. He is the 3/4 cup and I am the 1 cup. What I contain will fill him and run over, but what he contains will always leave me partially empty. I appreciate his efforts to the moon and back, but sometimes no amount of trying can make it better. It's not his fault and it's so frustrating I often cry thinking about it. no, I don't see our interaction changing. As far as I can tell, we are just incompatible in an innate way, neither of us can or should change. From what I've read about ISFJs, he seems unusually emotionally open and giving. He is a VERY emotional person and I've suggested to him that he be in counseling. While we are both emotional people, we seem to do it in different ways. With his emotions, there seems to be nothing behind them, like no substance. Do you know what I mean? He is "Hallmark-card" sentimental. Things like Norman Rockwell paintings warm his heart, and I think, well that's nice I guess, but it doesn't do much for me. Tiny little sentimental concepts can choke him up, especially thoughts about children being denied things: a popped balloon, getting left out of games, a fallen ball of ice cream, etc. He could watch a movie like The Hours and not understand why it was sad though. His emotions border on the ridiculous. It's very weird to me. Very simple things make him happy or sad. Plus, he is a very defensive person and is easily offended. It's hard to joke with him about anything because he is so sensitive, anxious and tense. He's described his past; throughout his childhood and adulthood he's been teased and taunted and had a brush with death when he was 9 when a shard of glass from a window he ran through on accident stabbed him in the heart. As an ISFJ, he's not very flexible or adaptable and I think these qualities have caused him to stiffen to bad memories instead of dealing with them. He can't adapt to situations very well and tenses around the unfamiliar.

      So I guess my lack of intellectual connection to him isn't the only problem, but I think our differences there cause problems in other areas.

      His SJ-ness would gladly provide for me for my entire life, and this is one big plus...He expresses to me that he is "honored" to take care of me and wants to provide a comfortable living so that I may pursue whatever it is that I seek. So he can't talk to me about my desires and interests, but he'll fund them. It's rather unromantic to me, romantic to him, but practical. Should an INFP consider a deal like this? I have to be realistic enough to realize that rare is the person who will put up with my idealistic shenanigans for a lifetime. He is convinced his love will endure for me forever and he constantly tells me after being alone so long, he'll never take me for granted. Very good point there. My dad was his age when he married my mom (she was 20 and he was 36) and my mom always tells me how Dad appreciates her still and how old bachelors never forget their old lonely lives and never take their wives for granted.

      My goals were to find my career path, get a job I enjoy and settle down with a man who understands me. I would like to have no more than 2 children, if any, and live in the country outside a nice college town or some other stimulating city (he would also like to live in the country and might want kids--we both want a daughter if we do-- but his present livelihood would put us in the suburbs of Kansas City for God knows how long) . I DO need someone to push me to follow my dreams, unfortunately. Though I have dreams, I often lack the strategy and discipline to make them a reality. I can't finish things, as much as I'd like to. (He has some dreams, but is content to stay where he is) So my big worry is that John will support me with money and taking care of domestic details, but he won't really push me to get done what I feel I should because he won't understand what I'm doing or why I want to do it. He won't believe in my work or won't know how to help me. If it was all the same to him, I'd have a mediocre job and find all my fulfillment in having a marriage with him. This is how life works in his world. Granted, it's more practical, but very lacking in color. He finds comfort in routine, and I find myself getting depressed with routine, so I couldn't count on him to get us out of a rut if we got in one. He likes ruts.
      His lifelong dreams go like this: Go to school...why? Not to learn, that's just a necessary evil. Go to school to get a job and that's the only reason! Fine, nothing really wrong with that. Get a job that pays the bills, any job. It doesn't have to have any special significance, just as long as I earn a respectable living for me and my family. As soon as puberty is complete, get a wife. Not date a bunch of women and try different relationships before really knowing, just get married to a sweet lady just for the sake of it. (I think he was not looking for someone as "complex/weird" as me, but he claims he loves that about me) Maybe have kids, but not a big desire. Just a good woman to be married to. The last step? Stay married for 75 years and work in same unsatisfying job for almost as long. This is fulfilling but other satisfaction might come from hobbies...perhaps.

      THAT's how he envisions life, and while there's nothing wrong with it, you and I would say it leaves something to be desired. I realize not all happiness or satisfaction comes from career, but I doubt all of mine will come from only being married too, or married to someone who feels like this. He seems to view marriage with me as something that will save his life. Now of course, things haven't worked out for him, since he didn't marry at 18...he's been lonely and dying for a woman for 20 years. He has dated a lot, but only in a vain search for Mrs. Burns. Most women didn't want anything to do with him and he's never had a girlfriend save me...he's one of those nice-guys-finish-last guys (he thinks he was too sweet, dorky and weird looking for anyone's taste). I doubt his large poof of curly, red hair has kept him alone all this time, but I will admit he's not everyone's taste (Most men I like usually aren't!).

      But despite our disjointed desires on how simple or complex life should be, he is always willing to put my needs ahead of his. He has told me the kind of wedding he'd want, the kind of house he'd want to live in, etc., but tells me he wants me to have what I want and that however I think things should be, that's what he wants. It's seems kind of a pushover thing to do, but when I take into account the sacrificial nature of ISFJs, it's very sweet. Except that that same sacrificial nature tends to make him keep hurt feelings to himself when I accidentally step on him and then lets him play the martyr later. Well, he plays the martyr about a lot of things in life, but I can live with that.

      So that got a QUITE a bit more lengthy than I intended, but that's what's going on. This ISFJ leaves me unfulfilled and grasping at straws quite often, but he's capable of meeting my needs outside of that and providing the structure in life that I struggle to maintain. What I want to know is when is idealism too much? Where should I draw the line in what I'm willing to settle for? Because I have to face facts that good partners are in short supply and maybe I should just cash in my chips right now. But what if (there's always what if) I marry him and then later meet another man who is everything he's not who wants to be with me? That might be a big what if, but it's a legitimate concern, right?

      AGH, I'm so confused. And worn out. All these things get in the way of me admiring him and feeling romantic towards him...Sometimes I really doubt that I truly love him; he loves me so much, so I feel guilty to dump him. He's so good to me too that I feel I'd eventually regret ending things. His goodness, affection and domestic skill might be enough to help me love him deeply as time goes by. But I just can't seem to muster the desire to be his wife, so I feel maybe I should admit that the thrill is gone or was never there at all. There must be a good answer to this dilemma somewhere. You are right that his age and goals make this a much quicker decision for me, and I'm feeling the pressure. I hate decisions!! I don't want to be alone again...Man, all I wanted was a boyfriend and then Henry Husband had to come along...

      Thank you for your thoughts....and advice. I appreciate it coming from another INFP.
      • JW
        offline 0

        Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

        Sat, March 8, 2008 - 12:27 PM
        I guess the distance will force the issue more than anything. I have to add that you don't seem to have much experience in serious relationships - most men over 30 date with the goal of marrying - and that if you break up with him feeling unequipped to find someone else, that would be very bad. Don't women normally make-over their men? :) That might help. Better still, can't you dictate that he go into counseling? Counseling for yourself might be good, also. If you have a scarcity mentality, an INFP thing maybe (since I know I have it), fear of being alone, or the INFP desire for perfection that makes you find fault with others, lessening any of those characteristics is worthwhile.

        Your description of his goals in life remind me of how nearly every relative of mine approaches life and love. I've been tempted by at some points in life and, as various relatives my age pair off to seemingly whoever will have them, even recently have felt some pressure to "just find someone." Also, you have me wondering if my grandfather was ISFJ. He died when I was so young that my impressions of him are mostly hearsay. Since nobody ever said that he and my grandmother had any strife and my grandmother was ISFJ-like herself, I must assume that they had a mutually satisfying, "conventional" relationship.

        All I can end with is this: show him what you've written. Relationships are between two people. Major decisions should not be imposed without prior, honest discussion.
  • Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

    Tue, January 1, 2008 - 1:29 AM
    Hi Mary,

    I'm an INFP woman married for 15 years to an ISFJ man. We dated 9 years before we married, so our relationship has lasted for almost 25 years. Is he from Mars while I'm from Venus? Not really, it's more like he's from Mars and I'm from Andromeda (a completely different galaxy)!

    You know what? There are the ideals, and then there is real life. For whatever reason, or for no reason at all, we fell in love and trusted each other with our hearts. We do not naturally understand each other, but day after week after month after year, we get closer. It takes a huge effort for me to express myself to him so that he can sort-of understand what I'm saying, but it makes me a better person to make the effort. I have other people in my life to have deep esoteric conversations with. He is not, and never will be, an abstract thinker, so I just don't go there with him. It has made me more clever to find ways to be happy with him. And more patient to find ways to accept him. And more humble to acknowledge that his ways, which I do not understand, are just as valid and sacred as anyone elses.

    This is not a relationship for sissies! It is hard--REALLY hard. But it is not impossible. So, if you find that a relationship with an ISFJ is your destiny, then trust that you will find a way to be happy together. After all, as an INFP, you know it is the soul you really love, and not just the personality that it is currently manifesting as.
    • Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

      Wed, March 5, 2008 - 2:24 PM
      So it didn't really naturally work, but you made it work with lots of effort. That is very admirable. I know what you mean about feeling like you're from two different galaxies.

      How did you know that your ISFJ was your destiny? What are the things you squabble about most? Do you struggle with different political views or other strong opinions? I struggle with John being conservative and Republican while I am more moderate but with leanings to the left. Did you ever find it hard to feel that you loved him? What are the hardest things?

      I am starting to accept that there is no way to "develop" John, that I must accept him as he is. But I am also realizing that not accepting someone for who they are in a romantic relationship isn't wrong or mean, it's just admitting that you don't find a relationship with them possible or desirable. But I don't want to give up yet!

      Would honestly be able to say you have a happy and fulfilled marriage? I don't want to find out after years of work that I'm still not happy with him. I would be willing to work for it if I knew that we could really make it and that no one better is likely to fall into my lap like he did.

      Thank you for being so honest and yet giving hope. I appreciate it! This is very helpful to me.
      • Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

        Sat, March 15, 2008 - 8:36 PM
        The funny thing is that, although it seemed to not naturally work, it kept naturally happening. We would think there was no way that it would work between us, and yet we kept finding ourselves moving along together. I knew when we first started dating that we would get married. We went to the movies and he wanted to hold my purse for me when I went into the ladies' room. When I walked out, he was standing there holding my purse and smiling at me, standing next to other men who were holding their wives' purses. And I thought to myself "oh my God, we're going to get married!" And we did, nine years later!!! Yet during those nine years, I came to doubt many times the premonition I'd had.

        We squabble over stupid things. Doesn't everyone? We don't like the way the other one drives, but I am more patient and better able to keep my mouth shut, so he drives when we go somewhere together. The deep fundamentals, such as what is right and what is wrong, how to treat others, honesty, etc--those things we have in common. But the expression of the fundamentals, there's where we differ.

        It's more about self-development and self-acceptance, and less about finding just the right fit for you with another person. We all have these dream stencils of what we want our ideal mate to be. We meet someone, hold up the stencil to them, love the places they fill and pick at the places they don't fill or the places where they flow beyond the boundries of the stencil. And they do that to us. That's what we quibble over.

        I agree that you will be happier if you do not try to "develop" John and accept him as he is. The better you are able to do that, the more he will accept you and your ideas. You are able to take him to places that he cannot or would not go to himself, and you make him feel safe to try something different or understand something new. Even if he seems a little resistant or unreasonable at the time, don't give up! Just smile to yourself and wait. Later, you'll hear him telling someone about your new thing (that he had trouble accepting) as if it were no big deal. This is one of the ways he will tell you he is sorry for giving you a hard time, and that you were right.

        Here is what I think about relationships: your happiness and fulfillment is not up to your partner, but up to you. I had so much baggage to shovel out of my heart and mind before I could let myself be happy. It was easy to blame my partner. Ditto for him. The work you speak of, to work for the happy relationship, that work will benefit you whether or not you "end up" with this person.

        Remember the movie "As Good as it Gets"? Helen Hunt's character is arguing with Jack Nicholson's character outside her apartment door and she exclaims in exasperation "why can't I have a normal boyfriend???" Her mother pokes her head out and says something like "we all want that dear but they don't exist." One of the best lines in that movie! And the absolute truth. No normal girlfriends exist either, no normal people. This is who we are--imperfect people loving imperfect people. It's funny and horrifying and wonderful. Best of luck to you!
  • Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

    Tue, January 1, 2008 - 10:07 PM
    On a personal note..despite the demands on being realistic and thinking about "real life"..
    At 36, I still need to be understood , I need my reasons , my passions, my emotions , my thoughts, my actions etc., understood to a certain degree. preferably at about 70 %. That is the way I feel a true connection...idealistic...yes but important none the less.
    It is important to be able to connect with others as well so that you are not depending solely on your partner for a feeling of totality within yourself...dont know if that made sense.
    without that connection to share I feel dissatisfied which in turn I vent out in different ways like boredom, becoming restless, being critical..etc.
    behaviors and feeling that make me feel out of tune with myself.
    I can not bring myself to to live a life of conventionality just tosucure my future...I can honestly say that is one of my biggest problems.
    I really never wanted to be taken care of but more like have a partnership (interdependent)watching out for eachother...that is my ideal realtionship ....
    after plenty of failed realtionships I am closest to that now with the current person in my life...we are very good friends and
    we have the attraction..
    I have to admit that it is important for me to be with a partner that has goals and passions not just mine but his own and with me as well.
    The age difference in my opinion can be challenging because I find that we all go through so many stages in our lives when certain things can become important .... a career,marriage and settling down, children.
    at 20 my goals, needs, wants were so different than now in my 30's.....
    so while he is willing to sacrifice becuase he has a different mind set those reasons may not be the right ones for you.
    he sounds like a wonderful man and you sound like a great person too...
    find out if most of your goals and his are a match....
    communication can be worked on as long as your honest and not just trying to grasp onto something out of fear.
    having doubts is normal ...discussing them will bring calrity...
    what do you actually fear?
    tell him you need his honest imput regardless to the outcome and again without fear and attachment.but with honesty and love.
    take it slow and dont base everything on that one feeling you had that day.
    To me life is about...choices and how we feel about them in relationship to our pupose in life....are you happy?
    Good luck Mary.
    • pj
      offline 3

      Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

      Sat, January 5, 2008 - 2:02 AM
      Mary I am a female INFP with an ESTJ male partner...actually your guy ISFJ sounds to have many qualities of my partner; (I know very little of ISFJ personalities.)

      We have both had to work very hard at our relationship, communicating, understanding, talking, compromising; you name it. He is black and white and Mr Super Foreman and Organiser, and I am every shade of the rainbow and some not even invented.

      My dreams and aspirations are so far out in orbit the poor man needs to get out his goddamn binoculers...but we can do it!

      The passion and love and committment has never ever been in doubt, we both went through hmmm, extended periods where we thought each other "should change!!" and can differ in opinions on everything.

      But it has worked, we have worked! We have found a great line of communication and agree to disagree and understanding how different we really both are..

      He not only has supported all my dreams, he flies the ship to and fro planet Pamland, he contributes to stuff (I ask his opinions) and I love to hear what he has to say on stuff-(it is so different).

      I know we are talking about two different men here, your partner is himself, but I can tell you if you want it to work enough then we are (obviously very low %) but proof all the same.

      One interesting observation, over the years, Mr Superintendent/Provider has picked up some of my stuff, and some of his wonderful stable qualities, I have strengthened in myself; it is a really nice feeling, (meaning the give and take b/w us, the compromising, the shared stuff)

      Also I have a really great (albeit) small group of friends that I can share my dreams with too, and they are involved in...that lightens my partners role, think of it as respite for his soul..:)

      We did hit rockbottom a couple of times before we really put in super efforts tho'...the glue was asking ourselves did I really love him and want to be in the relationship with him? It was a no-brainer, 20 yrs later!!! we are so fortunate to have the best of the best relationships....I am! achieving my farout dreams and he has been a great support and help with everything, no doubt stuff he wouldn't have given the time of day if I hadn't explained how much it meant to me.

      That's just our journey, I realise it is your life, dreams and feelings and perspective; sincerely wish the best.
  • Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

    Tue, December 2, 2008 - 1:09 PM
    Hello Mary,
    I realize that it's a long time since you wrote this, but I was googling for relationships between INFPs and ISFJs and I found your post. It sounded like you were describing my relationship as I'm also an INFP girl in a relationship with an ISFJ man. It would be nice to share thoughts about that. But first, of course, it'd be good to know an update about whether you guys are still together? Otherwise I won't be wasting your time :)
    • Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

      Thu, January 15, 2009 - 5:30 PM
      Wow, hey sorry it took me over a month to get back to you...I haven't looked at this thread in a while. Yes, I am actually still with my ISFJ and our relationship has changed somewhat. He is still Mr. Wonderful, being the thoughtful, dutiful caretaker that he is. I am still experiencing feelings of dissatisfaction in terms of mental connection. I've realized that the S and N combo is what thwarts things the most.

      Since I wrote those posts, I've changed jobs and houses to move closer to him. I moved about 150 miles west from Columbia, MO to Kansas City, MO so now I am only about a 20 minute drive from him in over the line in KS. It was a big step for us and it seemed to calm him down in terms of his desire for me to show more committment. Sometimes I regret the move because I really hate the job I have now compared to the one I had before, but it has made a lot of things better for us. We no longer have to schedule things on the weekend or travel...we can get together whenever we have time, although we still tend to spend most of our time together on the weekends. It has just made things more relaxed between us and has taken the stress off of him for all those miles he used to travel to see me. This may or may not be a good thing, but I have come to rely on him more for companionship and other things because he is the only person I know here and I am still feeling very lost in this new place. For the most part, we are communicating better than ever as he's started joining me at counseling and I am learning to be more honest with my feelings. He is always a great listener and encourages me to talk about my feelings all the time. So in many ways, I am feeling content with him.

      However there is a twist in the plot. Several months ago while working with our relationship coach, we made an agreement that would solve the problem of committment between us. He was always anxious to know if I'd marry him and I was always on the fence. So we agreed that on the day of our 2nd anniversary, I would have an answer for him. That day is in less than a month now...I am stressed out about it.

      What I have to face is the fact that this man is what most women can only dream about in terms of affection, attention, devotion and usefulness, but he simply does not stimulate me. Unless we are talking about our relationship, I tend to get bored in our conversations even though we can talk for hours (I think he winds up doing most of the talking). It feels like such a tragedy that I am not happy with him and can't see myself being thrilled about our marriage. I am willing to marry him, but I would like to be very happy about it if possible! I think only an INFP or other "N" types can understand this... I feel like I will always have to be looking outside our relationship for meaningful interaction with others. I think I need the company of other "N"s or I will just shrivel up on the inside like I feel is happening to me now. Maybe that is doable, but I hate it that I don't have it with him. Plus he has a lot of problems that I believe come from ADHD, but I think this can be improved.

      The point is, he's a darn good husband and that's probably worth more than I know. No one is perfect, so maybe I should just cut my losses and go for it. I do love him, I care about him a lot. We are very nurturing towards each other. But rarely have I ever had the feeling of being "in love" with him and that saddens me.

      So here's what I'm planning so far...he's always telling me that both of our hearts have to to be in this and he's not interested in keeping me in this relationship if it's not what I truly want. So... the only solution I can think of is to tell him I need a break. I don't know for how long, but I need some time to be outside the relationship and see if this is what I REALLY want, not just what he wants. Right now, I feel so weighted with his need and desire for me, I'm too preoccupied with hurting him to give myself a voice.
      I will plan on taking some time to reflect and probably date other guys to determine if he's really what I want. I've never dated too many people and he has, so he knows what is like out there. I just want a chance to see what it's like again to look for someone because I don't want to look back in 5 yrs and think that I could have found a better match. Of course no one can really know that, but I feel like some exposure would do me good and ultimately improve our relationship if I wind up going back to him. It would settle the "what if" mentality we all seem to be disposed to at least somewhat.

      Of course, what I fear the most is meeting an awesome guy who is everything he's not and falling perfectly in synche with this person. Then I really would have to break his heart and that would kill me. Knowing he was in so much pain and I couldn't do anything about it would be hard, but I have to remember I am not responsible for him.

      I am realizing it takes a lot of courage to do what you really want for your life sometimes.

      So that is the update...feel free to comment on my little plan. If you'd rather send me a private message, that would be great too.
      • JW
        offline 0

        Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

        Sat, January 17, 2009 - 9:43 PM
        It sounds like a reasonable plan to me, though I wonder about specifics. Have you told him about the missing mental connection? Also, while it's admirable to worry about him, what about you after a breakup? Wouldn't it be good for you to have a good job to distract you and friends to distract or console you? Let me tout the Internet as a way to find local social groups. Also, in a purely browsing, no-contact way, you could look on dating sites to see what kind of man appeals to you.
        • Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

          Thu, January 22, 2009 - 4:24 PM
          All good thoughts, and yes I have thought of most of them in one way or another already...I have already pictured how much it will suck to be in this city where I don't know anyone, going to my crappy job each day and coming home with no one to comfort me. I know keeping a man around for this is not a good enough reason to marry him, so I guess I do owe it to myself to try and find other things that stimulate me.

          I've been looking on dating sites for several weeks now and actually, tonight I am going to meet a man I contacted through one of them. He is a just a few years younger than John (35) and we seem to have much more compatible interests and personalities. He is already quite familiar with Myers-Briggs and says he wavers between INTP and INFP...sounds perfect, right?
          So now I'm wondering if it will be one of those careful-what-you-wish-for scenarios. If we hit it off, what will that mean for my relationship with John? Will this really be the end? Leaving him will be extremely difficult first of all because of all the support we give each other and how much of our lives will suddenly be severed, but also because I know how much it will kill him to live without me. I really fear something awful will happen to him because he is sooo in love with me and relies on me for all his happiness (something I've always told him is unwise).

          If I take a break from our relationship, how long should I date someone else before I know if I need to say goodbye to John forever?

          My head and my heart are constantly in conflict about this! My heart says, "You don't feel any passion for him, you need someone else." But my head says, "He is a GOOD man and will adore and serve you until the end, he will be an excellent husband, lover and father, don't screw this up."

          God knows what will happen. But I do believe this is a necessary step and I will treat it as such.

          Thanks for commenting, I really appreciate it.
          • JW
            offline 0

            Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

            Mon, January 26, 2009 - 8:44 PM
            Um, what?! Maybe I think too highly of INFP character. That is not a moral and decent way to go about things. You don't start other dating people when you are in a long-term relationship, even if ending it has been discussed. I highly doubt that you were given approval to date others by him. If you want to take a break, take a break - and start dating maybe a few months after that. If you can't handle being alone, then that would explain your ongoing relationship problem and you have some work to do on yourself.
            • Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

              Mon, January 26, 2009 - 9:34 PM
              I know what you're thinking...I've been through it in my own mind. But he's told me before that if I'm unhappy, he wants me to speak up and do whatever it is that I think I need to do to rule out doubts. Even if it means leaving him, he's told me, he wants me to do what will satisfy me. I doesn't make sense to me but if that's what he's willing to do, if he thinks his love is that strong, I don't know what else to do. He's told me before that we are not married and so he can't hold me to anything; he told me if I wind up going out with other guys I can tell him or not tell him.

              Well, this weekend we discussed the break--and it was hard. Now we are in this awkward stage of hurt feelings. It seems all those things he said he could permit me or at least had no right to prevent are a lot harder to take than anticipated. He's not the superhuman lover we both thought he was.

              I suppose if I were to do it properly, I would take a long-term break of at least 6 months or more. But that seems to me so painful for him that I'm going to have to take a short break or just dump him altogether. It hurts more to think of his pain than to think of what will become of me. I'm sure I'd be fine...I'd miss him terribly for a long while but I'd get over it. It wouldn't be so easy for him. But I know that's part of life; breakin' up is hard to do, after all. I just hope between the two of us we can decide what is right.
              • Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

                Tue, January 27, 2009 - 12:49 AM
                My heart to ta, Mary. ;)

                My hopes to your happiness.
                • Unsu...

                  Another story

                  Wed, February 4, 2009 - 6:18 PM
                  Hey Mary,
                  I incidentally came across your post and it struck me, how similar are your experiences to what I (INFP) went through with my ex-boyfriend (ISFJ)... (well, that kind of reveals how it all finished). I very much appreciate the MBTI system, but still do believe that every combination can work. However, I think not enough thought is given to how the types fit in with male and female psyche...

                  In our case it was very similar; he was used to more traditional arrangement where he can derive his sense of value from a well-fulfilled duty of catering for the family, a respectable job, status-connected hobbies etc. It's not that I was all against it; I would like to have a family, children, wouldn't even mind being a stay at home mother if so was the arrangement with my husband. But what I didn't like was that for him it was the obvious and only mode of living. I enjoy my plans for future being flexible, I have been moving to another country every couple of years because I wanted to train myself in being even more flexible and open-minded. I was actually prepared to give it up for living with him, just get the best job available at place, thinking that maybe that's what maturity is about. However, little I was thinking that sooner or later the situation in which he acts as the 'house guardian' and I'm the one running around out there, pursuing new projects will ceize to be bearable for my ISFJ... At the beginning it was the disbelief in my inability to cook and care about gardening; later my lack of concern about cushions (I'm an INFP! I can care about the grand design of the house or some greater undefined cause, but not about a cushion!) - then one day he started saying 'Oh, that's nice.... And seriously?' when I was telling him about my plans for a new project. 'Hey - I said - it's my plans! Maybe far-reaching, maybe without much concern for logistics and financial back-up, but my plans!'. (I guess it's one of these moments when you really realize you're an INFP) I felt like lacking my 'partner in crime' . Lacking the person who'll jump on an ad hoc idea saying 'Lets give it a go!'. 'On the other hand - he continued - someone has to be around care about the house...' 'Oh - I said in my 'one can always be flexible' INFP naivety - then you, as the one who's more knowledgable about it all, can take care of it and I'll supply the money'. Very few men could be happy with such an arrangement. And I don't think an ISFJ can be one of them.

                  Obviously couple of years have passed since then and thus I'm able to describe it now in a half-comic manner. Of course, we always had things to talk about, had similar sense of humour, identical hobbies, tastes etc. But I guess my grandmother was right when she told me that 'Standing together and holding each other's hands is one thing, but the most important is that you both look in the same direction'. I guess the whole relationship could be summarised when at the very beginning when we just met we realised that we are both passionate about art and have an identical taste in it. As most INFPs I was of course elated. But then it turned out that what he liked about art was collecting it; fighting for it at an auction, the sheer worth of it, putting it up at a visible place in his house, the vision of passing it to the next generations etc. I've been buying some art, too - but for me it was always about a very personal contact with that particular piece, almost smelling and touching it and then going to another art festival to gather even more experiences.

                  Right now he's happy with an ISFP girl (what would prove your S/N hypothesis), I can bet they'll marry in a year or two. I'm still looking. The moment we parted I could swear that he was all I needed in life, that in spite of his downfalls it was as good as it gets, that is was me not trying hard enough to fit in with his life, that one would never find two more matching personalities, that as individuals we had uncannily much in common etc. Well, we'll never know; but what it taught me is that 'what both sides want from life' is one of the most important, if not the most important, factor in a relationship.

                  Of course I'm not saying that INFP and ISFJ can never work; communication is always the key and so on. I just thought I'll chip in my story. Very best of luck and I would love to hear your opinion!
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    offline 0

                    Re: Another story

                    Tue, February 17, 2009 - 9:01 AM
                    I have read this thread with interest, having come across it when searching to compare INFJ and ISFJ. 10 years ago I took an official written MB test and came back as ISFJ. I recently did a MB test with a different MB trained person and came out as INFJ, and have been grappling to try and find which I really am and I think I’m probably an INFJ, even though doing online tests occasionally still says I’m an S though more say I’m an N. I find the whole subject fascinating.
                    Reading this thread highlights some interesting similarities in my relationship with my husband. We have been married for 27 years, he is an ISTJ. We have 5 children who I think are all S. Over the years I have often felt misunderstood and surrounded by practical and sensible people who aren’t very interested in my musings! As long as I have one or two close friends I can muse, talk talk, proper deep talk, with then I m generally ok. When I recently came back as an INFJ I suddenly felt like I was discovering a whole bit of me that had been stunted and shut away. I guess I’ve learned to appreciate the stability and qualities my husband brings to our relationship, if I accept it I get less frustrated by not feeling quite on same wave length, and sometimes a million wave lengths’ apart! We have a very strong relationship but often I feel like we are two train tracks, running strongly parallel, going in the same direction but working independently. It is something I have to tussle with from time to time but lots of relationships have areas that require work and understanding. I have learned there are some things I’m just best not to try to expect him to talk about or understand. Sometimes he will listen, but it feels like he just doesn’t GET IT! He is always supportive of my growth, but happier to stay home and keep things running allowing me to develop. He is practical in every way, friendly, warm, appreciative and loves me far more than I often feel I warrant! Sometimes I feel like I live, work and dream in a little bubble while the family all rush around and do, but it works for us.
                    It’s helped me to understand ME a bit better.
                    All this said I realise its not about either INFP or ISTJ but I think it sounds like a resignating difference between NF and SJ, interested to hear any comments......
  • Hi all... Mary I hope u find it encouarging....:)

    Tue, February 17, 2009 - 3:08 PM
    Well I am male infp age 31 years...

    Its bit funny....I have an assumption of my own which i was having was that infps are best suited with isfjs ( atleast that is what i feel for myself..). I love a girl who is isfj and hopefully we will be married soon.

    So i felt i should try and reply to this query of Mary.

    In my life i have been personally and proffessionally have been closely associated with many isfjs.

    More I have met them more i have liked them beyound anything.....and the bond or closeness or the understanding , mutual belief that i share with these people make me wander truly if infp is best suited with isfj.

    I will try and explain bit in details...

    yes we all know infps are dreamers ....they have their won world believing in the good of others.

    Infps are passionate yes they are.....

    they feel comfortable with people who share their dreams....and accept them...they are in an ideal or dream world. And they strive to make this ideal world real.

    An thats where the isfj plays most beffiting part.

    Lets see what is common between isfj and infp.

    The first thing common is that they are both passionate.....

    Its the common striking thing between them.....

    They can be ultimate passionate lovers.....

    isfj s derive happiness in maing their partners happy.

    They will do anything to make the dreamsof their partenrs turn into reality.....

    ( Its a very important thing for an infp to strive to make his her dreams into reality...whats the point in having dreams in life if we don try and turn them into reality...)

    isfj play important pivotal role...make those dreams happen and will be thr for u upto the last....

    If u consider neo of matrix as infp trinity is isfj and thats how important and loving they are for each other.

    isfj are very much focussed and realistic, if two individuals infp and isfj can communicate and let each other know their priorities...

    i think isfj exactly know the importance of the dreaams of infps and their significance.And associate very much with it.

    They are not verbal about them....but they accompany you, cause they believ ein yr dreams and understand them in a very practical and realistic way.

    They will make sure u have a nice cooked meal....but if u ever have made a nice cooked meal u understand the love and devotion that is poured to make such arrangements( meals) even in worst times.

    They do unconditional love......expressed in terms of realities of day to day life.

    they will make sure atleast u save money and have basic neccesities of life....

    and mind they will ensure you yr morning tea or coffee....

    and technically speaking...when infp will reach a stage in their life when they will be trying to accomplish their dreams....chances are high that they will take role of esfj or estj...and thats when infp and isfj will be perfect suitors...

    I am in business.....started on my own...and i see her as my future ceo. I need the company and the money from it to fullfill all the Dreams and she will be thr...making sure it runs perfectly. I will not force her to join it though...

    i can't go into much details...

    but I have no hesitation to say...infp and isfj makes better pair than infp and enfj may be...atleast i feel like that with out offending any others (couple)feelings.

    they are both passioante thats the basic....they share the feelings.

    Practically its just a matter how they communicate to each other...

    and i feel its very impractical on a part of expect thier isfj partners to share the same dreams as thier own...

    we should respect each other as respect each others dreams....

    i will love to have yr opinion ..reading this....

    take care

    enjoy yr life...:)

    Please ignore all syntax and grammar things , u should know how a infp writes...and that too at 4.17 am at night ha ha...

    love u all..

    tae care.

    Tue, February 17, 2009 - 2:32 PM - permalink - 0 Comments

    0 Comments add a comment

  • Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

    Fri, September 11, 2009 - 9:22 PM
    I know this is SUPER old... and by the sound of it, you're not still with your ISFJ, but I was online searching for INFP/ISFJ compatibility, and ran across this. So, I'm really replying for the "benefit" of whomever else might be searching the subject, and might find your thread...

    I'm and INFP woman, married 11 years to an ISFJ man; together for 15 years. I am always looking for ways to improve our relationship, in true INFP fashion. He's always just content with it, typical ISFJ. :) It's true, we cannot communicate. I have said all along, that my husband doesn't even know me. He loves what he sees of me, but he doesn't (can't) know the inner me. We don't even have what I would term a "real conversation". (If I get him drunk, he can be talkative. Unfortunately, he hates drinking.) We don't share the same dreams or goals. As expected, his goal is to maintain status quo, his dream is to attain complete "security", in any way possible. My dreams and goals tend to involve complete upheaval and risk-taking, and require a great deal of sacrifice on his part. My dreams and goals would be good for him and great for our famiy, but they require that he throw away nearly everything he is comfortable with (the known, tested, and expected, even if not "good") and move way out of his comfort zone (and halfway across the country) taking a risk on his wife now earning the living, and him taking over her role as home-school teacher. It feels like insanity to him. But for the sake of his family, he is willing, though fearful, to do it.

    Being an INFP married to an ISFJ is NOT romantic. He is extremely passionate, but not expressive. It can be romantic, if I romanticize it. I know what is in his heart. I focus on that. That said, there is something undeniably perfect about being with someone, who, while they cannot share your dreams, or even grasp them, they CAN make them happen. Being with another "dreamer" is great, if all you want to do is dream. If you want the dream to become reality, you need someone who is living there (reality).

    Being married to an ISFJ is HARD WORK. But it is SO worth it. Being married to him allows me to be me. Otherwise, I would have to adjust to living in the "real world". And I think he is attracted to the "fairyland" aspect of his wife. I am "out there", but I'm a really truly GOOD person, that he can trust forever. He stretches me, by expecting me to "improve myself", to be more conscientious and hard working. I stretch him by forcing him to take risks and step out of his comfort zone. I would never want to be with anyone else. To me, our relationship, however tough at times, is perfect.

    Oh, and I knew he was my "destiny" because God told me so. (Looooong but interesting story)
    • Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

      Mon, October 5, 2009 - 9:27 PM
      I know you're with someone else by now. At least that's what I hope, because from how you were writing about the relationship I was thinking the whole time "she needs to break up with him, as hard as it is". I don't know if specifically it was the personality difference that doesn't make that relationship work. I was thinking that at your age, like me, you probably want to explore a lot more instead of settling down. And my ISFJ man has been trying to be the perfect husband and settle down since he was in kindergarten. So I'd imagine your ISFJ man by 30 something is really wanting to settle down by then.

      I am an INFP woman with an ISFJ man, together for about three years, so that isn't long enough to really see if things work out or not (he was reading over this post and responded "that's as long as I need").

      Like others have posted, I enjoy being with someone who can make my ideas come to life. I actually don't mind that he doesn't dream like me because in a way, it's easier for both of us. He needs some direction as to where all his energy goes, and I have a direction that needs going. He likes to take care of me, and I like to not worry about taking care of the everyday details of life. I think what makes the relationship work is that he is really flexible and able to change his perspectives on things as long as I put it in his language. I think we both understand each other's limits and work around them. For example, I know he's very competitive, likes to do things quickly and efficiently, and enjoys the feeling of winning. I can get him to do something I want by making it into a challenge or a game.

      I am new to this forum and don't know what typical INFP relationship behavior is, but before I met my ISFJ man I had been making a list of what I am looking for in a partner. My list is from what I've learned from observing others and my previous experiences. I learned a lot about my personal limits through my previous relationships. When I first saw my ISFJ man, my first thought was "he's the one". I knew that didn't make any sense (it still doesn't, I don't see how I can know from just how someone looks, but I have to accept that those were my first thoughts as irrational as they are) and I was really bothered by that... so I kept testing him to see if he would actually fit all my criteria. And he did... and he still does. I haven't found new limits, so I am happy with him.

      I feel like I should post something about what I've learned from my previous relationships... so I guess I will right now.
      First boyfriend - ENFJ/P. He broke up with me and wanted to move onto something new. I am happy I am not with him because over the years, I see that he is following society (too often) rather than listening to himself (ex. drinking, sleeping around), and I look for someone who can follow his own values, not necessarily the ones society places.
      Second boyfriend - ENFJ. He kept trying to do things when I already said "no" so I broke up with him. I tried to explain myself so he could understand me and I tried understand him, but it was until much later that I understood that he was just following what media had portrayed (ex. taking advantage of women).
      Third boyfriend - INTP. What I really liked about the relationship was how we talked in the same language (Ni), but he couldn't decide if he wanted to be with me or not. I stayed with him while he wasn't sure, then he broke up with me, asked me back out in a couple days, broke up with me a couple months afterwards, and then after that we were basically together still, until I finally I decided to move on. I could keep waiting, but I wanted someone who can say for sure he wants to be with me. I'm pretty sure he'll always be wondering if he wants to be with me or not, and I wouldn't want to date him again unless he was sure. I don't think he'll ever be sure.
      Fourth boyfriend - ISFP. We had a special unspoken connection that I've never had with anyone else, but I didn't feel like we were compatible in the long run. I felt like he needed someone who I wasn't, so I broke up with him. (Yes, I know I sound I treated him very poorly but I still genuinely believe that I would not be happy with him for the rest of my life.)

      I hope no one is offended by what I've written about my relationships with these types because I definitely don't think every ENFJ/INFP relationship, for example, is doomed to fail.
  • Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

    Tue, December 1, 2009 - 12:55 AM
    Hi. I don't know if this will be of any help to you, but I'm an INFP male, and my new girlfriend is ISFJ. But our scenario plays out the same as yours. She wants to settle down have kids, make the meals, clean the house, all the stuff a great wife would do. lol. She's awesome! She does listen to my dreams, goals and all that... but there's just no... idk like no drive to go with it... idk, what exactly the word is, or what I'm tying to say, plus I'm extremely tired, but this is the only alone time I get. lol. It's just different when I talk to anybody who types as "S".. the communication may still be accepting, but not understanding. I think she's absolutely awesome, and give her credit for being awesome in the areas of life that count in daily living, and I feel like an ass, because I have what many would pray for, and yet I actually don't think it's going to work in the long run... but I'm trying it, because I'm young, implying I don't know too much, and this could be really good, and better than what I'm thinking or picturing it to be. I also think, because of both of are quiet natures, that whenever she moves out, and I move out, the extroverts will somehow appeal more. lol. I'm not truly opening up, because that means So I am actually trying to stay at a close, but safe to say.
    Good luck, and remember that this is the rest of your life you are talking about, so if there's any doubts about marrying him.. I'd defintiely discourage it. lol. You should have all green lights! lol
  • Kay
    offline 0

    Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

    Sat, March 6, 2010 - 2:12 AM
    Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread; it's been very helpful to others in similar situations. :)

    I have now gone on a couple dates with an ISFJ male (I'm an INFP female), and those dates could be characterized as . . . almost clicking. Though there is a distinct awareness on my part that this person is not my "soulmate," I am nonetheless very attracted to him and am always hopeful that I will see him again.

    And while I have only known this man for two weeks, it's like I *knew* exactly what you (Mary) were talking about in your post. Uncanny!

    One thing that kept going through my mind when reading your post was that I felt like you were forgetting your life *outside* the relationship. In a marriage I had to an ENFP years ago, I was always happiest when I would go outside the confines of that relationship to seek common interests with others, but I didn't do it often enough, and our relationship suffered greatly. It is simply impossible for two people to be "everything" to the other - and it's unfair to lay that much responsibility on another person. (Please understand I'm not saying this is what you are doing. It's just a warning from someone who's been there, done that, you know?)

    It is my experience that an INFP would rather cut off his or her tongue than hurt someone else, and that the reluctance to make a move that would hurt someone else is proportionate to the degree of hurt the move would exact. Hence, we stay in our unhappy positions for far too long so as to avert that pain.

    It has been two years since you posted your first request for advice, and you have probably already solved your dilemma in one way or another. But I'd like to point out, for whomever it may benefit, that staying in an unsatisfying relationship for too long can do more damage than leaving. By breaking it off, you are freeing that person to find someone who will be totally engaged in the relationship. And you, too, are free to learn more about yourself and the world.

    Please do not take this as advising you - or anyone - to break something off at the first sign of discomfort! (Personally, I like it when I meet someone with whom I can have a heated argument and yet know that it won't mean the end of the relationship (gotta love those INTJ's!))

    From a slightly "older woman's" point of view (I'm 41), I find it impressive that your ISFJ is willing to participate in counseling. Very few men I've known would consider it; it is, unfortunately, still seen as a sign of weakness. The fact that he's willing to work at it speaks volumes. Or desperation?? <sigh>

    For my own benefit, I'd love to hear more of your story and those of others in INFP/ISFJ relationships. Even as I sit here and think of my ISFJ, my heart is fluttering. That hasn't happened in over two years. And when I'm with him, I feel . . . safe and pampered. So different, and such a relief. I just don't know if my go-away-but-leave-me-alone personality can handle it.

    In blissful agony,
  • Dan
    offline 0

    Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

    Wed, May 5, 2010 - 5:07 PM
    I found this through a Google search because I have been dating an ISFJ( I am an INFP) for a month and I wanted to see what others though of this compatibility.To my knowledge she is the only ISFJ I have ever dated. I have dated many different women, but so far it has never felt like this. If there is one word I could use to describe the relationship at this point it would be....pleasant. I am so used to having relationship conflicts early on with other girls, that at times it's hard for me to come to terms with how easily we get along.

    The first interesting aspect of this is that I feel like we are both givers... her more than I!

    I will post back with some updates soon....
    • Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

      Sat, April 23, 2011 - 4:23 AM
      Interesting. Pity all of this happened so long ago and is now ancient history.
      I am an INFP who has been married to an ISFJ for a number of years and a lot of what is
      in this post resonates, that I have my dreams, which my wife never really "gets", even though
      she may listen occasionally. Though I mostly dont bother bringing up much of the detail any more.
      It is a bit like when I told another relation of mine that I was into painting oil paintings
      in the mode of the classical artists, and they responded that they knew someone who also
      did some craft and I should talk to them. To me, even though it is an art snobbery thing, my
      classic type oil painting was in a different world to a craft show, but they couldnt understand this.
      For me, one of the big things for me is that I REALLY Love the introvert thing of having a few hours
      to myself to read and write in a journal and scheme about things, even if nothing comes of them, and
      sketch. But she wants to spend all of our time together and it is like pulling teeth trying to get
      some time on my own to read. And while some of the time together is great and fun, some of it is
      mundane and watching a really bad tv show, and I am thinking that I would rather she watched the tv
      while I went in the next room and read and wrote or sketched something, but she complains when
      I dont want to be with her, so I feel guilty and drop what I am doing.
      I find it very frustrating, but am at a point now that I am trying to figure out how to "make it
      better", as I realise that if I could just enjoy our time together more, then I wouldnt need to
      wrestle with trying to escape to do my own thing.
      So I appreciated some of the comments on this post.
      If I had to say to someone trying to decide whether to go into a relationship where there is a
      deep disconnect with who you are, then I would say there are 2 sides.
      1. I think that an INFP is always a bit dissatisfied with their lot in life, and always wanting to
      do something else a bit, and so any situation may seem a bit flat, so keep this in mind.
      2. But accept that if you are with an ISFJ, then you will have to crimp the part of you that
      loves sitting around with friends who really "understand" you and you can talk animatedly about
      your shared artistic interests. That is not going to be a part of it. You need to find other things.
      And I hope I will find what those other things are!
      • Dan
        offline 0

        Re: INFPs with ISFJ...thoughts please.

        Mon, August 22, 2011 - 7:37 PM
        Just an update:

        I am still with my ISFJ girlfriend, over a year now dating. She is 24, I am 30.

        It is somewhat of an up and down relationship. We are both sensitive and prone to getting on each others nerves sometimes. We will have great days, and then bad days. I perceive her mood to fluctuate greatly, and anybody who knows an ISFJ knows they complain about everything. Honestly, about half the time she is complaining about something... and to me it usually does not seem like a big deal. My ISFJ is pretty up tight about everything, serious, and sometimes comes off as cold.

        On the bright side, she is loyal, caring, mostly unselfish, funny, organized, clean. When she is in a good mood and happy, she is a delight and I love being around her. When she is in a bad mood or stressed, I want to run for the hills. Some of that is me just being an INFP though.

        All and all, we still both believe we will get married some day. Many of her issues I believe are because her Mom is also an ISFJ and she has learned some bad habits from her. She lives with her parents still, and while I really like them, the house is always on edge.

        More updates to come...

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