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Personal Marriage

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Profile manager: Karen Keeley private message [send private message]
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My marriage has been a downer, but i don't believe in divorce. I feel I don't matter anyway. And it's probably all my fault. We didn't really know each other too long before our marriage, and as soon as we were married he became a totally different person than he was during our courtship (he showed his true ISTJ personality afterwards, while during our courtship he was being his "public" self) I could never figure out which of the five love languages was mine because none of the descriptions hit home. My "love language" would be having deep, meaningful conversations and sharing from the heart & soul and listening with the heart. Is that considered "quality time?" I don't know. It's not "words of affirmation" (although those are nice too sometimes), because I like to connect through conversations about meaningful universal ideas & ideals -- not centered on myself or any affirmation to myself. Instead, I feel to transcend the self and forget about the so-called "self" completely, and listen to others, also explore great ideas and the world together, occasionally watch great movies or discuss great books. My hubby's love language would be acts of service and physical touch. But you can't meet someone else's needs if they won't even try to meet yours in return, and even tell you they refuse to try. My husband's MBTI type is ISTJ, pretty much my opposite. It's been said in jest that ISTJs & INFPs have a natural predator-prey relationship (INFP being seen as the helpless prey). He fits the "inspector" type and likes to manage everything. Controlling in a passive-aggressive style. But we INFPs don't like being pushed around too much and never listened to (treated like an object instead of a person). He's very good at working with youth & anything in a parent-child type of interaction, from a place of superiority, but doesn't seem to know how to interact (at least with women) as equals, as an adult to another adult. It seemed he wanted to treat me as a child, and would refuse to converse or interact as cooperative equals. His ways of interacting with me were only criticizing, arguing, bossing, or ignoring/withdrawing. He liked keeping busy at doing tasks or "puttering" around the house, usually alone but he liked it that way. During any attempted conversations he wouldn't really talk and wouldn't listen either, just sat there sneaking glances at his watch, like he hated being there and his mind was only thinking of all the tasks he wanted to accomplish and couldn't wait to get back to them. He didn't like having conversations AT ALL, anytime or anyplace, unless someone was grilling him asking a bunch of questions to draw things out of him like pulling teeth. I don't feel that's my place. I respect boundaries & feel that if someone wants to share something, they'll do so. I try to just freely share and show trust by this openness, thinking it will invite the same in return. He's actually further on the introvert scale than myself. He fits his type description, ISTJ, keeping to himself in his own world & thoughts at home, and just working all the time without discussing any of it with me. So i had no say in anything. He seemed robotic & very distant to me. They say that ISTJ's just "plan the work and work the plan". That's their whole life. They plan & schedule everything in their minds & then carry out those plans methodically. The type description for ISTJ says "jobs that involve group work are fineā€”as long as the ISTJ is in charge". He was always gardening, fixing cars, being a handyman, doing anything he thought needed to be done that day. Very task-oriented. Towards me it seemed he would only say the minimum necessary to accomplish tasks and ask questions to that end, or (similar to fixing a car), he would look for faults and flaws in me or what I was doing & point them out. In his mind that was being helpful, he said. I felt i couldn't do anything right in his eyes anyhow, so with each criticism I would just give up instead of trying harder. My feeling was "you do it then, if you don't like how I'm doing it." So he would take over more & more, and act like more & more of a martyr, not realizing that was his own doing. So I was pushed out of, or not really allowed to do, my desired role in life of being a wife & mother running a household. I once scored very low in assertiveness in a test in college. When i wanted to become a teacher i was advised to choose a different career. I would try to explain to him what i felt was happening and how by cooperating together it could be better, but he wouldn't listen. He's totally different out in public. He has his public side, where he's a teacher, and when in that mode he talks to people in a friendly manner and seems easy-going, but at home he wouldn't do any listening OR opening up, not sharing anything with me about his work or his day or his thoughts. He kept control over everything that way. The house was/is his, not mine.

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