Significant others and type: experiences, observations....

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Significant others and type: experiences, observations....

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Ago 27, 2007, 6:56 pm

For the benefit of those who might be new, I am an INTJ. My husband, who was typed many moons ago, thinks he came out as an INTJ as well. At times I wonder if he might be an INTP, but that might just reflect that my J's a bit more extreme than his. We've been together 4 1/2 years, married nearly two years of that time. I shouldn't have been surprised when he said he was my type - hee-- because in the 29 years prior to our meeting I had never known a person that I could spend 24/7 with and not get tired of. I mean, literally, 24/7. (At one point we were both in school, at another neither of us had jobs.) I still haven't gotten tired of him or bored with him and I don't think I ever will. For me, it was a pretty big deal to meet someone who, I feel, I will never get to the bottom of. We get along very well. Even my hypercritical (and hyperrational, of course) mother thinks I've done well in choosing a partner. Maybe it's because we're so much alike. I don't know. I just consider myself fortunate. There are so many things that I don't have to explain to him. The flip side of that coin is that we share many of the same weaknesses: paralysis by analysis, lack of spontaneity, desire for control, tendency for social isolation. What about you? Have you found success with certain types and disaster with others? Do you find yourself surprised to be with the type you are?

Ago 27, 2007, 7:59 pm

Recall I'm an INTJ also. My wife is an ESTP (she has taken the formal instrument so this is fairly certain) and her behaviors seem to support this also. We have been together almost 15 years and are in the process of going through a trial separation. At times we have been a powerful vision and masterful plans...and her gamester "action at the moment" approach to life and need to take action, but...

I don't have the partner who appreciates imagination, speculation, and anything really abstract...almost my discussions have to be firmly grounded in reality (we are both educated at the graduate level)...when planning activities together she prefers the more lively active environment almost all the time as opposed to my preference for times that are not...

Also an Extroverted preference thinks out loud, so you and your big intJ thinks a decision has been finalized...oh no it is continuously being changed by my EstP...on the good side I've learned to control my expectations...after talking to her I have none...cause I know it's still being processed...

She has maybe not been a wise choice for myself. In the past (before my ESTP) I've been very attracted to ENFPs. I think they tended to enable or encourage what I was reluctant to do for myself (take actions), but were still able to look at the world with wonder and enjoy delving into deeper topics.

Editado: Ago 30, 2007, 7:02 pm

I have just read Please Understand Me II as suggested by several group members. Quite a book.

stevetempo, your pairing is very interesting. I like the idea of a partner who complements your strengths. You - strategy, she - tactics.

It's pretty funny. My husband and I, we're all strategy and then kicking each other in the seat to get ourselves moving. I hate climbing down from my tower and getting my hands dirty....

Also an Extroverted preference thinks out loud, so you and your big intJ thinks a decision has been finalized...oh no it is continuously being changed by my EstP

Sometimes Husband and I each think a different decision has been made on the same matter. Probably because we both made a decision and thought we'd communicated it. Fortunately this has only happened on a semi-serious matter once. Usually it's more like, "I thought we were going here and then there, not there and then here."

The books says NTs and NFs can be quite compatible. I can see that. I really value my NF friends.

Editado: Ago 30, 2007, 8:41 pm

I'm an INTP, very strong I and T, but more middling on the N and P. I think my wife is an ESTP based on individual letters, but the description doesn't match very closely. The part about craving activity is spot on, but the part about being able to read people and being a master manipulator aren't (or maybe I'm being manipulated). But the descriptions of the nearby personalities are even further off.

Most of our arguments come from the N vs. S difference. She just doesn't understand when I can't remember every last detail of some event or I don't notice something that she thinks is right in front of my face. She also always wants to be in charge and doesn't want my input when we're doing some home improvement project.

And while we're both P's, she is more extreme so I end up having to be the organized one, even though it stresses me out.

Ago 30, 2007, 9:02 pm

I'm an INFP, hubby is an INTP. We get along great!

Ago 30, 2007, 10:21 pm

I was in a class once where we were paired up with as opposite a type as possible for a period of discussion. Some of the pairs really had to force themselves to continue talking with each other. People you get along with well have to share something in their typing.

Ago 31, 2007, 10:39 pm

jjwilson61, thats a point I had forgotten ( I don't no how) thanks...

from message #4
...the part about being able to read people and being a master manipulator...

My ESTP spouse can read non-verbals very well...I sometimes talk to her looking out the window with back toward her...I know this sounds funny, but it works.

citygirl (message #3), I concur I think the NT NF match has better long term potential for success.

So of the four dimensions E/I S/N T/F P/J, which are the most critical to a relationship?  In other words which critical dimension should be similar to have the best chance for long term success?

I think it's E/I  and the P/J.

Ago 31, 2007, 10:55 pm

#7 - do we know anything about divorce rates? or break-up rates among the types?

Editado: Ago 31, 2007, 11:30 pm

#7 So of the four dimensions E/I S/N T/F P/J, which are the most critical to a relationship? In other words which critical dimension should be similar to have the best chance for long term success?

I think it might be N/S. The different ways to view the same things and different communications styles could be a big factor. I think E/I is the easiest to overcome. That could be based on my observations that my own I can move around, never going quite to E, but there's definitely flexibility there. If you're spending too much time in your head, get out. If you need more personal time, take it. I don't know so much about the rest. I think Ts & Fs can give good balance to each other and same with Js & Ps. But that S and that N....I wonder if it's like speaking a different language.

#8 - I tried to find the website with the survey results that I mentioned, I think, on another thread, but I couldn't. But even that didn't discuss interaction between the types. I've looked for those type of statistics on the internet, but I didn't find much. There may be statistics in an academic paper, but I don't have the patience to find them and decipher them. Maybe one of our INTP or ISTJ associates can help.

Set 1, 2007, 9:29 am

I was being almost facetious when I asked about statistics. Many years ago, I do remember leafing through someone else's book which had some chapters on how the diferent types might get along.

Set 1, 2007, 4:10 pm

#8 - statistics on divorces would be might be hard to uncouple the other possible factors...culture, education, etc. though.

#9 - I don't know, my guess (E/I and/or P/J) is really based only on one observation (my own), but remember even if two people are an S and N they must be communicating some how because they did get married. I think much day-to-day activity between two people is based on how you get your energy (E/I)`and the importance of closure/structure (P/J) in your life. These aspects my not be really clear prior to getting married.

What might be interesting is to see marriage statistics in general showing style matchings to see how the styles might attract each other.

Set 1, 2007, 6:38 pm

I find that I have a difficult time with relationships, because I place a high value on other people and have impossible standards for myself. Now, at thirty, my family is starting to get quite worried that I will never marry and they will never have grandchildren. I have yet to have a romantic relationship that I can actually make any claim to. There was one man who I loved very much and who reciprocated, but the rational part of my mind nixed it and insisted I carve out my heart. Always a slave to what I believe to be right, even if it's going to hurt me, I did it. I do wonder sometimes how it would have been, but then the rational part of my mind kicks back in and reminds me that it's all for the best, and he's probably very happy somewhere now. Welcome to iNFj hell. :/

Out 4, 2007, 9:49 am

I do not know what my husband's type you all have sparked my imagination. I'm going to get him to take the short test.

We've been married for 24 years and he is the joy of my existence and he is the biggest source of irritation. When something is have to be willing take the whole shebang. It's a roller-coaster ride at times and smooth sailing at others.

At this point, we both know that we defy the odds - we did from the beginning. We both have strong opinions and are getting significantly better at communicating...that's the key for me; we try never letting something invasive skim in under the radar and start to to smell bad.

However ugly and hairy it is ... we attempt to talk about it openly with honesty. I've learned to be less defensive and he's learned that he can choose different ways of speaking to me that are less offensive to me.

Now that I think about it...he must be an EJ. He tends to tell it like he sees in with a level of implacability that I used to (and sometimes still) go crazy over. Ha. now I can see it...I used to tease him about being a Know-it-all, but I love him anyway! And trust me, he is the first source of information I turn to when I need the facts! LOL

seimeis - don't give it up yet...sometime you will meet a person who makes your mind and your heart glow (and feels just the same about you). Don't settle for less, that's my advice... :-) see, we P's can be decisive.

Out 7, 2007, 1:06 pm

Like citygirl, I'm an INTJ and I think that my husband, like hers, is an INTJ. However, my hubby hasn't actually done a type test yet, so it's really a matter of guesswork; but having worked through each pair of preferences in my mind, I don't see how he can be anything else!

Luckily (or not), he's a less extreme I, a more extreme T, and a much more extreme J; so even though we're arguably the same type, there's enough variation to keep us both entertained! Life is seldom dull.

P.S. And I've learned, when I want to propose at short notice that we do something unplanned, that it's best received when I also propose that it be planned spontaneity :-)

Out 15, 2007, 1:15 am

I am an INFP and my husband is an INTP and we feel we are perfectly matched. We absolutely love to sit in the same room together and do our own thing. I love to paint, read, and write. My husband loves to analyze things. We have a strong mental connection, and a keen interest and apprection for each others talents. Also, I think our differances enable our physical attraction to remain very strong. My previous marraige was with an ISTJ. Great guy who is perfect for a very nice ESFP but not right for me. We didn't have a mental connection which is of course imperitive. He would have made a geat roommate. From what I have read my perfect match is an ENTJ, but I am not sure that would be better than what I have now. As many benefits that would be realized, would be counterbalanced by frustrations.

Out 15, 2007, 4:11 pm

I'm IN??, probably INTP or INTJ. My husband is I??P, probably INTP or INFP.

My guess is that it depends more on how strongly expressed each pair is than on which pairs differ. A compatible range, if you will. As a very strong I, I can't imagine spending my life with a strong E. As it is, being with my husband is almost as good as being alone, as far as my private time goes. I'm a fairly strong N too. A friend is a strong S but otherwise similar; he's a great friend, but the S-ness would have bothered me, despite our mutual friends' attempts to get us together years ago.

I'm more even on the other scales. I think my husband and I are about the same on the T/F side of things. As for P/J, sometimes I wish he'd just make a decision, but I prefer that to inflexibility... I think I'd have a problem with a very strong P or J either way.

Out 15, 2007, 4:35 pm

It is interesting that this post is filled with I's, as i would imagine most of the people that use this site. I also find it interesting that the study of personality types is supposed to be the particular interest of INFP's, but it seems that this post has mostly NT's.

Editado: Out 15, 2007, 6:43 pm

Ah, but as (citygirl?) said, INTJs would want to explore the personalities in order to best utilize people (in the most neutral sense possible), and as I said, INTPs would want to study and understand the complex system of human personality... and that covers the introverted rationals.

Out 15, 2007, 8:25 pm

Other types must have reason to study types, too. Wouldn't you think?

Out 15, 2007, 8:48 pm

Well, I think Sensors tend to see the differences between people and not the similarities so a lot of them think the whole idea of dividing people up this way as rubbish and some may get offended at being pigeon-holed. I think SJ's are the ones who might be offended and SP's are too busy living life to care about theoretical garbage like this.

Out 15, 2007, 8:59 pm

Ahaha, there was this one classmate who politely but ardently protested my MBTI survey, saying that "you can't just classify people like that" and so forth. Maybe he's an SJ. I do have an SJ friend who doesn't care one way or the other, but maybe he's a weak J? I shall go and ask the other SJs tomorrow.

And other types probably have other reasons. I only know INTP because I am one and INTJ because you said so. I can guess that ENTJs would want to know so they can... what... be better leaders?... but that's about the extent of my knowledge.

Out 15, 2007, 11:14 pm

INFJs like personality classification because it allows us a way to explain to other people (systematically) what we might already have perceived but struggled to put into understandable explanation for the masses, and a way for us to try and explain ourselves when we are unable to find a common perspective any other way. Anything that explains human behavior and personality response and thoughts and feelings in a way that makes it easy for anyone to grasp is a good thing. I'm your typical INFJ. I want to know how things work, yes. But more importantly than the physical system, I want to know how YOU work, from the inside out. Your thoughts and feelings system. Then I want to organize it all in my head in massive, insane spreadsheets of mental doom (with formulas!) that will spill out, process, and compare information at me later in ways that I can't always put my finger on. Once I can get a handle on that, sort of, I can know what I need to do to make things easier for them and how to make them more effective and comfortable. Efficiency! :)

Out 16, 2007, 12:56 am

From what I have read, other types especially N's may be interested in personality typing for various reasons, but it is the INFP who's life purpose is to understand ones self. Keep in mind that P's do not like to finish things, hence understanding psychology/typing etc is almost a life obsession. Also, in order to understand onesself, it is important to understand those around you. Statistically, it is the INFP who is found most prevalently in psychology study. Also, the F's are more interested in people oriented study, where the T's are typically interested in the inanimate study. That is why children are so interesting to watch. The little F's play with action figures etc, while the T's play with cars, spaceships etc.

Editado: Out 16, 2007, 5:46 pm


When I was little, I had legos, barbies, paper, and books. Oh, and my parents bought me this gigantic set of crafts and random stuff, so that was pretty awesome. There was this tripod thing where you could tie a pen to a string, set it swinging, and watch as it drew a pretty geometric design on the sheet of paper beneath... and after I was exposed to certain books, I attempted to recreate pseudohistorical costumes for my dolls.

And what was I going to say?

Oh, right. Well, it may be just me... or maybe just INTPs... or whatever... but I think there is validity to the people-as-complex-systems view. Of course they're fascinating! Regrettably (or challengingly?) incomprehensible when all's said and done, but it's worth the time.

Out 16, 2007, 7:49 pm

#20 jjwilson61: I agree that differences are more easily observed than similarities; all our senses depend on contrast to function (dark/bright, silent/loud, cold/hot). However when you say

I think SJ's are the ones who might be offended and SP's are too busy living life to care about theoretical garbage like this.

then I'm not following you (and I'm an ISTJ). Is this supported by your observations, or do you base your opinion on some line of reasoning hidden to me? I'm not offended by personality typing; quite the contrary. I do however think that any results must be taken with a grain of salt, just like a five-day weather forecast.

Out 17, 2007, 11:41 am

Mostly on how SJs are described by the literature. They are given the name Traditionalists (I think I've also see Guardian) and are described as solid citizens who are careful, practical, and realistic. It was mostly a flippant comment, but in my experience at least some SJs are offended by the idea of typing people this way.

And I didn't say that differences are more easily observed than similarities. I said that Sensors see the details while iNtuitives tend to see the patterns.

Out 17, 2007, 5:38 pm

#26 jjwilson61: And I didn't say that differences are more easily observed than similarities. I said that Sensors see the details while iNtuitives tend to see the patterns.

That, to me, merely looks like two ways of expressing the same phenomenon: Sensors observe the details, the differences, while intuitives imagine the unifying patterns, the similarities.

Apart from our choice of words, I don't see any substantial difference between our respective statements here. I believe we are in agreement then, even if we don't use the same language? :-)

Out 18, 2007, 2:15 pm

I'm sorry but I can't see how those two sentences are equivalent at all. Unless, I suppose, you assume that the first sentence is applied to a Sensor. An iNtuitive would say the opposite, that patterns are more easily observed than similarities.

Another way to look at it is that observing, the physical act of seeing, is what Sensors do best (as iNtuiting is what iNtuitives do best) and in that very mechanical sense, yes, differences stick out more than similarities and that's true for everyone. But your iNtuiting sense job is to pick out the pattern and that is what iNtuitives are more tuned into. Am I making sense?

Out 18, 2007, 7:53 pm

#28 jjwilson61: Unless, I suppose, you assume that the first sentence is applied to a Sensor.

That's what I assume, since you earlier (#20) stated: I think Sensors tend to see the differences between people and not the similarities

I'm an ISTJ, and I agree, I find it natural to see the differences. All our physical senses depend on contrast, be it spatial or temporal. A person who doesn't see contrast is blind, but not necessarly an intuitive.

An iNtuitive would say the opposite, that patterns are more easily observed than similarities.

This is probably where we use the word "observe" differently, and again it all appears to be an issue of terminology to me, not one of substance. The difference between a Sensor and an iNtuitive doesn't lie in how their eyes work, but how they form their mental images of the world around them. That's not what I call "observing", but rather "imagining" (in my own language); we base our images on observation (using our senses) or analysis (using our brains), respectively.

Yes, I think you make sense, and I restate my opinion that the confusion is about words, not about substance. Neither language is more right or wrong than the other; they are just different, and I believe we are both trying to say the very same thing.

But that was actually a side issue. I was more intrigued by your observation that Sensors tend to be offended by the act of typing human beings. I'm not questioning your observation; I simply don't understand why there would be a correlation (perhaps an iNtuitive could explain that to me), especially since I'm fond of typing everything around me, including humans, and I don't mind others typing me (I may consider their typing correct or wrong, but hardly offensive).

If there is anything in MBTI typing that doesn't attract a Sensor, it's probably the fact that we can't actually observe the mind of another human being and compare it to our own in an objective manner; we are dependent on secondary effects of each other's thinking such as our actions and our answers to profiling questions. I can live with that uncertainty, however, because the answers to those questions are interesting to study in their own right.

Out 18, 2007, 9:10 pm

My own experiences would suggest sensors are more likely to be offended by MBTI, but of course that is not conclusive. I attributed it to the idea that sensors observe the details first, then work up to the big picture; where intuitives start with the big picture and work toward the details. That being said, I have extrapolated to if a sensor starts with the details of MBTI, as many or more dissimilarities may show up immediately, and cause the sensor to disregard the validity based on the dissimilarities observed.

Out 18, 2007, 11:57 pm

As an ENTP, I do quite ok with details. I find in my job that I do better do lots and lots of little detailed things, thatn coming up with a grand scheme (I schedule buses for a living). I intuit what I should do, and then do research so I can verify it to the people I work for.

On the subject of lumpers vs. splitters (a subject that comes up in the LT combiners group), I would put myself on the side of the lumpers. Perhaps this is more of an N thing to do. The splitters tend to see each variation of a work (book) as unique, so use the separate button more, whereas lumpers want to combine things even with truly flimsy evidence. Academics tend to be splitters by profession. In linguistics, splitters see a 100 different language families, lumpers see the Nostratic macrofamily (which contains 1/2 of the world's languages) as a stepping stone to seeing all languages coming from one origin.

Out 19, 2007, 11:55 am

I was just make an unwarranted assumption based on my observation of some people who said they were offended by being pigeon-holed and my understanding of the SJ guardian temperament. Perhaps its more true of the SFJ's than the STJ's?

(In any case this is a self-selected group of people who are attracted to typing people. If it were true that some types are more likely to be offended by being typed then you aren't likely to find evidence of it among people in this group).

Out 19, 2007, 12:56 pm

But the people in this self selected group would be more likely to encounter the opposition and acceptance of being typed, as they are directly observing other peoples reactions (even if it is an extremely small sampling, and is probobly very innaccurate). Most people dont discuss it at all, and hence don't have any idea how other people may react.

Abr 27, 2008, 9:12 am

In terms of compatability, it's probably worth going one level deeper than the functions (S,N,T,F) and look at the functions in their attitudes (Se, Si, Ne, Ni, Te, Ti, Fe, Fi). You can find out the differences between them at

So for example, with myself ESFP, my first function is Se (extraverted sensing), my second function is Fi (introverted feeling). My wife, INFP, has Fi, (introverted feeling) as her first function and Ne, (extraverted intuition) as her second function.

You can work out these cognitive processes for yourself from a table at

So what are we both extraverting? Me, sensing. Her, intuiting, i.e we speak different languages. The S/N difference here is crucial for communication.

This poses a range of challenges which you can probably imagine.

What are we both introverting? Our feelings. For me, that's my second function, but for her it's function no.1.

Again, this poses a range of challenges which you can probably imagine.

What do we do?

Well.... we keep on trying. Being aware of these issues helps but doesn't solve everything. We are who we are and that's what attracted us to each other. We have some blues, but we get over it. We are challenging for each other, and our kids sometimes, as we don't agree on much. But that's life's rich tapestry. Although I do think that the kids have done a splendid job of raising us in spite of all that.

Love is blind they say. Well maybe that's just as well. I can't imagine my life without my wife. I know that she loves me but sometimes can't stand me and I feel the same, but what a life it is together. We certainly get to try and understand people's differences at close quarters and I'm sure it helps us deal with other people, too.

After nearly 37 years together (married 34 years) we're still learning and adapting to each other. Now that the kids are older, we're entering a new stage together which promises to be just as challenging as our younger years.

Abr 29, 2008, 4:52 pm

As an INTJ I am told by MBTI and Keirsey aligned sites that I have affinities with ENFP and ESFP types.

More intriguingly, Socionics (a East European outgrowth from Jung - similar but different to MBTI) says that I have a 'dual' (the personality type I am most compatible with) with ESFP.

And who am I married to? Yes an ESFP.

The key here is that we have the same 4 functions (introverted intuition, extraverted thinking, introverted feeling and extraverted sensing) but in an exactly opposite ranking. So we conplement each other in our strengths and weaknesses - although our 4 shadow functions (extraverted intuition, introverted thinking etc) may be a weakness.

And I must say that I find SPs in general very easy to live with. I remember a site somewhere which suggested that while NT's were libertarian in outlook (anti authority) SP's were liberal (they don't care too much about politics, just want to live their lives in the moment). This seems quite compatible to me - I worry that they don't care too much about the bigger picture, but I love their attitude that every day is an adventure.

Abr 30, 2008, 6:39 am

Oh we care about the big picture. We just try to take it one day at a time. "Journey of a thousand miles begins with first step" type stuff. For me, I try to keep the ultimate big picture in mind whenever I start taking things too seriously. The ultimate big picture?....In the long run, we are all dead.

I can't remember who it was....Castenada maybe, advises taking death as your adviser. Having him/her just behind your left shoulder to ask about the significance of anything that's happening to you. "Is this gonna kill me, death?" "Nope. Relax and do the best you can. That's all any human being can do. I'll let you know soon enough when it's your time"

Keeps you pretty grounded, ....when you remember to do it.

As you say, ESFPs type make up is 1st function Se, 2nd function Fi, third function, Te and 4th function Ni. We tend to keep our inner world intuition a bit to ourselves, sometimes until later life, depending on what happens in your life.

I find Ne, which is my 8th function, an interesting challenge. At the moment (I'm 53), I'm really into it. Have been for about a decade now so I'm starting to enjoy it. Don't know whether anybody around me does, though!

What functions are you working on/playing with? How does your significant other react to that?

Abr 30, 2008, 7:23 am

#36 What functions are you working on/playing with? How does your significant other react to that?

Well having only learnt about the whole 16 types thing less than a year ago, I am still fascinated by my first and fourth functions (Ni & Se).

The Ni explains why I always felt I saw things differently to everyone else around me, and the Se explains why, even though I have a low boredom threshold, I can do mundane things (watching DVDs of my favourite TV programmes, rereading a favourite book) for hours on end. It calms and centres me.

My wife just thinks I'm eccentric, no matter what function I am exhibiting at the time!