I have been married to Josh, a fellow INFP, for just over a year. When we first met, we clicked quickly because both of us had spent much of our lives feeling misunderstood because of our quiet ways. We also both come from primarily extroverted households, so our struggles were similar.
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Despite this, we still encounter the occasional hurdle that we have to overcome.
Here are five unique challenges of being married to another INFP.
Challenges of the INFP-INFP Relationship
1. We don’t always agree about what is “right.”
As an INFP, my dominant mental function is Introverted Feeling. This means I make decisions based on my personal values, rather than turning to objective principles or impersonal facts. I may consider rules and what others do, but ultimately, it boils down to which way my moral compass points. My husband, of course, does this also—and we don’t always reach the same conclusion. This causes the occasional impasse. When this happens, we have to talk things out, and sometimes even make a pros and cons list for each of our solutions. When we both explain why we think a certain plan of action is the best one, both of us can usually see the other’s point of view fairly easily.
2. We both come home drained from routine and unfulfilling work.
I imagine that most people, personality type notwithstanding, wouldn’t be happy working an unfulfilling job. INFPs, however, are on a never-ending search for meaning and fulfillment. We need a sense of purpose in our work to be happy, and we’re at our best when we’re working for causes we truly believe in. Josh and I are both working “day jobs” that we don’t love, and both of us are pursuing our passions on the side with what extra time and energy we have. Josh and I are both strongly affected by this, and it often leaves us exhausted and irritable. This means we struggle, frankly, to not snap at each other after a long, hard day.
This one is particularly difficult for me, and I sometimes feel guilty for being upset at him for no reason. We resolve this by having a talk and reminding each other of why we’re doing what we’re doing, and how we’re planning for our future. This usually makes things better, as I am reminded of the big picture and the larger purpose, which is something an INFP needs.
3. Sometimes conflict goes unresolved for too long.
Neither Josh nor I like conflict at all, and we are both non-confrontational avoiders—which is typical of harmony-loving INFPs. Luckily, we get along well and agree on most things, so this isn’t a big issue. Still, having disagreements, including ones that sometimes lead to fights, is a part of being human that cannot be avoided. And because Josh and I both have a tendency to ignore conflict instead of facing and resolving it, this can lead to issues where both of us know we need to talk something out but neither of us feels comfortable initiating it. This usually ends when one of us finally breaks down enough to raise a difficult issue, because the pain of being disjointed from each other becomes greater than the pain of conflict.
4. We go overboard trying to please each other.
While it is perfectly fine to try to please your partner, INFPs sometimes go overboard. After all, we’re nicknamed “the mediators” for a reason. We are sensitive individuals who care deeply about others, and as true idealists, we are always searching for ways to make things better. And when you throw this tendency into a relationship, it means that Josh and I are always trying to satisfy each other to our utmost ability.
This may sound like a good thing, and it often is. However, it also sometimes causes a big problem: We neglect our own needs. For example, since I wake up earlier than he does, I tend to go to bed earlier than him. And, despite wanting to go to bed, I know he likes it if we go at the same time, so I often push myself to stay awake until he is ready. He has never asked me to do this, and he would be fine with it if I went to bed without him, but the part of me that knows he likes to go together pushes me to wait, no matter how tired I am.
5. Decision-making can be a nightmare.
As I said above, INFPs make decisions based on their personal moral compass. Sometimes, though, we are unsure of what to do, so we look to someone else, someone we trust, to provide a little direction or insight. Unfortunately, with Josh and I, this basically means that I look to him and he looks to me. And then we go… nowhere.
INFPs often struggle with decision-making because they see so many possibilities in any one situation. And, as I said above, we often go overboard trying to please each other. That means that although I trust his final ruling and he trusts mine, neither of us wants to make a call without knowing what the other one’s decision would be. As such, we often get stuck in a whirlwind of possibilities and unclear solutions. Please, save yourself a few hours and don’t ask us what we want for dinner!
Thankfully, our struggles really are few and far between (except for that blasted dinner question, which arises every night). The benefits definitely outweigh the challenges, so there really is very little to complain about. Despite our struggles, being married to another INFP means I am with a person who will always understand me, no matter what.