Relationships: ISTJ

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 32 Comments A+ a-


Morning, guys! It's a bit cloudy as I sit here with my coffee cup. A storm rolled in last night after I went to bed...I woke to a clap of thunder that sounded like a shotgun, lol! Had a hard time getting back to sleep, so the coffee pot will be working overtime today :-)

For this relationship series, I had to decide on a few key sources for information. Different websites have different opinions on how MBTI personality types blend, and it would take too long to analyze all of them. So for this series, I'll be drawing primarily from Personality Page, Meyers-Briggs, and Mass Match.

Okay, so let's get started!

The first personality type in Personality Page's list is the ISTJ. If you Google this MBTI type, you'll find lots of labels: The Duty Fulfiller, the Inspector, the Organizer. I found the image below particularly entertaining:




As you can probably tell, the ISTJ is a very precise and organized individual! Here's a list of their strengths/weaknesses from both Personality Page and Mass Match:
  • Serious and quiet
  • Responsible, dependable
  • Honor their commitments
  • Efficient and practical
  • Take relationship roles seriously
  • Good at communication and listening
  • Handle conflicts well and may seek out conflict resolution
  • Well-developed powers of concentration
  • Good with money (can be very conservative)
  • Tendency to believe they're always right
  • Not naturally in-tune with what others are feeling
  • Structured and rigid
  • Rely more on facts than feelings
  • May have difficulty showing their emotions

From an MBTI standpoint, here's the functional breakdown of an ISTJ:
  • Dominant: Introverted Sensing
  • Auxiliary: Extraverted Thinking
  • Tertiary: Introverted Feeling
  • Inferior: Extraverted Intuition

The creators of Personality Page conform to the viewpoint that the best matches come from those with opposing dominant functions. They reason that our "natural attraction to people who share our dominant function, but who use it in a different direction works very well for us." Given this viewpoint, they view the ISTJ's ideal match-ups as people with a dominant Se:
Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, the ISTJ's natural partner is the ESFP, or the ESTP. ISTJ's dominant function of Introverted Sensing is best matched with a partner whose personality is dominated by Extraverted Sensing.

Here's what Mass Match says about match-ups for the ISTJ:
  • Best: ESTJ, ISTJ, INTJ, ISTP, ESTP
  • Possible: ENTJ, INTP, ENFJ, INFJ, ISFJ, ISFP, ENTP
  • Least Likely: ESFJ, ESFP, ENFP, INFP

So what does this mean for a friend/lover relationship between an INFJ and an ISTJ?

Well, I took a look at our strengths/weaknesses and tried to line them up with those of an ISTJ. On the PRO side, both types have good communication and listening skills. Both value relationships. They might balance each other out concerning money issues (INFJs aren't always practical when it comes to budgeting). The INFJ would value the ISTJ's reliability, as we like to trust those we're in a relationship with. Both types like to achieve goals and get things done.

On the CON side, the ISTJ appears to be practical and conservative, whereas we're idealistic and love to explore possibilities. We might find the ISTJ's rigid structure a bit inflexible. Also, the ISTJ deals well with conflict and might actually "seek out" conflict situations--while the INFJ tends to avoid conflict at all costs. And because the ISTJ doesn't tune in well to others' emotions, our intuition might be stifled by what appears to be a preference for facts and logic over compassion.

Conclusion? I think these two types could get along well. Good communication can go a long way toward overcoming obstacles, and the ISTJ and INFJ are strong in this area. I also think the INFJ, while a very creative persona, would appreciate the ISTJ's logic and practicality. And the ISTJ, who has a hard time showing emotions, would probably enjoy the intuitive warmth radiated by the INFJ.

I don't know if any of my friends are ISTJ's, so I can't make any comparisons from experience. Anyone out there have insights to share??

Image Credit: Marriage App, ISTJ


32 comments

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Anonymous
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May 22, 2013 at 1:49 PM delete

My ex-wife was an ISTJ, a CPA. We were well matched intellectually and could talk about our different views on an issue for hours, which I really enjoyed. However, she had emotional problems that definitely enhanced her desire to seek out conflict; as time passed, she seemed to want to argue and entice me to join her in losing control all the time. After enduring her emotional roller coaster for years, the trust, respect and love disappeared and I decided to move on. Overall I would say that pairing with an ISTJ may work for some, but I found it to be frustrating and lonely many times. I still wonder if it's possible for us INFJ's to find partners who really see, understand, accept and value us for who we are.

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Meridian
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May 23, 2013 at 8:43 AM delete

Thank you so much for honestly sharing your opinion about your former relationship. From what I've read online, it takes a great deal of work for an INFJ to be paired with any sensing type, either as a friend or a spouse. If that person has unresolved emotional baggage or hasn't developed his/her opposing functions well, significant problems can arise...which is probably why we're warned to be careful about it. My hubby is an ESFJ business analyst, and we definitely have our issues.

I do think we can find good partners who value us, whether they're sensing types or not. But I don't think one MBTI type will ever be enough to balance all the INFJ's needs. I truly believe we're so complex that we need a solid base of friendships to make up for what a spouse/partner cannot provide. I enjoy my husband's factual point of view on things, but if I don't get out here to the coffee shop and talk with other creative types (including my positive, affirming ENFJ friend Jeff), I start getting pretty cranky. The idealist in me needs a variety of influences, or else I deal with the same loneliness and frustration you spoke of.

I'll try to get into this more as the series continues. Am just starting out and feeling my way through right now. Again, thanks for sharing...I appreciate your opinion and am sure others will find it helpful :-)

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Anonymous
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May 23, 2013 at 3:40 PM delete

Thanks for that. This blog is a neat little oasis, so thanks for that, too.

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May 25, 2013 at 9:18 PM delete

My husband is an ISTJ and we are perfect for each other. Both of us are strong introverts so we enjoy similar pastimes (mainly sitting in silence together with a good book!). Since we are both Judicial, we also are compatible when it comes to housekeeping. I hear many married couples complain that someone isn't pulling their share on housework. We both thrive in order and cleanliness so we never have to nag the other. His logic and structure keep me grounded and focused and my intuition (in which he is a very strong believer) and people-focused nature keep him in balance. We struggled for a while at the beginning of our marriage with communication, but both of our personalities are passionate about commitments and making things work, so we wanted to fix any bumps in the road. We learned about one another's types, functions, love languages, learning and communication styles, and anything else you can think of. Now we click so well and bring one another balance, especially in parenting. I could never see myself in love with anyone else. It did take work, but it was more than worth it. :-)

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SloanZone1230
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July 16, 2013 at 11:37 AM delete

This is something I never understood about the INFJ/ISTJ pairing: the ISTJ's dealing well with conflict. My mother is and INFJ and my dad is an ISTJ. The biggest gripe my mother has with my father is that he will stick his head in the sand if she had anything she wants to bring up.

Now that I really think about this, on some level it does make sense. My mother will want to talk about emotional issues and a key quality of ISTJ's is that they don't seem to connect well with either their own or other's emotions at all... I guess I just answered my own question. :)

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September 12, 2013 at 1:56 PM delete

I thought you'd find my story interesting. I am and ISTJ, although the middle two are somewhat moderate. My wife is an INFP. She is much like yourself in that she is 39, mother of two, and is working when she can on writing a novel. We are currently dealing with a health scare. At first, it looked sure that she had metastasized cancer. We have since found out that she has two bone primary bone tumours. Both started as benign, but one appears to have mutated to a malignancy. We are waiting on a second biopsy, and then surgery to remove. The whole affair has been really stressful, and highlighted how differently we deal with problems.

One of the tasks that she came up with was for us to answer some questions about us and where our family is headed. In the "who are we" category, I explained who I thought I was, who I thought she was, and how I saw us as a couple. She read the answer, and then suggested taking the personality test. It was interesting to find out how many of the things I said about her were part of the profile. It also highlighted why, as a couple, there has been friction in the past. We've never been in danger, but certainly reading the two profiles made us understand why some things were such big issues.

I agree with the previous post that conflict resolution hasn't been easy. The psychologist we've been seeing suggested that I needed to view my wife's needs as a task, because then they would be dealt with more efficiently and effectively. This pairing isn't easy, but knowing the issues and dealing with them makes us, I believe, much stronger at the end of the day.

In the answer to the question "who are we", one of my comments was that we were an odd couple, we are a mystery than only we understand, and the eHarmony would never have matched us up. (We did, however, meet on an online dating site.) Although I don't really understand her passion for writing, it was her writing that got me hooked on her in the beginning. The first month of our relationship was nothing but email. I had never even seen a picture of her. All I knew was that there was a woman out there who I needed to meet. I knew after the first date that I would marry her. Nine years later, we're still going, still growing, and getting stronger.

For all you INFP's out there, yes, it can work, just as long as you both understand who and what you are. We're talking even more about 'us' now, and we're more in love than ever.

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Arkendale
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November 19, 2013 at 3:49 PM delete

I'm an INFJ and my fiancee' is an ISTJ and our relationship is a great deal of fun. We fascinate each other, quite frankly. I think part of the reason for that is that our functions are inverse opposites of each other. We process existence quite differently, but we end up with similar conclusions.
To illustrate, assume she and I separately travel from A to B and each write a detailed account of the way there.
I, using the superpowers of INFJ intuition, meditate for a short time and teleport instantly from point A to point B. Knowing that I have to write an account of the path to get there, I climb the tallest tower with binoculars and spend my time writing the report of how one (not me) could get from A to B from my tower.
My fiancee', however, immediately departs from point A and takes detailed notes as she walks to point B.
She would see details that I could not, such as butterflies along the path, the smell of the lilies in the field. I could see details that she could not, such as the shape of the path looking like a grey groove along the blue winding snake of the river.

In the end, we both know how to get from A to B, but we get there in entirely different ways.

I operate almost entirely in that 3000 feet up point of view, in "impressions" and I deal with the world through patterns and connections, regardless of the specific contexts I find myself in. Knowing the patterns and underlying truths, I can act without regard to Context (almost) and can cut out a lot of work by treating new situations according to past patterns and intuitive predictions.

She operates daily in specific details and planned processes. Everything new is compared to past experience, appropriate procedures are applied, and action is taken. Context is the essential concern in her processing/acting.

Because of this non-contextual/contextual difference, communication is electric between INFJs and ISTJs. Both types love learning and love following the best practices possible. Since each type sees different aspects of life, they each eagerly want to know what the other thinks so that the ISTJ can create better procedures for the future and so that the INFJ can have a more informed inner-intuitive system.

I love it and her :)

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Anonymous
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December 21, 2013 at 10:27 AM delete

I am an INFJ and my husband is an ISTJ. Our relationship can be difficult due to lack of communication and misunderstandings. Our relationship can be beautiful when we work together toward a common goal and respect one another as individuals. We've been married 13yrs. It is both hard and easy to love one another depending on the day:)

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Anonymous
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January 12, 2014 at 2:35 AM delete

My hubby is an ISTJ and I am an INFJ. All in all we have a great relationship. To me, being married to an ISTJ is like a rollercoaster; it has it's up's and down's but overall it's a fun ride. Been together 16 years and have 3 beautiful boys. Our only downside is that he says that I over-analyse and take things to heart, whereas I find him sometimes hard to read as he shows little emotion. I know they are there though!

The only time during our relationship he had shown any 'real' emotion was when our child was going through cancer. He hated being a wreck and beat himself up about it. On the other hand I couldn't have been more proud to see him deal with his thoughts and feelings. It was difficult for him to accept. Me on the other hand at this time was detached. There was only one focus... our son to get better. Me getting upset would not help the situation so I saved my sorrow long after his remission. He couldn't understand it (nor I as I knew it was unhealthy!). It took a long time for me to heal. In a way our differences complimented one another during the 'bad times'. His dependability and silent strength coupled with my focus and care for our family unit; we were invincible. This period was a real test in our relationship. In the end we came out with a new understanding of one another and 3 years on, we couldn't be any stronger. : )

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Anonymous
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January 23, 2014 at 11:29 PM delete

I am an ISTJ male and my girlfriend is INFJ. We aren't married yet but have lived together like so for over 3 years. Like many others have said, the relationship has definitely been a very ups and downs ride. There are ways we connect deeper than any thing I imagine possible, and other times we have conflicts where we see no good resolution in sight.

Another big bother is the different ways we approach communication, especially over conflict. I approach conflict as a problem to solve with tangible and practical solutions. She approaches it in a much more emotional and spiritual type of way, looking for me to emphasize and encourage instead, which we ISTJs are just terrible at doing. Ironically, she communicates well with me because INFJs are masters of empathy and she gets on the level of how I want to communicate. Me on the other hand find it near impossible to approach my conversation in other ways though. We definitely don't show deep emotions and our structured approach to life doesn't support feelings and thoughts, unfortunately.

All and all, the relationship has just been good. Ups and downs, good times and bad. Not great though and I won't lie that I am unsure if I want to marry her. Strangely, she is heads over heels for me, but I often wonder if I would be better suited with another personality type. Seeing this match right in the "Possible" range makes sense to me.

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Jennifer
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January 30, 2014 at 6:25 AM delete

My husband is ISTJ. I marvel at his ability to dish and take criticism. Early in our marriage, I would stew and bubble on something until I could not hold it in and *had* to speak up. It came out "blunt" and "shrill" to my ears, but he didn't seemed one bit bothered. I still have to work at being so forward (having a legal pad to write it all out helps, as does a counselor). He is so organized handling projects and money -- I just have to work at *asking* him to handle it. The downside is that he is clueless about anything subtle or romantic. The one way I find to connect is by reading aloud books that interest me (something that presents the values and facts I want to enforce, but without my having to come up with the direct wording). Then if he's critical of a point, I don't feel it so keenly. It's the author's point, not mine. However, if we agree on something, I get the bonding experience I crave.

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Anonymous
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February 19, 2014 at 2:35 PM delete

I am a female INFJ, and my good friend is male ISTJ. We play off of each other in a fun and sly sort of way. He is definitely more prone to facts, and I to emotions, so we contrast each other very well and are able to create fantastic conversations or debates (that neither of us are ever able to win...) We're a good match, and his devotion to his relationships is a nice breath of fresh air that I look forward to every time I see him. Thanks for writing this--I am on a hunt to understand my ISTJ friend better partly for my INFJ curiosity...and partly to freak him out.

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Carolyn
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March 11, 2014 at 12:38 AM delete

I am an INFJ female and my BF is ISTJ. We plan to get married in 2015.This will be a second marriage for me; my late husband was an ENFP. This will not be my BF's first marriage either. I think we are a great match. I am thrilled and I have someone who is so consistent about follow through and loves to get things done. When we first started dating I was suprised to see that his intuition is actually quite developed. He also has developed his feeling side. I am learning to let him know very directly if I have a need for something. If he realizes it is something that really matters to me he will try to honor the request if he can. The only area where I can see I will need other outlets is in the area of discussing ideas and visionary kinds of topics. He will try to engage if asked to, but doesn't have much to say in that way. In every other way though, he is a very good fit for me. I think we will be very happy together. In some ways he reminds me of my ENFP in a lesser way. Not surprising the ISTJ is the show of the ENFP. My ISTJ loves to socialize with friends, is friendly with other people, enjoys being in public etc...but when he is done, he is ready to go home for some alone time. I am the same way.

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Carolyn
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March 14, 2014 at 11:59 AM delete

Correction: Meant to say that ISTJ is the "SHADOW" of the ENFJ type

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Anonymous
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April 1, 2014 at 3:24 PM delete

I am an INFJ wife married for over 20 years to an ISTJ. I always suspected that something was missing, but couldn't say what. We got on, got things done, laughed together. I realised you had to work at marriage and was prepared to. About 12 years ago, we had counselling. I felt there was a lack of intimacy, but couldn't put my finger on why. I felt he wasn't listening, couldn't communicate on the level I needed. He thought I was 'making problems' when there weren't any and was odd and emotional. I decided to settle. We were an efficient family business and there was a lot that was good. Then suddenly, over a year ago, we were both devastated when I fell for someone who seemed to supply the bit that was missing. Maybe the N instead of the S. I've had no affair, but I have to come to terms with knowing that the kind of communication I crave exists and I must live without it. I think that an ISTJ/INFJ combination (probably any combination?) has to be careful to nourish their relationship every day, regardless of demands of children, elderly parents, jobs and other constraints, otherwise they can end up feeling disconnected, lonely and vulnerable.

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Anonymous
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April 11, 2014 at 6:00 PM delete

I'm an ISTJ and this idea that we don't connect with our emotions or others is BS. I have more empathy than I know what to do with. Maybe I took the wrong test or answered the questions wrong because I didn't agree with some of my assessment.

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Anonymous
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April 17, 2014 at 10:33 AM delete

I feel you! My best friend and I are just like this!

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Hannah Warsop
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May 22, 2014 at 4:43 AM delete

I'm an ISTJ female and my boyfriend of ten months is an INFJ. We knew pretty quickly that we had 'something' and he moved in after 6 months. I also knew pretty quickly that we were different, he seemed a lot more easy-going, fun and light-hearted than me and this attracted me at the same time as wanting to stand back and observe it before jumping in if that makes sense. On our second date we went to the beach and because we were having such an amazing time, chatting and laughing, we missed our last train back and decided to buy a blanket and sleep on the beach. It was amazing, totally magical and out of character for me - he was a perfect gentleman and we just cuddled all night which was perfection. It made me realise I do need the part of me that is missing, the lighter more fun and playful side, and he provides this in buckets. He says he appreciates my dedication, tenacity and strength of purpose though I know sometimes he finds me critical and harsh. I'm really into MBTI and am trying to learn how to be 'softer' in my approach. I think the biggest way an ISTJ is misunderstood is people think we have no feelings but this is so not true, I guess it's just that we're scared of them, we don't understand them and always try to be in control. I for one feel things very deeply and feel overwhelmed with love for this guy. I worry he will eventually get fed up of my harshness and stubbornness and go for someone more 'feminine' but reading others' experiences of this match has made me feel a lot better and I now believe it can work with the right amount of commitment and understanding.

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RaechelT.
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May 27, 2014 at 3:51 AM delete

Just wanted to tell you how beautiful your post was about your ISTJ wife. I'm an INFJ 42-y/o woman and my boyfriend is a ISTJ 40 y/o. Our connection was immediate and incredibly fulfilling. As tentative as we both are about new situations, we were a perfect fit from the start, but it hasn't been easy in the year and a half since. We are both sensitive to criticism, and when I approach needs or concerns from an emotional standpoint, he's lost and annoyed. Before I uncovered our personality types, his logical reactions appeared to circumvent my needs and I took it personally, not knowing that its simply a trademark of the type. Once I understood the difference, the anxiety vanished and I took a good look at myself for the first time and had to eat crow when I realized that the filter through which I viewed his cold reactions was simply my own hyper-sensitive expectation of being rejected. I now realize that I have to approach matters with questions, and learn that when he says something, its exactly what he means, no other context or pattern to figure out there. Regretfully, we were not on the same page for quite some time, and needs not getting met turned into explosions with hurtful words, blame and accusations (which are like bullets to an ISTJ). We are taking a break right now and its sad, but it is proving beneficial. I have such a clear understanding that my amazing ISTJ boyfriend had infinitely more rare qualities than difficult ones, and I owe it to us to look at my own processing style and give it a good oil change. I also realize that because we are both introverts (we socialize but we prefer to spend down time with each other) we have to force each other to spend time with friends so we can get our little emotional or logical needs met through other personality types found in our friends and professions. Had I known this a month ago, we wouldn't be going through the pain of separation and uncertainty of a continued journey together. Though the INFJ in me wants to "make it right" quickly and return to being together, I respect that the ISTJ in him needs space to process and trust again (faithfulness has never been an issue, but he will pull completely out of the relationship if I express anxiety or emotionally excessive attempts to "understand" where he's coming from). This is a totally dedicated man, and he spends all his time with myself AND my children from another marriage (4 kids!!) so he's damn near a unicorn (rare, if not exceptionally rare), however its been a bit of a mystery to meet one another's needs given we both have issues being direct with our concerns. Sad that I JUST discovered our types online and can't share my discovery/revelation/apology with him at this time. He has asked for space, and I am using the time to work on staying patient and actively trading anxiety about our future for progress on myself so IF we revisit a relationship, it will be grounded in mutual respect and understanding. Wish us luck! Any advice you may have would be appreciated! Cheers!

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Anonymous
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July 13, 2014 at 6:44 AM delete

I am an INFJ woman and my husband is a pure ISTJ. I can relate with all the posts here! We fell in love fast, despite of being apart for 6 months we would write each other every day, and fell in love more and more. I do not think that a distance relationship in such an early stage would have lasted with many other personality types. Writing is my preferred way of communicating, and it was the perfect way to get through his strong introversion. I value I can trust him 100%, that if I am sick he will be by my side taking care of me quietly, that we can both be in the same room watching interesting documentaries in silence or discussing about news for long time. Intellectually, he ´turns me on´' and I have always admired how he can deal with big issues without showing any sign of fear or tireness. He keeps his desk methodically clean, and we argue about soap smells which is quite funny.
But we struggle with a serious issue for me : communicating emotions. I am passionate, and although I do not need compliments very often, when I get them from colleagues I realize I never get any from him. I loose weight, I dress nicely, and he does not even notice me. The fact is that he cannot be romantic or say nice things, and when he tries you know we are very good to spot what is fake. So I constantly debate between having him trying and sounding fake or just let him be. I do miss romanticism and passion, enjoy marital sex where I can use my imagination. But he is very private, and any passion has to come first from his head. I do not have anything to do with it (does not matter what I wear, what I say, what I do), he must decide by himself. This is quite sad for me. Sometimes I am scared that I may end up with the same story as one of you: Finding someone that could supply this kind of magic and imaginative world of love that I am lacking in this moment. I hope we can make things better, because the love is there, but I have big needs not being covered in this moment...

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Anonymous
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August 1, 2014 at 12:00 PM delete

I am a 26 y/o INFJ and my fiancé is a 26 y/o ISTJ male. We get along splendidly for the most part. I don't think INFJ/ISTJ's have much trouble getting along together when things are good, the problems usually arise when one or the other of us falls into the unhealthy behaviors for our type. If you are familiar with shadow functions and archetypal analysis of MBTI types, this especially makes sense as our functional stacks are essentially the exact opposite (my 1st function is his 8th function, so on and so forth). Overall, I've found that our biggest issues come from him not always being able (or willing) to express his emotions while I can't shut up about them. However, this difference has actually led me to look more at my own behavior and begin to notice when I am reading too much into situations or hyping up my own emotions too much. This is especially good for me because as an INFJ, I usually tend to believe that my insights and behavior are the correct way of doing things.

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Anonymous
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August 3, 2014 at 5:45 PM delete

I disagree with an ISTJ possibly seeking out conflict. ISTJ's avoid unnecessary conversations/people/situations because there are bigger fish to fry. Their talents and energies can be used in better places, so they do not seek conflict. I think you got that part twisted. But yes, it is difficult to keep a close friendship with an ISTJ if you're an NF...although I have long standing relationships with even INFP.....it's hella diffcult though lol Well wishes =3

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Shelby Leigh
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September 2, 2014 at 4:53 PM delete

Ok so I have a great insight. Me and my mom both have taken the MBTI tons of time (just to get the results right, you know analyze over and over). I'm an INFJ and she's an ISTJ. So I have 20 years of insight. We actually balance each other out very even though we do occasionally bump heads. It's actually really nice to have and ISTJ around. I have tons of examples but the best ones would probably be when we are around other people.we kind of translate and help each other like if someone is upset about something she said (because as an ISTJ she doesn't understand that her criticism can actually hurt people) I can help explain it to her and vice versa if someone does something and I can't find the reasons why she's able to explain it to me. She's also able to push me to get results in situations that involve conflict or be able to handle the conflict better. In conclusion it's a good match they understand and balance each other but be wary you will definitely bump heads about things especially anything to with emotions.

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Anonymous
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September 25, 2014 at 12:40 AM delete

I am a female INFJ in love with a male ISTJ... We have been in love with each other for almost 16 months. I am the emotion-driven one and true to the name intuitive, I am also incredibly psychic and spiritual. My fact-loving logical ISTJ has a hard time grasping everything that comes out of my mouth, and tends to shut down when I talk about anything too spiritual or too emotional/intimate. It can be frustrating sometimes, but because of my intuition, I know that there is a great deal of love from him to me. He definitely loves being right, and even resists me sometimes for my "knowing" just so he can feel like he has the upper hand in the situation. Being empathic means a lot of "Oh okay sweetie" and a smile (we are both sarcastic naturally) so even when I'm trying to let him think he's winning, he can tell I'm giving in. That usually makes him more eager to get his point across and make me come to his side of whatever fence it may be. I think it's adorable actually. We both know we mean well and are there to support each other in the end. We are both a little competitive so this makes things like arcades fun and challenging (we are adults - most of the time). We look forward to having kids with each other. I can already see where he will be the perfect dad and me the nurturing mother. I think there will be a great sense of balance in our home. We are very devoted to each other and love being at home together where it's quiet. When we met I smiled at the almost identical clean pile of laundry next to our beds. We like things clean, but it's not necessarily institutional or sterile. A maid every now and then though is suggested to help keep both not stressed. I hate dishes, and hate being scolded for them. Our first kiss he actually achieved by making my jaw drop with some of his "constructive criticism" (both being I's we were very shy, but again sarcastic). I don't know, it's those moments where I can see that spark in his eyes and it's just worth it. Every crazy minute. :)

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Eric Mugambi
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December 16, 2014 at 4:06 PM delete

Great Blog! I am an INFJ. She is ISTJ. I relate with what has been shared. It's not easy but I am trying.

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Anonymous
AUTHOR
December 26, 2014 at 9:34 PM delete

I am an INFJ woman, 66, and six months ago fell in love with an ISTJ man, 60, and he fell in love with me at the same time. In only two days of talking and walking around together, we saw we had what it takes to build a beautiful future. We both knew our personality type, and could see that what is happening between us is an incredibly catalytic relationship. The growth going on is incredible. We already have built a solid foundation: based upon our trusting, reliable, goal-oriented, hard-working introverted seriousness, and our shared Christian faith. He adores and is amazed by my emotional playfulness and super intuition.
I swoon over his committed, protecting, practical and realistic, always steady and devoted
male presence. Major chemistry both ways. I have learned not to gush endlessly on spiritual/psychological/political issues :) and he has learned to express in words, and often, what he loves about me and how much he adores me. A win-win all the way. Loving an ISTJ is great way for an INFJ to become more grounded and able to accomplish his/her grand visions. I'm a writer and psychologist, and this man is the very best ally and partner I could possibly have found. With his clear-thinking, logical brain, he is assisting me to put the procedures in place to make my rather grandiose visions doable. And he has many new horizons now that he is looking more deeply at the freedom he has now in his life. He says this was meant to be! and I agree :)

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Anonymous
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December 30, 2014 at 12:25 AM delete

I am an ISTJ woman, married to an ESFP man. Challenging but rewarding...going on 20 years now. We both live in the moment. I must be an ISTJ variant, because although I'm quite organized, I am also easy-going, very creative and not really goal-oriented at all. My hubby fits pretty closely to the on-the-fly, fun-loving ESFP traits. We complement each other, playing off each other's strengths while trying to keep each other's weaknesses in check. L

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Anonymous
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January 14, 2015 at 5:47 AM delete

(Dang it my message is too long, I have to post two times, sorry for that...)

I'm an INFJ woman (23) and I've been dating for 3 years an ISTJ man (24). A lot of people told here how their INFJ/ISTJ relationship were wonderful. Mine truly was too, but it became very terrible very fast after some point, and I thought it might be more useful to tell here the last terrible 6 months than the first wonderful 2 years and a half. :p

So as you said, INFJ tend to avoid issues while ISTJ try to solve them. Something that often happened, even during the year our relationship was great, is that we disagreed on some points, and he tried to make me understand why he believed what he believed, and I just tried to accept his opinion and to change subject without making an issue out of it. But since he wanted me to understand, he insisted a lot on explaining and debating of why I thought differently, and I had to face the debate, which often ended up with me crying. But since he was emotionally stable, he always managed to make me feel better and step out of my drama, and everything went well every time.
Now, after 2 years and a half, I had to go abroad for some months during which we could see each other only every 2 or 3 weeks. During this time I had my life alone, and he had his life too. Now when I came back, we had got very different habits. He was very very organized, had decided to stop buying this or that for some reasons I disagreed with, to set this time every day to do that, etc. It was impossible to make it change and I felt like in a cage. I tried to adapt but I didn't feel like home at all, and I started feeling a bit down due to all these little rules. I complained a bit but I thought that it would just take some time to adapt again to each other and that I wouldn't make an issue out of it, especially since I didn't want to create any conflict after so much time faraway, I preferred adapting. But the few times I complained, he wanted to debate about why it bothered me, and why he thought his idea was the best (the only?) solution. And also why it was the best thing to do to debate to solve the problem, rather than just accepting. In the beginning it convinced me that it was probably the best to do to find a solution together, but it happened every day about every little thing, and having to face debates and arguments every day made me so tired that I started crying all the time. Seeing me crying all the time made him upset at himself, and I said (and thought) that he didn't have to feel guilty and that my emotional problems were only mines (I wanted to protect him from feeling guilty). Then he suggested me to be less sensitive and control my emotions better, to which I reacted telling that I would not be less sensitive, because it would mean being less myself. He just didn't get what I meant on this point (probably because he was T) and it was very frustrating for both of us. This discussion was raised again a lot after (him telling me to be less sensitive and me telling why I didn't want to), and in the end it put distance between us.

(What happens next in next message)

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Anonymous
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January 14, 2015 at 5:47 AM delete

(Second message)

Some weeks passed and I talked to some friends, about a bit everything in my every day life, the things you talk about with your friends. At times I told about this, which I considered as little issues that would be solved by adapting as always, to my 2 best friends, just like little every day issues. Meanwhile my boyfriend was very stressed about his thesis and he used a lot of energy dwelling on his stress and what he thought he had done bad in his exams and thesis, and me a lot of energy to try to get him out of it and help him. At some point he heard that I had spoke to my friends about our little issues and considered that I had betrayed him, that it was bad, that I had made a mistake to talk about these private things to my friends, that I had to apologize to him and to solve our problems only together and stop talking to my friends. I was shocked by how "tyrannic" it sounded to me, and I tried to explain why I didn't think I had made a mistake and I hadn't thought it could hurt him. But no, no way, I was Wrong, what I had done was Bad, and I should listen to him and not "act childish and so emotionally" with our relationship. I took it very very personally, and felt like I wanted to go to another world, and I think that at that moment it sort of broke everything down, like if all my doors slammed and didn't want to open to him anymore, like if I couldn't share anything with that person who considered that I was too sensitive and should make efforts to feel less things anymore. We broke up a couple of days later (or might I say, I broke up because I could not stand the idea of even seeing him anymore).

Now I don't want to judge whether he was right or not, whether I was guilty or not, I think our personalities together all implied what happened. The type of situation that happened in the end had already happened many times about little things in the past (me hurting him being clumsy and not following his rules, him considering me wrong, etc.), but usually he detailed the situation to decide of a solution, I accepted and we forgot. That time I guess it was just too big for my feelings. Anyway so, INFJ / ISTJ relationship can also not work, it seems, for this kind of reasons. :p

[TL;DR]: ISTJ him judging that people who don't agree with his everyday rules are wrong, that INFJ me should try to become less sensitive / INFJ me feeling like in a cage of rules, and refusing to become less sensitive because it would mean becoming less myself. Both of us being quite stubborn about these positions. Not a perfect match. :p

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Meridian
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January 14, 2015 at 10:38 AM delete

Wow...I need longer comment boxes, lol! :)

I'm glad you posted. It's good to hear both the success stories and the ones that, no matter how hard we tried, just didn't work out the way we desired. What I most identified with in your post is your adaptability. As INFJs, we have this incredible talent for blending into a relationship...we sense what the other person needs, what they need us to be, and we adapt out of love or compassion or service. Problem is, we can easily lose ourselves if the other person isn't willing to do the same. So we're stuck pretending all the time, which is totally NOT us. We value authenticity and need the freedom to express our true selves.

The 'tyranny' and 'rules' would be rough for us to handle, too. I mean, let's face it. INFJs walk their own way, and we're not always comfortable living by another person's set of rules. I've ruined many a relationship by 1) trying to adapt and then 2) blowing up when I can't take the other person's rigid requirements. So I feel your pain.

I'm so sorry that the relationship didn't work out. I am glad that you realized you need to be who you are. And somewhere out there is a person who will love that about you and cherish you the way you deserve. :)

Thanks again and take care!

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Anonymous
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February 12, 2015 at 5:12 PM delete

I apologize that my story is very long, but I would like to share my experience with everyone.

I'm a 36-year-old INFJ man. My boyfriend of 4 years is a 38-year-old ISTJ. As others have stated, this isn't an easy pairing. Communication and patience, lots of it, are required. For an INFJ, I entered into this relationship because I knew this is what I needed. Imagine that. A hopelessly romantic INFJ using logic to decide what kind of relationship and partner he should have. It's because I needed someone I can rely on. Someone who's goal oriented and hardworking like me. Someone who's stable to keep me grounded. Someone who'll always be there for me.

My ex of 2.5 years was an ENFP. (Before that, INTJ for 2 years and ENFJ for 2 years.) Ideally, another NF would be the easiest pairing, but all relationships will encounter some sort of issues sooner or later. I have learned that the most important things are shared interests, similar living habits, similar goals, and the willingness from both individuals to grow. With my ENFP, we were able to communicate without saying much. We also had similar love styles and were very affectionate to each other. The problems was that his extroversion really stressed me out and we had almost nothing in common in terms of hobbies and interests. He was very demanding of my time and constantly needed me to socialize not just with him but all his friends while I just wanted to stay in and do something that I enjoyed quietly, which he had little interest in. The push and pull got worse and worse after we moved in with each other because there was nowhere for me to go recharge myself in our one bedroom apartment. I also found him to be unmotivated and lazy. It was a very bad breakup in the end.

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Anonymous
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February 12, 2015 at 5:13 PM delete

Part 2

So it wasn't surprising my next relationship would be with someone who's the complete opposite. My ISTJ is the most responsible and organized person I have ever met. We both enjoy playing video games, reading and watching all things Sci Fi, eating out, traveling, and most importantly silence. But as I stated before, this pairing isn't easy. I have known about MBTI for almost 20 years now, but I didn't really get into it until I was with him. I knew he's the one that's good for me, but I couldn't understand him at all. I had never dated anyone with so much in common with me yet was so different. I'm great at reading people, but I just couldn't understand him. Coming from a relationship where my ex was very affectionate, I felt neglected with my ISTJ. I read up on all kinds of forums and sites regarding INFJ - ISTJ relationships. I also joined the ISTJ group on Facebook. That combined with taking the love style test really helped. Here are some of the things that I learned. I found out that I use Physical Touch and Quality Time to show love while he uses Acts of Service and Quality Time to show love. With ISTJs, what you see is what you get. There's zero hidden motive. If he's there with you, it's because he wants to be there. And considering he'd rather do without other humans, that's a great compliment! That's when my silly INFJ self started to see it. He has made coffee for me pretty much everyday we are together for the past 4 years! He often asks if I need anything while we are reading in bed like a beer or water. I can get messy sometimes and he would just clean up after me without saying a word. If I leave clothes at his place, he would do my laundry and fold everything for me. Who does that?! My ENFP ex said "I love you" almost daily and ended up falling in love with someone else. My ISTJ has never said "I love you" unless it's a response, but he shows it by doing the most mundane things day in and day out and by always being there. I still get upset now and then when I feel like I'm being ignored in my weak moments, but that's my own issue I have to work with. He truly doesn't seem to know when to pay attention me so I have since become the one to initiate. At least, he learned to hug me back if I randomly hug him in the kitchen or something. He used to just stand there not knowing what to do! He would never reach to hold my hand when we are sitting on the couch watching TV, but he would never let go even when his hand goes numb.

That's my story. If you think the INFJ - ISTJ relationship is hard, you are not incorrect. But you are not going to find a relationship that's 100% perfect with no work required. Focus on the major things you cannot change and make sure your partner has at least some of those. Everything else can be taught or worked around.

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