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Ask an ESFJ

Crystabelle

Active Member
Local time
Today, 09:02
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Messages
166
Update & Question:

I'm doing better. Seems like it just takes time to move through something like this. Drinking less. Workout out more. Enjoying school. Still feeling drained but much better.

Q: My question for you guys is related to my interactions with my husband. I think I've mentioned before that he'd like to continue being friends which sounds nice in theory but the reality is interacting with him seems to only serve to tug at my heart & send me back into ruminating and other negative behaviors. It feels childish & a little embarrassing to say, "If we can't be married then we can't be anything," but that's really what I think I need to in order to get over him and be healthy. But I'm struggling with this. I feel guilty & mean if he reaches out to me and I don't respond. I even sent him pictures of our kiddo's first day going to college bc I didn't want my husband to be sad that he's missing out on these big stages of life but it tears me up to communicate with him. But... I don't want him to hurt either. I'm having a hard time balancing my needs with my guilty and my concern with my husband. But, it seems like my husband is simply following his needs without much concern for me so shouldn't I be able to do the same? But, in this case, I'm the one who looks & feels like the A-H-O-L-E when he texts me something light-hearted and I ignore him. Or if I block him from social media so I don't have to be reminded he exists. Honestly, if I could have it my way, I'd prefer to forget I ever met him. I'm not saying that spitefully. It's just the only way for me to stop feeling the pain. But my perceived concern for his feelings often outweigh my own and I'll do the thing I feel is "right" even if it's harder on me. IDK. Maybe I'm way over-thinking this.

I guess my question is, what is your opinion on what is ok behavior for how I interact with my husband? I don't want to hurt him & there's probably a tiny part of me that wants to be nice so if he ever wants to come back to me there's an open door but the reality is that's extremely unlikely and whether it's correct behavior or not, it's emotionally distressing for me to stay connected to him in any way. I feel like I have two losing options: feel like an ass-hat douchebag and kick him to the curb or feel anxious depression and stay in communication with him.
 
Local time
Today, 16:02
Joined
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Messages
3,666
There's no need to feel guilty, needing distance after a breakup is very normal, expected. I guess you need to cooperate if you have a child together, but I think it's fine for you to tell him you need time to heal from the break up and you'd prefer him not to contact you unless it's about your child. You should probably tell him, though, and not ignore him. If you ignore him he will have no chance to adjust his behavior and give you space. He's an adult, he needs to learn how to manage his own feelings, that's not on you, not anymore at least. If he feels bad when you want space, then that's ok and it's something for him to work through on his own.
 

redbaron

consummate salt-extraction specialist
Local time
Tomorrow, 00:02
Joined
Jun 10, 2012
Messages
6,628
Location
38S 145E
I think you should explain that you need distance and if he cares at all he'll understand why. Don't get sucked into the why or why not, what matters is that you need the distance at the moment.

I might seem overly suspicious of his motives but not having both sides of the story he comes across as seeming neglectful almost to a point of deliberate. In any case I think Minuend's post is reasonable. If he's upset by you wanting space, it isn't your job to help him. He wanted a divorce, time to deal with the consequences, one of which will often be distance from you.

~

From the other post I think it's probably an upbringing thing in large part. People tend to reflect their parents in various ways whether they realise it or not. As long as you're aware of your parent's personality quirks and can see them in yourself and try to learn ways of altering for the better. Not everyone's perfect though and I think 'appropriate' is less of a concrete ruleset and more of a sliding scale.

As long as you aren't approaching either end of the scale I think it's okay. Some people are more assertive and others more laid back, it's only a problem if the attitudes are starting to become too intrusive or outright lazy.
 

Serac

Prolific Member
Local time
Today, 15:02
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Messages
1,424
Location
Stockholm
Update & Question:

I'm doing better. Seems like it just takes time to move through something like this. Drinking less. Workout out more. Enjoying school. Still feeling drained but much better.

Q: My question for you guys is related to my interactions with my husband. I think I've mentioned before that he'd like to continue being friends which sounds nice in theory but the reality is interacting with him seems to only serve to tug at my heart & send me back into ruminating and other negative behaviors. It feels childish & a little embarrassing to say, "If we can't be married then we can't be anything," but that's really what I think I need to in order to get over him and be healthy. But I'm struggling with this. I feel guilty & mean if he reaches out to me and I don't respond. I even sent him pictures of our kiddo's first day going to college bc I didn't want my husband to be sad that he's missing out on these big stages of life but it tears me up to communicate with him. But... I don't want him to hurt either. I'm having a hard time balancing my needs with my guilty and my concern with my husband. But, it seems like my husband is simply following his needs without much concern for me so shouldn't I be able to do the same? But, in this case, I'm the one who looks & feels like the A-H-O-L-E when he texts me something light-hearted and I ignore him. Or if I block him from social media so I don't have to be reminded he exists. Honestly, if I could have it my way, I'd prefer to forget I ever met him. I'm not saying that spitefully. It's just the only way for me to stop feeling the pain. But my perceived concern for his feelings often outweigh my own and I'll do the thing I feel is "right" even if it's harder on me. IDK. Maybe I'm way over-thinking this.

I guess my question is, what is your opinion on what is ok behavior for how I interact with my husband? I don't want to hurt him & there's probably a tiny part of me that wants to be nice so if he ever wants to come back to me there's an open door but the reality is that's extremely unlikely and whether it's correct behavior or not, it's emotionally distressing for me to stay connected to him in any way. I feel like I have two losing options: feel like an ass-hat douchebag and kick him to the curb or feel anxious depression and stay in communication with him.
There was a woman once who told me: continuing to keep in touch would lead to too much emotional turbulence for her. I thought that was totally fair and reasonable. Obviously this wasn't a 17-year marriage, but still... I would think it's a very understandble thing to most people. If anything, it's kind of a compliment.
 

QuickTwist

Pawn who fights for injustice
Local time
Today, 09:02
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
6,572
Location
Different day, different place
From the other post I think it's probably an upbringing thing in large part. People tend to reflect their parents in various ways whether they realise it or not. As long as you're aware of your parent's personality quirks and can see them in yourself and try to learn ways of altering for the better. Not everyone's perfect though and I think 'appropriate' is less of a concrete ruleset and more of a sliding scale.

As long as you aren't approaching either end of the scale I think it's okay. Some people are more assertive and others more laid back, it's only a problem if the attitudes are starting to become too intrusive or outright lazy.
I honestly can't see many similarities between myself and my father.

I asked my mother one time how I was like him... complete radio silence.
 

Crystabelle

Active Member
Local time
Today, 09:02
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Messages
166
It's interesting to come back to this after weeks/months. I'm doing much better. When I reread my previous posts I feel like, "Who was this girl? How was she ever this broken?" I haven't talked to my husband in weeks. The last time we spent time together was back in March. That's how long it's taken me to finally start letting go and moving on.

It's interesting how drastically different ones perception of reality can be when they get outside the fog.

How is everyone? Anybody come into contact with other ESFJs and not want to kill them but also not want to marry them? It seems like everything is either hot or cold with us.
 

redbaron

consummate salt-extraction specialist
Local time
Tomorrow, 00:02
Joined
Jun 10, 2012
Messages
6,628
Location
38S 145E
All ESFJs are just faceless grey entities that get in the way of the delight of doing inappropriate things.
 

Crystabelle

Active Member
Local time
Today, 09:02
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Messages
166
All ESFJs are just faceless grey entities that get in the way of the delight of doing inappropriate things.
Bahaha! Well, I may be a faceless grey entity but henceforth, I vow to attempt to support all your future inappropriate endeavors.
 

cheese

Prolific Member
Local time
Tomorrow, 00:02
Joined
Aug 24, 2008
Messages
3,180
Location
internet/pubs
Great to hear you're doing better.

I find the self-proclaimed ESFJs that wander onto forums to generally appear healthier and more balanced than many of its users. I like SFJs very much in theory but occasionally have problems in practice. Generally though, I really like having them around. Unrelated to type: people like you seem to make some genuine effort into understanding other people and understanding their flaws, which is so rare. Hopefully you don't see every bit of dirt flung at you as containing a pearl.
 
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