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Dear INTPs

Could someone explain, slowly and possibly twice?

Am continuing to live, love and learn in my relationship with my INTP - the more I learn the more I marvel at, and get frustrated at the differences.

He reads about relationships and psychology everyday. Most all that he reads is about manipulative relationships, or psychological disorders. He has had quite a few dysfunctional relationships so I can relate to his desire to learn and understand about those relationships.

What I fail to comprehend is his focus on the negative. How can he learn about healthy relationships or even recognise that our relationship is within the bounds of normal if he benchmarks on the manipulative and dysfunctional?

Is his pursuit of knowledge related to the "persistent reaction" following past hurts? When will he let it go? Why does he compare me to them - my relationship history CLEARLY screams sane, normal and kind - I do not have a litany of hurt past loves, my ex would probably write me a reference.

Had a conversation with a pal yesterday and he voiced my query - when will this bright, intelligent, analytical man of mine realise he has (in the words of my pal) a "top drawer woman"? How can he miss the blindingly obvious?

The comparisons to his past women are wearing me down. What can I do or say that will help him look at the here and now and see the positive and stop seeking out the negative?

May have to change my name to frustrated ENTJ.
Quote:Why does he compare me to them - my relationship history CLEARLY screams sane, normal and kind - I do not have a litany of hurt past loves, my ex would probably write me a reference.
Well first, could you clarify this? Like does he actually say stuff about you compared with previous and/or unhealthy relationships? Because if he does that, not cool.

Personally, I focus on the negative because it tends to be more interesting and I feel like I can learn more from it. I can also get really obsessed with an issue for a while at a time, constantly looking up more articles or blogs on a specific topic, trying to learn as much as I can about it.

INTPs tend to pick things apart. We're viewed as negative because we tend to spot flaws very easily. But it's not something we always realize we're doing. I'll be picking something apart and someone will ask me why I hate it so much. "Hate it? What? I love it! Where did you get that?"
It's like with the weather; if there's a huge storm coming, everyone's talking about it. What did the weather channel say? What about this website? Do you see those storm clouds? How did you hold up during the last one?
But if the weather's beautiful- Wow, nice day, huh?
There's a lot to dissect in the negatives. It doesn't mean we don't appreciate the positive, just that there's not a ton to analyze about it.
(07-11-2014, 09:00 PM)PallasAthena Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:Why does he compare me to them - my relationship history CLEARLY screams sane, normal and kind - I do not have a litany of hurt past loves, my ex would probably write me a reference.
Well first, could you clarify this? Like does he actually say stuff about you compared with previous and/or unhealthy relationships? Because if he does that, not cool.

Personally, I focus on the negative because it tends to be more interesting and I feel like I can learn more from it. I can also get really obsessed with an issue for a while at a time, constantly looking up more articles or blogs on a specific topic, trying to learn as much as I can about it.

INTPs tend to pick things apart. We're viewed as negative because we tend to spot flaws very easily. But it's not something we always realize we're doing. I'll be picking something apart and someone will ask me why I hate it so much. "Hate it? What? I love it! Where did you get that?"
It's like with the weather; if there's a huge storm coming, everyone's talking about it. What did the weather channel say? What about this website? Do you see those storm clouds? How did you hold up during the last one?
But if the weather's beautiful- Wow, nice day, huh?
There's a lot to dissect in the negatives. It doesn't mean we don't appreciate the positive, just that there's not a ton to analyze about it.

Yeah he compares me and has a somewhat amusing (when I see it in its most positive light) habit of stating the obvious. His last relationship was with a woman who was bulimic. I am rather fond of food and he has said several times "you don't puke afterwards, do you?".
"No. Pass the mac cheese, would you?"

He was also involved with a mean spirited woman who used him and he often says "you are not like her".

It is tiring. I can see appreciate the mystery of problematic relationships and that "happy" relationships might be dull by comparison, still it seems to me he has much to learn about "normal" and might learn by reading about positive relationships.
He sounds very open about his past and thoughts to me, that atleast means he really likes you.
This may be weird, but what he is saying is most likely a form of flattery/bad jokes. He is saying that you are not like them.
He is not valuing you badly in any way, he is not saying that you are not a top-drawer woman, far from it. Possibly the opposite.

Have you tried asking him why he has a focus on the negative instead of how to improve oneself in a new situation?
Sure, the answer might be obvious, but it might set his thoughts to other things =) (maybe having him look at Dabrowskis positive disintegration theory could be a transition from a bad to a constructive focus)
Researching past mistakes is something that can eat me up, the drive to not end up there again is stronger than most other drives I have.

If it really bothers you, then say it feels weird to be compared to people who were bad to him, he'll remember.
(07-12-2014, 12:07 AM)Intrigued ENTJ Wrote: [ -> ]Yeah he compares me and has a somewhat amusing (when I see it in its most positive light) habit of stating the obvious. His last relationship was with a woman who was bulimic. I am rather fond of food and he has said several times "you don't puke afterwards, do you?".
"No. Pass the mac cheese, would you?"

He was also involved with a mean spirited woman who used him and he often says "you are not like her".

It is tiring. I can see appreciate the mystery of problematic relationships and that "happy" relationships might be dull by comparison, still it seems to me he has much to learn about "normal" and might learn by reading about positive relationships.

Yeah, this might be his way of joking about it, but I'd try to emphasize that it's not so funny, especially when he brings it up so often. I don't think he's trying to be negative and it doesn't sound like he dislikes you at all, just that he doesn't get how obnoxious it is to constantly hear about past relationships. I've had a few stupid moments like that where I've brought up past shit and didn't realize how upsetting it can be. Bring it up to him and make it clear that it bothers you and that should hopefully put an end to it.
By the way, how old are you two and how long have you been together? And how long would you say he's been obsessing over bad relationships?
We are old enough to know better. LOL. We are both in our late 40s, our relationship is only a few months old and I travel a lot for my job so quality time together is in short supply. You're right. I shall tell him it is tiring being compared to my bulimic predecessor. Perhaps it is MY body issues - they never go away, do they?

How long has he been obsessing? No idea. I suspect about 40 years?!! He got badly hurt about 5 years ago.

Conforming to my ENTJ mindset, I reckon he should "find a solution" (e.g., nice woman, e.g., me!) and apply said solution! My love of problem solving runs parallel but separate from his love of dissecting an issue. Intriguing yes, frustrating also. Confused

Gratitude is the first law of the universe, right? (OK - no physicist ever said that, but sometimes physicists are not always right!), so I'll practice more of that and be grateful for our relationship!

(07-12-2014, 04:29 AM)Ravn Wrote: [ -> ]He sounds very open about his past and thoughts to me, that atleast means he really likes you.
This may be weird, but what he is saying is most likely a form of flattery/bad jokes. He is saying that you are not like them.
He is not valuing you badly in any way, he is not saying that you are not a top-drawer woman, far from it. Possibly the opposite.

Have you tried asking him why he has a focus on the negative instead of how to improve oneself in a new situation?
Sure, the answer might be obvious, but it might set his thoughts to other things =) (maybe having him look at Dabrowskis positive disintegration theory could be a transition from a bad to a constructive focus)
Researching past mistakes is something that can eat me up, the drive to not end up there again is stronger than most other drives I have.

If it really bothers you, then say it feels weird to be compared to people who were bad to him, he'll remember.

Great answer. Who TF is Dabrowski? You INTPs are amazing (said in a positive way!). You say that sentence like I should KNOW. I think I spend way too much of my time drinking coffee with my pals and insufficient time reading - and here I am thinking I am bright (well I AM bright if we extract all the INTPs from the population and compare me to the remaining average). I'll look him up. Thanks.Wink
Sounds like he's gotten interested in the topic of functional and dysfunctional relationships and your relationship is a constant source of new data to add to the analysis. He may be still trying to make sure he isn't going to get hurt again by trying to assess whether the relationship with you is good, but he may also just be more academically interested in the topic. I analyze my relationship history every so often (like for a few weeks) and I've never even had any really bad experiences. Either way, I agree with the suggestion to tell him that it's not something you want to hear and he should either stop thinking about it, adjust the focus in a more positive direction, or keep it to himself.
(07-11-2014, 04:36 PM)Intrigued ENTJ Wrote: [ -> ]Dear INTPs

Could someone explain, slowly and possibly twice?

Am continuing to live, love and learn in my relationship with my INTP - the more I learn the more I marvel at, and get frustrated at the differences.

He reads about relationships and psychology everyday. Most all that he reads is about manipulative relationships, or psychological disorders. He has had quite a few dysfunctional relationships so I can relate to his desire to learn and understand about those relationships.

What I fail to comprehend is his focus on the negative. How can he learn about healthy relationships or even recognise that our relationship is within the bounds of normal if he benchmarks on the manipulative and dysfunctional?

Is his pursuit of knowledge related to the "persistent reaction" following past hurts? When will he let it go? Why does he compare me to them - my relationship history CLEARLY screams sane, normal and kind - I do not have a litany of hurt past loves, my ex would probably write me a reference.

Had a conversation with a pal yesterday and he voiced my query - when will this bright, intelligent, analytical man of mine realise he has (in the words of my pal) a "top drawer woman"? How can he miss the blindingly obvious?

The comparisons to his past women are wearing me down. What can I do or say that will help him look at the here and now and see the positive and stop seeking out the negative?

May have to change my name to frustrated ENTJ.


Just curious, how did this ever work out? Or are you still struggling?

I don't nitpick problems in my relationships, and from what I read about INTPs, neither do a lot of us, so maybe he'd been through a lot of trauma in the past and needs therapy- if you're still struggling, it might be the route you want to pursue.

No relationship type is immune from personality problems. Period.
(07-11-2014, 04:36 PM)Intrigued ENTJ Wrote: [ -> ]Dear INTPs

Could someone explain, slowly and possibly twice?

Am continuing to live, love and learn in my relationship with my INTP - the more I learn the more I marvel at, and get frustrated at the differences.

He reads about relationships and psychology everyday. Most all that he reads is about manipulative relationships, or psychological disorders. He has had quite a few dysfunctional relationships so I can relate to his desire to learn and understand about those relationships.

What I fail to comprehend is his focus on the negative. How can he learn about healthy relationships or even recognise that our relationship is within the bounds of normal if he benchmarks on the manipulative and dysfunctional?

Is his pursuit of knowledge related to the "persistent reaction" following past hurts? When will he let it go? Why does he compare me to them - my relationship history CLEARLY screams sane, normal and kind - I do not have a litany of hurt past loves, my ex would probably write me a reference.

Had a conversation with a pal yesterday and he voiced my query - when will this bright, intelligent, analytical man of mine realise he has (in the words of my pal) a "top drawer woman"? How can he miss the blindingly obvious?

The comparisons to his past women are wearing me down. What can I do or say that will help him look at the here and now and see the positive and stop seeking out the negative?

May have to change my name to frustrated ENTJ.
Are you certain he is not still in a relationship with someone else? Again, not all INTPs are the same. If one with narcissistic tendencies he will move into a relationship with you before he his finished with the last one, likely lying about what happened in that (and other) relationships. You might ask yourself why he has been in so many dysfunctional relationships. If you are tired and frustrated after a few months, imagine what a woman who spent years with him must feel.

It is also common for NPDs to compare old girlfriends to you. They have a knack for making you feel special and pushing you away almost simultaneously.

I could describe your lovely INTP. Tall, dark and handsome with thick curly hair, speaks languages and skis like a dancer? Or something like that. Is he living next to his parents and constantly writing work docs in his late 40s? Could be a big problem.

I would suggest reading about covert NPD and see if any bells off before you get in too far. Frustration and exhaustion are just the beginning in that case.
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