Myers Briggs & Marriage: ISFJ & INTJ

I am an ISFJ. My husband is an INTJ. I’ve heard it said, that when looking for a mate, one should seek to find someone who shares the same preferences on the middle two letters in the Myers Briggs personality assessment.

Notice our middle letters: “SF” and “NT”.

In fact, just last week, when a friend of mine found out I am certified in Myers Briggs, she intensely asked, “Is it true that if your middle letters are different, you’ll never last in a relationship with that person?” I calmly said, “Well, my husband and I are making it, and our middle letters do not match.”

We are different, my husband and me. Very very different.

While it is helpful that our outside letters (“I” and “J”) are the same, it is amazing how differently we see the world. Look at our “heads” below and notice these words that are opposites:

isfj-head

Myers Briggs: Inside an ISFJ’s head

Practical/Theoretical

Traditional/Original

Detailed/Conceptual

Meticulous/Creative Synthesizer

intj-head

Myers Briggs: Inside an INTJ’s head

Sensitive/Demanding

Follows Rules/Independent

Realistic/Visionary

Thoughtful of others/Systems minded

Erik and I are very very different. But you wanna know what has helped us immensely in our marriage?

Myers Briggs.

Knowing our “type” and being able to appreciate each other’s preferences has made a world of difference for us. I know dozens of other married couples personally who have been affected positively by understanding their own and their mate’s MBTI type.

Because I know there are words like “visionary” “autonomous” “reserved” & “objectively critical” floating around my husband that help define who he is, and he knows there are words around me such as “specific” “sensitive” “loyal” & “concrete“, we have learned to present ideas, approach topics, address conflict & serve each other in ways that we may not naturally like or tend to do.

Knowing type helps you know yourself and others-and this leads to better relationships all around.

For discussion: Do you know your MBTI type? Do you know your significant other’s type? How has this helped (or hindered though hopefully not!) the relationship?

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About kristinlindeen

I am Kristin. I am Erik's wife. I am Joshua, Rebecca, and Andrew's mom. I am known nationally as the "QBQ! Daughter" and keynote on Personal Accountability and the QBQ. I am certified in Myers Briggs and am passionate about helping people understand themselves and others better. I am John and Karen's daughter. I am sister to many, mentor to some, friend to others. Most defining, I am Christ's daughter, adopted by God--rescued and saved by grace. And almost every single day, I need to be reminded of that truth. Come say "hi" at www.QBQ.com and of course, browse the blog! I'd love to hear from you, so comment away!
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25 Responses to Myers Briggs & Marriage: ISFJ & INTJ

  1. Hello! Male INTJ here with an ISFJ wife of 11 years, and still going strong. Much credit goes to my wife for being patient and understanding, as I know INTJs are very hard to live with. In the beginning of our relationship, much of our conflict arose from my perception of how other people should behave and my dissatisfaction when they do not conform to that. We rarely ever get into arguments now, but back in the day, how heated they were! I find that we compliment each other, and that is why we are still so passionately, madly in love with each other. She has taught me empathy and diplomacy, while I contribute to her strong will. My wife is one of the strongest women I know, but her ISFJ personality sometimes gets in the way. I also love the way she thinks, which is logical and empathic at the same time. She has both intelligence and street smarts (something that I lack, I’m very awkward in social situations). My wife is one of the few individuals who I believe is smarter than me, and whose opinion I respect.

    My problem is that how do I get that across to my wife? How do I let her know that I appreciate her loyalty, respect, and understanding? I always say it to her, but we all know actions speak louder than words. However, INTJs and emotions…well, I don’t think I need to elaborate on that!

    • Sounds like you’ve both learned and grown a lot! That’s great! Find out her love language, and communicate that way! Acts of service is mine…when my logical, action oriented, fast paced husband takes time to plan a getaway for me, cleans for me, thoughtfully takes the kids out of the house for me, I “hear” the message that I am appreciated and loved.

      • Thanks! I already do most of the housework, so that’s out of the question. Seems like I need to pay more attention and see what my wife appreciates. Any suggestions?

      • Read The 5 Love Languages book together and discuss it. Ask her what would make her feel loved and “seen”. Use questions like “When did you last feel lonely?” “When did you last feel appreciated?” “What are you looking forward to?” to deepen your conversation together.

  2. Swulf says:

    Funny thing my husband and I are opposite of you and your husband. I have been researching our personalities to try and understand him better.

  3. John Harmon says:

    Hi! I am an INTJ romantically interested in an ISFJ. I’ve always heard that our compatibility is rather nonexistent, and I would love to hear your input on it. We were mutually into each other at one point about a month ago but I have heard not only from them but from other sources that they have commitment issues and sometimes they tend to cut people off. I know it must be so off the wall for me to want information regarding this but I would just enjoy personal advice rather than an internet forum. What are some ways I can reach out to an ISFJ and attract them? Thank you!

    • Hi John! Well, I would simply say, there are so many other factors to a person’s personality and likes and interested that MBTI. Every ISFJ is different from the next ISFJ because we’re all unique individuals with different backgrounds, birth orders, family experiences etc! But, from my own perspective, ISFJs are VERY loyal, very stable, and love being known well, but are quite picky in WHO gets to know them well. I’ve been married for 11 years and still it takes me intentional effort to express my deepest feelings to my hubby. I would err on the side of acts of service, and one on one time laughing and taking interest in what she takes interest. If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen! Best wishes!

  4. CL Mannarino says:

    This is supremely insightful! And yes, I absolutely agree. 🙂

  5. My partner and I are both INTP. We both found out our types before we began dating in differently leadership retreats. We went into the relationship knowing how similar we are.

  6. Amber Gentry says:

    I’m an ISFJ and my boyfriend of over a year (Paul) is an INTJ (although very slight on the T and J according to the test). We get along very well although we’ve had minor issues on occasion (like I would think he knows I want him to do/say something in response to something else and he doesn’t have a clue lol). What I find interesting is that he’s the one that is more likely to show affection and say “I love you” than I am. I do say it on occasion and express affection as well, but usually he beats me to it. I’m kinda curious about this slight reversal of roles despite our results (not complaining, just curious lol).

    • Amber, great question! Just remember, type isn’t EVERYTHING. By that I mean, you’re an ISFJ and I’m an ISFJ, but we are still very different people. I’m quite affectionate, and say I love you a LOT. 🙂 My INTJ husband is less so than me. We are also shaped by our home environments, our experiences, our relationships, our birth order.

      And the you wishing he could read your mind? That’s just being a woman. Period. 🙂 Every woman I’ve ever met who’s in a serious relationship has expressed that sentiment.

      One tip as an ISFJ–learn to share what you’re processing deep down inside. I take a long time to process, and it’s of course very internal. Be sure to speak up and share!

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  8. Aprille says:

    I took some test online and am pretty sure I am ISFJ. A quick perusal of your MB section makes me believe that my husband is ENTJ, but he hasn’t taken the test.

    Based on that, we only have 1 letter in common. Before we started dating my husband told me he could never be with me because we were like oil and water – and in a sense, he was right. We are incompatible in so many ways but God has made us compatible over time.

    We have a tough marriage but are 5 years and still going strong. Marital therapy has helped us a lot!

  9. Carissa says:

    Well, I’m not married, but I’m an ISFJ and my best friend is an INTJ. Before she and I began focusing on our types, our relationship sucked. I was easily offended when she couldn’t offer me a lot of emotional support and I thought she did things out of an emotional response instead of a logical one. We spent almost two years apart after a huge blow-up and then the Lord brought us back together again about two years ago. We had both grown in maturity, and we were both ready to learn about our personality types to make our friendship work. We’re stronger in our relationship now that we know our types than we ever were before. It’s amazing! I love how she doesn’t expect me to be as reserved and rational as herself, and I don’t expect her to be as sensitive as I can be. I’m so glad to have found your blog!

  10. qbqjohn says:

    Karen and I both have the S as we are ESFP (Karen) and ESTJ (me.) So that that helps, but the difference in her F for Feelings and my T for Thought is so vast, it causes lots and LOTS of friction She worries about others feelings and problems a lot and, well, I don’t. After 33 yrs of marriage, we’re still trying to work this out. 🙂

  11. Sara says:

    I really connect with the 4 temperaments model (melancholy, choleric, phlagmatic, and sanguine) Knowing what my husband and I are has helped me immensely in the last year! It has also really helped me parent my 4 kids. It’s fun to watch their personalities emerge and know how to parent them based on their individual needs.

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