Originally Posted by Eliza Thomason
My Benefactor ex, ESFj, many years ago when my son was young, left our nearly 20-year marriage to be with his ISFj paramour, his Contrary partner, and they are still together, in her beautiful home (she kicked her hubby, father of their children, out of their old Victorian he had slaved on for years, to be replaced by my ex). A very nice house, and my husband's earning powers allowed her to keep the house (while I had to sell the house I loved and had worked on hard, stripping old paint, and careful repainting every inch, wallpapering, planting gardens including 1000s of bulb I bought in November clearance sales and planted by portable light at night. Losing my house was tough.) They are still together, as it often works with 2nd wives (though I don't believe they married). My son says it seems a good relationship, in fact, it's "Boring" at their house.
Reading about the types, by type-standards alone, it seems it must be better for her as Contrary partner, an equal relationship, than for me, the dud-half of the unequal Benefit Relations. I am glad for my (recent college grad) son, who is living in their home now, that he is not in a tension-filled home. He was with me thru high school, and is just laid off his somewhat new job. Our home had tension when my son was young, at least sporadically. I never knew when his Dad was going to, out of the blue, set of in an explosive verbally abusive about some unexpected problem that was ALL my fault. My guess is that that does not happen there, and if that is so, I am glad for them both, as well as for my son. It wasn't a nice way to live, on eggshells all the time.
Another thing that is different about their relationship than ours is, she is quite assertive about how her home should be run, and rather rules in that way (her ex told me she was always that way), and I never ruled. I let the ex rule, particularly because I wanted to keep peace, and it seemed the only way. The ESFj-ex would go all out to help any neighbor or stranger, but I could not ask him for help with anything; he would refuse, or more likely, get very explosively angry at me for asking. So, as my family of origin encouraged us all to be quite independent, I just did everything myself, alone. Worked a busy career and did all the cleaning, cooking, dishes, laundry, shopping, gardening, yard work except mowing and shoveling, and lots, lots more. And I single-handedly put on huge feasts for family holidays (almost exclusively his family). So when my son said his Dad helped with putting on annual holiday dinners for her visiting family, I was surprised. I explained that his Dad always refused to help me with anything, and asked how she got him to do things? He said she justs asks him to do something, and if he bulks, she gives him "a look", and he immediately does it.* Hmm.
That surprised me, but in the end, I think it's a better pairing. (Though, the divorce was absolutely devastating to me, and the wounding of it reverberated for years, and I thank the Lord Jesus, because He healed me of the trauma of that. He made me whole again, and besides that, He gave me the grace to forgive them both, when I could not conjure it up myself). I did not know how to prevent the ex from treating me like a doormat. My efforts to change that dynamic with gentle pleadings or attempts to reason only escalated things, making it all worse. And that, for his eternal soul, was not a good thing. This is better for him, to know more of how to be a partner.
So, ex is ESFj, and the partner is ISFj. I read, also, what is mentioned above about the partnership getting along better alone, and I see that, as I did once hear of a conversation they had in a social situation that hinted at some tension, but apparently, no tension when at home together, which is how they normally are.
But I also read that this particular pairing really has NOTHING in common except eating food! That's it, they say. And there is some evidence of that going on, unless it's just the natural aging process I am seeing in pics. I don't know. I am aging, but I am losing weight (but on purpose, by effort). My husband and I also very much enjoy food together, but we enjoy a lot of things together, and when we want to cut down on weight, or fast, or limit good things to eat for Lent or Fridays, we are fine doing that together. We are fine either feasting or fasting together, and pretty much agree when it's a good time to do either. But we are duals, and I am so blessed that way.
* This reminds me of a story of Abe Lincoln's family of origin. Abe's Dad's first wife always really, really wanted a wood (rather than dirt) floor. It was her dream, it would have made her so happy. But she was always refused this. She was told no; they didn't need it. When 2nd wife came with a wagon load of fine furniture, she said, "Oh, no, we can't have this. We need a wood floor" and refused to bring the furniture into the dirt floor. The husband started the wood floor the very next day...