A conversation between me (an ENFP) and my husband (an ISTJ)

The following are composite snippets from real-life conversations I’ve had with my husband.

ISTJ: Come look at this financial spreadsheet I’ve made. It has 80, very specific categories.

ENFP: Aw, you used such pretty colors!

ISTJ: You’re going to have to study this spreadsheet for one hour so you really understand the exact specifics of what I’ve set up here.

ENFP: Did you just say study a spreadsheet for ONE HOUR? I’d rather poke out my eyeballs! Let’s kiss instead!

ISTJ: Absolutely NO kissing! This is serious business.

ENFP: How about sex?

ISTJ: (pause) Maybe after we finish going over this spreadsheet.

ENFP: (in a sexy voice) Oooooh, EIGHTY different categories!

ISTJ: Stop! Now, listen! I need you to keep a record of all your purchases in this column which will automatically calculate how much you’ve spent and how much is left in the budget.

ENFP: (giving a big hug) Aw, that’s genius! Thank you for setting this up! Can you just give me some money now? I need to paint my toes with glitter polish.

: :

ISTJ: Did you forget about the leftover spaghetti sitting on the stovetop?

ENFP: What spaghetti?

ISTJ: The one sitting on the stovetop.

ENFP: Hmmm. I can’t remember what I was going to do with it. Why?

ISTJ: Did you just get busy? I mean, those are good leftovers. I could have used it for lunch tomorrow.

ENFP: I’m sorry! Oh, I’m sorry! I totally forgot! I got busy with…wait. What did I get busy with? Hmm. Oh, yeah! Taking pictures of the roses in the front yard! Did you see them? They’re blooming!

ISTJ: You forgot to put the spaghetti away because you were taking pictures of…flowers?

ENFP: Yeah! Wait. Are you mad?

ISTJ: I don’t get mad, you know that. I just wanted that spaghetti for lunch tomorrow.

ENFP: You’re mad.

ISTJ: I’m not mad. I simply would like to know the exact reason why you forgot about perfectly edible spaghetti.

ENFP: You’re mad, I can tell! You’re totally mad at me! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! (bursting into tears). I forgot about the spaghetti! I don’t have a good reason.

ISTJ: *sigh*

ENFP: Can you hug me?

ISTJ: Yes, but let’s make it brief. I have to go clean up the mess you left in the kitchen.

: :

ENFP: My car looks so pretty today!

ISTJ: That’s because I washed it while you were napping.

ENFP: Oh! No wonder! Thank you! Boy, I do love a good nap. I have the best dreams when I nap. Like yesterday I was dreaming about—

ISTJ: There were a month’s worth of school papers and snack wrappers on the floor of the car. I also found a bill in the glove compartment that you forgot to mail.

ENFP: Oopsy-daisy!

ISTJ: When you’re getting out of the car each day, you should take out a handful of trash, too. You know, clean-as-you-go.

ENFP: That’s a good idea! Except I’ll forget. Instead, do you think we could decorate the back of the car with bumper stickers?

ISTJ: No. Bumper stickers are annoying, messy and give complete strangers too much knowledge about our lives.

ENFP: You’re no fun.

ISTJ: You care about fun too much. Life isn’t all about fun, Elizabeth.


ISTJ: (chuckling) I can’t help loving you. But could you just work on keeping the car a bit tidier?

ENFP: Yes! Let’s kiss and makeup!

ISTJ: Ok, fine. But no messy kissing.

: :

ENFP: Oh, noooo. Oh, *weepy* noooo. I don’t want to leave my precious home. *sniff* How will I live without my roses? And without watching my favorite tree change colors?

ISTJ: Don’t worry. I’ve fixed things. Here, come look at this spreadsheet I made.

ENFP: Ok, I will. Does this spreadsheet mean we get to keep our house?

ISTJ: Yes.

ENFP: Do you forgive me for the spaghetti?

ISTJ: Yes.

ENFP: And for the messy car?

ISTJ: Yes.

ENFP: Oh, goody! Does this mean you’ll cuddle me tonight?

ISTJ: Yes. But FIRST, study this spreadsheet with me.

ENFP: Awwww, such pretty colors!!!

  • Anonymous

    LOL! This makes perfect sense — I’m an INFP married to an ESTJ — so I don’t dare say all those things (“coz then he just thinks I’m stupid) but I think them. He loves showing me his financial graphs — I told him the other day that if he wanted me to follow a financiasl thing he was setting up, put it in a word document. I don’t do spreadsheets. Ever. At all.
    Now roses …

  • http://www.coffeestainedclarity.com Bethany Bassett

    As an ISTJ myself, I find myself nodding vigorously along with your husband’s lines. :) Fortunately, my own husband appreciates spreadsheets enough to help me set up all the formulas; unfortunately, he never remembers to *use* them. Ah well. We’re much more rounded individuals together than we’d be apart.

  • http://twitter.com/philippa_cole Philippa Cole

    too flippin funny!

  • sara

    love it, love it!  thanks for the Monday morning laugh.  

    at the church potluck, NF’s are the ones who bring the incredibly fresh fruit and whipped cream trifle for dessert . . . and the SJ’s are the ones who remember to make sure that we have bowls and spoons to eat it with.  :)

  • Michelle

    I enjoyed this. haha. It sounds a LOT like me and my husband. Except he’s an INFP and I’m an ESTJ. So I’m normally the, “Come look at this awesome spreadsheet I made!!” In fact, I just did that in the past couple weeks. lol. 
    isn’t it always interesting being exactly opposite personality types? :)

  • Nicole325

    I’m so ISTJ and this cracked me up. I’m with your husband on the bumper stickers. A roommate once forgot to put away leftovers and I was so mad I didn’t talk to her for a day because I was afraid I’d just yell. Lol

  • Emily Ufkes

    Oh man, this sounds so familiar. Last night at dinner with my husband in our favorite restaurant, I was doodling on an envelope I found in my purse (the back of our receipt was already covered in my scribbles). I got up to use the bathroom and when I came back, he informed me that the envelope contained a bill, which was due a week ago. Oopsie daisy is right!!

  • http://chickchaotic.wordpress.com/ Elizabeth Chapin

    “I don’t get mad…” Oh my, why DO such opposites attract???

    • http://GrittyGrace.com Martha Brady

      think what would happen to EE if she weren’t married to the man she is:)

  • Falfie4

    Have you been secretly spying on my marriage, because I’m pretty sure I’ve had those exact conversations with my husband!  The only difference is that I’m an INFP, but he’s definitely an ISTJ.  He doesn’t understand how I forget things that seem so simple to him.  I’m sending him this link right now, if only so I can show him I’m not the only one like this!  lol.    

  • http://stitchinguptheseams.wordpress.com/ Stitching Seams

    As an INFJ, I found myself relating to you BOTH and getting quite confused :) Your marriage sounds lovely.

  • Stephanie

    Ok.. those were hilarious… and sound alike like me and my hubby… but what does ISTJ stand for and ENFP? 

    • http://twitter.com/wifie29 Amy Mitchell

       Introverted, sensing, thinking, and judging; extroverted, intuitive, feeling, and perceiving.  It’s Meyers-Briggs personality typing and you can find it online.

  • Kacy Ellis

    As an ISTJ, I can really relate to your husband’s lines.  Actually the car and spaghetti conversations sounded very similar to conversations that have occurred in my house.  The difference is that I’m the ISTJ, and my husband is an INTP.   His distraction tendencies have more to do with philosophical ideas than pretty flowers.

  • http://GrittyGrace.com Martha Brady

    my question to you EE is, is your “problem” that you are ENFP or are you ADD:)  your attention span sounds almost as bad as mine lately.  i laughed all the way thro’ reading this post.  reminded me of some conversations my hub and i have had…except he can always get distracted by sex:)  always!!

    • http://twitter.com/wifie29 Amy Mitchell

       I wondered that too, as I’m ISTJ but very easily distracted.

  • http://somewiseguy.com ThatGuyKC

    HAHAHA!! You and your hubby are definitely Free Spirit & Nerd.

    Don’t let the spreadsheet scare you. I just give my wife the receipts and she takes care of it in Excel. Propose the same idea. The trick is you have to keep all your receipts and turn them in. :)

    • Emily

       You guys might want to try out YNAB (You Need A Budget).  It works really well when you’re following a Dave Ramsey style budget – that’s how we’re using it.  Anyway, it has all the stuff that will make your husband happy, and there is a really simple “add your receipts” app that you can use on your phone.  Then when you spend money, you don’t even have to keep the receipt – just tell your phone how much you spent.  It even gets smart and auto-fills the store you’re standing in for you!

  • Joanie


  • http://twitter.com/wifie29 Amy Mitchell

    Ha!  I’m also an ISTJ, but my husband is an INFJ.  He says that NFs are fairly rare, and that if NFs tried to run the world nothing would ever get done.  But everyone would love each other and be happy, so it might be a good trade-off!

  • http://twitter.com/DA_Broughton D.A. Broughton

    I love that you keep each other balanced. I dare say that you need each other. 

  • kisekileia

    A lot of what you’ve said looks more ADHD than just ENFP, but the two certainly can overlap.

    I’m an INFP with ADHD living with my INTJ boyfriend, and I can identify with a lot of this post. :)

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. Since my son was diagnosed with ADHD, I’ve suspected I have it, too–althought without the “H.” I’m looking into it–seeing a professional this week, actually.

      I can’t imagine what my life would be like without the anchor my ISTJ husband provides for me. The most frustrating thing for me are the “flashes of brilliance” that I can rarely seem to fully harness. Most of my teachers described me as “inconsistent” and “all over the place.” Classic ADD.

      My husband’s personality is pretty much the polar opposite of mine, but oddly enough, it works. We’ve been together for 16 years now. I must amuse him more than I frustrate him! :)

      • kisekileia

        Definitely seek diagnosis! It can be really healing to realize that all the forgetting, lateness, etc. isn’t really your fault. And if you do get diagnosed, bring your husband to an appointment, so he can get a better understanding of how your brain works and realize you aren’t doing that stuff on purpose. 

        I have the flashes of brilliance too. I have great ideas but often don’t manage to implement them. It sucks.

  • Holly

    loved it!  :)

  • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

    I’m an INFP, but I still get stuck with budget stuff and bills, most because my wife isn’t any better than me at it. Our personality types are more similar than different. I think she came up ISFP or maybe ISFJ the one time she took Myers-Briggs, but I could be wrong. I think the second one was S instead of N, but not 100% sure. Maybe it was INFJ.

  • http://lindseytalerico.com/ Lindsey

    Oh, I keep begging God for a chance for Colin to take the Birkman’s test/survey thingy (which is the only one I’ve taken that I can actually slightly remember the results) so that I can find good deep meaning in our conversations — bc I know we are opposites.

    But the good Lord has not granted my hubby that opportunity. Until this, our conversations are like this:

    (Me, the honest over-thinker): I think you’re kind of being a jerk.
    (Him, the sensitive caregiver): We shouldn’t call each other names.
    (Me, the insensitive to-the-point type): I’m not. Get over it.
    (Him, the better representation of God in our marriage): Well, I forgive you. But it’s not nice.


  • Hempelstudios

    OH MY GOSH! These are the exact conversations I (an adhd ENFP) have with my ISTJ husband! Most conversations include me saying, “can’t we just kiss?” or “can we make out already?’ This is fantastic and hilarious. And I’m pretty sure I left the leftovers on the stove so I could come read your blog.

  • Emily Wierenga

    this made me laugh out loud :)

  • Anonymous

    Wait, do you live at my house?

  • Anonymous

    LOL . . . I’m the ISTJ at my house.  My husband, though, is also an introvert!

  • Julie Canudo

    Wow, this is too close to home! haha. I’m an INFP, my husband is the ISTJ. He has pretty much told me the exact same thing about keeping my own car clean (yes, I have old papers, etc on the floor), AND he’s washed it for me outta nowhere. Also, he’s found a late bill or two I’d forgotten to mail out (or just procrastinated on maybe..heh). Oh, and the spreadsheets….oh my lord…that man can make a spreadsheet (and will happily do so) for anything! And does he LOVE to share them with me…lol. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Huh

    you’re married? you sound like 12.