Do INFJs Cheat in Relationships? (INFJ Infidelity Explored)
Do INFJs cheat in relationships? Honestly, this is a very tough question to give a straight “Yes” or “No” answer to, because it all comes down to the values, morals and life experiences of the person in question. Granted, that INFJs as a group share similar personality traits which allows for more general assumptions about their behavior, perhaps applicable to many individuals within this group.
Yet, those same assumptions wouldn’t apply to every group member of course. Unique factors, like our biology, childhood, traumas, coping mechanisms, social environment and life experiences set us up to be a certain personality type, but we are still an idiosyncratic expression of that specific personality type. Therefore our answer to the question: Do INFJs cheat in relationships? Can be answered with: Yes, No, Maybe.
However, using Myers-Briggs personality typology we can carefully determine how likely, in which ways and for what reasons INFJs would cheat in relationships. Based on how Myers-Briggs typology describes the quintessential INFJ personality type, we can infer how the INFJ in general would most likely look at and handle impending unfaithfulness in the traditional monogamous romantic relationship model.
As an added layer I’ve also looked at personal stories around cheating that other INFJs discussed on different forums like Reddit, Quora (and many more), for the sake of cross-validation. Make sure to stick around till the very end, where I give my personal INFJ male perspective on cheating. Now, let’s explore in more detail what cheating means to the INFJ!
Do INFJs Cheat in Relationships? (INFJ Infidelity Explored)
1. Do INFJs Cheat in Relationships?: Yes. No. Maybe?
The quintessential INFJ is known to be extremely picky when it comes to finding a suitable romantic partner. It takes the process of finding such a partner very seriously and prefers that the romantic relationships are founded on nothing less than true love (16personalities.com). Perhaps as an INFJ yourself, you most likely recognize this tendency right?
Yes, this INFJ idealism is romantic in and of itself, but we risk not finding anyone suitable enough, because that ideal partner we picture in our heads simply doesn’t exist. Yet as INFJs we wait and believe in this ideal religiously. That said, when INFJs do find themselves in a relationship with a compatible partner, they strongly value integrity, authenticity and devotion and tend to feel unconditional love for their significant other.
Now, considering how INFJs typically are when it comes to romantic relationships as discussed above, it is extremely likely that the INFJ will stay faithful to their partners. To take so much time to carefully pick the most compatible person, to enter a relationship only when there’s authentic love, combined with the high moral standards/integrity of the INFJ, make it highly unlikely for them to be cheating.
It seems that when the INFJ finally enters a relationship it is meant to be for the long run if not for life. Or at least that seems to be their intention. In addition, the strong need for harmony in relationships and the great sense of responsibility of the INFJ would also most likely keep this personality type from cheating.
Due to the feelings of guilt and disharmony resulting from unfaithfulness, it would be unbearable to the sensitive INFJ. The careless act of cheating would be completely incongruent with the moralistic nature of the ever so prudent quintessential INFJ.
2. How do INFJs Define Cheating?
On the different forums on the subject (Reddit, Quora, INFJs.com and personalitycafe.com), the INFJs in general mention physical cheating and emotional cheating. Physical cheating refers to kissing or having sex with someone other than your partner.
What I’m getting from the stories on the forums is that emotional cheating refers to having an emotional intimate bond with someone other than your partner. This emotional intimacy has the same potential depth as the one that is/or was once shared with their partner. My guess is that the nature of this emotional bond is far more than just a friendship.
3. The Way the INFJ is Most Likely to Cheat (Physically or Emotionally?)
The general picture based on the personal stories from the INFJs that chose to share their thoughts on the forums around cheating is that many say they would never cheat. However, there are enough INFJs on the forums who say they’ve been unfaithful at least once.
Although physical unfaithfulness and emotional unfaithfulness both reared their ugly heads throughout the stories, it seemed that emotional cheating was more often than not a stand alone phenomenon.
Whereas in the case of physical cheating, more often than not was a byproduct of emotional unfaithfulness. Based on that I carefully assume INFJs are more likely to cheat emotionally, if they reach the point of cheating at all. Yet, we must tread carefully here, because in the end it’s still limited information and we don’t want to be resolute in our conclusions while we explore this topic.
4. The Most Important Reasons Why INFJs Cheat
A lot of INFJs on the forums that say they would never cheat, assert that they would break up the relationship first at the first signs of their own potential unfaithfulness. From the different stories of the INFJs who eventually do cheat, I could distill this: they were in a relationship where for some time their emotional needs weren’t met by their partner.
For instance, they didn’t feel seen, heard, didn’t experience enough depth in the connection with their significant other, nor any efforts of them to reach such points. Therefore eventually, they sought emotional sustenance elsewhere. A common thread within this dynamic however, was that they expected and hoped for their partner to see or feel their emotional unmet needs without explicitly telling them what they needed.
Fear of Conflict
It seems that the fear of conflict many INFJs carry, keep them from being assertive about personal needs to the point they rather cheat than cause potential conflict. This fear is most likely powered by their strong “Extraverted Feeling” (Fe), which harbours empathy, favours harmony and absolutely avoids conflict to not be overwhelmed.
To be clear this is of course absolutely not an excuse for unfaithful or immoral behavior whatsoever. There may be certain reasons for unfaithfulness, but the engaging person remains responsible for his or her own actions always. We are just looking at important reasons why INFJs might cheat, but we certainly aren’t condoning it. Perhaps, a lot of anguish can be prevented if we as INFJs learn to overcome our fear of conflict?
Photo by Vera Arsic on Pexels
5. INFJ Unfaithfulness: Once a Cheater Always a Cheater?
According to the INFJs that confessed their unfaithfulness on the forums, an overwhelming majority said they would never be unfaithful again. They reported that the feelings of guilt and shame were crippling. Sneaking around within an affair was also enormously stressful. Perhaps the most important reason to never be unfaithful was witnessing the heartbreaking pain of their partners after they found out.
As natural empaths, INFJs can really strongly feel others’ emotions. INFJs are also known to quickly feel responsible for other people’s emotions, even when they weren’t the true cause of them. Imagine how painful that must be for the INFJ to witness how much sorrow they’ve caused their partners by betraying their sacred trust.
INFJs that reported that they were cheated on, but never themselves had cheated said the following: knowing how being cheated on feels, they would never inflict such painful feelings of betrayal and devastation on others.
Looking at the personal stories on the forums of INFJs that have sworn to never do it again (both INFJ perpetrators and victims), it seems that guilt, shame, empathy and stress are strong enough for their INFJ sensitivity to teach them the lesson to be faithful once and for all. However, if they truly will be faithful remains to be proven by the test of time.
6. Unfaithfulness in Romantic Relationships: An INFJ Male’s Perspective
As an INFJ male, I’ve been in a couple of long term monogamous relationships over the years. I don’t fall in love easily and I can see that stereotypical pickiness when it comes to relationship partners very strongly in myself. My freedom means everything to me. More so after having been in some toxic relationship dynamics.
Entering a relationship to me is therefore a very conscious and carefully contemplated decision accompanied by the feelings of truly being in love to match it. The idea of unfaithfulness defeats the concept of a monogamous romantic relationship.
But, I’m also aware of life’s complexity and unpredictability, which can humble even the strongest moralists by breaking their spirits. And I’m aware of the fact that many relationships don’t work out as expected for numerous reasons, no matter how devoted, in love, trustworthy or moral you are.
Infidelity: Cheaters Always Betray Two People at a Time
Personally, I just think that you at least owe your partner and yourself honesty and loyalty. If you really feel that you must have sex or emotional intimacy with others and that you’ve concluded after a while that the relationship is beyond repair or you don’t want to try repairing it anymore, then you must end it with dignity before starting something new.
Otherwise, you’ll be unfaithful. And when you cheat, you are always unfaithful to two people at the same time. Your partner and yourself. Think about it. Next to the promises to your partner, you’ve also entered the relationship with your personal morals right?
Now betraying your partner is horrible enough, but the betrayal didn’t stop there. Didn’t you betray yourself by not maintaining your morals and values of integrity, honesty and compassion? And for those who believe in karma, what do you think cheating will do for that? Next to physically and/or emotionally cheating on your partner, aren’t you also spiritually cheating on yourself?
Photo by Alex Green on Pexels
7. INFJ Male’s Personal Break-Up Story
In one of my past relationships I noticed one day that I actually wasn’t in love. There were numerous things that weren’t working of which many I had myself to blame. As the months went by in that relationship I caught myself looking more and more at other women.
Till the point I was just baffled by how constantly horny and sexual my thoughts were. I remember noticing that I wasn’t even that sexual being single prior to that relationship (and I consider myself a very sexual person). After some more contemplation and trying to fix the relationship, it dawned on me I just wasn’t in love with her and actually never was that whole time I spent with her, I just thought I was.
Because she had her own issues around abandonment (which I knew from conversations we had and other problems in our relationship) I just knew that breaking up with her was going to be extremely painful. I feared the intense emotional release I knew was inevitable and every cell of my highly sensitive INFJ body wanted me to avoid that.
I remember cycling to her house as slowly as I could for the last time to break up with her (as if I was on Death row). But, deep down I knew I just had to face that fear and be honest. As an INFJ you can probably relate to the fact that we relish in harmony and have enormous empathy, especially for people who are temporarily vulnerable (despite struggling with our personal demons).
You can imagine how breaking up with her took everything and more of me to be able to override that inherently strong “Extraverted Sensing” function. The act of breaking up itself was a 3 hour long painfully intense emotional storm I just had to weather. It was undeniably painful and she perhaps saw the break up as a betrayal nonetheless, but at the end of the day I could look at myself in the mirror.
This article was about exploring INFJ infidelity based on Myers-Briggs personality typology and INFJ anecdotes on the forums. We can carefully expect for the (quintessential) INFJ to value and practice faithfulness in the traditional monogamous romantic relationship model.
And yet, life is complex and every individual is different so I harbour no judgement. We are all adults here who can make our own decisions and live with the consequences. Furthermore, this isn’t an absolute conclusion, since we have limited information.
Food For Thought
1. What are your thoughts on unfaithfulness? Are you always responsible if you cheat?
2. Would you enter a relationship with someone who cheated before? Why or why not?
What is your personality type? Take the MBTI test!
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For the total list of recommended reading, please go to the Wisdom page.
* INFJ Male Psychology is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, and as such earns from qualifying purchases for some of the links.