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ISFJ + ESFJ

11/07/2011, By: Geralyn Broder Murray

It seems like, lately, a lot of people we know are, as my four-year says: breaking apart.

As in:

“Well, I’ll marry Trudy and live in one house until we break apart and then I’ll have to move.”

Where are they getting this stuff?

It hit closer to home recently: the parents of my seven-year old daughter’s good friend, her parents - our good friends. When they told the kids, we knew it was happening, but still, nothing prepared me for seeing their sweet girl the next day, for having her run into my arms and whisper into my ear:

“My parents are getting a divorce,” she said, not letting go of my neck.

I said to her what I knew was true:

“Everything will be OK. And they both love you and your brother more than anything.”

And in a flash she was off twirling with her friends in the grass, indistinguishable from them.

Her new normal.

It’s something I think about. The further we get from the babyhaving years, the more it seems I find myself hearing about this couple or that one splitting up. And, despite a 50% divorce rate in this country, the news strangely catches Chris and I by surprise, like the couple in question was washed away in a freak California hurricane, or caught embezzling.

“Really? Them? I can’t believe it!” We say to each other, taken aback, our hands clasped together without our knowing.

The other night Chris was dozing in bed and I was lying beside him surfing the web, not quite ready to call it a night. I stumbled upon the Meyer-Briggs Personality Test and answered all seventy-two questions with purpose and hit enter, waiting for the verdict. What would it be? I predicted: Neurotic Freak, Subject to Random Chocolate Cravings.

ISFJ, it came back. I’m not sure, but I think it pretty much meant Neurotic Freak, Subject to Random Chocolate Cravings. But also kind of shy, empathetic and a nurturer too.

Of course, I made Chris take the test. Right then and there.

ESFJ, it reported. Not a freak at all. Not shy at all. A caretaker. A sweetheart. Exactly right.

It turns out, according to Ms. Meyers and Ms. Briggs, the perfect matches for ESFJ’s and ISFJ’s happen to be one another. The Caretaker and the Nurturer, like two tarot cards lined up in the deck, fated.  We are not bulletproof, certainly. We are though, well-suited for a lifetime of kids’ soccer games and dirty dishes and exchanging loving glances over chaos and coming together later, when the night is over, for refuge in one another.

It’s more than enough.

Last Updated Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 12:56 AM.