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Divorce Survival Tips for ISTJ Personality Types

The ISTJ personality is introverted, sensing, thinking, and judging.

ISTJs tend to be responsible and serious people who care deeply about others. They place a strong value on reason, order, and tradition. At times, their need to be right can matter more to them than anything else, which can be a challenge in their relationships. At the same time, in the face of a challenge, ISTJs may feel insecure and lay heavy blame on themselves for their perceived failings. 

Learn about the Myers-Briggs test and the other 15 personality types.

Tips for handling divorce as an ISTJ

Welcome (fair) compromise

You may feel frustrated when divorce negotiations and other interactions don’t go exactly as you’d hoped. Remind yourself what’s important at this point: making your next chapter the best one yet. Yes, this is a challenging time, but the actions you take now impact your future. 

Some compromise with your ex may pave your way to ultimate peace. Consider hiring a professional divorce coach or mediator for help make sure your negotiations produce fair and equitable results. Lots of people do it and are glad they did. You can learn more here about cooperative uncoupling.

Forgive others

ISTJs expect great things from the people they care about. On the forefront of your mind may be your disappointment with your spouse and your perception of how they failed you. Can you find a way to forgive them anyway? 

Forgiveness is not something you do for others; it’s something you do for yourself. Consider spending some time with a soothing meditation on forgiveness. We like this one from Tara Brach: A Forgiving Heart.

Listen to yourself

ISTJs are great listeners, but when was the last time you listened to yourself? Spend time with your thoughts, but don’t judge them. Just listen. Record the audio track of your mind in your journal, or share your ramblings with a friend. Airing negative thoughts and feelings sets them free—and sets you free—so you can set the stage for better times ahead.

Let go of shame

As an ISTJ, your natural inclination may be to seek reasons why you should feel bad about your divorce. What did you contribute to this perceived “failure?” We’re here to tell you that guilt is okay, but shame is not. 

Accept responsibility for whatever part you played in the downfall of your marriage, but don’t dwell on it. Let it go. Read our post “Divorce Healing: Embracing Guilt, Letting Go of Shame” to learn about how shame can hurt you, physically and emotionally, whereas guilt can ultimately make you a better person.

Recommended reading


As an ISTJ, you may feel profoundly disappointed that your relationship reached its breaking point. We’re here to remind you that this is not the end. It’s a new beginning. With our free resources and affordable, flexible memberships, we’ve helped hundreds of people before you. And if you choose, we can help you, too.