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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. Looking for some advice.
I'm 39, DH is 42. We've been together for 5 years, married for 3 1/2. Have a 2 yr old daughter and expecting our second.
Lately I have been feeling like our relationship is not enough for me anymore. Husband is a great person and man, he provides for us, he is responsible, does not drink, does not go out a lot, but he is the closed type of person, doesn't share much with anyone. That's just the way he is. Not the romantic type or very good at expressing his feelings, which I knew since the beginning, but of course, when we first met he was different, did his best to pay attention to me and my needs, he made me feel special and loved. That's not the case anymore. He says I love you on text message, barely does he say it face to face, only when I say it and he responds. I just feel I'm craving his attention, even more now that I'm pregnant. He just does not show any interest for me or my needs, I always try to show joy and share what I know he likes even if I don't like it because I know that's what he likes but he is not the same with me. For example with the pregnancy, I get excited about the little things and I try to share with him and he just shuts me down, goes to appointments with me because I have complained about it before but not because he wants to go, he barely acknowledges I'm pregnant (5 months).
I have talked to him many times, I've told him what I need, I don't need money, I need attention. I need the occasional compliment, I need to hear that he loves me, I need to cuddle and share, I need to know that I still matter to him, but I don't get it, and because of that I feel I have a lot of resentment towards him and like I said, I've talked to him, he changes for a few days and then back to how it was before. Sex wise not much is going on, I can't approach him, he says he is old school so we only do it if he wants it, and even when he wants it he is not very attentive to my emotional need which I have told him to.

Right now I'm just too sad and upset with him, I feel lonely. The last trigger was me trying to share something related to pregnancy and him telling me he was just not excited/interested about it. Ok, I get it, men are wired differently, but can't he even show a little bit of interest since he knows that I want to share?

I just don't know what to do because I've talked too many times with him and I don't see any change so I feel like I'm wasting my time so I don't say anything anymore but I'm just sad and upset. He's told me it bothers him that I always shut down and don't want to talk but I just can't, I don't want to repeat the same thing I said just a couple of months ago, and I don't want to complain anymore. I want him to know I love him more than he can ever think but I need him to show me love and care too.
On the other hand, I feel that if I keep complaining I'm just going to drive him away and it will be worst and even give him a reason to cheat.

Advice?
 

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First of all, BS's do NOT give WS's 'reason to cheat'. Stop that way of thinking right now. If someone cheats, it is a choice THEY made - NO ONE made them do it but themselves. Got it?

Secondly, you standing up for yourself should not be driving your husband away, If it is, let him go - he isn't worth your time if that is the case. A marriage is comprised of two people, and if one of them isn't invested in it, it isn't a marriage. It's a room mate relationship.

You need to stand up for yourself and let him know you aren't happy, but also what is going to happen if things don't change. Approach it as a team endeavor - you and him against the world type stuff. Enlist him to help you head off the insidious divorce looming in your future.

Get MC, read some books, do some exercises together (Love Busters/His Needs Her Needs has some great ones). Go out on dates together.

But it is important you don't just bury your head in the sand and hope things get better on their own. They will not.
 

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He doesn't sound into you or your marriage at all.

Have you tried counseling? Maybe a 3rd party can get his attention because he's completely ignoring you.

I'd also like to add, continuing to meet his needs when he's not meeting yours is getting you nowhere. Stop.
 

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I get you want him to invest more energy. What he's doing doesn't sound so bad though really. You said--

"Husband is a great person and man, he provides for us, he is responsible, does not drink, does not go out a lot, but he is the closed type of person, doesn't share much with anyone. That's just the way he is. Not the romantic type or very good at expressing his feelings, which I knew since the beginning, but of course, when we first met he was different, did his best to pay attention to me and my needs, he made me feel special and loved."

That's the way he is.. so if you just want more attention from him, then you could try paying close attention to what his desires are (not what your desires would be, but what he's specifically expressed an interest in) and do your best to fulfill them. See whether after a few weeks it makes a difference in how much affection he shows you.

If you try to change who he is innately, he'll probably just withdraw from you more.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I get you want him to invest more energy. What he's doing doesn't sound so bad though really. You said--

"Husband is a great person and man, he provides for us, he is responsible, does not drink, does not go out a lot, but he is the closed type of person, doesn't share much with anyone. That's just the way he is. Not the romantic type or very good at expressing his feelings, which I knew since the beginning, but of course, when we first met he was different, did his best to pay attention to me and my needs, he made me feel special and loved."

That's the way he is.. so if you just want more attention from him, then you could try paying close attention to what his desires are (not what your desires would be, but what he's specifically expressed an interest in) and do your best to fulfill them. See whether after a few weeks it makes a difference in how much affection he shows you.

If you try to change who he is innately, he'll probably just withdraw from you more.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
He is a good man and he is a great dad. I know a lot of it is who he is but I don't want to change him, I want him to be how he was at the beginning. All I can think of is we have only veen together for 5 years, what is it going to be in 20?
I do try to fulfill his needs and even when I ask him his response is "I'm ok, I don't need much".
Many times I have wondered if I should just get used to our marriage being like that but then I can't get used to the feeling of loneliness and needing his attention.
I really don't think he is doing it on purpose, I just need him to realize I'm not happy and I need a little more from him
I have read a lot the books recommeded here and talked to him about it and again no interest, after a while he showed some interest on reading the 5 love languages and didn't finish it because he didn't like it

Thank you all for your replies. I really need to hear from others
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He will never be the way he was in the beginning, because when we are in a new relationship, we posture and lie to make ourselves look better. Basically, we pretend. Once we 'have' the other person, we drop the pretense and the real us comes out. The man he is today is the real him. He will never be the man he was 'in the beginning'. In 20 years, nothing will have changed, unless somehow you can make him realize he will lose you if it doesn't.

The fact you are afraid of HIM leaving YOU will spell the death of your marriage. You have to turn the tables and make HIM scared of losing YOU. And if, in the process, you DO lose him, then you never had him in the first place.
 

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He sounds a lot like my exhusband. I suggest you go to counseling. No communication in a relationship is not a good sign. You might have him read "The Five Languages of Love" and share what your love language is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, once again I talked to husband. Maybe I just don't know how to communicate with him. I feel even more depressed now. It wasn't a good talk. He keeps asking me "so what do you want me to do? What do you want me to say? You know I don't see to say I love you all the time"...and I tell him it's not about that, it's about me feeling I don't get his attention and I don't feel loved, I feel lonely, and his response is very defensive.
I'm very unsecured about him and our relationship but it was never like that, I feel like that because I feel neglected, and therefore I also feel jealous and he is like "there is nothing I can't do about that, you have to figure it out".
We didn't really agree on anything other than we know we need to change things but I guess we are both lost as to how to do it and what to do. We barely talked this morning. I'm depressed and now I know he is upset and frustrated with me.
 

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Well, once again I talked to husband. Maybe I just don't know how to communicate with him. I feel even more depressed now. It wasn't a good talk. He keeps asking me "so what do you want me to do? What do you want me to say? You know I don't see to say I love you all the time"...and I tell him it's not about that, it's about me feeling I don't get his attention and I don't feel loved, I feel lonely, and his response is very defensive.
I'm very unsecured about him and our relationship but it was never like that, I feel like that because I feel neglected, and therefore I also feel jealous and he is like "there is nothing I can't do about that, you have to figure it out".
We didn't really agree on anything other than we know we need to change things but I guess we are both lost as to how to do it and what to do. We barely talked this morning. I'm depressed and now I know he is upset and frustrated with me.
Is there anything specific that he could do for you or say to make you happy? I could be wrong, but it really sounds to me like he wants to do right by you, but may not know exactly what you need.

Is he the sole provider for the family? If so he may be stressing a lot now too with another baby on the way. And if you're telling him you're unhappy, he may be feeling a bit unappreciated. He's more of the strong silent type, you said, but this may be harder on him than you think.
 

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Pay attention to the book recommendations on here. They're ones many people from TAM have had great success with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No, he is not the sole provider, we both work and make good money so money is not and will not be problem with the new baby. He does stress a lot about work but I have learned I cannot just keep things to myself to not cause him anymore stress. He is always stressed about it and in the past I have kept things to myself to not add to it and it wasn't healthy for me either.
Yeah, I think he doesn't know and get what I need, I can imagine he feels bad about me complaining and telling him I'm unhappy but I try to get him to talk to me and he won't, he just gets too frustrated, I assume he doesn't know how to handle the situation.
As far as what I need, I need the occasional compliment, I need him to make me feel wanted and loved again, kiss me and hug me but not as a response to me which normally that's what happens. I need him to show interest on my things and needs.
What do I do now? Where do we go from here?
 

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I don't see how a person can listen to their spouse tell them they need to hear I love you more often and then NOT offer to do it. Same thing when it comes to spending time together. If you are plainly stating that you need more attention, then specifying the kind of attention you need, I don't understand why he wouldn't offer to make changes to fill your needs.

OP, you can't change him. All you can do is tell him how you feel and hope he understands and makes some changes on his own. You're going to have to work on filling those gaps you have with him on your own, whether it be with other friends or family, or even with your children. He doesn't sound like he wants to do much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
and that is exactly my point, I've told him many times and he always says "ok, I'll make note of it, what do you need me to do". I'm not like that. I do things because I feel like it and I expect him or other people to do things for me because they feel it not because I'm telling them to because then it feels forced.
I've told him that if it was him telling me "I don't feel loved, you don't tell me you like me much, I don't feel you are attracted to me, you have neglected me" I know I would be doing the impossible to not make him feel like that because I love him.
To give a little more background about him, his mom and dad didn't really care much for him, his dad married someone else and had a family and totally forgot about him and sister, his mom married someone else when he was nine and didn't take him with her because the stepdad didn't want the other man's kids. He spent most of his infancy with great-grandmother and cousins and aunts because his mom and grandmother were away working 9 months out of the year, his grandfather was too. When they finally lived together as a family again soon after his mom got married and left him and sister with the grandmother who raised him. He did not grow up hearing I love you much, we leave on the west and they live on the east and they don't normally call to check on us or talk to him, that's just the way they are, but they love him a lot, we know that. He says they don't telling me I love you doesn't mean I don't believe they don't love me.
I on the other hand grew up in a very closed family,always hearing I love you mostly from my mom, I'm hispanic, so that's just the way we are, we show our love every time we can and it's very spontaneous. When DH and I met he told me that was one of the things he liked about me because he never got that from his family, well, now it annoys him me telling him I love you all the time, he says I don't have to do it.
I know I can't change him but again, I want him to be like he was with me before.
 

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There are some books that I think will help you a lot. I suggest you read them in this order...

"Divorce Busting"
"His Needs, Her Needs"
"Love Busters"

From what you say, you want him to do thing that are in many ways foeign to him. You say that you don't want to tell him what he should be doing to keep you happy, that he should know and do it because he wants to.

Well he does not know. That's obvious. He did not grow up learning to do those things. So yes you will have to tell him exactly what you need. "I need you to tell me that you love me at least once a day... with a hug and with the words."
 

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when we first met he was different, did his best to pay attention to me and my needs, he made me feel special and loved. That's not the case anymore.
I'm not completely on board with the he doesn't know how to crowd. He knew how enough to catch his bride.

I'm more inclined to believe he doesn't WANT to. At least not with the effort he exhibited in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
UPDATE
We had another conversation yesterday, this time he wasn't frustrated and I was more calm, not so much crying. Once again I explained my reasons for my feelings and although I think he still doesn't get it he is going to make an effort to make improvements to his attitude. His belief is that because he does not need all the stuff I say I need he thinks I don't (or nobody) needs it either which I explained that is not the case and especially with women. Anyway, we are good now. We both know we have to compromise but at the same time make an effort and changes. I already had "His needs, Her needs" in the house, so we started reading it together last night and he promised me he is going to continue reading. I feel hopeful now but I know it's going to take a lot of work and patience from both of us.
Thank you for your advice and comments and for letting me vent.
 

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and that is exactly my point, I've told him many times and he always says "ok, I'll make note of it, what do you need me to do". I'm not like that. I do things because I feel like it and I expect him or other people to do things for me because they feel it not because I'm telling them to because then it feels forced.
I've told him that if it was him telling me "I don't feel loved, you don't tell me you like me much, I don't feel you are attracted to me, you have neglected me" I know I would be doing the impossible to not make him feel like that because I love him.
To give a little more background about him, his mom and dad didn't really care much for him, his dad married someone else and had a family and totally forgot about him and sister, his mom married someone else when he was nine and didn't take him with her because the stepdad didn't want the other man's kids. He spent most of his infancy with great-grandmother and cousins and aunts because his mom and grandmother were away working 9 months out of the year, his grandfather was too. When they finally lived together as a family again soon after his mom got married and left him and sister with the grandmother who raised him. He did not grow up hearing I love you much, we leave on the west and they live on the east and they don't normally call to check on us or talk to him, that's just the way they are, but they love him a lot, we know that. He says they don't telling me I love you doesn't mean I don't believe they don't love me.
I on the other hand grew up in a very closed family,always hearing I love you mostly from my mom, I'm hispanic, so that's just the way we are, we show our love every time we can and it's very spontaneous. When DH and I met he told me that was one of the things he liked about me because he never got that from his family, well, now it annoys him me telling him I love you all the time, he says I don't have to do it.
I know I can't change him but again, I want him to be like he was with me before.
But MEN are like that. Be specific. You need to tell him exactly how to meet your needs. He can't read your mind. Saying "I need more attention" is too general. Give him specific examples of how you want more attention. And remember baby steps! Don't overwhelm him since this was not how he was raised.
 

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I'm not completely on board with the he doesn't know how to crowd. He knew how enough to catch his bride.

I'm more inclined to believe he doesn't WANT to. At least not with the effort he exhibited in the past.
All men put their "best foot forward" when trying to catch a bride (as you say), but that doesn't mean it came natural for him. Unfortunately, I think it was an act. He wanted to make good impression and obviously it worked since she married him. Sadly, my husband did the same thing, but we're doing good now, so there is hope.
 
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