(Closed) Feeling really confused.. Who changes first?

posted 4 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
9625 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Seashells7:   It does make perfect sense to me.  But I’m a woman, lol, and your FI is not.

Ok, so – you are probably like most women in that we deeply desire these little romantic gestures from our guys to feel loved and adored. 

However – men are different in the way that once they “have” us they do stop trying so hard to “get” us, if that makes sense.  You know what I mean?  When they’re unsure of how we feel about them they knock themselves out trying to win us over with all those sweet little flowers and love notes things.  But, once they feel secure that we’re now “their woman,” they slack off on it.  Drives me nuts, too!  🙂

We can work with this, though.  First of all, stop talking to him about this issue in the same way you have already tried talking to him about it.  Really, that is not working.  And this is nothing to fight about, ever. This is something to essentially “train” him about.

Believe me, my husband is the same way.  I sometimes have to pout about his lack of romanticism.  Then he gets upset and says, “But, honey, I think of myself as a romantic guy!”  And I say, “Well, baby, to me what means romance is those random little bouquets of flowers or a sweet little card from Hallmark every once in awhile.  You know, like how you like sex so much, well, I feel the same way about romance.”  And – guess what – last week he brought me a cute little bouquet of daisies and just yesterday he surprised me with a card that played a song called something like “You’re My Everything,” and of course he got lucky! 

You just have to make him understand that these things are as important to you to feel loved by him as all the things you do for him make him feel loved by you.  Think of what it is that he loves the most that you do for him.  Whatever it is – say back rubs.  Tell him that the way he loves it so much when you rub his back, or cook dinner or whatever it is that you do, that makes him feel wanted and loved by you is the same way you feel about those sweet little gestures he did for you at the beginning of your relationship.  The main thing in this conversation with him is BE SWEET.  Don’t nag.  Don’t complain.  People do not ever want to do something for someone if they feel OBLIGATED to do so.  You just have to gently plant the seed in his mind to make him WANT to do those things for you.  Psychologically speaking, all people have this in common.

Use his maleness in your favor.  Figure out the best way to make it HIS IDEA to romance you.  Obviously being obvious about it will not work!  So, no nagging.  Just figure out what is important to him and “work” him.  Guys aren’t that complicated, you can do it, lol.  😉

Post # 4
Member
495 posts
Helper bee

@Sunfire:  This is good advice!

 

But I’ll take a slightly different tack and say, maybe this is who he really is. Maybe he was putting on a performance at the beginning and Act 1 is over for good. You might still get flowers on your birthday, but you owe it to yourself to ask, “If he never gives me another random love note, will I still love him forever?”

That is: Is this specific TYPE of romance essential to your feeling loved and loving him in return? If it is, you have two things to do: 1) Convey the seriousnes of the situation to your partner, perhaps as seriously as an ultimatum, or 2) Drop it, and accept him for who he is.

My husband is not the type of guy you seem to want to be in a relationship with, but I’ve come to simply accept with gratitude the somewhat unusual, super-special gestures he does make. They come from the heart, not from fulfilling my demands, and that makes it a lot more amazing, in my eyes.

Post # 5
Member
1681 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@Seashells7:  Hm. FI and I were like that for a few years (probably years 3-5) Maybe this is the teacher is me.. but use positive reinforcement. It flipped our relationship around completely. Talking about it won’t change anything. With FI, it actually made us worse.

When FI does sweet things for me, I make sure I comment on how good it makes me feel and how sweet he is. I always make sure to return the favor with something he likes and makes him feel valued as well!

When he feels better about our relationship, he treats me better. When he treats me better, I feel better about our relationship. It’s a never-ended cycle! (Versus, he isn’t nice, I nag, he feels worse, I nag more, I feel worse, I nag more… etc)

 

He just commented to me the other day that “we’re that mushy couple people usually make fun of.” I’m totally ok with that. 🙂 I’ve never been happier!

Post # 6
Member
7318 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

Positive reinforcement when he does something that makes you feel good/appreciated/loved and giving him concrete solutions to your concerns are probably the best approach. If you tell him “When I’m stressed at work I need extra support” he may not understand exactly what you mean. But if you say “When I am stressed out at work and I tell you about it, it would be nice if you could handle dinner that evening so that I can just relax when I get home” then it’s a much more concrete solution to the problem that he can follow through on. I think we, as women, are often too vague when communicating our needs. Guys are much more direct and concrete when they communicate, so sometimes we need to adjust our communication styles to meet their needs and haved our own needs met in return.

Post # 7
Member
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Have you read the five love languages? Maybe figure out what his love language is do that for him and express what you believe is yours. Aka the romance you miss. But no nagging. People hate that. He will be more willing to fill your love tank if his is full. 🙂

Post # 8
Member
2782 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Seashells7:  The more you demand those thoughtful little things,  the more likelt he is to stick his feet in and refuse to give you what you want. Most men show they care by fixing things around the home, taking out the trash and other little chores. Accept that he doesn’t show his love the way you want him too and stop demanding certain gestures, once the demand is made any gesture loses it’s meaning. If you have to ask him to say ‘I love you’ it will feel like he doesn’t mean the words. Try to figure out the ways he is showing his love. Does he do things around the house without having to be asked? Maybe he cooks you both a nice dinnet once in awhile. These are the gestures you need to appreciate and realuze show he cares. The stuff he used to do was part of wooing you, now he has you he shows love and appreciation in different ways. The added bonus, once you start appreciating the things he does do and stop demanding the gestures he doesn’t do, the more inclined he may be to go back to those little gestures you loved so much.

Post # 9
Member
965 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Seashells7:  Have you ever read “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman?  I actually haven’t read the book (I plan to), but DH and I took the online quiz to discover our love languages and I think it has really helped us to cater to one another’s need for a specific type of affection.  For example, his #1 is “Words of Affirmation” and although I knew that was important to him, since taking the quiz together I have really made an effort to acknowledge the little things that he does around the house or accomplishments…even if I don’t really think he deserves a parade in his honor for cleaning out the gutters, I still make a point to tell him how good of a job he did and how much I appreciate it.  He has been doing the same for me since learning how to love me better based on my results. 

Same as you…we weren’t falling apart or “on the rocks” when we did this, but it definitely helped us to see how we could love one another better and even though we kinda giggle when we practice the techniques sometimes, it has clearly made a difference.  Naturally as you progress in your relationship, the “honeymoon” phase kinda fades out and he doesn’t necessarily have to chase after you anymore, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t still deserve that affection and those little things that he used to do.  I would advise to ease up on the constant reminders of how things used to be and work together to figure out how you can both get what you’re needing out of the relationship here and now.  If that’s something that you require in your partner and he’s not willing to put forth the effort…maybe it’s time to re-evaluate.  I wish you the best though! 🙂

Post # 10
Member
965 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Dr_dazzle:  Haha!  Looks like we’re on the same page 🙂

Post # 11
Hostess
11858 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

i always think back to the movie ‘The Break Up’ and the argument about I want you to want to do the dishes.  It’s me and my FH to a tee – thinking about that actaully makes me laugh and a little less annoyed about the dishwasher full of clean dishes he hasn’t put away even though I asked him 3 times to do it.

I’ve come to determine that men are weird.  I’ve tried to stop nagging and it seems to help, but he’s still pretty useless around the house (which surprises me a little because his father does most of the housework not his mother).

I think it has to be a lot of give and take.  There’s no easy answer.

Post # 12
Member
1467 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@Dr_dazzle:  Such a good book! 🙂

@Seashells7:  I agree with what everyone else is saying! There are so many possibilities. Here is one more option (and it might be fun for you!) Maybe he is too comfortable like @Sunfire is saying, and doesn’t feel like he needs to do that romantic stuff for you anymore. Make him uncomfortable! Make him chase you! (a little more complicated if you’re living together) It’s like what you do when you start dating and you make the guy work for it. Make him work for it. When he wants to spend time together, tell him you have plans with your friends (and enact that girls night out!).  Make him miss you and realize that he has to work for it. And while you are doing it, have a blast with your friends, family, career, hobbies, pets, whatever you are up to. Trust me, you’ll get some “I miss you!” texts 🙂

Post # 13
Member
749 posts
Busy bee

@lovekiss:  This.

DH and I were just talking about this the other day.  Men communicate love differently than women – they do stuff, they fix stuff.  Women like romantic gestures, but at the end of the day you have to realize that not all guys (i’d venture to say most!) don’t innately “do” the romantic stuff because they just aren’t wired that way.  If you nag, he’ll become avoidant (according to DH!  Not my words, actually his!).  

For example, DH makes me coffee in the morning, and he always walks the dog – he knows I naturally sleep a little later than him and really appreciate that extra hour in bed.  For my part, I always cook him dinner and find him special snacks when food shopping – he loves finding that surprise bag of Fritos in the pantry.  More than anything though – I try to lay off, and give him the space he needs.  He’s a very independent guy and loves his quiet time in the morning drinking his own coffee.  I respect that…which I think shows my love for him.

And to answer the title of your post – no one “changes first”.  That’s a very either-or, black-or-white way of thinking.  You can BOTH work on your communication methods, which in turn will affect your relationship in general (most likely in a positive way).

Hope this helps!  

Post # 14
Member
710 posts
Busy bee

I think there is something to be said for giving the attempts to explain yourself a rest and focus your attention on being the woman who deserves those romantic gestures to him.

I’m not at all saying you don’t deserve them. What I mean is, if you’re feeling a little under-wooed, you may find that you unintentionally withold small acts of love in return. The lady he used to make that extra effort for wasn’t counting the times he failed to impress, afterall. Redirecting your attention to how you can be the best you can be instead of fixating on his actions not only relieves the pressure on him and curbs the bickering, but also puts your priority on what you do have control over instead of what you don’t.

Praise his successes, too! Smile

Post # 15
Member
749 posts
Busy bee

@shaka:   Very wise words!

It’s like that oft-quoted phrase: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”    🙂

Post # 16
Member
3423 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Seashells7:  Hey girl. First, Big HUGS! I feel like your my watingbeesister here, so I say the following with all the love I have.

I always let my FI know what I am feeling. If he does something I do not like, I let him know, and vice versa with him. With my own FI I feel sometimes he doesn’t CHASE  me. And we all know how much men like the chase. It seems to me like you are missing the chase. And as much as I do not advocate withdrawing yourself from the relationship, maybe you can do things to keep the fire going. playfully disagree with him and make him work for any “goodies” you may have to offer….

Sometimes whenever I employ these tactics my FI will wonder what is going on and I will eventually say “chase me!” and he gets the idea. 

I hope this was in someway helpful

*hugs*

ETA: sometimes we just chase eachother around the house.

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