- 2 years ago
Hi everyone! I’m in need of some advice here. I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost two years now, he’s in his early thirties and I’m in my late twenties (if that’s helpful or important). We have been living together for about a year now, both of us are very happy and blissfully in love, I’m certain he will propose soon because we’ve been talking more and more about wedding plans and saw online he’d been looking at rings. Eek!
Here’s the problem: he is emotionally unavailable and has some deep rooted childhood issues that have affected our relationship. I am beyond terrified that things will only get worse with time. He’s an amazing man, very smart with a great job, very handsome and so funny.. we laugh all day and night, he’s my best friend, so kind hearted and would give you the shirt right off his back! I KNOW I want to marry this man, but we do have some intimacy issues that come up from time to time. His Father was a verbally abusive alcoholic who didn’t want him, his Mother was always working to support them and not around much.. I also think she was so depressed from her failed marriage that she didn’t give him the affection a child deserves. I believe he developed his EU tendencies as a coping mechanism during his childhood and that’s all he really knows! He doesn’t have much extended family and although his Mom is still present in his life, she’s literally never even said “I love you” to him. It’s devestatingly heartbreaking. I had the exact opposite childhood, my parents were both actively in my life, I have a large family and always felt very loved. It’s so hard for me because I’m emotional and also very affectionate by nature, he on the other hand, doesn’t even feel comfortable hugging! Our sex life is hindered by this as well, we’re only intimate when he feels like it.. which is maybe once every two weeks, sometimes more. He loves me and I know that, but he doesn’t know how to show me and it’s caused me to feel insecure not only in the bedroom but in our everyday lives. Since expressing my concerns to him, he now kisses me everyday before work and when he gets home, he always tells me he loves me, and he’s always quick to thank me for cleaning the house or making dinner, etc. But in my past relationships I’ve always been with romantic partners that shared the same love language, so I have no idea how to navigate my way through this. I want more love and affection. I’ve suggested therapy, he’s not keen on this but he knows how I feel about our relationship and would be willing to do it for me. Is it crazy to get engaged while we have these issues on our plate? Am I being naiive? I love him dearly, the relationship is alot of work but I know we’re worth the extra effort and the occasional lonliness I feel from time to time is barebale. My best friend thinks I’m settling, she says that he’s not meeting my emotional needs and that I’m a catch and can easily find someone else who can. I know this is somewhat true… I own my own successful business, I’ve been told I’m attractive, I take care of myself, I’m intelligent and love to laugh and have fun.
His previous relationship lasted 5 years until she basically quit and said she coudln’t do it anymore, he told me early on that his ex had trouble with his lack of affection. That concerned me, but in the beginning it was SO different! He was always all over me! He told me he’d never felt this way about anyone else, and that I made him want to be a better man. Even today, his closest guy friends tell me how much he’s changed since meeting me… how much he’s “emotionally grown up”, all of his buddies are married, some with children. I’ve always held on to that as my hope. I know I can’t change anyone, and that if he wants to change he will have to do it himself. We recently got a puppy, he’s a sweet Vizsla that we’re both so in love with! He told me that since getting the puppy (he’s never had a dog), he’s noticed himself softening up and feeling more love. I guess this is good news, but it makes me sad that I’m not enough to do that for him. Sorry, I’m rambling now, you get the gist. PLEASE shed some light on this for me! Does anyone have experience with an emotionally absent partner? HELP!