- 5 years ago
Ladies, I want to write this to be as helpful to other newlyweds as possible because that first year is HARD. Awesome and fun, but also very trying. (skip to THE ADVICE for the short version)
We have been married about 8 months, but have only lived together for the past 3 months since I was working on grad school in another state for the first 5 months of our marriage (fall semester 2014). So the last couple months have been interesting as we adjust to finally being around each other full time. (We were LDR while dating/engaged.)
For the past several weeks, I have been feeling like the affection in our relationship was very one-sided. I initiate everything (it seems to me). I have to ask for kisses and hugs, I give the compliments. So about a week ago, I decided to test my theory and just stop giving affection and see if Darling Husband would initiate (for the record – bad plan. Don’t play games like this. Communicate.) Darling Husband did not pick up the slack…things just stalled. No good night kisses – he just went to sleep. I spent 45 min getting ready for church service last Friday night, told Darling Husband he looked nice, he said “thanks” and then nothing else. Never even told me I looked nice too. This is minor, but you get the picture about the lack of affection from him that I am talking about. The little romance things that add up, but are usually only important to women. Guys don’t seem to need this validation as much.
My birthday was Easter sunday, so when I woke up on Sunday, I was already feeling emotional. Darling Husband wakes up and says he wants to go watch tv – doesn’t roll over and say happy birthday or cuddle or anything. I get pissed because now it has all been building up and this is the icing on the cake. I pull the whole “we need to talk” and all my emotional vomit comes out about how he isn’t affectionate with me and it hurts my feelings and I feel this weird distance between us, etc. etc.
Weeeellllllll, Darling Husband takes this way more seriously than it was. I know he loves me and I wasn’t trying to say he didn’t, but he basically heard that nothing he does would ever be good enough for me and why should he bother trying anymore? For the record, he is referring to the millions of major things he does for me or around the house for us, but I was referring to the little things like saying “happy birthday” in the morning with a hug. 45 minutes of nonsense later, the fight ends with him telling me to shut up and that this was a dealbreaker for him, and this marriage is over. We were at his parents house (since it was Easter) and he starts packing my stuff and telling me we are going home and he will move out today, etc.
I am in hysterics at this point so I went to my Mother-In-Law who heard the whole thing. She sat down with me and I was all snot-crying like “But I really do love him. I just need affection, what did I do wrong?? He wants to divorce, what do I do??” Etc. She gave me amazing advice.
Seriously, she didn’t say anything negative about her son. Did not say who was right/wrong. Just said, “ignore this. Go out there, we are going to breakfast for your birthday.” She said act like everything is fine, make conversation, smile, and be nice. Hold his hand and say nice things because that will make a big difference. She said timing is everything. She told me that with her husband, she goes to him very calm and says “honey, there is just something that has been weighing heavily on my heart and I want to discuss it with you.” Then IF he wants to talk, they do. If not, she does it later at a better time.
Then she said, don’t worry about this affection thing now. You are newlyweds and this is the hard part. You just have to train him. She said this is why women who have been married a long time won’t divorce their husbands, because they spent so much time training them! “I didn’t train him up for some other woman.” Kind of a joke, kind of not. 🙂 It really made me see the affection issue in a new light. Yes, it is a bit one-sided now, but as I keep doing it and get Darling Husband used to it, it will become habit for both of us. Start letting him know that if he wants some at night, he should have started it hours earlier with the cutesy stuff. You can’t ignore me all day and then want booty later.
I ended up taking her advice. I didn’t have to apologize, which is good because I wouldn’t have wanted to since I still feel my feelings were valid. But his were valid too. We went to breakfast, I said my “thank yous” and “the food is delicious,” and “this was a great spot to choose, DH” and the fight was not mentioned. Him wanting to divorce was not mentioned. Later we held hands running errands. On Monday (next day), he cuddled with me in the morning for a minute before getting up – his idea! Then he brought me home flowers from work. It has been sweet affection city over here the last 2 days. I am still not thrilled with the lack of birthday planning that he did, but his birthday is coming up in a few weeks, and I am just going to do his exactly like I would have wanted mine. Breakfast in bed, sweet kisses, fawning over him all day, surprise trip to the gun range haha. Hopefully we can get into a habit of making a big deal of birthdays like this, aka training. 🙂
Sorry this turned out to be so long – but I thought MIL’s wisdom from her 30+ years of marriage was so solid, and it worked amazing. Darling Husband and I are both happy right now, and most importantly, NOT divorced.
Good luck newlywed bees!