Post # 17
I read your post, but don’t really have time to read responses right now, so I apogize in advance if Im’ just repeating…
The thing that really jumped out at me about your post was
“I just feel like I can’t live my life telling someone what I need, and how to love me. We’ve talked about this numerous times, and he always says he’ll try harder…but after 4 years what’s the point? If it’s not him…it’s not him.:”
If it’s not him, it’s not going to change, espeically if you haven’t seen progress since discussing it a few times. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. He loves you in his own way, possibly the only way he knows how. So the question is, is that enough for you? Can you accept the way he loves you? If he can’t change his way, can you change how you view “love” and the things you need. Maybe he only throws an arm on you, to you, thats not much affections, but in his head, he’s showing care and worried as hell about you. If he’s amazing in every other way, I think I’d really have to try to look at my needs for affection and see if theres a nice middle ground.
Post # 18
This could be totally off-base, but I also wonder if you’re having some kind of mild PTSD. Equipment exploding at work, while it didn’t end up harming you, seems similar to a type of “bomb scare.” It sounds like you experienced fear for your life and are still somewhat shaken by it, and this can make more minor things seem big and overwhelming.
I’m NOT saying that your concerns over his emotional availability and affection are minor, but I agree with other bees that it would be helpful to sit down and talk openly with him about what specifically in this situation bothered you – that you were very shaken up, that you don’t feel he understands how much you need physical and emotional support in a situation like this etc.
I know you’ve talked with him about it multiple times before, but make sure to convey this time A. how much you love him, B. how much you rely on him to provide the type of comfort you need, and C. how much it bothers you that the wedding is drawing closer and you don’t feel you’ll always get that support if you don’t resolve this issue now.
Your concerns are serious and very valid, but I personally don’t feel you should end your engagement over them. There will always be little quirks about your partner that bother you, and you have to decide how many of those “quirks” you can put up with. But if he’s so incredible to you in other ways, I would try to talk this one through.
Post # 19
Hi there. I highly highly recommend you and Fiance read the book “Five Love Languages.” It was recommended to my brother and his now wife of almost 10 years as they were going through pre-marital counseling with their officiant. I have found it extremely useful in my own relationships. The main point is there are a variety of ways of expressing how we love someone and sometimes, the longer we know someone, the more distant we get because the initial head in the clouds infatuation wears away (it has to or we’d never eat, sleep or work!)
We all have different ways of expressing emotions that fall in five categories according to the book: (physical affection, giving gifts, spending time with someone, speaking about our feelings and doing things for someone I believe they were). Some of us are fluent in all of these languages and some aren’t. Men are typically less fluent than women who are typically more fluent in all five. Part of sustaining a long, lasting relationship is about identifying which languages each of you uses and helping each other to become more fluent in the other ones we dont naturally gravitate to.
So, in short, you say Fiance is good to you and does lots of sweet things for you. For him, that may BE his love language and the way that he is expressing his love and care for you. He may not really truly get that to you, that doesn’t resonate with you because it doesn’t feel real if he isn’t using the physical affection or verbal languages.
Anyway. Good luck, this is tough stuff.
Post # 20
Thanks for all of your respones, bees. I agree that I may still be a little shaken, and that people do show love in different ways. I just feel like we have talked about this So Many Times…serious conversations about my need for physical affection, and the end result is always the same.
I almost feel like it’s fruitless at this point, and the thought of looking back on my life and realizing that I had to argue with my husband to get a proper hug is pathetic to me (no offense to all you non-physically affeciton bees!).
I called him and he apologized, said he was really tired last night. I said thanks for the apology, but a one arm hug is lame. I told him that we have talked about this issue so many times, and I can’t keep having the same conversation. I told him that I’m going out alone tonight to have time to think. I just feel like I can’t even be around him right now or I’ll do something rash.
I’m going to the bookstore after work, going to get a nice dinner for myself and just really think about what I want, and whether or not I can:
1) get it from this relationship
2) committ to working on it together
I agree with all the posters who said I need to tell him how serious this is, that I’m ready to walk. I just don’t want to make him feel bad about who he is, because he’s a fantastic guy.
Post # 21
@gradstudentbride – I’m going to pick up that book tonight!
Post # 22
I kind of get that there is two, conflicting problems you have here though.
1- He isn’t independant and sophisticated enough for your taste
2-He doesn’t express enough of his undivided attention on you
The first part, you cannot change, and imo won’t change in a person. It’s their character
The second part, you *could* change but I have my doubts that even if he starts doing everything you ask of him and when that you will feel satisfied. The reason being is it isn’t coming naturally from him. Are there other ways that he shows his affection to you that you may be overlooking? If there are, maybe it would be more fufulling to ‘take’ more out of thoses?
Post # 23
In my opinion, you should stay. You may be feeling this way becuase of the pressure of the wedding coming up and you are saying “whoa, this, for the rest of my life????” I think that people show affection in different ways and I think that a lot of guys aren’t as affectionate or loving as us. My DH is the same way. I have to tell him at times to hug me or kiss me, but I know that he really does feel that way, he just shows it different. I do agree that he should work on it though, and there should be a middle ground. Maybe counseling would help you guys find that happy medium. I don’t think he will ever be super affectionate, it doesn’t seem like his personality (just what I am getting from your post), but I do think that if he really loves you that he can try a little harder.
Post # 24
OP, I will preface this by saying I did call of my engagement/relationship with the man I was with for 5 years (shared a house, etc), AND I have not read what previous posters have said.
First, slow everything down. Weddings are stressful. The engagement can cause you to question everything about your relationship. This is natural. This is normal. But, is it healthy? Sometimes we can go overboard and nitpick our SO. I suggest you really assess the good and the bad. What are dealbreakers? Check out The Conscious Bride (conscious-transitions.com) or Emotionally Engaged.
Second, discuss your issues with him, and with a counselor. Seek individual or couples counseling. It might help you come to place of agreement on whether or not getting married to your Fiance is right for you.
Third, your Fiance is not a mindreader. As much as we want our SOs to know exactly what we need, they don’t always know. There are some great books out there ( I think one is The 5 Love Languages) which talk about different ways to communicate and show your love to one another.
Lastly, listen to yourself. Listen to your own voice. Listen to what your gut is saying. While I won’t say ‘trust your gut’, I will say that our guts often are trying to tell us something, whether it is something is off, or we need to get over ourselves and our fears.
Feel free to message me if you want to chat. Best wishes!
Post # 25
Maybe he just has social and emotional issue but what I’m about to say is meant with the utmost sincerity…but you said two things that instantly stuck a chord in me:
1. That your Fiance was socially awkward
2. That your Fiance has emotional availabilty issues
I immediately thought of a person with high functioning aspergers syndrome. It was the first thing that came to my mind. Could this be at all a possibility?
Post # 26
Your relationship sounds a lot like my parents. They have been married for 45 years and my mom is affectionate and my dad is not. But you know what? My dad is really an awesome husband and other people tell my mom all the time. Affection doesn’t come naturally to him, but he is about as loyal as they come and to this day he does do whatever he can for my mom.
She used to do what you do..get mad when he didn’t do something correctly when she was upset and it never worked. My dad tried harder and harder, sending flowers etc and then she would get mad because he was just doing that cause he knew it worked. In my opinion, A) she wasnt’ giving him credit for what he did do and B) he could stand to listen a little better. Eventually they started counceling and that has really worked well. He now holds her hand and gives her hugs and talks about his feelings. He is even more open with us. And she realized that he was showing love, maybe not with hugs, but with things like making sure she had decaf coffee by her bedside when she woke up made just the way she likes.
There may be other issues he has from childhood that he needs to talk to a therapist. And perhaps at the same time, you could learn how to appreciate what he does do in trying to make you happy. So, from someone has witnessed a HUGE change after 30 something years of marriage, I think that you shouldn’t give up. People grow throughout their life and I hope once you kinda decompress from this work incident you can see that this is an opportunity for both of you to grow as a couple. Good luck!