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how much does your partner support you emotionally?

(30 Posts)
bucketsofmoonbeams Sun 09-Mar-14 14:50:58

Just that, really.

My DH is a good man in many respects - brilliant with the kids, treats me well, good on a 'practical' level. We have three children and have been through a lot together.

But increasingly I feel like he often doesn't 'get' me, or actually, can't really be bothered to.

I've been through a very stressful time recently for various reasons, and it makes me feel better to talk things over. I have good friends, thank god. Because if I ever attempt to suggest I'm anything slightly other than happy and capable, Dh accuses me of 'moaning', or 'complaining' or 'being a victim'. I'm really not: I'm pretty tough, actually. If he's had a crappy day at work, or something is bothering him, I will happily listen and offer support. I don't get the same back.

He's supportive in other ways I guess, but I'm not sure it's good enough, really. Just wondering if there are any others in this position? Anyone else think 'right, better talk to my best mate then...' if anything is troubling them, rather than their husband?

Casmama Sun 09-Mar-14 14:55:39

Has this changed? Was he always a bit rubbish at emotional support or does it feel like he is now dismissive when he used to be more supportive?

I think if this is new behaviour then it is quite worrying and I certainly would be keen to address it because the lack of support would not be sustainable for me long term.

bucketsofmoonbeams Sun 09-Mar-14 15:16:18

Thanks. It's hard to say really. Like I said, we've been through a fair amount of stuff together (bereavement, extended family issues, health problems etc) and when the shit has really hit the fan he's been supportive. Ironically, in some ways he's more emotional than me: he certainly has a worse temper!

It feels as if with the major stuff, he's got a limit on how long he 'can' be supportive, though. For example, a member of my family suffers from serious mental health issues. When things became really bad and they were hospitalised, DH was so supportive with that. But now, a few years on, if I was to mention feeling low about the situation (family member never recovered), I would get accused of 'moaning'. So increasingly I find that I don't talk about how I feel about that kind of stuff.

It's also the day to day stuff. If he's struggling with anything and wanted to talk, I'll nod and listen. If I get asked how my day is and I say anything other than 'wonderful, darling!', I'm accused of being negative. And I'm really NOT a negative person.

RandomMess Sun 09-Mar-14 15:20:51

H stopped offering me emotional support around 4 years ago and I've reached the end of my tolerance for my marriage, it has slowly chipped away at everything until I don't see the point of us being together. We are merely 2 adults co-parenting in the same house that have nothing in common.

bucketsofmoonbeams Sun 09-Mar-14 15:25:58

I'm sorry to hear that Random. Did anything trigger it, do you think, or did it just happen gradually?

I have to say, in the earlier years of our relationship, my Dh wouldn't have behaved like this. Worst of all is that the kids are witnessing his intolerance towards me, it upsets them...

RandomMess Sun 09-Mar-14 15:30:59

He admits he had already started withdrawing, he then got unwell and got an anxiety about dying so withdrew completely. So despite discussing the issue with a therapist, agreeing how things could be changed etc. nothing has changed. He never even ASKS me how I am because truthfully he doesn't want an answer. If I go out at night he never asks how I am getting home, wait up for anything. Nada.

He refuses to try and do anything too deal with the situation he is happy enough how things are.

I hate that my dc think our marriage is normal - the only time were in the same room is at meal times...

bucketsofmoonbeams Sun 09-Mar-14 15:36:31

That sounds hard, Random. What are you going to do?

I'm not sure I feel that my Dh has withdrawn from me, more that he has become highly intolerant. I've tried to speak to him calmly about it, but no, that is me 'ranting' at him, apparently...

RandomMess Sun 09-Mar-14 15:40:09

I wonder if your dh is comparing you unfavourably to other women he knows - perhaps ones he works with?

One of us needs to leave, planning to have the converation in a month. No doubt there will be tears but after 4 years, including more than 2 stating every 6 months or so that cannot live like this something has to change.

QuiteSo Sun 09-Mar-14 15:42:25

My now-estranged husband started doing this. He also turned out to be having an affair with a rather dim young lady who was all sweetness and light. Which probably made him more intolerant of my minor griping about traffic problems etc. I ended up scared to say anything negative and instead talking to my mum or people at work.

bucketsofmoonbeams Sun 09-Mar-14 15:49:48

Good luck with it all Random. I hope you can find happiness, whatever the outcome.

Quiteso: sorry you went through that. I truly don't believe there is infidelity going on with DH. I do think we are both exhausted after a tough few years. Children are still small so we've had our fair share of sleepless nights etc, though we're beyond the worst of that. However, just because we've had various stresses in our lives, in other ways we are incredibly lucky: I don't think he's justified in treating me how he does. I always try to show him courtesy and respect, however tired or stressed I am!

RandomMess Sun 09-Mar-14 15:58:01

I don't think it has to be an affair but he may well be surrounded by happy chatty work colleagues - I certainly put on my cheery face at work, the few people I've told are very shocked at how unhappy I really am.

bucketsofmoonbeams Sun 09-Mar-14 16:07:38

Thing is Random, I would say that I'm 'happy and chatty' the vast majority of the time! However, lately, if I deviate from 'happy and chatty', he loses his temper and accuses me of being moany and negative. Even if I'm just describing a reality - e.g. 'today I had to do x,' - if 'x' is something less than delightful, he says I'm complaining.

And even if I wanted to complain from time to time, would it be so bad?! I'd like to be able to say 'I've had a crappy day!' - without him then making it worse!

Ohheavens Sun 09-Mar-14 16:22:48

My H is unable to offer any emotional support, whether its bereavement, worry about DC, infertility, whatever,
In fact he makes me feel worse.

Not sure what I can do, he is a great dad but Im struggling to feel good about the relationship.

You have my sympathy.

bucketsofmoonbeams Sun 09-Mar-14 16:30:20

Ohheavens, tough, isn't it? Was it always this way for you? I've always been more of a 'talker' than DH, but it's not like he's without emotion himself.

I don't know, I guess we all become more emotionally exhausted once we have children. But it's the lack of courtesy that gets me: he wouldn't react this way if any of his friends or colleagues happened to mention if something was less than perfect...

BookABooSue Sun 09-Mar-14 16:40:54

he wouldn't react this way if any of his friends or colleagues happened to mention if something was less than perfect.
I think this is key. My dp isn't very emotionally supportive. He has a problem solver approach to each and every issue which can seem very unsympathetic but he is like that with everyone. It's his approach to life. It's still difficult to deal with but I can see it's not about me.
If your dh is different with other people then that is a cause for concern. Would he respond differently if you wrote him a letter saying you needed more emotional support? Or needed him to treat you with the same respect as he treats his friends and colleagues? I think you have to make it clear to him that this is a big issue and needs addressed not swept under the carpet. You have the right to have your emotional needs met, that doesn't mean you're moaning or ranting.

lostnumber Sun 09-Mar-14 17:07:48

DH is a problem solver too, I don't see him as someone I'd turn to if I need to talk things over. But I hardly ever need someone to talk things over, I tend to mull things over in my own mind. So it works for us.

GinUtero Sun 09-Mar-14 17:19:24

My DH is brilliant at supporting me emotionally - he's by far the most emotional intelligent man I know, has heaps of empathy and "gets" me down to a tee.

On the other hand he's completely impractical, has to be reminded to do anything round the house and puts off doing really important tasks to the point where it drives me nuts.

livingzuid Sun 09-Mar-14 17:27:58

My X was like this. Any indication that I had a less than perfect day somehow it was all my fault. I could never say what issues I had at work because I was too angry, for example. It was terrible.

My now dh is amazing and supportive. We talk everything through and I know no matter what he has my corner. He gives great advice and lets me blub if I need it or tells me straight if I am overreacting. It's like a different and wonderful universe.

I am sorry you are experiencing this. No one is perfect but there is a base line of support and empathy that should exist in a relationship. Everyone's needs are different but if you want to be able to talk stuff through with your partner without being criticised again then you should. It's exhausting. thanks

GinUtero Sun 09-Mar-14 17:31:39

Actually, thinking about it my ex was similar to this - if ever I was down and tried to talk about it, I'd get accused of dragging him down.
If he was down, it was my fault.

He behaved exactly the same to the woman he dated after me - when her mother had cancer, he accused her of being selfish because she was upset all the time and that wasn't very nice for him!

We're both so much better off without him...

Diagonally Sun 09-Mar-14 17:43:50

My ex was like this too

I started having an early miscarriage when we were away once, for a weekend. When we got back I went to EPU and they confirmed it.

He told me afterwards I'd spoiled the weekend by being so miserable and not wanting to go out and do things sad

Nomama Sun 09-Mar-14 18:28:11

Mine supports me quietly, with cups of tea, whispers I love you a hundred times a day (so much so it lost its meaning for a while), little treats, etc, but is utterly useless with specific issues.

He just can't empathise in the right places. To be frank, other than a hug and an I love you, he just looks stunned if I need him emotionally - rabbit in the headlights stunned.

But he does now communicate properly and always has time to talk about anything that comes up. He is nowhere near as scared/dismissive as he used to be. Partly because I managed to convince him I didn't expect him to have a solution, just to listen and make the right noises.

RandomMess Sun 09-Mar-14 18:28:17

Op - yes that's the same for me, I try very hard to be positive, make the most of what little we have but any sign that I may actually voice the negative stuff and he can't stand it.

I'm really sad there are so many others on here sad

RandomMess Sun 09-Mar-14 18:30:17

Nomama - I've categorically said most of the time I just need him to listen and give me a cuddle - but he doesn't even want to do that!! He can't solve my problems, he's not responsible for my happiness but I expect us to be a team IYSWIM.

bucketsofmoonbeams Sun 09-Mar-14 18:34:14

Thanks everyone. I'm sorry to those that haven't experienced the support they needed in relationships, and thanks for the advice. It's something that needs to change for sure.

Diagonally - that's so awful. To be fair to DH, he wouldn't do that (like I said, in the thick of a crisis he can be supportive).

And while he doesn't sound as bad as your ex, GinUtero, DH does seem to have limited capacity for support. I had quite a serious illness a couple of years back, and I do remember that DH began to get impatient with how long the recovery took. Not great.

bucketsofmoonbeams Sun 09-Mar-14 18:36:41

Nomama - I've said that to DH too - 'you don't have to solve a problem, you don't have to listen for very long, just a nod and a hug would be great!'

But, like Random's DH, he can't seem to do that (not as often as I need, anyway), and that's the problem...

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