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lovely but unaffectionate DP

(101 Posts)
zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 12:28:34

That's it really; I have been with my lovely DP for two years. We don't live together but we see each other three or four times a week. He is thoughtful, unselfish, caring, funny, kind to my dcs etc but physically unaffectionate.

The only time he shows any affection is when we're in bed and he wants sex. Otherwise it's a peck on the lips when we meet and another peck when he leaves. He wouldn't think to hold hands with me when we're walking along or snuggle up to me when we're on the sofa or anything like that. If I hold his hand when we're out (or in for that matter) it just doesn't feel right because he clearly isn't comfortable.

As he's so lovely in other ways I've overlooked it but recently it's become more and more of an issue with me as I love handholding, hugging and all that stuff. I've mentioned it a couple of times and he says he loves me ;it's just the way he is and that he does "try" confused but he's just not affectionate.

I don't want to make a huge issue of it because I think then it would all become a bit forced and I wouldn't want to hurt him. However I am beginning to feel very resentful and almost tearful about it because I don't think he'll change and I wouldn't want to separate

Has anyone any experience of this/suggestions? I've never had unaffectionate dps/boyfriends and I've no idea how to deal with it tbh.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Thu 06-Dec-12 12:38:05

I think you have to overcome your fear of hurting his feelings and explain just how important physical affection is to you. Explain that you feel rejected by all this cold-shouldering. If he makes more of an effort in order to please you (and he could very easily do that) that would be a positive outcome. If still brushes you off with 'it's just the way I am' then I think you have to accept that no matter how thoughtful, funny and kind he is you're simply not compatible. No-one's perfect but if there's something very important on which you don't agree, then that's a 'deal-breaker'.

zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 12:41:00

Thanks Cogito; I think you're right; perhaps that's why I'm reticent to really frankly tell him it's making me feel quite miserable sad

FlojoHoHoHo Thu 06-Dec-12 12:46:08

When u do see him 3 or 4 times a wk, what do u do together?
Don't u put a film on and snuggle up on the sofa etc? Or does he just back away when u do?

LookBehindYou Thu 06-Dec-12 12:50:15

You have stressed all along how lovely he is, so does it really matter if he's not hugely demonstrative with a cuddle? Also, my DH was like this and it bugged the hell out of me but over time it changed when we married etc. And there are times when he's hugely demonstrative and always at exactly the right moment. I would not tackle your dp about it just now if he's doing everything else right.

zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 12:54:49

He comes to mine for dinner, chats with me and the dcs, does odd things around the house, helps them with anything I struggle with (maths for 11 year olds, anyone?) Reads the papers with me, surfs the net with me, just companionable stuff. He's very easy company. Sometimes we watch a dvd. I snuggle up to him and he rolls his eyes in a jokey manner as though I'm some over-affectionate labrador.

I used to find it quite funny, but now it grates

We go out once or twice a week, usually for a meal alone or with friends, all of whom think he's lovely. when we're out he's really attentive, but he just doesn't touch me volutarily.

I've asked him if he likes me touching him and he says he does. confused

FlojoHoHoHo Thu 06-Dec-12 12:58:37

Ummm how about buying aromatherapy kit for Xmas for him? Candles, massage oils etc?
Is he affectionate in bed? Or is it a quick, needs must occasion?

zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 12:59:19

Yes Lookbehind; twice when I've been in tears over different things he's hugged me and he has always been there for me if I've needed him but I'm not sure he's going to change, or even if I should be trying to make him change.

zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 13:01:12

he's not great in bed, if I'm honest. Again feels all abit one sided

ClippedPhoenix Thu 06-Dec-12 13:01:36

Some people are just not comfortable with this type of intimacy. I'm rather the same. I don't like my "space" being invaded.

If it's something that you really need and can't compromise on then maybe he's not the one for you.

zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 13:03:02

It just seems such a shame as otherwise he's great.

GordonIsAMor0n Thu 06-Dec-12 13:03:13

Sounds like it is 'just the way he is' although this of course doesn't mean you have to accept this for yourself!

What is he like in bed? As in, afterwards? Does he cuddle you then?

I wouldn't say that my boyfriend is massively demonstrative... although he holds my hand/cuddles me/strokes my leg when we are sat on the sofa watching a DVD and he likes me to link arms with him when we are out and about - although is not big on hand holding. So... not as perfect as i'd like but then...who is?

I think you need to look at this as a 'package'... what does he bring to your life? Are you happy with him? Does he tell you he loves you?

Oh and ask him why he is uncomfortable with it. What is the reason? This may help if you know

Pickles77 Thu 06-Dec-12 13:04:19

I'm sorry to say this sounds like
An ex of mine. Eventually it grated on me so much I became really bitter about it.. I felt almost rejected- it did split us up as I'm very affectionate

GordonIsAMor0n Thu 06-Dec-12 13:04:23

Sorry - X post.

I am thinking he is just not a demonstrative 'sensual' person. Probably rooted in his upbringing somewhere along the line

What do you get out of this relationship now on an emotional level?.

He sounds to me more like a friend than a lover.

What is his relationship history like?.

Such emotionally unavailable men do not change.

zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 13:05:43

I've asked him why he's uncomfortable with it; he says he's just not used to it; he says his ex was never affectionate towards him. I wonder if he liked it that way.

LookBehindYou Thu 06-Dec-12 13:10:17

Well the friendly behaviour rather than lover behaviour would bug me and I wouldn't like that. I guess if you have dc it would be hard to switch things round to dating more. Maybe unintentionally this has become a bit homey rather than a relationship?

FlojoHoHoHo Thu 06-Dec-12 13:10:29

If you've asked him why hes uncomfortable, then presumably he knows u want more affection than he's been giving so far, and still hasn't made an effort? That doesn't sound good. It sounds like he isn't taking your feelings in to consideration. Being lovely in a practical sense is one thing but being emotionally there is another.

LookBehindYou Thu 06-Dec-12 13:11:48

Fine if he's not used to it but it has to start somewhere. I don't really buy that excuse. Is he improving at all?

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Thu 06-Dec-12 13:11:49

'The ex' is a rubbish excuse. If you were to move onto another boyfriend tomorrow you wouldn't suddenly be undemonstrative just because he'd been that way with you. I think when he originally said 'it's the way I am' you should take that on face value. He's totally uncomfortable with physical intimacy and ... sadly for you.... takes no pleasure in it and doesn't think it's necessary except as a precursor to sex. As I said upthread, he could really easily be more demonstrative if he wanted to be. He's choosing to be the way he is.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 06-Dec-12 13:11:52

I wouldn't class it as being emotionally unavailable at all. I'm very affectionate in other ways. Just because I don't want to lie on someone whilst watching the telly, kiss people when they want to kiss me, hold hands etc. doesn't mean I can't have an intimate relationship.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 06-Dec-12 13:12:06

Oh and I'm female by the way.

FlojoHoHoHo Thu 06-Dec-12 13:15:23

clipped but if u knew it was important to your DP you'd do it right? Or at least make smaller changes in the right direction over time til u got used to it?

zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 13:15:45

Thanks for all your replies.

I have said to him that anyone seeing us would think we were friends not lovers; he seemed quite shocked by it and said that as far as he was concerned he was in an loving relationship but that was a while ago and he hasn't changed.

I've raised it a few times since and he just says the same; that he loves me, fancies me etc but that he's quite a private reserved person and is not used to showing affection. There's a kind of "this is the way I am" about him.

A while back he said he'd try and he was affectionate for a day and that we should keep talking and listening (his words) to each other which was lovely but he's back to" normal" now.

should it be this difficult??

He's in his forties, in a very demanding job, has no dcs and his last relationship ended after 7 years because his ex saw no future with him..

LookBehindYou Thu 06-Dec-12 13:17:56

Uh oh...

zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 13:20:20

I'm not sure he is emotionally unavailable tbh; I think he finds it hard to express his feelings but if pushed he does.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 06-Dec-12 13:21:51

Some people are just not demonstrative by action.

Flojo - I suppose I would try to give it a go but would probably feel very pessurised. I have been with very affectionate, kissy, cuddly men and found it all a bit suffolcating to be honest.

Mind you, I've just scrolled back up and the OP has said he's not very good in bed now that's a different kettle of fish. I am very kissy and cuddly in the sack.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 06-Dec-12 13:23:23

"suffocating"

LookBehindYou Thu 06-Dec-12 13:25:52

My 'uh oh' was maybe a bit harsh. Perhaps there was no future with the ex because he didn't want that kind of set up with her. Doesn't mean he won't want it for you. I personally would be wary of him coming and sitting round talking to the kids etc. Nice, but a bit of a samey pattern. I would invite him for dinner and dinner only and dress up. I don't think 'hard to express feelings' is deal breaker if he's trying to. Why don't you live together?

ClippedPhoenix Thu 06-Dec-12 13:29:20

Does he make you laugh op, do you get off on each others sense of humour? Now to me that's an important part of a relationship.

zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 13:29:33

I don't know; the dcs are part of my life and I don't see the harm in them chatting to him. They've got a dad and are comfortable with the set up.

We often go away for weekends when the kids are with their dad -I'm wined and dined to with in an inch of my life - just no handholding over the table, etc

I'm sounding like a stuck record now!

zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 13:30:20

yes he does make me laugh; that would be a real deal breaker for me if he didn't

LookBehindYou Thu 06-Dec-12 13:31:32

Well then, it all sounds pretty good. Do you think you could be a bit more directive with what you like in bed?

ClippedPhoenix Thu 06-Dec-12 13:33:31

No one's perfect OP really. The sex thing sounds a bit hmm though

zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 13:33:46

Why don't we live together? We've discussed this. I'm not sure it would work; he would find the dcs difficult on a full time basis and I would find it difficult that he would find it difficult , IYSWIM. We haven't ruled out us moving in together when they are older . Ideally, I'd like him next door...

badinage Thu 06-Dec-12 13:34:23

If good sex and affection are important to you OP, why the hell are you staying with a man who offers neither? confused

I'll never understand why women want relationships with men who can't even meet their basic requirements....

zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 13:37:02

blimey Bandinage, it's not that black and white. Love, loyalty, humour, support , company, shared interests are pretty important too.

I don't think people should be forced to be more affectionate if that's not the way they are, but I do think in that case they should probably try to partner up with someone who does not mind not getting that kind of affection.

There have been a few threads on this lately, from people who are married to men who are not affectionate enough -- maybe have a read of some of them, zookeeper, and think about whether you want to be in their position down the road?

Do you want to still be longing for cuddling and decent sex after 10 years?

Maybe he's reserved. Or maybe he's just emotionally selfish (that would also explain the bad sex).

I personally think that no matter how lovely someone is, if you are not compatible when it comes to sex and affection, you are just setting yourself up for long-term resentment and unhappiness.

I would also assume that if he's in his 40s he is not going to change.

Do your children actually like him or do they like him primarily because they like to see you as their Mum happy with her man?.

He still sounds more like a friend than a lover (hence my emotionally unavailable comment. Also he being really affectionate only when he wants sex is also why I mentioned that).

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Thu 06-Dec-12 13:41:25

It's frustrating when someone is ticking 90% of the boxes to realise that the final 10% is always going to be out of reach. Then you're in the dilemma of whether the missing 10% is really worth getting worked up about or not. In your case, sadly, I think it is. People rarely change - especially when they don't think they have a problem and have told you they're not going to change - and you can waste an awful lot of time 'wishing and hoping and thinking and praying' as the late great Dusty Springfield once put it. You've already invested 2 years being treated like a china doll rather than a woman....

LookBehindYou Thu 06-Dec-12 13:44:49

I agree that love, loyalty, support and shared interests are important.

ethelb Thu 06-Dec-12 13:44:59

I'm not an affectionate person myself but MY DP is (the irony) and I do have to make an effort. But i do make that effort as I realise what a big deal that is to him. We talk quite openly about our different needs.

I would be quite offended about all of these pseudo psycoanalysies about the cause of my lack of affection though. Maybe he is just like that.

x-post

The thing is, OP, you can get love, loyalty, humour, etc., AND good sex and affection. But not if you stay with this man.

I have to say, I'm a bit creeped out by your saying that he's only affectionate when he wants sex.

And then he's one-sided when you do have sex. That doesn't sound very loving or caring to me.

zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 13:48:33

All of these comments have really made me think; I wonder if I'm scared of the alternative, which is being a lone mum in her late forties.You don't get any affection then! Life was lonely without him and quite hard.

I don't have - and nor am I likely to have - a queue of men banging at my door - affectionate or otherwise .

zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 13:50:32

I have to say he's not creepy in any way Dreaming hmm

LookBehindYou Thu 06-Dec-12 13:52:58

Do you love him OP and is this a deal breaker for YOU? If not, I would continue having a lovely time with this guy and appreciating all the good things about him.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 06-Dec-12 14:09:59

Your last post suggests you are "settling" OP. Don't do that.

badinage Thu 06-Dec-12 14:12:52

You can get love, loyalty, humour, support , company, shared interests from a friend. You might even get affection. But sex and sexual affection are usually the definining characteristics of a couple relationship. It's fine if neither of those things are important to a couple, but in your case they are.

It's sounding more like 'he's a man and he's interested, I want to be in a relationship - so he'll do'

For an affectionate woman who likes sex, no affection and bad sex is much worse than not having a man at all.

I didn't say he was creepy (how would I know?) I just find the idea of a man withholding affection except when he wants sex to be, well, kind of manipulative in a way that creeps me out.

I think in the end it just depends on how badly you don't want to be alone. Personally, I have been alone and I've been in unsatisfying relationships, and I would rather be alone. At least then you can still find companionship and fun with friends and do whatever you feel like doing. Whereas constantly feeling like your partner doesn't care enough for you can really eat away at you.

But who knows, maybe with time you will just get used to it. Only you know how much you can handle.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 06-Dec-12 19:01:06

The OP didn't say that he was affectionate in that way then stopped, which would be weird and signal something else going on, she said that he had never been like this.

OP, you want something that this man cannot give you, therefore it's either a compromise due to the other things hes says and does or it's a no go for you. That is very allowed and then you aren't compatible.

Don't make him feel bad becasue he doesn't openly show affection in the way you want.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 06-Dec-12 19:17:17

Stop trying to put a round peg in a square hole. I also have to say that if you back right off and maybe let him come to you a bit you never know. I hate pressure, I like to decide about where i put my body and who puts theres on mine. Someone all over me like a rash makes me recoil.

As I said I'm very like your boyfriend in this respect, I can't stand my space being invaded with puppy dog eyes and someone being on me. He probably has noted that maybe you need a bit more affection. Let it sink in, stay away and he will probably come to you.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Thu 06-Dec-12 19:31:14

I am going to go against the grain a bit here (and maybe align with clipped a bit ?)

I am not a physically demonstrative person. I don't do PDA's. I don't hand-hold with my husband. We chat, we laugh, we grope when we fancy sex. Outside of that, we are not touchy-feely. We are not dodgy people.

Years ago, someone who knew us both said I was cold. That is very wrong. Because I choose to not be all over someone, wanting kisses and cuddles all the time doesn't make me cold. It makes me a bit reserved and very aware of my own body space, that is all and it should be my choice to not have someone else's idea of "intimacy" forced on me

However, I make a lot of eye contact, turn my body towards them, engage fully in conversation, properly listen to people

I am remembering an old bf here who would be touching me all the time, but never listened to a word I said. He was also an arsehole who was fucking around all over the place.

Food for thought

ClippedPhoenix Thu 06-Dec-12 20:27:08

I may not kiss you but i would walk over hot coals for you.

Affection is as affecton does. Actions speak louder.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 06-Dec-12 20:50:33

Had a wine Op so nicking your thread with a sort of relevance still. As a for instance I met my brother that I hadn't ever met since i was say, um, 3 last weekend and he kept kissing me on greeting on my bloody mouth, it was as instant yuck. I wanted to smack his face. Don't be so familiar, I now dont want to bloody speak to him again!

What Im trying to say is, its either false or damn weird that people want all this misplaced affection, what on earth is wrong with you?

ClippedPhoenix Thu 06-Dec-12 20:59:52

OOPs OP that sort of just came tumbling out really grin very randomly and very inappriately. i just sort of typed it.

Im going for a lie down.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Thu 06-Dec-12 21:03:00

< turns clipped on her side and leaves a pint of water and two paracetamol on the bedside table >

smile

WarmFuzzyFun Thu 06-Dec-12 21:20:13

Thu 06-Dec-12 20:27:08
Beautifully put ClippedPhoenix

Abitwobblynow Thu 06-Dec-12 22:22:27

the trouble with this is if our needs are to be affectionate, that need will NOT go away...

Zoo, Willard Harley says: the two most important needs for women (on the whole) are: 1. conversation, 2. affection.

He says: men CAN learn these skills. They would never talk to a client the way they talk to a women (I don't do talking or holding hands. Sign here, you turkey...) If they care about their partner they can learn to listen and hold her hand, simply because it is important to her.

Just as having sex is important for them! (Well, important to me too)

badinage Thu 06-Dec-12 23:29:21

Yeah but all these posters saying you're not affectionate are not crap in bed are you?

The posters says the sex is rubbish and is all about his needs.

That's the difference.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Thu 06-Dec-12 23:33:22

Good point, bad. I myself am a wonder in the sack wink

OP herself said he is otherwise lovely, so seems a bit conflicted. And tbh, there are quite a lot of men out there who a little bit crap in bed, aren't there?

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Thu 06-Dec-12 23:33:32

who are

ike1 Thu 06-Dec-12 23:35:53

See I am with Clipped and Any Fucker here... yes Ill do hand holding, hugs when someone is upset or needs it, maybe the odd spontaneous cuddle. .but beyond that and the odd back rub its a bit bloody irritating to have someone smothering you or demanding constant physical affirmation...

badinage Thu 06-Dec-12 23:41:11

And tbh, there are quite a lot of men out there who a little bit crap in bed, aren't there?

It certainly seems so. What I don't get is why this is overlooked by some (sexual) women as being of no real importance in the great scheme of things. Especially in a newish partner to whom you've got no real commitment, like marriage or kids.

It's the fact he's useless in bed that would make me want rid of him more than the lack of affection.

OhDearNigel Thu 06-Dec-12 23:41:59

As I said I'm very like your boyfriend in this respect, I can't stand my space being invaded with puppy dog eyes and someone being on me

Me too. I cannot bear being groped about and constantly bothered. I had a boyfriend once who was very touchy feely, in the end it made me feel quite queasy and I couldn't bear him being anywhere near me. Fortunately both DH and I both value our personal space !

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Thu 06-Dec-12 23:47:48

me too, badinage, but we are not the OP smile

ImperialBlether Thu 06-Dec-12 23:48:50

But the OP isn't talking about groping him and bothering him. She's talking about a level of affection which a lot of people want and get within a relationship. He doesn't want the same level.

Personally, I think both people have to have matching levels otherwise there is unhappiness, frustration and maybe even disgust.

OP, I would end the relationship but keep him as a friend. Knock the overnights on the head - you're getting nothing from that. He can come round as a friend, but then go home, leaving you free to find someone else.

I know (from experience) that being single in your forties is difficult, but not as difficult as trying to hold the hand of a man who's avoiding you.

ike1 Thu 06-Dec-12 23:55:49

Yeah the sex is a different matter but I dont want a tree trunk leg pinning me down after...

zookeeper Fri 07-Dec-12 08:01:01

Blimey everybody! I just came back to this. No time now but we did have a long convo about it last night which was interesting.

The sex isn't rubbish, but it is a little bit crap (thanks anyFucker lol). I did say that to him (fro the first time and very late in the day I suppose) and he was horrified lol.

I'll report back later if you all haven't lost the will to live yet

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Fri 07-Dec-12 08:36:18

There is no reason he can't improve on the slightly crap sex side (has he got a but lazy and selfish?), but it would be unfair (and a waste of time) to try and change his basic personality

ClippedPhoenix Fri 07-Dec-12 10:03:23

Cheers AF, they did the trick grin

LookBehindYou Fri 07-Dec-12 10:49:54

I agree Anyfucker. I like sincerity.

janelikesjam Fri 07-Dec-12 14:23:29

Just some great lines in this thread

"I know (from experience) that being single in your forties is difficult, but not as difficult as trying to hold the hand of a man who's avoiding you.... "

"And tbh, there are quite a lot of men out there who a little bit crap in bed, aren't there....?"

"I can't stand my space being invaded with puppy dog eyes and someone being on me.... "

janelikesjam Fri 07-Dec-12 14:28:00

And ...

"You can waste an awful lot of time 'wishing and hoping and thinking and praying' as the late great Dusty Springfield once put it" ....

"Just because I don't want to lie on someone whilst watching the telly, kiss people when they want to kiss me, hold hands etc. doesn't mean I can't have an intimate relationship"

I have had people lie on me whilst I was watching the telly and it was quite nice if I remember rightly, but I was young and a bit sex-mad grin

ClippedPhoenix Fri 07-Dec-12 14:47:30

Are you extracting the urine here at all jane grin

ClippedPhoenix Fri 07-Dec-12 15:26:41

Must admit I read it "through my fingers" this morning.

Do you think one of my lines may appear on the talk round-up?

grin

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Fri 07-Dec-12 18:10:19

how was your head this morning, CP ?

ClippedPhoenix Fri 07-Dec-12 18:21:17

It was fine thanks AF. I was all tucked up in bed with a huge glass of water shortly after my wonderfully eloquent and descriptive post grin

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Fri 07-Dec-12 18:29:18

grin

janelikesjam Fri 07-Dec-12 19:16:08

Truly, such sweet wisdom in many of the posts. I just found some of it simultaneously slightly humerous - e.g. "I can't be doing with people ^on me^"just made me smile.

Yes, drunken posts that seemed so on-the-money at the time, but later looks like arbitrary shrapnel, been there - but ClippedPhoenix you seemed aware so soon! The weird thing is nothing you said makes sense, but I think I understood you perfectly hmm.

Sorry, I have nothing to add OP to your problem and dilemma, but I think you got alot of ideas and wisom here which I am sure will help. p.s. Did you really query your OH's attitude/response in bed. I am just a bit shock about your chutzpaz on that! Genuinely, how did that pan out, can be a sensitive issue?

zookeeper Sat 08-Dec-12 12:09:15

quick update; I sent him a text (very grown up and communicative soul that I am) saying that whilst I appreciate how lovely he is his lack of affection was making me really uhappy.

He phoned back about an hour later. He was very open; he said that he didn't feel he was naturally affectionate, but that he hadn't realised it was so important for me. He said that it wasn't that he doesn't love me; that he does and that he would try to be more openly loving. He said he was sorry that he forgot to tell me he loved me and show it.

I think for a reserved man he was very open and was quite touched (no pun intended)

Whilst I was on a roll (and I'm not known for my tact or diplomacy) I said that I didn't think sex with him was that great either.. That seemed to floor him and , after a looong silence he said that we'd talk about that tonight.

So he is coming over tonight. Knowing my luck he'll start trying to ravage me at the start of "Strictly..."

Abitwobblynow Sat 08-Dec-12 12:49:42

Zoo, are you taking responsibility for this too? Are you speaking and telling him directly 'touch me like there, like this, harder, softer, more fluttery'...

it takes two!

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sat 08-Dec-12 12:55:20

Abit is right. If you want to improve your sex life, you do need to very specific about the things you like/don't like (and vice versa of course)

For some reason, I don't get the idea you will have a problem with that, though smile

ClippedPhoenix Sat 08-Dec-12 18:50:47

here's hoping you're a bit bandy tomorrow zoo wink

Pickles77 Sat 08-Dec-12 19:24:34

Glad your getting there zoo, pleased for you

blueshoes Sat 08-Dec-12 23:46:08

Did he go to full boarding school from a young age? <long shot>

Helltotheno Sun 09-Dec-12 01:03:35

I feel sorry for him OP sad I think you should just let him go and find someone who fits your needs and stop giving him checklists of what he has to do to meet your expectations...sorry to be blunt...

zookeeper Sun 09-Dec-12 15:43:01

Checklists??? WTF?

Helltotheno Sun 09-Dec-12 16:26:58

Well call it what you like, the bottom line is you're wanting him to be something he isn't.. Why not let him find someone who accepts him as he is and you find someone who meets your needs? Staying with him for fear of being alone isn't really fair.

orchidee Sun 09-Dec-12 16:38:02

Don't expect him to change. Don't ask him to. Tell him clearly what you'd like and let him respond. Actions speak louder than words.
E.g. if he didn't think you liked cuddles (etc) or weren't keen on him or whatever but you then tell him that in fact you do want cuddles, you like him, blah blah see what happens next. It'll be clear if he sees this as green light for cuddles or if in fact he's just grasping at any excuse instead of saying "I don't like any more affection that I currently give. And I won't change."

Read up on alexithymia

Decide if this is enough for you.

Watch out for your self-confidence plummeting as you are rejected sexually and never complimented.

Decide if you'd be better off as friends. As least then there's no expectations so you won't be disappointed that he doesn't give you the affection you'd like.

orchidee Sun 09-Dec-12 16:43:55

Sorry, I didn't see p2 before posting

Helltotheno Sun 09-Dec-12 16:46:06

Wtf??!! So we all have to be going round like licky dogs draped over our partners in order not to be considered people who will erode our partners confidence and reject them sexually? Sorry but...what a load of pants.

zookeeper Sun 09-Dec-12 17:21:22

Sorry you're spoiling for a fight Heli; problem is I can't be arsed to deal with you..

Helltotheno Sun 09-Dec-12 17:57:53

How so? Do you just not want to hear certain answers?
You posted about how your DH, who according to you is lovely in other respects, is not affectionate enough for you and how you've said it repeatedly and he isn't changing. You also said he wasn't great in bed. The latter can be worked on... and may even change but if you've never said what you wanted in bed, how is he supposed to know?
The former may not change, and I think it's reasonable for someone to make the point that if he's not affectionate by nature, that's the way it is, and you have two choices: accept the things you like about him and stop trying to change him or else find someone else who delivers what you want.

The poster above hadn't read the full thread and ime her point does not relate to your DH, from what you've said about him.

Sorry if my answer doesn't please you, but it's not an invalid opinion.

Good luck with everything OP smile

orchidee Sun 09-Dec-12 18:16:30

Helltotheno
Sun 09-Dec-12 16:46:06 Wtf??!! So we all have to be going round like licky dogs draped over our partners in order not to be considered people who will erode our partners confidence and reject them sexually? Sorry but...what a load of pants.

Taking this a little personally perchance?

The OP hasn't said she wants "licky dog" behaviour. Why are so many people talking this way, like there's no middle ground.

Also, if someone isn't getting the affection they want then yes, their confidence is likely to be eroded.

zookeeper Sun 09-Dec-12 18:36:53

So it's Ok to try to change his behaviour in bed but not out of it?? hmm

That's not logical at all.

I am happy to hear all answers which is why I posted; the patronising tone irks though.,

FlojoHoHoHo Sun 09-Dec-12 19:18:21

OP did u manage to speak to him about in bed? I'd love to do this with my DP but he's so hard to talk to I end up embarrassed and saying oh it doesn't matter.

zookeeper Sun 09-Dec-12 19:43:32

I do too, Flojo; maybe that's part of the problem, about sex at least. I don't know why it's hard to talk about when we can talk about most other things.

I said that it would be nice if he just touched me more and we kissed more and slowed down a bit . That helped as did me telling him I liked what he was doing (which seems obvious but I hadn't said it before to him). Sex wasn't earth shattering but it was better

FlojoHoHoHo Sun 09-Dec-12 19:54:04

I guess that's what I'm gonna have to try to. Last night I got drunk too drunk to try to give me some dutch courage to be a bit more assertive but it didn't work really.

Abitwobblynow Mon 10-Dec-12 05:23:01

So it's Ok to try to change his behaviour in bed but not out of it??

No, but it is very OK to speak clearly and communicate what you like and don't like.
It is NOT OK to keep quiet out of embarrassment or shame, or to expect him to mind-read, and it is not OK to go along with something that doesn't do it for you.

Here is the huge huge risk of all of the above: if you speak clearly, and he won't hear you or respond, then your real problem is out in the open.

And that is the risk women take - to hear and accept a very real rejection and lack of care about us and face that it is his limitations and not something we can change or control. And then, choose to live with it or choose to leave.

I just think we all need to take that risk, and NOT put up with not being heard, and teach our daughters the same. If all of us refused to enable immature behaviour, they would either have to change, or be single!

It took an affair for me to wake up to how little I am cared about, so I hope you hear that I am not talking 'at' you Zoo...

zookeeper Mon 10-Dec-12 13:45:19

Thanks Abit; I have spoken clearly now so I will have to see what happens next. I think if he can't meet my needs then we will have to separate, just as we would if I couln't meet his. At least he knows what they are.

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