To think maybe I have no option other than to end it?(15 Posts)
I have been with my DP for nearly 2 years and we have a 10 month old DD together. He is a wonderful dad and partner, considerate, kind, unselfish and honest. He absolutely dotes on our DD and on his DC from a previous relationship and we very much agree on our approach to parenting. Our outlook on life is similar and although our senses of humour aren't an exact match we do laugh together fairly frequently. Our sex life is good and our communication is the best of any relationship I have ever had. I find I am able to bring up anything with him, even quite tricky issues and we are able to discuss them rationally, and normally come to some kind of resolution which I have never been able to do in past relationships (exes would often either shut down or avoid the subject, or become confrontational) in short, he's pretty much perfect – so why on earth do I find I am ambivalent towards him to the point of sometimes having no attraction at all. This does come and go but recently it is absent more often then it is there. He is quite submissive and quite clingy in the sense that he is always showering me and compliments and telling me how much he adores me (but he's not possessive or jealous) I know this sounds like a ridiculous thing to complain about but I find it turns me off and I am so annoyed with myself. I find I get so annoyed and frustrated with myself for not feeling the way I should feel about him that I end up taking it out on him by being irritable and unfortunately this makes him even more placatory and apologetic which makes me even less attracted to him. I know this probably makes me sound like an awful person. I so wish I felt more attraction for him. Is there anything that can be done to increase one's attraction for somebody? Because this to me would be the ideal solution. If I could just feel more attraction towards him (I'm not so much talking about physical attraction but I suppose that sense of longing for him) everything would be great - otherwise I don't know how I'm going to continue with the relationship. The thought of ending it makes me feel so sad but at the same time I spend a lot of time feeling stressed and sad about the way things are and I hate that I make him sad too. I'm not under any illusion that there are hordes of alternative men with all the same positive personality traits as him just queueing up to date me and I am aware that if I do end the relationship there is a possibility that I will just end up single so it's not as though I feel like I can 'do better' necessarily. As I said, we do communicate really well and I have brought this up with him on more than one occasion, and he understands but, I think he's at a loss as to how to improve things, as am I. Can anyone offer any advice? Im so conflicted and worried about making the wrong decision.
Sorry for the huge paragraph, I hadn't realised it was so long
Just wondering if the problem may lie in the fact that you have given birth fairly recently. Having a baby can really affect the way you feel about emotions and sex - did you have any of the same ambivalent feelings towards him before the baby?
Naice I actually have felt this way from almost the start of our relationship but because he is so great and also because i got pregnant so soon into our relationship I have wrestled with my feelings rather than giving up. So I don't think it was to do with the birth of dd and luckily I didn't suffer with PND or anything
Oh dear. Not sure what you can do, then. I wonder if it might be worth looking into relationship counselling to try and help with his submissive behaviour?
I can see that it's irritating for you, but also that it's probably quite hard for him to change ingrained behaviour.
A third party might make him take a step back on the over-clingyness stuff ( I would be the same as you).
I think you need to explore more avenues before you break up a family if the majority of your life is good.
I'm not entirely sure that you would ever get that 'longing' back but I don't know that every happy marriage has it. A steady feeling of love and affection is much more sustainable imo.
I think counselling is a good idea. I think the submissive, clingy thing is a pattern for him (he has been like this in all his previous relationships) and sadly it probably does come down to low self esteem which makes me feel terrible because I'm effectively punishing him for not liking himself enough.
I'd have to let that one go. Clingy & needy are horrible personality traits
If communication between you is good, I think you have to try to talk about it. Relationship counselling would be ideal for this, because it is sometimes easier to talk with another person there who won't allow it to degenerate into a slanging match. A counsellor can maybe ask questions that you haven't even considered relevant, such as, could getting pregnant so quickly mean you didn't both spend time getting to know each other well? Would a longer 'dating' period have been beneficial? Would more time as a couple as adults rather than mummy and daddy work? It's entirely possible that you may have a low level of PND, and feel a bit as though you are losing your identity as an individual.
But it's important to understand that counselling can work two ways; either your DP will take on board what you say and try to change, or he won't, and so the relationship could be repaired potentially. Or, you could come to the conclusion that if he can't or won't change, you want to end the relationship. You might find that counselling helps DP get to the root of his behaviour, and the cause may be a real surprise.
It has to be worth a shot, as there are lots of positives in your relationship, it hasn't irretrievably broken down.
There's not a relationship without its problems and for the sake of a low self esteem when the rest is brilliant, I think that's something you can definitely work on! It's like having a diamond but being upset it's not sparkly enough lol
Counselling is a good idea, he needs to address those issues, but you also need to be upfront about exactly what turns you off.
"Dh. You do not need to say that, it makes me feel uncomfortable and I do not like it, please stop."
"I think you need to work on your self esteem, you're a wonderful dad and you need to believe in yourself. I don't find the clingyness attractive."
"You come across clingy when you do x y and z, I don't like it"
He might not even realise theres something wrong!
People generally give out what they want back, and 50% of any relationship problem is you (or your attitude towards it)
Is he clingy and over zealous with compliments because you're not? Do you tell him what you told us? What a good dad and partner he is??
Please don't take this as it's all your fault because it isn't but you can improve this together
Could you try new things together? Classes? projects? Maybe that would strengthen your bond, increase his confidence and create memories and you might see a different side to each other?
I suffer with debilitating confidence issues and anxiety, but when we paint or horse ride he sees somebody who is in charge, confident and happy to make bold decisions and control a 1000 pound horse! And in turn it increases my confidence.
Good luck don't throw away a diamond digging for stones
Google 5 love languages. I bst £10 his primary love language is words of affirmation and yours isnt.
I agree. Talk to him. If this is his only fault then help him build his self esteem and you could both be very happy.
FWIW I'm the same in that I find clingyness and doting-ness huge turnoffs. I much prefer teasing and jokey meanness. Kinda like flirting
Thank you so much for all your responses (and thank you for not flaming me) there are some very good suggestions! I will definitely give those a try, I'm not ready to give up on the relationship. I think I could do some reading on the subject of this kind of relationship dynamic too.
I could have written your post (minus the 10 month old baby).
My partner sounds exactly the same as yours. He has low self esteem too.
He even goes as far as to order the same drink as me when we are out, even if he has ordered something before me, he will change his to be the same as me.
It sounds so so petty but drives me potty.
He is on the waiting list for counselling so I'm hoping things improve when he gets that. I adore him and love him so much, I would only like him to have a bit more assertiveness and confidence in himself
I've had a chat with DP who coincidentally was watching a video about the psychology of attraction in an effort to understand more about how we can improve things! Bless him. We've decided to ask my DM to babysit one evening a week so that we can attend an evening class together – I felt that maybe it would be a good idea to spend some time in a group so that we are both interacting with other people instead of just each other all the time (he doesn't really have a group of friends, which I think does contribute to a slight sense of feeling stifled by his adoration because Im kind of all he has apart from his family) so hopefully that will help. And we're also going to look into relationship counselling. So we'll see how that goes! Thanks again for your responses
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