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What should your partner be to you?

(28 Posts)
DontShootTheDog Wed 24-Aug-11 20:32:15

What I mean is, should (s)he be everything; your 'soulmate', your best friend, your lover, your partner in all, someone who 'gets' you, who you can talk to about anything etc. Or is it enough that you rub along ok, both love the kids, pay the bills together and are nice and kind to each other?

Sorry, spilling out the contents of my head after a mini-revelation tonight when i realised me and DH, after 15 years, have little in common, apart from being married to each other! I talk to my mum or friends about things which interest me, he often makes me feel stupid or dull on these topics, which interest me but not him. I am more intelligent than him (just being honest, I am) and we have little to say to each other except household/children/how was your day stuff. Is everyone's relationship like this after a while or am I missing something? I am not unhappy and not thinking about leaving, just wondered if my marriage is not that great and I didn't realise. Maybe best not to tell me actually...!

lazarusb Wed 24-Aug-11 20:42:06

We're 16 years and fit the 1st part of your post. We aren't one of us couples who are scared of the dcs leaving home. We talk to each other all the time. If you have nothing in common with your DH can you talk to him and find something you do have a mutual interest in - what brought you together in the first place? FWIW, I don't think a 'nice and kind' relationship involves him belittling/dismissing you or you thinking you are more intelligent than him - we all have different strengths, maybe he is more practical than you are?

Malificence Wed 24-Aug-11 20:55:05

At a very basic level, your partner should make you feel secure , loved and respected - respect for each other and for each others opinions, even if you don't always agree, is the most important factor imho.

Bennifer Wed 24-Aug-11 20:57:11

I personally think we expect too much from our husbands and partners. We (or at least some people) expect them to share our interests in stamp collecting and bog snorkelling, be the funniest person we know, super clever, fantastic in the sack, etc, etc, i.e. we expect everything in one person. I think it makes sense to have friends and relatives who fit all these other roles, that's why I'm sceptical of the use of the term soulmate

fluffycauliflower Wed 24-Aug-11 21:00:12

Don't shoot, I have pretty much the same as you. I say to myself 'don't expect your man to fulfill every one of your needs' (there was a song lyric like that, was it Whitney Houston?) and I do most of my talking with other women. He doesn't have the need or wish to talk about the stuff that I want to talk about. AT the weekends he wants to chill, I want to socialise.

belleshell Wed 24-Aug-11 21:04:22

Until 3 years ago i was like you but then things changed, and i lost respect for my husband.he stopped communicating all together.............without respect our marriage failed. up till that point the fact we where together was just enough

Fo0ffyShmoofer Wed 24-Aug-11 21:14:23

"What I mean is, should (s)he be everything; your 'soulmate', your best friend, your lover, your partner in all, someone who 'gets' you, who you can talk to about anything etc."

That. or it should be.

However, realistically it turns out to be more the second one and there's nothing wrong with that as long as you are both content with it. Me and DH fit the first bit and after 14 years I don't know if I could be happy with anything else.

saxony Wed 24-Aug-11 21:40:19

I have been with my husband for 17 years (married for 7) and we don't share hobbies...he loves music, guitars, bands and spends a lot of time on his motorbike. I don't enjoy any of those things and I do feel guilty that I don't show much enthusiasm but he has learned to just accept me for who I am.

We don't talk in depth every day but most evenings we are together in the same room and he told me the other day that he would be lost without me just being there. So even though we aren't doing anything exciting we are there for each other.

I can tell him most things but equally I talk alot to my friends and mam about the more trivial fluffy stuff that men don't normally get!!

I don't think that every husband will be every wife's soulmate (and vice versa) but it is the day to day happiness that counts. As long as you enjoy being around him and he you then I wouldn't analyse it too much. And I certainly wouldn't try and compare yourself to other people's relationships as that never works.

TheFeministsWife Wed 24-Aug-11 21:52:49

We're 17 years in and he is my soulmate and my everything. But the funny thing is we are very different people, when it comes to interests we have very little in common. But he "gets" me and I get him IYSWIM. We have in depth conversations and we enjoy being alone. We go through phases were we may not have a lot to talk about except for the usual mundane things but they are just phases.

The thing is if your happy in your marriage then it doesn't matter if you're not "soulmates". Don't compare your relationship to other peoples as different things work for different people.

Poshbaggirl Wed 24-Aug-11 22:02:08

Good post saxony.
I think if you hold out for mr bleedin perfect, you'll end up sad n lonely. I had kids by mr not perfect and we are now divorced, but i have 2 fabulous DDs. Life just isnt perfect. I know someone who wont compromise and now its all too late for her and theres still no certainty she'll ever find him.
Have some kids by someone who isnt an axe murderer and muddle along with the rest of your life.
I know lots of perfect couples, but they're not perfect.
Make the most of what you have, dont expect one person to fulfil every need you have.
Sorry this is such a crap answer.
Dont sabotage what you have, its worse being on your own and its a whole lot of yuk for you kids to cope with step parents.

Taffeta Wed 24-Aug-11 22:06:03

DH and I aren't soulmates. Either of us would cringe at the phrase, tbh. We share similar values ( if not politics ) but certainly not hobbies. We like similar people and all get along with each other's friends. We respect and like each other's company but are our own people within that.

I am very content with our marriage. I don't want a soulmate, ta.

I've been with my DH for 23 years..and we are utterly different. But content.
He has to be permanently on the go.. he cycles, DIYs, I read , he never reads... etc etc. I'm solitary by nature and sometimes feel guilty because he is sociable... but we get alone ok. We don't have many deep meaningful conversations to be honest but we share values, we parent together and we are a partnership. (and he is good in bedsmile)

Like Taffeta I don't need a soulmate.. the idea makes me feel a bit squeamish in a way as I'm a very private person, but we are each other's rock and that what matters.

I have a few girlfriends for the deep conversations, and that suits me well.
Relationships come in all forms and whatever works, workssmile

DontShootTheDog Thu 25-Aug-11 10:34:23

poshbaggirl Actually not a crap answer, you have answered the question i was trying to ask. I have been content for years and agree, no one is perfect and, consequently, no one's relationship is either. However, I have begun to wonder what effect a relationship yoa have been in a long time has on you as a person. I feel my confidence is low becasue I chose someone quite domineering (for various reasons, amd obviously not a conscious choice), and am often happy to sit back and let him take the reins as it were. However, this causes conflict at times when I am not happy to do this, and causes confusion for both of us. Maybe this is par for the course and all relationships have strengths and weaknessess. It is by no means a regular occurence, we generally rub along really well together.

Saying I am more intelligent, I guess I mean more academic and more interested in things like current affairs. I am also more liberal, so believe I think about things more than he does (we have had some interesting discussions abou the riots for example!).

Baby awake, back later.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Thu 25-Aug-11 10:51:46

What Malificence said: "your partner should make you feel secure , loved and respected - respect for each other and for each others opinions, even if you don't always agree, is the most important factor imho."

Pray tell us more about your feelings of low confidence and his domineering ways, Dog. Because that seems to go against the "secure" and "respect" part of a relationship's baseline needs.

Justfeckingdoit Thu 25-Aug-11 10:58:14

Agree with malificence

My partner and I are close, and I look to him for support and general help and shared love, but I get my sense of me from other things and people.

I did have a (7 year) relationship with my best friend and it was just that, and not enough.

Very hard to define, but I think being separate is healthy IFYSWIM

Bonsoir Thu 25-Aug-11 11:00:39

I love him and I talk to him about everything. But we are super-analytical sorts (we met at the annual alumni gathering of a major consulting firm...) and analysing and evaluating the world about us is our stock-in-trade...

DontShootTheDog Thu 25-Aug-11 11:32:23

I have put it very badly, domineering is not the word. He makes me feel secure and is kind, caring and very decent. He is however, much more quick to argue and become angry (not scary, just cross), whereas my family background means we are more likely to talk and discuss (or sulk, which is a different matter) so when shouty arguements happen I am miles out of my comfort zone (which he knows) so tend to back down. All is always resolved later when we talk calmly though. It does, however, make me reluctant to bring up issues; he is crap at being critisised (sp?) and gets very defensive when i just want to discuss something (an example might be how much time he spends on the pc (ironically!).

Bonsoir I am super-analytical too, he is the absolute opposite to the point that he is almost opposed to analysing things and finds it really irritating. It is sort of my profession too so I take it as a personal slight when he is like that! I do have friends/colleagues who I can discuss these things with though. I am feeling better for writing it out I think, he is not so bad really...!

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Thu 25-Aug-11 11:40:10

when shouty arguements happen I am miles out of my comfort zone (which he knows) so tend to back down

That's him intimidating you, knowingly, and you walking on eggshells.

It does, however, make me reluctant to bring up issues

walking on eggshells again

he is crap at being critisised

Red flag, red flag: men who like to control their partners are also allergic to criticism (they experience it as an attack). Afterwards is it also your fault for making him angry, or some other such excuse?

No wonder you feel a loss of confidence.

DontShootTheDog Thu 25-Aug-11 11:53:34

Interesting. We have been together since teens so grown up together really, and developed into the adults we are. You're right, I do walk on egg shells to an extent. When things are calm I can talk to him about issues I am unhappy with and he will often concede, just has to be calm.

Thanks for the discussion, I am neglecting my children so will have to come back later but appreciating your thoughts!

BooBooGlass Thu 25-Aug-11 11:56:48

I agree with support and respect, and whoever said that just him being there makes you feel safe. That's how my dp makes me feel. We have disagreed on things but neither of us are shouty. I couldn't be in a relationship like that. We don't need to spend every minute together, and get on with each others friends and families. My parents are very happy but neither really has any friends of their own. I can't imagine that tbh.

Gay40 Thu 25-Aug-11 12:08:08

I think your partner should be whatever suits you both. I kow a couple who spend most of their lives in different countries, yet 15 years together and very happy. I couldn't do it...but I don't have to.
Likewise I know couples who are each other's best friend, no other friends, no privacy, never do anything seperately. I couldn't do that either.
However annoying DP and I get towards each other, I could not imagine "fitting" as well with anyone else or being apart from her.

Poshbaggirl Thu 25-Aug-11 12:56:51

You mention a baby, could you just be feeling that depleted (sp?) feeling when kids just take everything from you?
Sometimes it takes a tragedy or massive shock to appreciate just what you do have.
Like if he had a affair, or an accident. The grass just isnt greener on the other side. If he was to ask something more of the relationship what would it be?
What could you challenge yourself to to push you out of your comfort zone and add some andenalin to your life?

DontShootTheDog Thu 25-Aug-11 14:59:46

Yes, it is possible the 8 week old baby could be affecting my perspective a teensy bit I suppose...

I too couldn't imagine being without him, i think I just sometimes wonder (dangerously) if I/my life would have been very different if we hadn't (nearly) always been together. I think I need to look closely at myself, rather than the relationship though. Perhaps I can improve my own confidence and anxiety issues rather than lay the blame for how I feel soley at DH's feet. He doesn't actually deserve that I realise.

Thanks for the chance to discuss this, its been useful and thought provoking. Life is quite tough at the moment for us both, for various reasons, so need to cut us both some slack.

didyouseewhatshedid Thu 25-Aug-11 15:14:40

A maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom.

Malificence Thu 25-Aug-11 15:42:07

Yes, DH is a fab cook, brilliant in bed and a dab hand with the hoover - oh, wait, , did you mean that only women shoud have to behave like servants with a built in masturbatory device, or were you being ironic?

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