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Is your DP there for you when you're upset/down? Mine isn't.

(20 Posts)
ToPeeOrNotToPee Sun 11-Sep-11 11:26:44

I feel like when I really need my DP he isn't there, he is physically but that's it.

I had quite a bad arguement with my mother yesterday and was quite upset - crying etc. He obviously doesn't know what empathy is as he just sits there, doesnt offer any affection. It would be really nice if he just touched my arm or held my hand or even hugged me, but he doesn't. In fact he usually walks off to do something and leaves me alone. This has happened before.

When he's upset I'm supportive and kind, would be nice to get the same back.

Am I being a bit of a sap?

buzzskillington Sun 11-Sep-11 11:42:48

Have you explained how what he does/doesn't do hurts you? If so, what does he say? And does he make any effort to change? If he doesn't, it's like he's delieberately withholding, and that's pretty sick.

And no, you're not a sap. And yes, my dh is there for me: he distracts the children, holds me, etc. What you're asking is not actually a lot, it's pretty much baseline.

buzzskillington Sun 11-Sep-11 11:43:39

deliberately: I do know how to spell really smile

NorthernerAtHeart Sun 11-Sep-11 11:55:36

Mine isn't either. He can sit in the same room as me for hours with me upset - either quietly so or in floods of tears.
In the past the kids have had to tell him that Mummy needs a cuddle. He would then give me the most rigid, most uncuddly cuddle possible.
Whatever the problem was in the first place, it makes me feel so much worse.
I agree with buzz - it should be baseline stuff.

ToPeeOrNotToPee Sun 11-Sep-11 12:07:43

He called after and said sorry for leaving and I said you're never there for me and so cold sometimes - especially when I need you most. He just goes quiet usually. I hate how he is when I'm upset, I don't have many friends to talk to and they live far away so I really need some support with my difficult family.

It just makes me have serious doubts about 'us'

allhailtheaubergine Sun 11-Sep-11 12:15:45

I know you've asked the question in the title, but I don't think a thread full of people saying "ooh yes, mine is" would be particularly helpful to you.

The fact that he phoned to apologise suggests to be that he does care but is so emotionally constipated that he doesn't know how to express the comfort and sympathy that you need. He needs to learn, and he needs someone to teach him. How would he feel about a couple of relate sessions where you get to explain how his behaviour makes you feel and the counsellor might be able to show him some tools for appropriate behaviour when your partner is upset? It might feel stilted at first but if he loves you enough to go through the motions at the start it will become natural.

If your husband is not prepared to work on this then you will have to decide to stop relying on him. If you have other people in your life who can be relied upon to chat things over and give you a hug, his silence won't be so hard to bear.

BertieBotts Sun 11-Sep-11 12:23:43

DP is completely rubbish at noticing when I am upset. I have to actually be crying for him to realise, though then he is great. He doesn't cope very well if I am feeling down and putting myself down though, he gets frustrated about that. In the first few months or so as well he tended to back off whenever I was upset, because this is what he would want if he was upset, so he assumed I would too (instead of just asking me confused) which usually made me more upset until we talked about it and agreed what we expected of the other!

But - if he is never empathetic even when you are obviously upset and you've told him you need support rather than time alone then that sounds really lonely sad have you been together long? Has he always been like this, and does he show lack of empathy in any other areas as well, e.g. lack of interest in your life, perhaps talking over you, not asking your opinions on things which could be joint decisions, anything related to sex?

eslteacher Sun 11-Sep-11 14:05:49

Another one here with a DP who is not a natural at being comforting when I am upset. I remember when my mum called me to say my gran had had a stroke and gone into hospital, I hung up the phone and immediately started telling my DP what had happened inbetween sniffles and crying. It was like he froze, he just sat in the opposite chair from me while I was crying and didn't say or do anything at all, even after I stopped talking and was literally just crying.

The thing is, he is generally very affectionate with me, lots of hugs and kisses and sweetness etc, and considerate of my feelings in day to day stuff. And sometimes if I'm upset he can be good at comforting me - but only if he has some direct involvement in the situation so can offer perspective or advice or something. If I'm upset about something totally removed from him, like something that happened at work or my gran having a stroke or whatever, its like he has zero ability to actually know what to say or how to comfort me - he literally freezes. We've talked about it, and I've sort of accepted thats how he is. I now just tell him what I need, like "more sympathy please!" in a kind of flippant way if I tell him about a bad day at work and he says nothing, or "can you just hold me" if I'm upset about something serious. It works out better like that, even if it's not ideal.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Sun 11-Sep-11 17:05:55

It just makes me have serious doubts about 'us'

What else is there other than lack of empathy that might be feeding these doubts, OP?

MangoMonster Sun 11-Sep-11 17:09:02

Have you asked him why he doesn't show you any support?

Bumpsadaisie Sun 11-Sep-11 17:50:01

Not being a sap at all!

My DH bless him is not without his faults, but if I say I'm really worried about x or upset about y he is great.

And as I am a late pregnancy hormomal mess at the moment he is having to do it a LOT lately. Nor is he getting any sex or much cuddly intimacy either cos I am so tired and large and uncomfy I don't really enjoy it, which I know he finds hard. He's just a nice guy really (with irritating parts!)

Bumpsadaisie Sun 11-Sep-11 17:52:22

Sorry if my post comes across as smug. I just meant that there are plenty of men out there who are perfectly capable of being empathetic and supportive - its not as if your DH is prevented from being so just by virtue of his sex.

iskra Sun 11-Sep-11 17:55:14

Mine is like this too. Reading quickly while cooking supper but for him (apparently) emotional reactions remind him of his childhood with his nutso mum - this all came out in counselling - & he just needs to get away. He reacts really badly if I cry, which then makes me cry more & he gest more pissed off. We haven't worked out a coping mechanism for this yet.

cecilyparsley Sun 11-Sep-11 18:00:02

I think some people (most often, but not always, blokes) struggle to know what to do when the other person cries.

And there is the whole cultural thing where women are more likely to feel it's their role to be nurturing and supportive.

I've generally found female friends to be more therapeutic if I am really upset, I wouldnt expect a partner to always be able to empathise.
Not saying thats an ideal situation though!

brandnewname Sun 11-Sep-11 18:02:28

mine isn't - he would try to "fix" whatever was wrong - ie would say "you need to do this or that" and would then probably get cross that I was still upset.

KAZAMM Sun 11-Sep-11 18:49:59

brandnewname, my DP is a 'fixer' as well and it infuriates me because when I'm in the moment of just being upset I don't want solutions, I want comfort.

CactusRash Sun 11-Sep-11 21:24:47

Well my H isn't but then he is emotionally unavailable so prob not a good example of what you should expect from a relationship.

I don't think you are a sap in anyway. I actually think it is normal for your partner to support you emotionally. I can see how the fact that he just sits there or walks away is hurtful and makes you have doubts about your relationship. I can understand not having the appropriate/best reaction but walking away from a partner who is crying IS hurtful and should NOT happen tbh.

Having said that, he might not know how to react in these situations. So the question is probably more :
- Has he always been like this
- Is he always like this or are there times where he can be supportive (like when he can 'solve' the problem)
- Is he also emotionally unavailable at other times then when you are upset?

Whatelse is happening ToPeeOrNotToPee?

ToPeeOrNotToPee Mon 12-Sep-11 07:48:23

Thank you for replies. I asked him last night if he finds it difficult to show affection when I'm upset and he said yes, but did not know why.

I've asked him if he can try to be more comforting and he has agreed to try which is good.

brandnewname mine sounds like a fixer too! Always going over and over about the issue, what I should do etc but I don't just need that

ToPeeOrNotToPee Mon 12-Sep-11 07:52:16

riverboat mine is also very affectionate generally, which is why it's so much more infuriating when he isn't when I need him to be.

itsmeandthepuppy I don't know, I just can't believe I'm with someone who can just walk away when I'm so down and upset? Makes me have doubts if I can accept that

CactusRash Mon 12-Sep-11 09:53:47

That's all good Op.

Personnaly I would tell him that, whether he is finding difficult or not to show affection when you are upset, leaving the room is a No No because it is a very hurtful thing to do.

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