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what am I doing wrong?

(35 Posts)
chickenboy Wed 20-Feb-13 11:24:09

my wife and i have been married 13 or so years. i love her deeply and know she does me.
We seem to be stuck i a rut though! The problem is is that I seem to give her all the attention and get very little the point where it's making me feel pretty insecure and a little down in the dumps....even to the point where im getting a bit grumpy!!

I'm the one who makes most of the effort in the relationship. I'm the one who initiates the cuddles, buys her flowers every week, tries to woo her, initates intamacy (and gets nocked back regularly).

I've mentioned these issue's to her a few times in the past and she just says Im needy, and need to man up grow a pair!!

What should I do? Should I back right off?

chickenboy Thu 21-Feb-13 11:03:37

I came home with the intent to be nice but not as "in her face" with cuddles etc... to be honest, I was probably slightly cold and standoffish. She asked me what was wrong so I told her how I felt, in the nicest possible way.....Not sure how she took it though? She didnt really say a great deal, other than I keep mentioning this problem and it never seems to go away..I pointed out I't wouldnt be an issue if she showed more affection.. She didnt seem overly cuddly this morning!!
One thing she did say though, was that one reason why she doesnt come to me for cuddles etc or initiate sex, is because I am sometimes overpowering seeking her attention, which never gives her a chance to get in first (so to speak). Its a bit of a vicious circle really because if she doesnt show me the attention, I crave it from her and make all the effort...

Maybe I should chill out, sit back, go with the flow and see what happens...

claudedebussy Thu 21-Feb-13 11:43:00

chickenboy, i don't think you need to be stand-offish. talk nicely etc. but just don't touch. and you need to do that for possibly weeks, not just one evening.

she's telling you you're being too overbearing. so look at your actions and try to see it from her perspective.

when someone tells you what they're like, the wisest thing is to LISTEN.

claudedebussy Thu 21-Feb-13 11:44:32

yes, chill. go with the flow. but she needs LOTS of space, not just a couple of hours. what might seem an eternity to you. bottom line is give her space until she feels she's had enough and she'll start coming to you. but if you never give her enough space to do that you're never going to solve this problem.

Dottiespots Thu 21-Feb-13 23:41:15

Thats exactly what i said to do yesterday. grin

analogue Fri 22-Feb-13 00:21:34

For a moment I thought you were my OH, OP. But since my OH has NEVER bought me flowers, then I guess you're not.

My OH is suffocatingly affectionate and the more he demands hugs and kisses (ALL OF THE TIME), the more I get tired of it. It actually drives me nuts and whilst I am affectionate in the normal sense, I find myself never initiating hugs and kisses because I never get the chance, I have them forced out of me day and night and if I don't want to, I am the one with the problem.

I feel stressed out going to bed even, because he always wants to cuddle up and hug and I sometimes just want to be left the fuck alone. But if I complain, I am the one with the problem!!

I have always been the way I am and I have no desire to be more like him, to be honest. I have told him in moments of frustration that if he isn't getting what he needs, then I am not the wife for him. How depressing is that? But no - I am expected to change.

I totally get where your wife is coming from but I don;t know what to say to you because you obviously believe, as does my OH, that you're totally normal and entitled to have your OTT showers of affection welcomed and reciprocated on demand. You think your wife has the problem but maybe she doesn't?

analogue Fri 22-Feb-13 00:23:30

PS If my OH was more normal, my own natural affection would be able to shine through.

chickenboy Fri 22-Feb-13 09:42:20

analogue, likewise, my wife could have wrote that!

A few years ago, we had some freinds who were really affectionate. My wife used to ask why were werent more "lovey dovey" like them.(even though we were very close, I then wasnt probably as affectionate). I made a concious effort to change for the better(or not), and show her more attention. For a while this was great, but now it seems to have backfired on me.
I wouldnt say I suffocete her with affection, I'm just the one who tends to give it, because I do love her a great deal.

I came to realise this morning though, since backing off and giving her space, that the affection really has been onesided. Since speaking to her and telling her how I feel, I've not had one cuddle!! But, she has asked me twice, what's wrong with me, because I've not been showing her as much attention!!! Do i really need to spell it out again??

It's quite sad really to think I've been the one dishing out the love for so long.....more fool me I suppose.....

analogue Fri 22-Feb-13 12:23:55

Okay, sounds a different scenario to mine and I understand why you are hurt but some people just aren't cuddlers and don't feel the need to show love through incessant cuddling, especially many years into a stable relationship. As I said above, I would probably hug my OH more spontaneously if the whole thing didn't feel so bloody oppressive and demanding. When I do hug him spontaneously he actually comments on it, which is even more annoying.

If my OH suddenly started giving me the cold shoulder I would wonder what was up too. It wouldn't make me want to start cuddling him out of nowhere though!

Does your wife show you affection and love in other ways? or is there just no spark anymore? Is she cold and distant or does she enjoy your company normally?

There is actually another thread on here about whether or not a marriage was sustainable if there was a meeting of minds and I think this is kind of relevant. I resent being forced to be unnaturally (to me) affectionate and it hurts my marriage, whereas we are fine in other ways.

analogue Fri 22-Feb-13 12:27:02

No, this is sad
"to think I've been the one dishing out the love for so long"

Love isn't kisses and cuddles every five minutes. Love is completely different and you've got the wrong end of the stick completely if you think your wife doesn't love you because she doesn't comply with your idea of what love is.

LadyPeterWimsey Fri 22-Feb-13 12:38:49

It may be that you need to think a bit more about different ways to express love and affection. Have you heard of the five love languages? There's an article here:

But basically it is a way of thinking about showing affection. I feel most loved when I hear words of affirmation but DH feels most love when shown acts of service. So it is more important to him that I make him a cup of tea than that I do the thing most natural to me which is to say something nice to him. And every time he goes to the shop to get something I really like even when it's horrible outside, I need to realise he is showing he loves me, even though I would naturally feel more loved if he told me how fabulous I am.

Oops! Just seen someone has already mentioned these earlier. Seriously, it is worth a go reading the link to try to find out what 'language' you both speak.

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