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How do you know you and friends with and loved by your significant other?

(16 Posts)
NightOfTheCactus Tue 23-Apr-13 14:38:51

I know there have been threads similar to this one in the past, which I apologise for, but really wanted one of my own. I don't want to say a huge amount about my situation, because I don't want to prejudice what anyone puts (so if you recognise me, please don't out me).

What it amounts to is I think I've gone as far as I can with my marriage. I have put to DH that I have felt rejected for years as a friend, as someone he wants to spend time with and as a lover.

He takes issue with what I've said about feeling rejected as a friend and someone he wants to spend time with. He feels like my expectations are way too high and that I'm trying to create some kind of perfect ideal. He has actually asked me for concrete examples of people who have relationships with small children and them having quality time together and what exactly do I mean by friendship

So I thought maybe post up here under a new name so no one knows me/is informed by anything I've said about myself in the past and ask the following questions.

1. How do you know that your significant other loves you?

2. Are you friends? How do you know that you are?

3. How do you make time for one another?

I don't know if I'll show him this thread yet - but it'll be useful for me so I can see if I'm being realistic in my expectations.


CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 23-Apr-13 14:42:55

1. You don't know. You can never know. But you can judge it pretty well by their actions.
2. Of course. You don't have to 'know' that you're friends with someone, you either get along or you don't.
3. By being opportunistic and creative. If there's only time for a text, then make the most of it.

garlicyoni Tue 23-Apr-13 14:56:56

I have felt rejected for years as a friend, as someone he wants to spend time with and as a lover.

I think the latter is enough to end most marriages.

Friends get each other. They know what will make the other laugh (and do/say it), what will make them sad (and comfort them over it), and do tons of little stuff for no better reason than to please the other. They make time & space in their lives for one another. They are a team together, playing to each other's strengths and covering one another's weak spots.

It is soul-destroying to share your life with a person who doesn't prefer spending time with you.

PiHigh Tue 23-Apr-13 15:07:53

What Cog said.

Wrt 1, I think that I know as much as it's possible to know that Dh loves me because he has always been there for me and he's always just been happy for me to be me.

2. Yes. We chat and laugh together. When he's not here I miss the things I miss about my other friends (laughs, conversation, doing fun stuff together)

3. Evenings after the kids are in bed - sometimes we give the kids their tea early and we have ours later (we don't have any babysitters but it doesn't stop us having meals together as just the two of us. Similarly film on the tv rather than cinema). It's also the little things as well - holding hands while the kids are on their scooters at the park, smiles across the table when we're in a cafe.

Also a bit of appreciation goes a long way. Saying thank you to each other for the things we do.

Dahlen Tue 23-Apr-13 15:07:54

It's irrelevant.

He's entitled to say he doesn't feel the same as you, but he's not entitled to say your feelings and opinions on this are wrong. If you feel you are no longer friends and you no longer feel desired as a lover, then that's how you feel.

Asking you to compare yourselves to other couples with small children is deeply insulting and patronising. Can we say Hitler didn't kill as many people as Stalin so we shouldn't judge him too harshly? Everything may be relative, but that doesn't make it relevant.

There are plenty of couples out there with small DC who do make time for each other. And how does he think single parents manage to date? It's all about priorities.

If you have a healthy relationship you look forward to being with that person, they're the first person you want to tell your news to, they make you smile when you think of them (most of the time wink), if they're someone you share your hopes, dreams and insecurities with without fear of feeling foolish. If you don't have that, you probably don't like each that much at all.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 23-Apr-13 15:43:44

"He has actually asked me for concrete examples of people who have relationships with small children and them having quality time together and what exactly do I mean by friendship"

I'm actually staggered by that last phrase. A man that claims to not know what someone means by friendship is a liar You could ask a toddler what they mean by friendship and get a fairly accurate working definition.

KatieScarlett2833 Tue 23-Apr-13 16:02:46

I know we love each other because I feel it and we say it a lot.
We have each others back always, so I know we are friends.
We spend our time together talking a lot. We go out for walks, we socialise together, we share our future plans and dreams.

garlicyoni Tue 23-Apr-13 16:52:38

I tried to answer because my H did this. I'd twisted myself out of shape for our relationship, to the extent where I was willing to accept my feelings might be 'wrong' because he said so. My emotions became a point for argument; I was supposed to evidence my reasons for feeling the way I did. When he invalidated my evidence, it meant I was 'wrong' to feel what I felt ... and would try to stop feeling it.

This is a very mean thing to do to a person. OP, Dahlen is correct and emotions can't be 'wrong'! They're just feelings. Someone who gave a shit would respect care about your feelings.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 23-Apr-13 17:02:57

1. How do you know that your significant other loves you? the way they treat you makes you FEEL loved, valued, cared about...^important^

2. Are you friends? How do you know that you are? You laugh. a LOT. You share jokes and interests and have fun together. You can be honest with each other and you always support one another. you're a team.

3. How do you make time for one another? it's not hard. You WANT to have time together. People are more likely to find time for those things that are most important to them. If you can find an hour in the day to veg out in front of the telly, you're choosing that over an hour chatting with them. If you can natter on mumsnet, you can natter with them. If you can surf the internet, you can choose to sit together with a glass of wine. It's about choices.

NightOfTheCactus Tue 23-Apr-13 18:00:21

Thanks. This is helping.

twentythirteen Tue 23-Apr-13 18:09:53

1. How do you know that your significant other loves you?
My OH doesn't say it often but I don't really notice this, it just strikes me now and then, but I KNOW he does. He thinks of me, remembers what's important to me, when he makes plans he really considers me and I can see and feel all of that. When I mc he is there 100% like no one else could possibly be.

2. Are you friends? How do you know that you are?
We have a few shared interests and a few that aren't shared. We spend some time together most weeks on something shared, and we both lead on making sure that happens.

3. How do you make time for one another?
We don't have to, it comes about because we want to know how each other's getting on. It isn't perfect. He asked me about my day yesterday and then walked into the garden mid story. It riled me and I popped my head out and said "not that interested then?" He was deeply embarrassed and I acknowledged that it was not a rivetting story. The give and take feels evenly spread.

The long and short of it OP is that you need to think about what you need from your OH, what he needs from you, and then how/whether you can provide this for each other. Perhaps this is about communication and not about the impossibility of meeting each other's needs. Is he feeling defensive for a reason? My OH once thought I was nagging too much and became defensive. It was helpful to know. I then clearly told him what I needed him to do and he did it and I stopped nagging.

Mumsyblouse Tue 23-Apr-13 18:17:19

My husband doesn't think of our relationship in terms that I would use (having read a lot of Western psychology) such as 'friendship' and 'communication'. That's not to say we don't have either, but that's not how he thinks of a marriage, it's very different to him than his friendships (primarily because it has sex in it but not only).

But- that's not the issue here I don't think. You feel lonely and isolated in your marriage and the question is can this be put right.

I do find it hard to get couple time, at the moment, with no babysitters or money, our couple time is watching films on TV or chatting, really very ordinary.

I know he loves me but I can't prove it!

I have a very different less intense relationship with my friends, but the similarities are what everyone else has said, someone to chat with (but not all the time, he's not always chatty) and someone to laugh with.

But my friends don't irritate me as much as my husband either.

akaWisey Tue 23-Apr-13 19:04:52

Well here's the thing with me.

I know my friends love me because they are everything my ex wasn't -

they're genuinely interested in me and my life

they've never let me down

we spend time together planning and doing stuff which we all like

we support each other and we round each other up to make sure there's always someone around to help out the one who needs it

we tell each other how much we mean to each other - a lot - and it's true

we don't lie

I can't speak for DP's because I have such high standards now that I'm prepared to stay single rather than make do for a second rate relationship.

Bitter? No. BETTER. grin

SugarPasteGreyhound Tue 23-Apr-13 20:52:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ouchmyhead Wed 24-Apr-13 02:03:43

1- How do I know he loves me? He tells me a million times a day, we are also touching/kissing/hugging, he makes me feel loved, nothing is too much trouble for him.

2- Are we friends and how do I know? He's my best friend, we always have something to talk about, we make each other laugh, he's the first person I go to when I have good/bad news, I trust him.

3- How do we make time for each other? It's little things, going out for tea, turning off our phones and just chatting, watching a film or tv series together (Broadchurch being the most recent one, phones off, watch the programme and then a good hour chat afterwards about what amazing detectives we are/what was going to happen.)planning holidays or weekend breaks. There's loads of things, maybe not big flashy things, but it makes us happy!

Rulesgirl Wed 24-Apr-13 02:18:15

It doesn't really matter what other peoples relationships are like.
If he loved you and wanted to be with you then you would just know. You would just feel it and he would make you feel like the most gorgeous woman in the world. He would do things for you, spend time with you and find little ways to make your life easier. He would also just tell you.
Having said that people do go through rough patches when the kids are young and you tend to lose each other and forget how to be a couple.

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