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Is a compliment too much to ask?

(6 Posts)
SantaBanta Sat 13-Dec-14 22:01:42

I'm feeling pretty low this eve. Been with DH for over 20 years, and generally things are good, 3 kids, both of us working etc. But. He can't ever say anything nice to me, and I just feel so unvalued. I said I was no good at some childhood craft (jokingly) this evening, and he said I made him sad cos I never see anything good in myself. Actually, I do, but it would be so nice to be complimented now and again by him. I make sure to praise him lots - his parents don't ever, and I get that it doesn't come naturally to him, but if I say to him that I would like him to say what he values about me now and again, that I look nice, that I am a good mum, etc he just becomes very defensive, says it's not down to him, I should be self-directed and know how amazing I am etc, and still won't say anything nice, to the point where I am crying. He is now ignoring me. Surely it's not unreasonable to hope to be told nice things now and again, by the one who is supposed to love me the most? Even if it's just every couple of months?

I don't know what I want from posting here (never done it before) but I don't have anyone else to share this stuff with, and I'm hoping for a mumsnet special hand to hold.

tigermoll Sat 13-Dec-14 22:10:43

Everyone needs to hear how marvelous they are from time to time - even the most 'self-directed' person in the world. The only people who swan around thinking they're the shizzle and don't care what ANYONE thinks of them are psychopaths and weirdos grin

I bet you were great at said childhood craft and you sound like a warm and loving partner. Also you look lovely in that new top and I love what you've done with your hair flowers

MrsJackAubrey Sat 13-Dec-14 23:41:56

Does he criticise you instead, or just 'neutral'? it sounds pretty tough, i know
I would find it hard not to live with DH with no praise, affirmation, appreciation of my (few) strengths.

it sounds like he's acting to you, how his parents did to him - and if he felt loved by them (?) despite their not saying compliments, then he may not understand that you need compliments or praise.

there's something i think called a stroke economy - some people feel there is only so much praise going around, and if they praise you, they may not get praise back themselves, it's kind of used up.

Or if he's not had a lot of praise then he may either be rejecting it as being of value ('I didn't want it [the thing no one's given me] anyway').

Do you think well of yourself? really truly well of yourself? perhaps the only way if you want to stop feeling this kind of need, is to do affirmations for yourself, and try and be the person who gives you meaningful praise.

good luck - you sound very nice!

Walkacrossthesand Sun 14-Dec-14 08:50:57

How does he react when you praise/compliment him - lap it up, shrug it off, refuse to accept it?
I would find it hard to keep 'stroking' someone who steadfastly refused to do the same for me, even when I wa begging them for it - it would take a while, as I'm a natural 'stroker', but I think something in me would shrivel up and die. It would be a relationship deal-breaker TBH - I guess that means praise/recognition ('I 'see' you', in Avatar speak...) is one of my 'languages of love' and I wouldn't feel loved without it.

annielostit Sun 14-Dec-14 11:14:19

I see exactly where your coming from.
It would just be nice to see/feel/know your appreciated without question.
some men are emotionally detached, they just don't get that we need something extra. Its a yes love and thank you, just because.
My emotional detachment is on his way to the airport with clean stuff etc for the week - no thanks love - its seen as automatic.
Have a nice day, ☺.x

SantaBanta Sun 14-Dec-14 18:14:21

Thanks all - I oscillate between trying to do without validation, cos it's beyond what DH is capable of, and wishing for it every now and again, I succumb to gloom about it

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