Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Compliments, or lack thereof....

(29 Posts)
Mumtonone Sun 02-Oct-16 21:45:50

Having an off day, and just bit off DH head. He's not one for compliments, but this weekend there was clear opportunity to give some.

Went to the hairdresser, he was very aware I was going. I actually think my hair looks quite nice. But nothing, not even a reference. Even my (2 year old) son manage to point at my hair and said 'mummy's had her hair cut' with husband right there. Nada.

Then today, I took him to a shop to show him a couple of coats I liked and was thinking of buying one. The wrinkled his nose at the first, the second he told me 'was better that the first'. Needless to say I left the shop empty handed.

Getting son ready for bed this evening, he made a remark that our sons bum was the cutest; I joked that at one time he'd have said that about mine. He replied saying 'I don't I've ever told you you had a cute bum' - Needless to say, told him were to go.

I know he's not good at compliments. Usually I laugh if off, or ignore it (tell myself I'm an independent woman that doesn't need my ego massaged). But sometimes it would just be nice to get some positive feedback, in any aspect.

He knows I'm in a bad mood with him and has stormed off upstairs, telling me I'm being a martyr.

Am I being stupid?

HandyWoman Sun 02-Oct-16 21:57:40

by the time it got to the cute bum reference (well actually by the time you got to the coat incident - shopping is a bore! And that includes winter coats) I think you were being a bit precious.

Why has it touched a nerve this weekend? Sounds like you are feeling a bit insecure/needy. How are things generally? Do you feel you are being taken for granted?

As usual, context is everything.

TheNaze73 Sun 02-Oct-16 22:00:31

Handy is spot on.

What's the bigger picture here?

Haggisfish Sun 02-Oct-16 22:01:30


Mumtonone Sun 02-Oct-16 22:11:29

I think it's touching a nerve, because compliments just don't happen - not just this weekend, ever really. Not even with fishing.

Pointing out short comings happen alot. A bit of balance wouldn't go a miss.'

Would just be nice to have someone say 'you're doing a good job' or 'you did that well' or even 'you look nice'.

If you can't get a compliment from your DH (even about your bum, 15 years ago!), then who can you get a compliment from...?

I don't have any other family (Dad dies a few years back, Mum earlier this year ), limited social circle - so mu DH is pretty much it. I just need him to say something positive.

t4nut Sun 02-Oct-16 22:13:49

So he's playing a good old game of guess what you want him to say and why. I gather men love that one.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Sun 02-Oct-16 22:15:35

My hair was a different colour on Thursday afternoon from the one it was on Thursday morning. My DH hasn't yet noticed. Neither have my son and DiL. Meh!

Mumtonone Sun 02-Oct-16 22:23:39

Foxyloxyplus1 - thanks for that, I don't get a sense of whether it's normal for guys just to not pick up on these things.

DH never says anything when my hair has been done, even when he picks me up from the hairdresser! I've always thought it polite to say something...?

Yesterday I came back with curly hair insteady of my usual straight. So it would be hard not to notice.

LesisMiserable Sun 02-Oct-16 23:26:19

Do you compliment him?

littlewoollypervert Sun 02-Oct-16 23:40:46

I don't think yabu. I'm with DP 4 months and he has given me three personal compliments in that time (one by text). BUT he listens to me, remembers everything I tell him about friends/family/work. Is always very obviously happy all the time we are together. I noticed the lack of compliments at first but now actually prefer the way he is, he makes me feel good just not by commenting on appearance.

It sounds like your DH isn't making you feel good in other ways - you say he's critical? He should enhance how you feel not make you feel crap.

HandyWoman Sun 02-Oct-16 23:51:13

You can't really compare a brand new 4 month relationship with a 15-year relationship that now includes the daily grind of a 2year old, though, woolly can you..

I think fishing for compliments is generally a terrible idea. And was clearly counterproductive this weekend. You need to find a way to genuinely reconnect, IMO. A grown up way.

It's hard though. Life with a 2yo is hard. Easy to get out of sync with each other or disconnected. He should not be criticising you OP but you shouldn't be biting his head off for not being a mind reader, either.

Soyouare2faced Sun 02-Oct-16 23:54:43

I don't get compliments and if I ever say anything to DP he just says he thinks I always look nice and will tell me when I don't. They don't get it , wouldn't worry.

civilfawlty Mon 03-Oct-16 02:03:44

I don't know whether Yabu or not, but I feel exactly the same. I feel like part of the 'job' of being a partner is to make the other feel good. Which happens in lots of ways, but includes compliments.
I give compliments - not just about appearance of course - but don't receive any. It has affected my confidence.

Zaphodsotherhead Mon 03-Oct-16 06:24:51

Another one here. I make comments that show I've noticed his appearance ('that shirt looks nice', 'I always like those jeans', 'ooh, you've had a shave, I can see your face!'), but never get anything back. Went on holiday earlier, wore a dress for meal out on the last day, only thing I ever get is joky 'ooh, are you wearing the curtains?' remarks.
Pisses me off. It's like he doesn't think it's worth remarking on me looking nice - I'm supposed to look nice all the time.

TheSparrowhawk Mon 03-Oct-16 06:42:11

I think the problem is that he criticises you - what does he say?

leaveittothediva Mon 03-Oct-16 08:12:23

No I tend to get more compliments from other women. He will notice my hair or make up, and say I look nice occasionally. I notice when I bought a bodycon dress to go out with my friends, he gave me loads of compliments about it. About how good I looked in it, how he loved my bum in it, , and how it turned him on. I took them as compliments anyway. No, I wouldn't get this every day.

redisthenewblack Mon 03-Oct-16 09:38:17

I don't think you're being silly or unreasonable.
As others have said, having a 2yo does put strains on a relationship. I know it was around this time I felt like I'd lost my identity as 'red' and became 'mini-reds mummy'. So wanting your DH to comment on something that is personal to you and recogbise you for the person you still are is not too much to ask IMO.

Awoof Mon 03-Oct-16 10:36:26

It's the put downs that are more of a worry OP.
A person who puts you down hasn't really got it in them to say something nice to you have they?
I know how you feel though. I had constant small criticism from my now exh. Cooking would always be 'better' if I had done it a bit differently, I didn't wash up in the right way, I looked different to him style wise.
Death by a thousand cuts isn't it?
I've just started seeing someone new and he can't tell me enough how pretty and ace and smart he thinks I am. Says thankyou when I cook, remembers what I've been doing etc. It's world's apart.

benbry Mon 03-Oct-16 11:01:24

No compliments here either, apart from telling me how much he liked my jumper once as he thought it might suit him.

Strangely though it has been very comforting over the years, as it's quite obvious that the way I look is not that important to him, he just loves me whatever. That includes weight gains that have never been commented on.

One of my friends whose DH was always telling her how great she looked left for an even more glamorous OW.

GingerFurryThang Mon 03-Oct-16 11:07:56

I don't think you are being unreasonable either. It's part of that general kindness thing that makes such a difference in a relationship IMO

Londonmamabychance Mon 03-Oct-16 11:14:58

Not sure if you are being oversensitive or not, as someone said, it's all about context and your relationship overall. What I would say, though, is that I often feel the same with DH, and when I feel that way it's generally becasue I feel generally a bit low and need to be picked up, not something he always notices, us generally having a busy life. I do sometimes then end up complaining to him and pushing him for compliments and I hate myself when I do it! it never feels so good when they are given on command, does it ; ) I find the best way to encourage spontanous compliments is to create a nice atmosphere between you by being nice and doing fun things together, and by complimenting him. It's not about trying to look better or being the perfect wife/mother/housewife/person whatever, but just about being happy and having a good time. Recently, DH got really into chess, and even though I'm not so into it, I do play with him sometimes and we always end up having a good time and it makes him happy (maybe it helps he always beats me too;; )) it's jsut a small thing, but just doing something like that together rather than jsut watching tv together or whatever can have a really positive impact.

Mumtonone Mon 03-Oct-16 18:54:34

This is helping thanks, comments really appreciated.

DH is borderline OCD. I'm naturally not, the opposite in fact! So it's taken me years to get to a point I'm meeting his levels, so much so things not tidy bother me as much as him these days! I thought things would mellow with a 2yr old, but not much - it's just harder work to keep up (and that's with a full time job to boot!). I can have a day where I have done 100 things perfectly, and he'll walk in and point out the one or two things I've missed.

Similarly he'll shower DS with compliments, he blinks and he's a genius. DH always full-on happy/excited to be with him. Where as I can't a single compliment, and I get the tired, worn out and grumpy DH. I've tried to point this out, and I'm told 'I'm jealous of my own son'.

I'm ashamed to admit a compliment, even if prompted makes me feel a bit better.

It's stupid, but yet somehow important. He's a wonderful dad and very hands on in raising our son as well as around the house - so I really can't complain. I just feel unappreciated, little things seem to spiral into big things and when I try to explain the I seem irrational.

Don't really have people to vent to, or ask what normal is. And the last few years have taken its toll, so I am probably acting more touchy than I should.

LesisMiserable Mon 03-Oct-16 18:56:46

The problem I think is that you're measuring yourself against other people's relationship to try and establish what is 'normal'.

As you said, your DH doesn't really give compliments. You knew this and you married him.

So here you are…how much does it matter?

benbry Mon 03-Oct-16 18:58:42

Do you think he loves you OP?

HandyWoman Mon 03-Oct-16 19:09:24

It kinda sounds as though having your son has brought out how different you both are, like you have tried to meet his levels but it's somehow never enough? That he sees life in terms of how 'sorted' things are and not how enjoyable/fun... like the fun has been drained out of your relationship and you have become invisible to him?

That's not ok, OP. Would you consider relationship counselling?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now