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Fighting for affection

(22 Posts)
Swingfromtheikeashade Wed 05-Aug-20 14:28:45

DP and I have been together for 7 years. I think he has become quite complacent and I want to get out of the rut that is beginning to form.

There is a lack of physical or emotional affection. We don't kiss often and he doesn't touch me much generally. He isn't emotionally intellectual and I sometimes wish he would try to connect with me on a deeper level to understand me more/each other more.

I often find myself planning things for us - I try to be romantic and thoughtful but it's like those thoughts don't ever enter his head to even do something for me. I then feel like why do I bother! I try to be affectionate with him and I always feel like it isn't reciprocated much. That makes me feel quite embarrassed and I do get upset about it.

He can be quite lazy and I think that floods into our relationship. I'm not asking for childish ideals of romance, like Valentines Day mush, red love hearts and a sonnet 😂 just the day to day things that show someone remotely loves you, or has thought about you.

I have spoken to him about it recently and he seemed like he gets it, he's apologetic and said he had now realised he wasn't being very loving towards me. I made the point of the fact that both of us love many people in our lives but not the same as we love each other and our relationship shouldn't be the same as friends living together or family living together, we are partners and love and affection comes with that.

Since the conversation it's been pretty much the same. We peck good night but my god I feel like I'm fighting for more from him all the time. It's really disheartening as we are only mid-late 20's and I feel like it's too early in our lives to lose the spark. He has an absolute heart of gold and I love him dearly, however I do want things to improve for us. Most nights when I go to bed, I feel like the day was a missed opportunity to be happy together 😢

Is there anything else I can do to help?

OP’s posts: |
Swingfromtheikeashade Wed 05-Aug-20 14:46:59

I should also note we are getting married later in the year

OP’s posts: |
Jennifer2r Wed 05-Aug-20 14:49:50

You can't change him, you can only change yourself.

If I was you I'd put the wedding on hold and stop looking to him to make you happy. Do you go out much, see family and friends? Do you have hobbies and a full and happy life?

slidingdrawers Wed 05-Aug-20 14:50:04

Why are you marrying him?

CuppaZa Wed 05-Aug-20 14:50:15

People will come here with advice, but it only works if he is 100% committed to making sure you are happier. Which he’s clearly not, from what you’ve described.

Don’t marry him. This will be your life.

sofato5miles Wed 05-Aug-20 14:51:22

Don't marry him

MrsSiriusBlack1 Wed 05-Aug-20 14:53:25

Postpone the wedding

Swingfromtheikeashade Wed 05-Aug-20 14:54:46

I'm grateful for the responses but please could I have some advice on what I do next?

I get the advice about the wedding totally, but it's a big jump from where we are currently.

OP’s posts: |
slidingdrawers Wed 05-Aug-20 14:59:43

Could I have some advice on what I do next?

What is your aim?

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 05-Aug-20 15:00:24

He is not 100% committed here into making you happy and it does sound like this whole relationship has really now run its course after 7 years.

Do not marry him because this will be your married life going forward too. A ring is not going to change anything here and you will end up totally resenting him.

Swingfromtheikeashade Wed 05-Aug-20 15:01:48

My aim is to try and get us out of the rut. I hope to make him see how I'm feeling and to improve things before throwing it away.

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 05-Aug-20 15:01:53

He talks a good game to you re apologising etc but actions here speak far louder than words. He has not and will not change.

What is your aim here?

Rainbowshine Wed 05-Aug-20 15:05:13

Is there anything else I can do to help?

To be blunt, no. It’s up to him to choose how to respond to what you’ve said. If he doesn’t, it’s up to you whether you accept it and marry him or not.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 05-Aug-20 15:07:33

Re your comment:-

"I hope to make him see how I'm feeling and to improve things before throwing it away".

You have already talked to him about this and he soon reverted to type afterwards. Your conversation with him did not change anything.

Your above thinking here is the sunken costs fallacy. The past investment is “sunk” into the endeavour and cannot be recouped. It is gone. Ongoing investment will not resuscitate what is gone when the investment is a bad one.

People get bogged down by focusing on their sunk costs.

There are two ways to understand this process, both involving avoidance. One is an avoidance of disappointment or loss when something doesn’t work out. When a relationship doesn’t succeed, especially after a long period, especially after many shared experiences and especially after developing a hope that the relationship would be a good one, it is a loss. It is a loss of what might have been and an acknowledgement that a part of one’s life has been devoted to this endeavour.

Another angle to evaluate is that focus on “sunk cost” creates a distraction from one’s inner truth. The sentence often goes like, “I’ve already invested to much, so I can’t notice my thoughts and feelings that are telling me to end or change this relationship.”
This is a type of insidious defense against noticing yourself. You enter into a neglectful relationship with yourself which divorces you from your inner thoughts and the quiet feelings that might guide you in your life. In other words, thinking about what already has been may prevent you from deciding what you want your life to be.

The key is to clear away the distractions to rational and emotional clarity. Getting stuck in your “sunk cost” prevents you from this clarity, whether in your relationships or your investments

Menora Wed 05-Aug-20 15:11:13

You could try pre marriage counselling but I do agree I think this is not going to improve as much as you wish it would. He’s just not that person and not going to meet you needs. Is this what you want to be like for 50 years?

Iminaglasscaseofemotion Wed 05-Aug-20 15:28:17

I'm like your dp. I'm not very affectionate. It's just who I am. Someone telling me I need to change, or moaning at me to give them more affection wouldn't make me do it, because it's just not me. I would try for a while but probably just slip back into it. It's just not something I think about.
What's wrong with a quick kiss goodnight?

bitofawimpreally Wed 05-Aug-20 15:40:49

I half-agree with @Iminaglasscaseofemotion, in that expecting someone to change the way they operate or behave is likely to be pointless. It sounds like your partner just isn't wired that way.

The only thing you can do is change the way YOU react to it. You either need to accept that this is how your life will be, and make peace with it, or you decide that it's not right for you, so you end the relationship.

This is exactly where I am at the moment. The previous post about sunken costs really struck a chord with me. I think I'm letting the past 14 years I've invested in my relationship cloud the fact that I'm unhappy. There's no point in me hoping he will magically change, so I have to either put up with things as they are, or take control and end things.

And a final point, 'What's wrong with a quick kiss goodnight?'- nothing, but for some people, it's not enough. Just as you may not be very affectionate, others are more demonstrative and need more from their partners.

slidingdrawers Wed 05-Aug-20 15:41:41

You've tried to improve things and from what you say he's appears unable or disinterested in meeting your needs. Are you trying too hard? He might find this off-putting?

Have a read up on love languages, wiki link below. Is he demonstrating his love in other ways:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/TheFivee_Love_Languages

CuppaZa Wed 05-Aug-20 15:55:42

Swingfromtheikeashade

My aim is to try and get us out of the rut. I hope to make him see how I'm feeling and to improve things before throwing it away.

But you have already tried this @Swingfromtheikeashade
He has shown it’s not a big deal to him. You can’t flog a dead horse. He does not cater for your needs, and it will get worse. As someone said, a ring changes nothing. He is young. This is who he is, and it’s not enough for you.

Yeahnahmum Wed 05-Aug-20 16:09:53

Read the book the 5 love languages. You may find he shows his love differently.
Lack of physicality: youll have to talk to him about it. Get to the bottom of it. He might feel bad about himself. Depressed. Or any possible other factor. But you will only know by talking.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 05-Aug-20 16:48:42

I hope to make him see how I'm feeling and to improve things before throwing it away
But.. how???
You have already spoken to him about this and nothing has changed.
Why would it? This works for him. Unfortunately, it doesn't work for you.
Sooo... you could try couples counselling - relate.
Or you could ask for a trial separation to see how you find it being apart. It may be that you don't really miss him or the relationship and you will know that that is the end.

But at such young ages, I really think this has just run it's course.
Lots of relationships come to a natural end and I think this is one of them.

You can't save a relationship on your own.

Tell him again that this is becoming a deal-breaker for you and ask to him to come up with solutions to your problems.
If he can't even try to think of things to resolve this, then again, you have your answer.

Definitely postpone the wedding if you can.
I don't see this being a longer term partnership!

RandomTree Wed 05-Aug-20 19:12:48

OP, you say you've been together 7 years. Assume that the first, say, 2 to 3 years were the honeymoon period when he was trying to impress you, and focus on the last 4 years. Is this a recent development? Or has it been like this (or slightly better) for the last few years? If it's the former, then I think you are being reasonable to try to understand why he can't treat you in the way that he has in the past. But if your relationship has been like this, more or less, for the last few years then you need to accept that this is who he is and stop asking for more than he can give you.

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