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.
Is it him or me?(45 Posts)
First post... please be gentle and bear with me while I try and explain
My husband and I have been married for nearly 4 years. Ostensibly we are perfect for each other. I have had a few issues with certain things though.I don't feel he is ever romantic in the ways that would really make me happy. I have always said how things like flowers really make me feel happy and appreciated - I have said that being sent flowers to work is the apotheosis of romance. Despite this, I could count on the fingers of one hand I have ever got flowers in 6 years (and certainly none to work). Valentines Day - nothing. Our last anniversary - nothing ('I didn't think we would do anything after 3 years'). He later took me to a pub for a meal - I came back alone because he saw friends there. Wedding Day - nothing. Our honeymoon I booked, planned, packed for and paid for alone. He spent 2 weeks doing organised stuff (e.g. 2 games of volleyball a day, every day). He insisted on going for a swim every day at around 7am. When i said, at around day 4, that I was really unhappy, nothing changed.
The problem is I have been really clear and said that thoughtful romantic things would make the world of difference to me. He doesn't do them. So, wheareas before i thought just maybe he didn't think like that, now I just feel that he knows he could so so easily make me happy and he just doesn't. It is really making me miserable (he knows this - he watched me cry on Valentine's Day). He can be thoughtful in his own way - he bought a dress I was watching on ebay the other day.
Writing this down all seems so petty. But I just feel like I'm not worth the effort.
Sorry it it is really long.
It's often the understated things rather than the big gestures that make the biggest impact. I had a guy who did all the big gestures and turned out to be a total knob. Guy I went out with 2 years ago, totally emotionally stunted but suspect he was on the spectrum (not being offensive), liked routine, sex in bed only and after dinner etc etc, but totally surprised me by 'doing valentines day' and bought me a mug.
Still really good mates with him, and he admits that he just can't read emotional situations, hence why he doesn't do relationships, he finds it all so draining and feels he's a big let down. Not the case, he was the most loyal and caring (in his way) guy I know and I adore him (as a mate!)
Suppose what I'm trying to say is cherish the small things he does x
You need to have a look on the Internet for the 5 love languages, there's a test you can both do too - I'm on my phone at the mo so can't do a link.
I'd rather my DH mopped the floor and put the bins out than bought mr flowers any day - we use completely different love languages.
Anyway check it out, it's really interesting.
Did he buy you flowers before you got married? If he did, then you might have reason to expect him to carry on doing it. If not, then you would be very unreasonable to expect him to start.
People who are not 'romantics' feel awkward making the gestures you describe.
I suppose it wouldn't kill him to bring you home some flowers, but sending flowers to work is on a bit of a different level. I would die of embarrassment if I got flowers at work and wouldn't do it to anyone else. It's not me.
He may also feel that if he does buy you flowers he will just be doing as he's told rather than expressing his feelings. You, in turn, will know he only bought them because you told him to.
The honeymoon you describe sounds like bad behaviour on his part though, very thoughtless.
It is difficult and inadvisable to try to change people, and to try to change someone into a romantic is madness.
It's a bit of both, I think. It's kind of like friends and family who don't make a fuss of birthdays, if you do - they just don't get where you are coming from. Both sides feel they are absolutely right in their opinions.
It's not unreasonable that you want these things from a relationship, but equally it's not unreasonable that he just doesn't think to do these things. He sounds like he is the kind of man who just doesn't get traditional romantic gestures; plenty of men are like that, I couldn't think of a single 'traditional' romantic gesture that my DP has made towards me. He is probably listening to you when you talk about this, but it's not really sinking in because the idea of sending you flowers at work is just not something on his radar, so he forgets it.
Can you think of less traditional 'romantic' things that he does for you, ways that he is showing you his love? Does he bring you tea in bed if you have a lay in? Does he do jobs with the house or car that you hate doing? Does he make meals that he knows you like?
The flowers at work thing just reminded of what a woman did to her husband.
Sent flowers to herself and called him pretending to think they were from him.
Anyway, Looking has it right, if he did before and hasnt bothered, then you can be annoyed.
If he never has, then thats the man you still choose to marry.
People have different ways of showing their love. My DH is not very romantic in the way you describe but he does loads of things for me (like drgoogle), he remembers what I like and buys it - usually food. His face when he shows me what he's got says more than words every could.
On the hand my DM's best friend, her XH used to put on a right show, flowers, anniversary meals, surprise birthday parties for her and then it turns out he's been shagging a woman up the street for bloody years - who knew?
Well, one thing partners often say is, they'd rather do something that's spontaneous, they prefer not to be following another person's idea of what constitutes romance. So no matter how often you mention or drop hints, they will start to switch off.
I wonder where you got the notion of receiving flowers was a lovely thing to happen? Parents? Previous boyfriends? Media? Don't get me wrong, I love flowers, too. It puts a smile on my face when DH brings me some. But it's not your husband's thing.
Maybe your DH sees them as frivolous. Maybe he feels all gifts should be restricted to just Christmas day and birthdays. Maybe he thinks romance is to woo someone but once you're married, there's no point. Maybe he thinks you could get the ball rolling and surprise him with treats. Or possibly he is used to you doing the running? Is he selfish?
I bought and wrapped a gift for DH which I gave him on our wedding night. It never occurred to him to get me something, hey ho! But when our DCs were born, when we upped sticks and relocated, when our parents got ill and died, we were there for each other.
Thanks guys. Really helpful.
I of course know that flowers etc don't make a perfect husband. He does do things, every now and again.
He did it a bit before marriage. The thing is he looks like someone who would do these things. I think, naively I know, I thought he might learn to do these things (we married quite young). Maybe I need to work out what he feels comfortable doing and let the other stuff go.
From what you've written, it sounds like (a) he prefers the spontaneous stuff like buying the ebay dress to the set-piece gestures like sending flowers to work (have to agree with lookingbusy, it's not my idea of romantic at all!) and (b) you have totally different expectations of holidays. So far, so normal.
The only concerning thing would be if he was actually unpleasant about it. What does he do/say when you say you are unhappy with this?
x-posts. That sounds like a good idea. Maybe he'd be happy with eg bringing flowers home and scheduling romantic dinners on holidays, anything more "public" not so much?
Do you get the feeling he'd do that for another woman if he was mad on her?
Who have you seen getting flowers at work? I've never known it happen at my workplace. I think most of us would see it as a sign of guilt rather than anything romantic!
Do you like him? Are you comfortable with him? Do you think he's the best man you could possibly be living with, apart from the lack of flowers?
I think you're looking for something that doesn't really exist OP - like you've been reading Marie Clare too long.
No one gets flowers at work. Not really. It happens in films, tv programmes, and to those whose partners feel guilt, or want to show ownership.
The thing is he looks like someone who would do these things.
How so?? I don't know what someone who does those things looks like!
Imperial - no, thankfully he doesn't look like that.
yes - I like him very much. I find somethings quite difficult - he is is very no-nonsense so sometimes I feel like I struggle. But other than that, yes.
Holly - sorry, am I being despaired at? Not quite sure why?
Thanks for the helpful suggestions. I have been really upset so trying to be light-hearted is not easy
I think you have a romantic notion in your head that sadly he just doesn't. So you need to find out what he thinks is romantic and get him to do that instead to show how much he loves you.
Thanks Ilove - I think you are right. Maybe somewhere in the middle would be nice
I hope you have better luck than I'm having at the moment. I have a whole other thread about that particular problem.
Well I'm going to go against the grain here.
He abandoned you for hours on your honeymoon. He watched you cry, unmoved, on Valentine's Day. He left you to be with mates on your wedding anniversary.
That's not the actions of someone who simply doesn't 'do' romance - that's the actions of someone who doesn't really care, sorry.
It sounds like someone rather rigid and set in their ways, and perhaps not very considerate of your feelings although the dynamic where you cry and mope or leave the pub while he gets on with stuff could change- either by him or you.
I do think you need to read the 5 love languages stuff, it's spot on for differences in romantic communication, but I would also be worried by his lack of concern for all this. However, my own husband is quite fixed on his holidays and I do have to tell him it is my holiday too to get him to change- there's something about holidays that brings out his less flexible side, whereas day to day, he's quite easygoing about arrangements and responsibilities.
I am not sure what to make of this one- part of me thinks you are unrealistic and caught up in a white charger fantasy, and part of me thinks he does sound like a bit of a cold fish.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.