Welcome comments on a situation that is prob fairly obvious


Home Forums Complicated Situation / Mixed Signals Welcome comments on a situation that is prob fairly obvious

This topic contains 31 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Liz Lemon 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #780295 Reply

    Erica

    the good
    – we clearly like each other as people a lot, so good conversation, compatible interests, and genuine fun times
    – we know each others families and friends, we are integrated in each others lives and are a couple
    – we spend loads of time with each other and both make an effort with each other surprising each other etc.
    – great sex
    – his actions and effort and time spent says he loves me

    the bad
    – he is emotionally closed, he will say nice things but only very occasionally, he finds it hard to express emotions through words
    – he is damaged from past relationships and i feel like i am paying for this- as he refuses to let down his guard, has admitted this and says he is shy in expressing emotion, and also says he will never put himself in that position again (one where he could get hurt or taken advantage of financially or otherwise)
    sometimes when i get upset he closes down, this makes things worse, he says he won’t put up with emotional outbursts- (although he will talk about issues calmly)
    I think i love him more than he loves me that makes me vulnerable, but i’m not sure – see point one

    question- 90% of the time everything is great between us- am i making a mistake to focus on the small amount of issues and disregard the good? Are all relationships to an extent a compromise? Because we see things differently emotionally (I am not damaged goods and let my guard down) is this a deal breaker? I guess i have to accept him the way he is and decide whether i can live with it.

    I think he is the love of my life- and i guess i seek more intimacy. This has been occurring slowly over time but sometimes i am sick of doing the work emotionally.

    #780298 Reply

    K

    Details please. How old are you both, how long have you been dating? Are marriage and children on your radar or not?

    #780300 Reply

    Erica

    I’m 48, he is 60.
    We both have 2 kids each around similar ages.
    Marriage and kids- no.

    We spend every 2nd week together, I live at his house. The other week I have my kids. This arrangement kind of keeps things fresh between us.

    #780301 Reply

    Erica

    I guess the confusing thing is – we are not talking about getting married- but on those weeks together we act like it. we are very domestic and practical in some ways.

    #780302 Reply

    Lane

    How long have you been seeing each other? There’s many degree’s of the emotional quotient scale that people are usually born with and its a big part of who they are. Just because someone doesn’t use their emotions to get through life doesn’t make them a bad person. I personally can’t handle a lot of emotions, I naturally shut down as I don’t feel comfortable around them, especially woman’s lol, nor can I win the emotional war, so I am at a sever disadvantage when they erupt.

    I understand its how they are but I cannot be around them, at least for very long, as they mentally wear me out. I can take them in small very small doses and try to rationalize them out of it but I could not deal with a highly emotional partner. It ultimately depends on your comfort zone, how much you can take and not take before it becomes a source of contention.

    Some people take longer to warm up and feel safe with others. I intentionally hold back and am more reserved until I get a much better feel or sense of a person before I feel safe to open up, until then I keep it on the surface level. Some don’t though and if you feel like your settling just to keep a man then you need to own your decision and live with it if this relationship is more important to you than your overall happiness.

    #780303 Reply

    Erica

    been with each other now for 2.5 years, however we were FWB initially. It’s only in the last year that we have become a couple.

    I’m not an overly emotional person myself and also don’t really respond to demand large romantic gestures. The best gestures are those that are spontaneous and genuine. Which he does, very occasionally – observes Valentines Day or recognise anniversaries or takes me places, sets the scene etc.

    Actions speak louder than words- and he excels in this area.

    #780305 Reply

    Peggy

    Hi Erica-Yeah,you said the “thing”-“I have to accept him as he is/decide if I can live with that.” That is it. BTW 90% is pretty damned good. Most compatibility tests/advice on relationships,say that an 80% and up compatibility score is good. I am not sure if you are insecure ,overly demanding or just feel “something is missing”. Only you can an swer that.
    I feel you are not appreciating what you have but are nitpicking over things that don’;t matter or will get better in time. Men are not like girlfriends/women. They don’t go around gushing their feeling and discussing every little thing.
    Unless you deep down feel he is not enough for you,and you can find “better”.I would start accepting and appreciating and having gratitude for him and your relationship. What “emotional” work are you taking about? If he won’t say the words ” I love you”-then that is an issue. Otherwise I stand by my advice. I am his age BTW and have learned a thing or two about love and relationships.

    #780306 Reply

    Lane

    Then it sounds like its not a big problem. If he’s an overall good guy, and your happy with him and the relationship overall, then a little discomfort in one area sounds like its being compensated in others. I would take 90% as there is no “perfect partner.” Love is a fluctuating emotion as well, its not static, and its never a balanced 50/50 type of thing. If he treats you well overall then you have a keeper :o)

    #780307 Reply

    Erica

    Peggy- thanks. I agree with a lot of what you say and I really appreciate your frankness.

    Yes men and women are different, i think the underlying issue here is that i want slightly different things than him- but not much- i guess icing on the cake sums it up- and yeah maybe i’m wanting perfection rather than running with ‘pretty good’.

    No he doesn’t say “i love you” but I don’t say it much either- nor demand it- and that’s not even an issue for me. He does occasionally say some very nice things.

    You are right- i should be grateful and I am.

    He has said though that while we are together and are ‘with’ each other- he doesn’t want to ‘belong’ to someone- and that goes back to his guardedness- he says he protects himself- and resists being beholden to another person – he will never let anyone tell him what he can and can not do etc. Thing is- that is rubbish as I don’t anyway. He is also worried that another woman will rip him off financially as the last one did – his words.

    the above is not my problem- i know- it’s his. Her is the one missing out on the fruits of greater intimacy- OR maybe he just doesnt need it and is happy as is- which he said he is.

    See how confusing this is.

    #780308 Reply

    Erica

    Lane – yes, thank you. I wonder if we are always searching, trying to improve, focusing more on the negative than on the positive. And if this is a default way of looking at things that gets in the way of something that is good and real.

    #780310 Reply

    K

    I’m going to talk out of both sides of my mouth to answer this one.

    I’m dating a man now who went through a nasty divorce a few years ago. We’ve ridden out some rough patches due to the damage his ex inflicted. He’s improved a lot and is very generous in crediting my kindness and patience for helping him move forward. At times I felt like I was paying the price for some other woman’s crap and I didn’t like it. But he’s a great guy, treats me well and I can see him trying. And he can actually say the words I”m sorry when he messes up. Lots of guys can’t.

    But I’ve also dated men who were damaged and were probably never going to let their guard down or deal with the damage the way my BF very bravely has. That type is a waste of time and will leave you heartbroken.

    You have to gauge which type of guy you have on your hands here. One is worth it, the other one needs to go.

    #780312 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I agree with the points that have been made here. It sounds to me like things are pretty good overall. And yes, you have to decide what you can live with, as you have said, OP. No partner is perfect. I like Peggy’s point about practicing gratitude, it’s a good approach to life in general. We do tend to focus on what’s lacking in life instead of appreciating what we do have.

    Unless like Peggy says, you truly feel deep down that you can do better. How does the thought of ending the relationship make you feel? Do you have any urge to get back out there and date?

    I’m also in my 40s. At our age most if not all of us have some level of baggage and failed relationships. OP, you said “I wonder if we are always searching, trying to improve, focusing more on the negative than on the positive. And if this is a default way of looking at things that gets in the way of something that is good and real.” I will share an anecdote with you. I know of a couple of women (older than me, they were family friends/neighbors) who hit a midlife crisis in their 50s and divorced their husbands thinking they could “do better”. They wanted someone richer or better looking. Seriously. So they divorced their husbands thinking they could get back out there and snag a “better” man. Well guess how that worked out! It didn’t. One of them actually remarried her ex-husband (he was kind enough to take her back) when she realized that she was not going to find a better “catch”.

    I’m not saying this is your attitude at all, or that you would do such a thing. I’m just sharing this story in relation to your point about always focusing on the negative as a default and not appreciating a relationship that is good and real and healthy. People do that all the time. So it’s great that you’re being thoughtful and measured about this issue, and not impulsive or unrealistic.

    #780313 Reply

    T from NY

    It’s all about what you want. And what you need. Right now I believe, you writing into this forum, is you trying to work that out. This is a classic example of a man willing to give a lot of the action but not the words or the label. The thing is – both are important. So you have to decide what you can be content with.

    For myself. I would not be able to be in a relationship with a man, at those ages, that did not include a verbal commitment. If I am in love with someone I want that person to let people know by giving me the label of a partner. Some women do not have to have this and I admire that. But I absolutely do.

    Not to mention I am old fashioned and would want someone, at those ages, to plan things such as retirement, financial matters or show myself as a committed couple to friends and family by gradually moving in together. Everything you have seems amazing – but could you continue to never live with him when you’re older? Is he going to include you in his retirement plans? Will he talk about a future with you? What does that look like? I could not continue to invest in someone who refuses to commit to me verbally or wouldn’t eventually live with me. But that’s ME. I do not believe you are nitpicking. You are asking yourself – is what I have enough to keep me fulfilled. He sounds lovely and kind to you. And I agree with the advice to consider what you have. I just recommend getting quiet with you and exploring if this can keep you happy long term?

    #780318 Reply

    Better off single

    The relationship is a good one yet you’re focusing on the bad stuff about it?

    someone out there is wishing for what you have now.

    If you want him to be more open emotionally it is going to take time and patience with the expectation it may not pan out exactly how you want it to. You’re going to have to show him through your actions he can trust you.

    #780392 Reply

    Erica

    Some very wise comments here.

    Yes the issue is- is this the relationship i want in the longer term.

    This question: “How does the thought of ending the relationship make you feel? Do you have any urge to get back out there and date?”

    The thought makes me ill! Zero desire to meet others.

    And this:
    “If I am in love with someone I want that person to let people know by giving me the label of a partner. ”

    and this:
    “Not to mention I am old fashioned and would want someone, at those ages, to plan things such as retirement, financial matters or show myself as a committed couple to friends and family by gradually moving in together. Everything you have seems amazing – but could you continue to never live with him when you’re older? Is he going to include you in his retirement plans? ”

    – I have my own money and life sorted more or less. I’m not really interested in getting tangled up with finances and stuff with another person. I earn more than him too!

    Thanks a lot everyone- all the comments have been really useful and great.
    – we have the label of a partner and we are recognised as a couple by others.

    #780411 Reply

    Lane

    Sounds like you *may* have a keeper.

    May I ask why he hasn’t said “I love you” yet? Do you know or have you said it to him?

    I personally could not be with someone long-term who couldn’t say “I love you” as that’s all I’ve ever known. If a man is unable to say those three BIG WORDS then I know I couldn’t stick around for very long. I struggled like I think you are when my BF hadn’t said them after several months, yet his ACTIONS were screaming otherwise, so I got to the point I finally asked him “do you love me?” He said “Yes but I was afraid to tell you because your not emotional and thought it might scare you away” lol. If he said “no” that would be all I needed to walk away and end it for good.

    We all have “love languages” and I do think settling for less than what you need and want will eventually turn into resentment and end up being the very thing that makes you feel like your missing a very important part or piece of being in a *loving* [key word] long-term partnership.

    Is this what you are struggling with the most?

    #780412 Reply

    Dangerouse

    What? Are you saying a 60 year old man doesn’t say I love you like, at least twice a day? He should be so thankful and excited to have a mate.

    But I think you said he is the one, so you are stuck with him as is .

    #780414 Reply

    Erica

    This is sort of the issue and why I posted in the mixed signals forum section. I think there are some men out there that don’t say it and expetc their women to ‘just know’. My father was like this- he never in my 30 years of knowing him told me that he loved me but my mother said he did but that he just doesn’t say it.

    It’s not that big a deal because i feel it and all the other stuff i’ve mentioned above. There are so many people that say it but then their actions don’t match- so i have the reverse situation if that makes sense.

    I’ve never been one to say it much in previous relationships- you know how some people sign off with it on a phone call – or say it when they go to sleep- so daily- that’s not me.

    #780415 Reply

    Dangerouse

    I read your post again. You said you have fun together and enjoy being together. Sounds like he is respectful and caring. Do you want to get married? I guess, as Lane said, what is it you want? More love talk? I’ll buy that. At your age, its important for you to have security and a future.

    #780416 Reply

    Lane

    Ok, then enjoy what you have! :o)

    #780417 Reply

    Erica

    and he seemed to quite like it after I finally said it. I felt like we got closer and soon after he paid for me to go away with him. I guess- i’m saying this- because for him- the perception of getting ripped off or taken advantage of financially is a big deal. He’s a weird one. My hunch is that we will get there in the end, but my god he is hard work in this regard.

    #780418 Reply

    Dangerouse

    Then be ruthless in saving money and building your own retirement egg. He won’t marry so as not to share his money?

    #780420 Reply

    Erica

    Good advice.

    i think it’s about money but also about risking the big loss again. From what he tells me he was in a very bad and dark place after the break down of his marriage- even though the marriage wasn’t a good one. He has mental health issues (depression mainly).

    Along the way he has said things like “I can’t believe I am doing this again, I’ll never learn”. He has eluded to being quite fragile under his alpha male front.

    For the most part we are like most other couples apart from that we don’t live together all the time (we do half the time as I stay at his house) and that he hasn’t completely emotionally opened up.but he may never, that’s his prerogative.

    All of these ‘issues’ are not my problem though to take on, i do have a choice- I have to choose as to whether I can accept and live with it.

    #781058 Reply

    Mary

    I do believe that 90% is a pretty good happiness rate. I think that all relationships require compromise. Every relationship has flaws. You have to ensure that you can handle those flaws to be truly happy. Overall it sounds like a good relationship.

    #781069 Reply

    Jo

    There used to be a TV show called “Mr and Mrs” on in the UK. I’m not sure if it were aired elsewhere but one half of a married couple was put jn a sound proof booth while the other was asked questions about the marriage or about one of the spouses. The one in the soundproof booth was then brought out and asked the same questions. They got points for the same answer.

    I’ve never forgotten a couple who’d been married about 50 years. He was put in the booth and they asked her “how often does your husband tell you he loves you?”. She said “once”. They then hot hjm out and asked “how often do you tell your wife you love her?”. He said “I’ve told her once. On the day I proposed I said’I love you. I won’t tell you again but if I change my mind you’ll be the first to know'”

    It’s just how some people are. I find it hard to say too.

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