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hellosun

I am not sure what to do

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My husband and I have been together for over 15 years. We are now in our mid 30s, we have a son and I am expecting our second. We have always had problems, many things on him that I didn’t like. But only recently (in the past year or so) I started to really realize what they are and how some important things never changed significantly. I think they got more noticeable after our first was born (5 years ago) and he also was very depressed in 1.5 to 2 years ago. He still has his bouts of depression, but not as bad. 

So lately I basically feel mostly unhappy than happy. Pregnancy hormones are probably affecting my judgement and personality a bit, but I felt like that before getting pregnant. He says (and I believe him) he loves me deeply. 

He is a nice person, can’t hurt a fly, does a lot around the house - cleans, cooks, etc. I’ve been very tired and I have some health issues, so he wants me to take it easy and he tries to do most of the chores. We share basically the same values (honesty, Family, how to treat money in general), we enjoy many similar things (board games, friends getting together, similar tv shows, etc).

But lately more and more I feel bored and I just don’t feel happy or fulfilled with him. To me he can only do things he’s used to - chores. He gets easily distracted about anything, or too focused on things that are not important.

Last time we went on a date (long time ago), we played pool and went to dinner. When we were playing pool, he was too focused on the game and even tho I told him he was being too focused on something not important, and I wasn’t really having fun, he just couldn’t break out of this world. He would try, and come and give me a kiss or something between his turn and mine, but it was just too robotic. I don’t think it’s because he is not interested in me, but he just gets stuck. And that happens too often. Then it was dinner time and it was a little better, but I was already not feeling great. This cycle is terrible.

He also will rarely surprise me. He is very predictable and rarely does something surprising that makes me feel special. He does a lot of nice things, but they are all in our routine.

For things like those too, I feel like he is a robot. He has an algorithm, he runs it, but can’t do anything extra.

I mean, he does it sometimes, but it’s really rare. I don’t remember the last time I felt like that.

Also, he is very forgetful. He will tell me he will do something, then he forgets. It’s hard to trust him in that sense, and I feel like I have a huge responsibility around our lives. He tries, and he has apps on his phone to remind him of some things. But little things like, dress our son appropriately, or even know where his stuff is. Remember to pack his hat. Remember to wash his face properly when he brushes his teeth. Those tiny things. He has a really hard time doing.  Even his own stuff. We go out, it’s winter and he forgets his gloves. And then I feel like if I am not on top of every, we will like waste time/or miss something because we have to go back home to get something. Important emails won’t get answered, etc etc. And it's not like he doesn't care. He says he cares and feels awful when those things happen, he says he wanted that to be different, but I don't see him doing anything about it.

He rarely speaks up about anything unless he's really angry, he rarely proposes things different in our life, rarely finds/tries to find solution to problems. Any problems in general. It's like he is always stuck.

On my birthday he tries to give me a gift but it's something that I don't need and I am not even interested. We don't spend too much money in general and only buy stuff we need or really like. He knows that. He is also with me when I tel him things I have the intention of buying at some point. He knows my favorite Hobby. He has all the knowledge to give me a thoughtful gift. He says he puts a lot of thought on the gift he gave me, but it just doesn't make sense.

So with all that, I don't feel like he makes me excited about things, I don't feel like he helps me deal with my things (except the physical stuff, such as cleaning the house, carrying heavy stuff), I don't even feel like he "knows" me too well. 

Some of these things always happened since we met, some have gotten worse over time. I also didn't have those things clear to me as they are now. And some of my priorities have changed (family/fun over work, etc). I miss a person more present in my life, that makes me smile, that I feel proud of, that takes care of me that way I need and makes me feel calm, at peace. But I don't feel calm, he doesn't help with my anxieties, he sees me struggling with stress specially with the pregnancy and he never knows what to do. He has made me feel good some times (but not as much considering we've been together for this long), and I still feel like sharing with him the good moments I experience when he's not around. And we have one child and one on the way.

He saw a therapist for some time, which helped him identify some of the why’s he acts the way he does (is stuck, doesn’t speak up, basically lacks personality), and it has to do with his childhood and how he felt safer being quiet and accepting things the way they are.

So I really don't know what to do. While he takes a generally good physical care of our son and me, I don't feel the happiness I hoped to feel with the person I'm sharing my life with. I don't want our life to be boring/robotic. And most of the time I look at him I see boring/distracted.

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8 hours ago, hellosun said:

My husband and I have been together for over 15 years. We are now in our mid 30s, we have a son and I am expecting our second. We have always had problems, many things on him that I didn’t like. But only recently (in the past year or so) I started to really realize what they are and how some important things never changed significantly. I think they got more noticeable after our first was born (5 years ago) and he also was very depressed in 1.5 to 2 years ago. He still has his bouts of depression, but not as bad. 

So lately I basically feel mostly unhappy than happy. Pregnancy hormones are probably affecting my judgement and personality a bit, but I felt like that before getting pregnant. He says (and I believe him) he loves me deeply. 

He is a nice person, can’t hurt a fly, does a lot around the house - cleans, cooks, etc. I’ve been very tired and I have some health issues, so he wants me to take it easy and he tries to do most of the chores. We share basically the same values (honesty, Family, how to treat money in general), we enjoy many similar things (board games, friends getting together, similar tv shows, etc).

But lately more and more I feel bored and I just don’t feel happy or fulfilled with him. To me he can only do things he’s used to - chores. He gets easily distracted about anything, or too focused on things that are not important.

Last time we went on a date (long time ago), we played pool and went to dinner. When we were playing pool, he was too focused on the game and even tho I told him he was being too focused on something not important, and I wasn’t really having fun, he just couldn’t break out of this world. He would try, and come and give me a kiss or something between his turn and mine, but it was just too robotic. I don’t think it’s because he is not interested in me, but he just gets stuck. And that happens too often. Then it was dinner time and it was a little better, but I was already not feeling great. This cycle is terrible.

He also will rarely surprise me. He is very predictable and rarely does something surprising that makes me feel special. He does a lot of nice things, but they are all in our routine.

For things like those too, I feel like he is a robot. He has an algorithm, he runs it, but can’t do anything extra.

I mean, he does it sometimes, but it’s really rare. I don’t remember the last time I felt like that.

Also, he is very forgetful. He will tell me he will do something, then he forgets. It’s hard to trust him in that sense, and I feel like I have a huge responsibility around our lives. He tries, and he has apps on his phone to remind him of some things. But little things like, dress our son appropriately, or even know where his stuff is. Remember to pack his hat. Remember to wash his face properly when he brushes his teeth. Those tiny things. He has a really hard time doing.  Even his own stuff. We go out, it’s winter and he forgets his gloves. And then I feel like if I am not on top of every, we will like waste time/or miss something because we have to go back home to get something. Important emails won’t get answered, etc etc. And it's not like he doesn't care. He says he cares and feels awful when those things happen, he says he wanted that to be different, but I don't see him doing anything about it.

He rarely speaks up about anything unless he's really angry, he rarely proposes things different in our life, rarely finds/tries to find solution to problems. Any problems in general. It's like he is always stuck.

On my birthday he tries to give me a gift but it's something that I don't need and I am not even interested. We don't spend too much money in general and only buy stuff we need or really like. He knows that. He is also with me when I tel him things I have the intention of buying at some point. He knows my favorite Hobby. He has all the knowledge to give me a thoughtful gift. He says he puts a lot of thought on the gift he gave me, but it just doesn't make sense.

So with all that, I don't feel like he makes me excited about things, I don't feel like he helps me deal with my things (except the physical stuff, such as cleaning the house, carrying heavy stuff), I don't even feel like he "knows" me too well. 

Some of these things always happened since we met, some have gotten worse over time. I also didn't have those things clear to me as they are now. And some of my priorities have changed (family/fun over work, etc). I miss a person more present in my life, that makes me smile, that I feel proud of, that takes care of me that way I need and makes me feel calm, at peace. But I don't feel calm, he doesn't help with my anxieties, he sees me struggling with stress specially with the pregnancy and he never knows what to do. He has made me feel good some times (but not as much considering we've been together for this long), and I still feel like sharing with him the good moments I experience when he's not around. And we have one child and one on the way.

He saw a therapist for some time, which helped him identify some of the why’s he acts the way he does (is stuck, doesn’t speak up, basically lacks personality), and it has to do with his childhood and how he felt safer being quiet and accepting things the way they are.

So I really don't know what to do. While he takes a generally good physical care of our son and me, I don't feel the happiness I hoped to feel with the person I'm sharing my life with. I don't want our life to be boring/robotic. And most of the time I look at him I see boring/distracted.

You should go see a marriage and family therapist. They are amazing. My wife had an incredible relationship before hand but had some minor issues. We started seeing one once a month and it has made our marriage even better :)

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7 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Have both of you read the book "The 5 love languages"?  If not, that would be a good thing to do.

Seconding this.

It sounds like he's trying to tell you "I love you" but missing your language of hearing it.  And vise versa.

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"What you feed, grows". If you keep focusing on your discontent, guess what will happen? Aside from reading the book suggested above (check your library), also read "It's Just My Nature" by Carol Tuttle. You may also want to consider:

- for gifts, set up an amazon cart or something and he can choose from that

- sit down with him and come up with dates you would enjoy, then you make it happen (it's time to throw out 'the guy should set it up' idea - it's not working in your relationship)

- google 'get to know you questions' and fill them out so he can know you better (focus on the solution - not everything needs to be complicated or his job - make it easy for him)

That's it for now but I'll chime back in if more comes to mind. Hope this helps and welcome to the forum.

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6 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

Seconding this.

It sounds like he's trying to tell you "I love you" but missing your language of hearing it.  And vise versa.

yes, he and I have talked about this before. I have told him that I know he loves me - rationally, but he does not make me feel loved. I read quickly about the book and it does seem to have some interesting concepts that makes sense to me. He also knows those things, he just doesn't/can't apply them.

and 

6 hours ago, Manners Matter said:

"What you feed, grows". If you keep focusing on your discontent, guess what will happen? Aside from reading the book suggested above (check your library), also read "It's Just My Nature" by Carol Tuttle. You may also want to consider:

- for gifts, set up an amazon cart or something and he can choose from that

- sit down with him and come up with dates you would enjoy, then you make it happen (it's time to throw out 'the guy should set it up' idea - it's not working in your relationship)

- google 'get to know you questions' and fill them out so he can know you better (focus on the solution - not everything needs to be complicated or his job - make it easy for him)

That's it for now but I'll chime back in if more comes to mind. Hope this helps and welcome to the forum.

- If you keep focusing on your discontent - yes it makes sense. but I am finding it hard not to see this almost all the time.

- for gifts, set up an amazon cart or something and he can choose from that -  yes I could do that, but again, it's not only about buying the thing, it's not that exactly what I am looking for and missing. It's the fact that he is paying attention when we are out and I tell him I am interested in something. It's the fact that he thinks about me and gives me something thoughtful. It's not about getting the right thing because I made a list.

- sit down with him and come up with dates you would enjoy, then you make it happen. I have done this several times. I even made him a "jar of dates" - full of ideas of things that I find would be fun for us to do together. He doesn't use that. Not dates necessarily, but most of the "fun" things we do (us or family) I am the one who did the research, suggested and mostly planned it. I wish he did that sometimes. I would love to be surprised with stuff to do that he planned or he shows interest in. The only thing recently he suggested was going to a concert of a band he likes and he knows I don't. It's ok t want to go to that, what I miss is having him think about things we both would enjoy and plan that.

- google 'get to know you questions' and fill them out so he can know you better - he knows but he forgets. And when we talk or have a discussion and I tell him things, he says: yes, I knew that. Most of our arguments there's nothing new. It's mostly the same type of thing happening over and over. Some weeks are better, some are bad. In general I just don't feel that happiness in my relationship i wish I did

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Your love language is words/thoughts of affirmation: you want him to have observed / thought of you when he does something.  It's not about the gift- it's about the thought.  

What's his love language?

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Chiming in again because a couple more things came to mind (and your response confirms the need to share this). 

- You need to adjust your expectations. He's shown you what his strengths are (and what they're not) so expecting something else will only lead to frustration and disappointment.

- Gratitude! Think it and share it - this will help shift your focus.

- Happiness is a *choice*.

Edited by Manners Matter

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HI hellosun,

I hope you can find some helpful comments from the wise people here.

I wonder if your frustration is all about your husband, are there other areas of your life that you feel the same way about?

Make a list of all the reasons you married him. From what you have written I can identify some very positive qualities and wonder if you are taking them forgranted.  What was the last thing he did that DID make you feel special?  How did you respond to that?

What exactly are your expectations and how would anyone be able to meet them?

 

Lots of questions and not much help from me I am afraid

 

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If you married someone in the expectation that he would make you happy, you are far off the mark.  In general, husbands are not entertainment committees.

i think you have a lot of growing up to do.

 

or maybe it’s hormones.

 

 

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On 7/5/2019 at 11:39 AM, hellosun said:

My husband and I have been together for over 15 years. We are now in our mid 30s, we have a son and I am expecting our second. We have always had problems, many things on him that I didn’t like. But only recently (in the past year or so) I started to really realize what they are and how some important things never changed significantly. I think they got more noticeable after our first was born (5 years ago) and he also was very depressed in 1.5 to 2 years ago. He still has his bouts of depression, but not as bad. 

So lately I basically feel mostly unhappy than happy. Pregnancy hormones are probably affecting my judgement and personality a bit, but I felt like that before getting pregnant. He says (and I believe him) he loves me deeply. 

He is a nice person, can’t hurt a fly, does a lot around the house - cleans, cooks, etc. I’ve been very tired and I have some health issues, so he wants me to take it easy and he tries to do most of the chores. We share basically the same values (honesty, Family, how to treat money in general), we enjoy many similar things (board games, friends getting together, similar tv shows, etc).

But lately more and more I feel bored and I just don’t feel happy or fulfilled with him. To me he can only do things he’s used to - chores. He gets easily distracted about anything, or too focused on things that are not important.

Last time we went on a date (long time ago), we played pool and went to dinner. When we were playing pool, he was too focused on the game and even tho I told him he was being too focused on something not important, and I wasn’t really having fun, he just couldn’t break out of this world. He would try, and come and give me a kiss or something between his turn and mine, but it was just too robotic. I don’t think it’s because he is not interested in me, but he just gets stuck. And that happens too often. Then it was dinner time and it was a little better, but I was already not feeling great. This cycle is terrible.

He also will rarely surprise me. He is very predictable and rarely does something surprising that makes me feel special. He does a lot of nice things, but they are all in our routine.

For things like those too, I feel like he is a robot. He has an algorithm, he runs it, but can’t do anything extra.

I mean, he does it sometimes, but it’s really rare. I don’t remember the last time I felt like that.

Also, he is very forgetful. He will tell me he will do something, then he forgets. It’s hard to trust him in that sense, and I feel like I have a huge responsibility around our lives. He tries, and he has apps on his phone to remind him of some things. But little things like, dress our son appropriately, or even know where his stuff is. Remember to pack his hat. Remember to wash his face properly when he brushes his teeth. Those tiny things. He has a really hard time doing.  Even his own stuff. We go out, it’s winter and he forgets his gloves. And then I feel like if I am not on top of every, we will like waste time/or miss something because we have to go back home to get something. Important emails won’t get answered, etc etc. And it's not like he doesn't care. He says he cares and feels awful when those things happen, he says he wanted that to be different, but I don't see him doing anything about it.

He rarely speaks up about anything unless he's really angry, he rarely proposes things different in our life, rarely finds/tries to find solution to problems. Any problems in general. It's like he is always stuck.

On my birthday he tries to give me a gift but it's something that I don't need and I am not even interested. We don't spend too much money in general and only buy stuff we need or really like. He knows that. He is also with me when I tel him things I have the intention of buying at some point. He knows my favorite Hobby. He has all the knowledge to give me a thoughtful gift. He says he puts a lot of thought on the gift he gave me, but it just doesn't make sense.

So with all that, I don't feel like he makes me excited about things, I don't feel like he helps me deal with my things (except the physical stuff, such as cleaning the house, carrying heavy stuff), I don't even feel like he "knows" me too well. 

Some of these things always happened since we met, some have gotten worse over time. I also didn't have those things clear to me as they are now. And some of my priorities have changed (family/fun over work, etc). I miss a person more present in my life, that makes me smile, that I feel proud of, that takes care of me that way I need and makes me feel calm, at peace. But I don't feel calm, he doesn't help with my anxieties, he sees me struggling with stress specially with the pregnancy and he never knows what to do. He has made me feel good some times (but not as much considering we've been together for this long), and I still feel like sharing with him the good moments I experience when he's not around. And we have one child and one on the way.

He saw a therapist for some time, which helped him identify some of the why’s he acts the way he does (is stuck, doesn’t speak up, basically lacks personality), and it has to do with his childhood and how he felt safer being quiet and accepting things the way they are.

So I really don't know what to do. While he takes a generally good physical care of our son and me, I don't feel the happiness I hoped to feel with the person I'm sharing my life with. I don't want our life to be boring/robotic. And most of the time I look at him I see boring/distracted.

I feel like I could be your husband.

I try to do those things that I should do.  But I don't know how to surprise my wife.  Zero clue.  I could ask her, but then it wouldn't be a surprise.  You have no idea how much I would love to do something for her that would shock and awe her.  I have nothing.

It sounds to me like her really loves you, but you don't love him back.  What do you do to help him feel loved?  Is it enough for him?

Consider the husband that spends all day preparing a special steak dinner for his wife.  Meal time comes and she a bit late for dinner.  She eats said dinner and says thanks, it was good.  And that was that.  From the guys perspective, he put in a lot of effort and got very little out.

From the wife's perspective, she really didn't see the effort that went into the meal, she really isn't into steak and she thought she reacted appropriately for the occasion.

Who was in the wrong here?  No one really, but neither is meeting the other's wants and needs.

How do you bridge that gap.  The husband in my story would have loved to have made his wife surprised and happy with the meal.  His efforts fell flat..  And now his motivation for surprising in the future has been muted. 

He can't read his wife's mind and he is an idiot when it comes to knowing what you want.  And I bet he is afraid to even try.

If you want things different, you are going to need to do some serious hand holding and teaching.  Make a huge list of romantic things you like and help him get started on it.  Yeah, not very romantic.  But he is going to need some serious help to get him to the point where he can be that guy you want.

And I would suggest trying to surprise him as well.  Maybe you have and it fell flat...  Maybe you both really need to discuss your dreams together.

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On 7/5/2019 at 11:39 AM, hellosun said:

My husband and I have been together for over 15 years. We are now in our mid 30s, we have a son and I am expecting our second. We have always had problems, many things on him that I didn’t like. But only recently (in the past year or so) I started to really realize what they are and how some important things never changed significantly. I think they got more noticeable after our first was born (5 years ago) and he also was very depressed in 1.5 to 2 years ago. He still has his bouts of depression, but not as bad. 

So lately I basically feel mostly unhappy than happy. Pregnancy hormones are probably affecting my judgement and personality a bit, but I felt like that before getting pregnant. He says (and I believe him) he loves me deeply. 

He is a nice person, can’t hurt a fly, does a lot around the house - cleans, cooks, etc. I’ve been very tired and I have some health issues, so he wants me to take it easy and he tries to do most of the chores. We share basically the same values (honesty, Family, how to treat money in general), we enjoy many similar things (board games, friends getting together, similar tv shows, etc).

But lately more and more I feel bored and I just don’t feel happy or fulfilled with him. To me he can only do things he’s used to - chores. He gets easily distracted about anything, or too focused on things that are not important.

Last time we went on a date (long time ago), we played pool and went to dinner. When we were playing pool, he was too focused on the game and even tho I told him he was being too focused on something not important, and I wasn’t really having fun, he just couldn’t break out of this world. He would try, and come and give me a kiss or something between his turn and mine, but it was just too robotic. I don’t think it’s because he is not interested in me, but he just gets stuck. And that happens too often. Then it was dinner time and it was a little better, but I was already not feeling great. This cycle is terrible.

He also will rarely surprise me. He is very predictable and rarely does something surprising that makes me feel special. He does a lot of nice things, but they are all in our routine.

For things like those too, I feel like he is a robot. He has an algorithm, he runs it, but can’t do anything extra.

I mean, he does it sometimes, but it’s really rare. I don’t remember the last time I felt like that.

Also, he is very forgetful. He will tell me he will do something, then he forgets. It’s hard to trust him in that sense, and I feel like I have a huge responsibility around our lives. He tries, and he has apps on his phone to remind him of some things. But little things like, dress our son appropriately, or even know where his stuff is. Remember to pack his hat. Remember to wash his face properly when he brushes his teeth. Those tiny things. He has a really hard time doing.  Even his own stuff. We go out, it’s winter and he forgets his gloves. And then I feel like if I am not on top of every, we will like waste time/or miss something because we have to go back home to get something. Important emails won’t get answered, etc etc. And it's not like he doesn't care. He says he cares and feels awful when those things happen, he says he wanted that to be different, but I don't see him doing anything about it.

He rarely speaks up about anything unless he's really angry, he rarely proposes things different in our life, rarely finds/tries to find solution to problems. Any problems in general. It's like he is always stuck.

On my birthday he tries to give me a gift but it's something that I don't need and I am not even interested. We don't spend too much money in general and only buy stuff we need or really like. He knows that. He is also with me when I tel him things I have the intention of buying at some point. He knows my favorite Hobby. He has all the knowledge to give me a thoughtful gift. He says he puts a lot of thought on the gift he gave me, but it just doesn't make sense.

So with all that, I don't feel like he makes me excited about things, I don't feel like he helps me deal with my things (except the physical stuff, such as cleaning the house, carrying heavy stuff), I don't even feel like he "knows" me too well. 

Some of these things always happened since we met, some have gotten worse over time. I also didn't have those things clear to me as they are now. And some of my priorities have changed (family/fun over work, etc). I miss a person more present in my life, that makes me smile, that I feel proud of, that takes care of me that way I need and makes me feel calm, at peace. But I don't feel calm, he doesn't help with my anxieties, he sees me struggling with stress specially with the pregnancy and he never knows what to do. He has made me feel good some times (but not as much considering we've been together for this long), and I still feel like sharing with him the good moments I experience when he's not around. And we have one child and one on the way.

He saw a therapist for some time, which helped him identify some of the why’s he acts the way he does (is stuck, doesn’t speak up, basically lacks personality), and it has to do with his childhood and how he felt safer being quiet and accepting things the way they are.

So I really don't know what to do. While he takes a generally good physical care of our son and me, I don't feel the happiness I hoped to feel with the person I'm sharing my life with. I don't want our life to be boring/robotic. And most of the time I look at him I see boring/distracted.

I'm a woman and what i learned is that it hurts to love...for both he and she... and that it helps not to demand or create expectations but to get to know the precious soul in front of you...and love...and love...and leave behind expectations or previous training...for...that soul in front of you is God's, made by Him, and having qualities precious to Him...and our job is to be the most sweet girl we can, and give and give and learn who that often mysterious yet special man is. It means letting go of a lot... forgetting one's own needs..and only to love. Our lives here are not the main focus, at least as far as I understand, so please forgive me to give an opinion, since I don't know you personally, but our lives are but for God, and our focus might not be His yet, because we are here, with a limited view...and so.. the thing to do is forget about oneself and to love the other... and see what happens then..the same with your children...how utterly unconditionally you love them... and then apply that to the other soul, your man in front of you. Anyway, I'm an older person, but that is my two cents, even though I know that it may sound a bit idealistic.

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