I'm reading your post and your replies and I begin to wonder if you're Mr Spock?
And I say that with kindness as an engineer who used to call himself "Mr. Logico" until I softened up and learned that It's not all about logic--feelings matter a great deal.
So what's the alternative? It's never even expressing that you have any concern over the relationship's current status. It's taking the marriage for granted. It's being roommates. It's boring.
Here's something I've learned: Happy couples never stop dating. I'm not talking a specific dinner-and-a-movie dating, but living a lifestyle. This is the many little acts of kindness and thoughtful things we do when we start out and when we have butterflies and are having fun making an impression with our partner. You don't stop doing that. Those cute old couples we all admire are still dating. It's both of them doing sweet little things and other random acts of kindness to show their spouse that they are loved and that they matter. And I think your wife is figuring this out and acting on it. Bonus: life is a lot more fun.
Another thing is about the The 5 Love Languages and it sounds like hearing these things are important to her. It doesn't matter what you think she should feel, it matters to understand how she feels. And same for you to her.
Your boyfriend lacks communication skills, and communication skills are important to you. Maybe you're just not compatible with each other. For what it's worth, I don't think he's behaving this way out of malice; he just doesn't understand. He doesn't know what to say to make things better for you, so he stays silent. Possibly, he's a problem solver. Your uncle's illness is a problem that he can't solve, so he simply drops it. Your reaction to his silence is probably just as confusing for him as his silence is for you. You cryptically told him that he was being helpful, and then you blew up at him for not being helpful. I kind of identify with your BF. Personally, I don't feel like I had any semblance of empathy until the age of 25, and I don't think I was emotionally mature until well into my 30s. From my perspective women are simply emotional prodigies. As an older man I totally get why you're pissed off. I don't think my 23 year old self would have understood. Consider giving this a read: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Languages-Secret-that-Lasts/dp/080241270X and have him read it as well.
Are you asking to much? No.
You probably have a need that he's not quite aware of or hitting, as described in a popular book here, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman. They also have The 5 Love Languages Online Quiz or Downloadable PDF on their website. Both of you would be wise to read the book; and guess what? Lordica is leading a book study of it right now in this sub, so please feel free to join in.
For him, it might be a good idea for him to get his testosterone checked. It's quick and easy and some guys swear by it and the treatment for Low-T in this sub.
And be aware that studies show that happy couples never stop dating. I'm not talking a specific dinner-and-a-movie dating, but a lifestyle. This is the many little acts of kindness and thoughtful things we do when we start out and when we have butterflies and are having fun making an impression with our partner. Don't stop doing that. Those cute old couples we all admire are still dating. It's both of them doing sweet things and other random acts of kindness to show their spouse that they are loved and that they matter.
I'm an engineer. And when I was young, I called myself "Mr. Logico". And I came from a family that didn't hug or say I love you much at all.
Then I went and married a hugger and a kisser and the greatest networker I've .ever known.
Thanks to my wife's training and some business management psychology classes, I'm a much softer, much kinder and MUCH more aware person.
So here's the deal: you need to be dead-on explicit with what you want because he's not going to pick up your on your vibes or feelings like you wish he would. You want hug, either initiate the hug or tell him you need one. You want help, ask for the specific help.
Something you two can do together is to check out one of the most popular books in this sub as an exercise: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman. They also have The 5 Love Languages Online Quiz or Downloadable PDF on their website. This is about how we all have different ways that we want to feel loved. You have yours, he has his and it's helpful for both of you to know each other.
I don't think you need to 'fight' for anything.
But what I do know is that all of us have ways that we want to feel valued and loved, and they're different. That's the premise of a popular book in this sub titled, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman.
They also have The 5 Love Languages Online Quiz or Downloadable PDF on their website. Try it with her to find out how she wants to feel loved--and also how you want to feel. But both of you do read the book because the quiz isn't a shortcut to the understanding.
It's based on a book by Dr. Gary Chapman
5 love languages
Basically everyone has different ways they express love and feel loved.
-Acts of service
-Words of affirmation
Knowing yours and your partners can be very powerful. It allows you to better meet his needs and for you to better express your needs.
It's great for all relationships!
Grandpa here, and I've been down this path. Like the time I bought her that white sweater.... it got returned. I also think back to my dad telling me how individualized cars are, and how it was a big epiphany to him when he realized that it was important for mom to have the car she wanted and not so much what he thought she needed. He and I were both engineers so our brain always wants to go to "let me calculate the solution you need" and people don't work that way.
Let me try to pass along some older guy wisdom, so walk with me here:
Your 'best efforts' as you phrase it were to give her gifts that were what you wanted her to have; not so much what she wanted to have. As an artist, your creations are always about you and your concept of whatever it is. Even if it's meant for someone else, dragon colors and everything. It's still very much your expression. To you, this is a very meaningful thing from you and I think that you want them to be a surprise.
But human psychology doesn't work that way. We all have very individualized ways of how we want to feel loved. That's the main point from the very popular book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman. An issue is that lots of people lavish onto their spouse the treatment that they want, not realizing that it's not at all what the spouse wants and their attempts to make them feel love don't work at all. Unfortunately, it's super common.
Now this is where it seems like takes some real jedi mind reading skills and it ain't always easy. You're trying to completely remove the thinking of what you want and slide into their mind and think of what they want. With practice you can get really good at it over a lifetime. To be honest, it's a lot better to forget with the surprises and flat out ask what they want, gather the details and literally write it down. No joke.
> I’ve noticed a lot of these on this sub and on secular marriage and relationship subs
The people that post are the ones that feel everything was going alright and it seemed “all of a sudden” to them. The people that leave generally don’t post, but if they do, it’s usually for a “laundry list” of reasons.
> why is this occurring
Take your pick: bad communication, poor boundaries, unacceptable expectations. I’m sure there are more, but the problem is that divorce happens when one or both parties give up on the commitment made at the wedding and finalize it in court.
> do most marriages that split do so in this fashion
Literally unknowable. The reason given to most under the law is “irreconcilable differences” which is a catch-all for paperwork sake. Even if you have statistics (maybe the CDC), the data would have to be extrapolated, and it still wouldn’t be accurate.
> are the reasons almost always readily apparent, with the writing on the wall being seen ahead of time with time to try fixing things?
In many cases, yes. Most? Unknowable.
> how does someone avoid this, in terms of choosing and a good partner and leading a marriage?
There was an awards ceremony, I think it was back in 2011, where Robert Downey Jr asked Hollywood essentially to forgive Mel Gibson. I think understanding how a person is rooted in Christ has to do with how willing they are to forgive the other persons sins. That’s definitely got to be a central tenet of a relationship.
All the other aspects: communication, boundaries, expectations; these can all be developed through intentional conversation and relationship development. To help with that, I recommend the five love languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. That’s a great starting point for any couple intentional on growing the strength of their relationship.
Buy him the book "The Five Love Languages." He literally needs the emotional training.
Have you considered going to couples therapy?
I think that the next time she tells you something like she feels like she's putting in 100% of the work you could just tell her that you want to be a better partner for her, maybe you could do therapy together to be sure that you properly address her concerns.
You can go with "Obviously I'm just not understanding, but I would like to and I think this would help us communicate about what you want from our relationship."
(You have your own problems but suggesting going to therapy isn't a good time to bring up your problems lol.)
You could also consider reading the 5 Love Langauges, maybe somehow you're just not expressing to her in a way she resonates with: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Languages-Secret-that-Lasts/dp/080241270X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2OGN6I57BGLOY&keywords=5+love+languages+by+gary+chapman&qid=1557866049&s=books&sprefix=5+love+%2Cstripbooks%2C161&sr=1-1
There's also a free quiz you can both take: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ (IMO you can learn just as much to imrpove your relationship from both taking the quiz, both reading about the different styles of love languages conceptually, and both committing to knowing each other's primary languages AND your own.)
I haven't read this book, but a mentor of mine says it saved her marriage: https://www.amazon.com/Fighting-Your-Marriage-Best-seller-Preventing/dp/0470485914
I was going to write something, but there's no tangible info to reply to.
So instead I'll ask: Have you read this book. Has he?
I feel this... completely! I wish my Husband understood!!!
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/080241270X/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_OSe5CbMJD8NG8
This book helped explain how I see love as physical touch. I didn't understand how a man could NOT understand that. His love language appears to be acts of service... which does NOTHING for me.
Sadly I think it is too late for us....
It kinda sounds like you married Mr. Spock. Like he doesn't comprehend empathy.
Maybe the Love Languages program could help you? That's if he'd participate. There's the popular book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman. And they also have The 5 Love Languages in an Online Quiz or in a Downloadable PDF.
It sounds like you're in the daily grind and have forgotten to do the things that make life fun and special. Because the sink is stopped up and junior just dumped his milk on the floor and the bills need to go out tomorrow and you still haven't picked up that prescription and oh crap the car's almost on empty...
Happy couples never stop dating. I'm not talking dinner-and-a-movie dating, but the many little acts of kindness and thoughtful things we do when we start out when we have butterflies and are having fun making an impression. Those cute old couples we admire are still dating. It's both of them doing sweet things and other random acts of kindness to show their spouse that they are loved and that they matter. Easier said than done, I know and have been there.
To that end, we all have different ways that we want to feel loved. A popular book in this sub is The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman. The point is that each of us has a preferred way to feel wanted. You can both take The 5 Love Languages Online Quiz or else use the Downloadable PDF to figure each other out.
I hope this helps.
Each of us has different ways of feeling loved and supported. It could be that you're doing what would make you feel supported and his need is different.
To learn about the different ways we feel loved, check out one of the most popular books in this sub: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman. They also have The 5 Love Languages Online Quiz or Downloadable PDF on their website. Both of you can find out what works for you.
And note that the street goes both ways--you should feel loved and supported too.
I think this is the book you're referencing. Agree that a counselor/therapist is probably the best direction. I doubt that this situation can be resolved with just a book.
This is going to sound hokey, but go with me: cater to the "love language" they bring to work. I'm pulling this from the Gary Chapman book, "The Five Love Languages". The mechanism Chapman describes ("love languages") isn't only for romantic. We carry pieces of our "language" with us in all of our friendships, work relationships, etc.
I'm not trying to take away from the other answers here; more so, accentuate them.
Here's the rub though. I'm suggesting this as the inspiration for how to better recognize people, but don't let this slip into corporate personality tests, or cheap gimmicks. At the end of the day give people what they deserve, and this can be a framework to individualizing those rewards and building real relationships with the people running your business.
My anecdotal backing:
My wife and I are opposites in some ways and to us that's an advantage where we compensate for, and make each other better.
We all have different ways that we need to feel loved and I'm thinking you're not feeling it where it counts to you. And maybe him too. Have you heard of the five love languages series? Sometimes our spouse is doing things, but not the things we need to feel loved because we're all different. There's the book by Gary Chapman. And there's the 5 Love Languages Online Quiz or Downloadable PDF. You two might poke around that site to learn more.
If you haven’t been around this sub long you will find some good to great book recommendations to help you at least if not both, probably will be recommended couples therapy by a few people, your very feminine name will probably draw lots of “want to talk *wink wink” dms which you can and should report, lots of back and forth on it’s ok to cheat or not, and you’ll learn terms you’ll use like: The Talk, Hysterical Bonding, Affair Partner (AP), Starfish/Duty Sex, Moving Goalposts and more.
•You need to clearly and calmly communicate to your Significant Other that it’s a problem, it won’t go away, and be very clear what the actual problem is. ie don’t say “I want sex” when it’s actually “Our relationship lacks total physical intimacy (hugs, touching, kissing etc) and I need it”- this will be The Talk and initiates everything else that happens. Some throw in a “Final Talk” with deadlines and ultimatums for a SO that doesn’t seem to change.
•This comes up often to look out forThe Four Horsemen
•Learn your Love Language and encourage your partner to do so Love Languages Book
•This book to help find your voice is popular No More Mr Nice Guy
Happy couples never stop dating. I'm not talking dinner-and-a-movie dating, but the many little acts of kindness and thoughtful things we do when we start out when we have butterflies and are having fun making an impression. Those cute old couples we admire are still doing it. And it's both of them doing sweet things.
So you need to talk with him, and tell him this. Paint a picture perhaps of what not being a roommate is like. And remember that you have to listen to him and do the same things in return--this road goes both ways. This isn't a me-vs-him thing, it's an us against the world thing. How can we do this better?
And be prepared to let him know what makes you feel wanted with specifics (men can't read minds). Like maybe you'd like for him to open doors for you (I still do it after 35 years). Or maybe you want to hear that he's proud of your work.
Along that line, there's a popular book in this sub you both might look into:: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman. The point is that each of us has a preferred way to feel wanted. You can both take The 5 Love Languages Online Quiz or else use the Downloadable PDF to figure each other out.