I had a deep and very emotional discussion with my husband last night and this morning about how I've been feeling lately with all my anxiety and stuff. In the end, I told him I need him to appreciate me...I need to feel special, cherished, and admired. Some details...I used to have issues of abandonment where I had such a hard time giving him his own time with his hobbies to the point where he wouldn't take time alone anymore. Well, it's been over a year since I've resolved this and he gets to do anything anytime he wants; of course he doesn't abuse this rightful freedom. But every once in a while I would just wish he would appreciate it rather than act like it's his right and he owes nobody anything for having it. He thinks I still have an issue with it because I am wanting appreciation for giving it to him. He thinks that if I truly have no problem with him spending time alone, then I wouldn't want anything in return such as acknowledgment and appreciation. I kept trying to explain to him that it's not that I expect thanks in return for continued freedom, no! I would just like him to be thankful and make me feel like I am a blessing in his life rather than a wife who meets the minimum criteria.
I feel like I'm not explaining myself clearly and am getting as frustrated as I was trying to explain to him...Let me try another way of explaining...Two nights ago he came home from work, ate dinner, spent time with the kids, put them to bed, did some laundry, and washed the dishes all by a reasonable bedtime. He did those things not because they were his responsibility, but to help me out because he knows what stress I've been experiencing lately. So I sent him an email the next day at work telling him how much I admire him for how strong he is in having his act together and being able to get things done with no fuss or anxiety. I told him that he was an awesome person and a generous husband and that I loved him, admired him, and wish I were strong like him sometimes. He later told me that this meant the world to him. Of course he didn't expect acknowledgement or appreciation because he was doing it out of love for me, just as I do things for him (like his time alone and such). But my email meant the world to him, which is what I wish he could do every once in a while. I guess it's a way of nurturing the marriage???
Does anyone understand what I'm trying to say? Can anyone help me word this so that he'll understand what I want from him? I really don't expect a thanks because I do it to make him happy. But I wish he wouldn't act like owes nobody anything, like I'm his woman slave or something. I mean, most of the wives of our friends don't let their husbands do half of the things I let him. Ugh, OK...i'm clicking submit now...
I can relate to what you're saying....unfortunately hon, I dont have much advice as I have the same issues with my own husband. Just to say that I understand. I am the same way, I do special things for him, that just dont seem to register on any scale, that dont seem to matter as much as they matter to me. Once in a blue moon when he does something for me, I always make sure I let him know how much it means to me.
My example.....my very first Mothers Day......my husband was with me, when I purchased gifts for my mom, and for my mother in law. He was right there, when I wrapped them, when we went to my MIL's house a few days before Mothers day and gave them to her. He saw the effort I put in. I had also bought gifts from my son to his grandmothers...really nice little things, frames that said "grandma".....because it was their first Mothers Day as a grandmother. On that Sunday morning.....it was Mothers Day, my mom actually bought me a little gift which was nice. But from my husband I got nothing. So I kind of said in disbelief to my son....(although I know its nothing to do with him)...what did you get mommy for Mothers Day? And so my husband said "Oh...I didnt get anything". I was so hurt. He had watched me carefully do this for Christmas, birthdays, Valentines, Easter, all those occasions, buy something from my son...for his grandparents, aunts etc. But when it was time for my first occasion as a mother, I got nothing. Not even a little token ornament that said "Mom". It really hurt. It wasnt the stupid present..it was just that all I had done for everyone seemed like it meant nothing. It was my first Mothers Day...and I'll always remember that.
So, like I said, I know how these things make you feel unappreciated....just the slightest thoughts make you feel so good when you are thought about, it really doesnt take much. I understand lilme!!!
Love, Caroline xo
Hi Katherine and Caroline!
Do you need me to say that I know exactly what you are saying and that I feel exactly the way you do? I do not think so!!
It seems to me that it has to do with the difference in being a man and being a woman.
The little things we say and do, the love we spread around in so many little ways, the care, the understanding , the sensitivity, the loving words and attitude we have with the people we love, all have to do with what being a woman is.
I see it with my son. When he was younger and was copying from me, he would never forget my birthdays and really go out of his way to please me and would aways pester his dad to remember special dates and make him give me little gifts. ...Now that he is older, 14 years, as if by magic, he is becoming more of a man and has started developing a man's ways and a man's way of looking at things. eg. Last May he forgot my birthday for the first time. And even though he apologized he even forgot to make things right!!!! AH!!! He is becoming like his dad.....unfortunately.
So, to cut a long story short, any woman would agree to this: we are simply different by nature and by essence, call it what you like. Blaming them for this, or taking it personally and being hurt because they do not offer us what we offer them is like blaming the cat for not being a dog!!!
Does it make sense?
Last edited by thaliak; 09-01-2007 at 02:23 AM.
Hi hi everyone, just read the last few posts, girls girls girls, ye should know by now that men are another species!!! But thats a good thing. Men dont do things the way we do! None of it. They wash the dishes differently, they cook differently, they even wash differently eg. I always find my boyfriends toothbrush on the shelf in the shower bcos thats where he brushes his pearly whites! Strange but true. So you cant expect them to express their feelings the way we do!! The secret is to realise that there are many ways to express things. You just have to learn to read the signs. It took me some time but i figured out a few of the ways that guys express their feelings. But dont tell them. Keep it for yourself. Eg. I noticed every time my boyfriend and I went grocery shopping, he would have a ridiculously smug face when carrying the bags of groceries later, sort of a secret smile for himself. I would always ask, "What is it?" but he would never answer. I was watching National Geographic the other week and saw the same smug face on a male baboon who had just brought home dinner to his missus!!!
Before the male readers get offended, i am merely saying that us women are very vocal in expression and when we dont get the same response then the worrying starts. But theres no need. Body language is a brilliant thing. So girls, please dont agonise and feel unappreciated. Instead stay quiet and calm and soon you'll see the wonders of the male species unravel.
P.S. I didnt see that female baboon complaining. Take a hint from mother nature.
Thanks girls. Aside from the fact that men and women are different, this is not the man I married. I didn't marry a typical guy, I married a really sensitive guy who worshiped the ground I walked on because I (his words) "taught him how to love." But lately, the more I give the more he takes.
I guess Caroline hit it right on the nose about appreciation. Girl, my heart broke for you about mother's day. I would've lost it had my husband done that. You and I take care of our families because we want to, not because it's expected of us. But years of doing so without being cherished or appreciated can make things go south very quickly. Thanks for understanding, Care!
Thanks for your message......
I am by nature a very giving person.....I really dont expect alot in return...but I do go out of my way to do special things for my family. I dont expect the most extravagant gifts, or them to be wrapped in pretty boxes.....just the thought is good enough. A coffee mug that said "Mommy"...would have made me so very happy. It was a special day you know? My first mothers day...ah well. For me, it just feels what "I" do doesnt mean anything. And I put so much into doing things for everyone. Things like this just chip away at our relationship, they really do....I'm not sure if its the same for you, but that's how I feel.
On that note...today is my 7th Wedding Anniversay......my husband ran out last night at 9 o'clock when he noticed the "Happy Anniversary" card to us from my parents on top of the mantle of our fireplace. I guess that day is not a memorable day for him......
As I said, it chips away........and whether or not alot of people have the same issue...and alot of people "forget".....doesnt make it hurt any less.
Hope you're having a nice weekend hon!
Awww, Care...Happy Anniversary!!! I'm sorry your husband didn't remember. Yes, taking life and loved ones for granted does take a toll on the relationship. And yes, it's not like we expect acknowledgment, because even if we don't get some sort of appreciation, we still do for are families what we do for them. My husband is lucky that our wedding day is the day before his birthday, lol!
I'm sorry your husband forgot. I don't think it's because he doesn't care, but because he's not being "present" in life. Maybe he's got too much small stuff on his mind that he forgets the important things and is letting life pass right by. Whatever the case, I'm sorry this happened. Hope you feel better. Make sure he knows that a serious make-up is to be underway.
Hey thanks Catherine...
It's okay....it's not like he forgets "every" occasion......
For this past Mothers Day, he gave me a charm that had three hearts, one for him, one for me, and one for our son....they are all joined together...and I thought it was the most beautiful gift he'd ever given me. So symbolic...I love those kind of gifts.....they mean more than anything....I'll always cherish it. Someone said something today that made me think I have been a little harsh on him in this respect...so I'm getting over it. There's other things that are more important.
Hope you are doing well these days? You are posting late...I guess waiting till kids are asleep?
Hey gals, Catherine, I am sorry that you aren't able to communicate to your husband what you need to here. I don't have any words of wisdom here but you got some interesting posts from Thaliak, Maneka, and Carsam! I was wondering if your husband feels a little overwhelmed by all that has been going on with you so he just can't give anymore right now? Have you ever asked him this? When I was at the very peak of my distress/dysfunction/problems about ten years ago, my husband reached his limit of understanding/support and he just didn't have anymore in him at the time. I realized this at the time and gave him his space and he has since recovered. I don't know if this has anything to do with your situation or not.
About anniversaries and stuff, I behave on the other side of the continuum. My husband and I have both forgotten our anniversary more than we have remembered it (we just celebrated 15 years). I have forgotten it more than he has actually. I was wondering if you both got more day to day appreciation/communication if the "making up for it on a holiday" would mean less?
Carolyn, I thought of this question over the weekend. What about your husband attracted you to him at first?
I was wondering if you both got more day to day appreciation/communication if the "making up for it on a holiday" would mean less?
Carolyn, I thought of this question over the weekend. What about your husband attracted you to him at first?
That first point is a good one Sannah, you're probably right about that.
What attracted me at first? Hmm....well, we were just friends first for about a year and a half...we worked together. So there really was no 'instant' attraction for me. After a while I learned from mutual friends, that he had feelings for me...and I guess as most people do....when you realize that, you start to look at that person in a different light. We hung out together as friends....and it grew from there.....
This is interesting conversation Sannah....(sorry lilme to piggyback on your thread, I'm really bad for that)....anyways, when we first got together, I honestly did not feel the "sparks" thing....so I questioned how much I really did "like" him. The funny thing is...that is was my "mother" who really kind of kicked it into place for me........strange, eh?
So, she was going home for the summer, about 8 weeks, and just before she left, she says "Are you going out with that guy?" I didnt know how she would handle the "mixed" relationship thing...and at the time, as I said, I was just "figuring out my feelings" for this new relationship. So I said "No". In my mind. I figured, well she'll be gone for the summer, and I'll get to know him and either by the time she gets back, I'll have either ended it, or I'll be still with him, and by that time I wont care what she thinks. At that point just before she left, she said "Yeah, but he's Chinese!!! You're not going out with a Chinese guy are you?" This did it for me!!! This is when I realized how much I did care about him, because I was furious and so protective of him....I was so angry at her for saying that, because I realized then that I did have strong feelings for him. So there you have it. Since then, the "mixed" relationship thing was quickly resolved as she got to know him, and found out he is a great guy...she realized quickly....that although we came from different backgrounds, we were good together..and that's really what matters. Ireland has come a long way, but it's still not very common to have mixed relationships there, not like it is here in Canada.
Other than that....the funny thing is that we used to "talk" for so long....maybe it was when we did get to that "always want to be together" stage...but we did. We dont anymore sadly....but that's due to 7 years of you know what. Geez Sannah, this is really long now...you got me thinking this morning girl!!! Why did you ask me this?
Caroline, this question just popped into my head this weekend. I just finished reading your posts to Ryan about your husband. Maybe my psychic abilities picked up on what you were telling Ryan over the weekend! (I'll have to recheck what day you were posting this!). Anyway, after reading your conversation with Ryan it sounds like there just hasn't been any investment in your relationship with your husband because you are overinvolved with your family. You described the course of your relationship with your husband and all you listed was events with your family. You have a new family now Carolyn, your husband.
Carolyn, do you know why I don't come here on the weekends anymore? I don't come here on the weekends anymore because when my family is here (our home) I am here with them. When I would come on here on the weekends I would sit with my husband but my mind would be with you all. It took him a few weeks to finally explain this to me (he sensed it but couldn't explain it for me to understand at first). I looked at him and said "OMG, you are right. I am not here with you". This is why I cannot come here on the weekends because I need to be involved in my real life too. So maybe when you are with your husband you are really with your mom?
I think there are cultural differences too with your husband that IMO would be beneficial for you to understand. Like I told you before my husband is from another culture and I know his culture very well now (firstly because I am fascinated by people and secondly I actively educated myself). My husband was also very good at communicating to me cultural differences because he had to understand this about himself too. He is a mixture of the two cultures now. He likes to say that he took the best from each. I don't think that our relationship would be where it is today if we hadn't understood the cultural differences.