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alana_smithee's avatar

How do you meet in the middle with your SO when you have different priorities?

Asked by alana_smithee (123 points ) September 4th, 2010

I mean in how the relationship runs. My situation is like this, my bf seems to act like our relationship runs itself while I think put a lot of thought into it, trying to create some romance. He says he loves me more than anything but he doesn’t seem to want to find out what I need or if I tell him then he listens but keeps doing things his way. I’m starting to feel like I’m not a priority but something he attends to if he’s got enough energy or boredom left over from work and tv.

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16 Answers

harple's avatar

A key part of what you’ve asked is the phrase meet in the middle, which it does not sound like your boyfriend is doing, but you are right to want it… There was a good answer to a question earlier which may fit here a bit. It may be that you need to start doing some things on your own, away from him, so that he has time to miss you, and also so that you aren’t relying on him. It may help to make the time you spend together more valuable to him, and perhaps you could arrange some nights out where you’re not near distractions like the tv?

If these don’t have any impact, and talking is not getting a response, then he may need a serious kick up the behind to make him realise that you’re not going to hang around forever waiting for him to appreciate you.

ps – welcome to fluther!

Ben_Dover's avatar

We meet in the middle…of our bed!

alana_smithee's avatar

@harple Thanks, it’s kind of too late though since we live together. If I complain then he gets mad and says he hates feeling guilty but I don’t understand why he doesn’t get I don’t want him guilty, I want to feel important. Yes, I’ve tried to make “dates” to which he always says yes and then most of the time forgets about. I guess I’ve got a weird one that thinks sex is a chore even though I think it’s great and he seems to enjoy himself during the acts. A lack of romancing, I understand and I have given up trying to look pretty just for him or to hope he’ll bring me flowers or anything like that since he says he’s not interested in that. Gawd I feel like a huge whiner but I’ve also never felt so rejected by a man who I believe is in love with me.

harple's avatar

Oh @alana_smithee, I really feel for you. May I ask how long you’ve been together, and what ages you are?

So many of us find ourselves in relationships just like the one you’re describing, and it’s so “easy” to remain in them for a long time thinking it’s “just how things are”. It can really knock your self confidence though, and actually, relationships don’t always lose the romantic aspect with time. Key thing: you do not deserve rejection, you deserve to be shown that you are loved by someone that loves you. You are, at the very least, being taken for granted. Again, that is not something you deserve (no one deserves that).

No matter how trapped you feel, there is always somewhere else you can go – whether it’s to friend’s or back to your parents… if you need to get out of the relationship, you can.

alana_smithee's avatar

@Ben_Dover We meet in the middle of our bed too where he usually wants to watch tv until he falls asleep. He wants me cuddle with him and he’s all sweet but what I want is kissing and passion.

@harple We’ve been going out for 1½ yrs, we’re both adults over 30 and both divorced so it’s not like he doesn’t know what he’s doing, or me. I just figured after his failed past relationships he was serious about doing things different in ours so the same thing doesn’t happen. My biggest fear is I might stop getting turned on to him because I’m getting so angry and hurt. I don’t feel trapped but I do feel taken for granted and shortchanged, especially when he’s talked about how much stuff he used to do for his wife and when he says he doesn’t want to lose me. I’m getting confused.

Ben_Dover's avatar

Oh, well, that’s different. You tell him that the middle of the bed is not for TV.

alana_smithee's avatar

@Ben_Dover :) We could make it a game, the edges of the bed for tv and scooting into the middle for lover time. I’ll bring it up, he’ll laugh and tell me how much he adores me and then come alone time he’ll probably pass out on me.

Ben_Dover's avatar

Give it a whirl, and come back and tell us about the lover time! ;)

alana_smithee's avatar

@Ben_Dover I’m thinking of adding to the game by keeping a wooden spatula on the bed and he can decide if he wants his ass paddled before going to sleep or giving me some loving.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@alana_smithee From what you said, your boyfriend finds your relationship convenient because from his perspective, it requires little of him and he puts little effort into it or into understanding and responding to your needs. If this is what you need and expect from this relationship, then you may not be just settling for what he is prepared to offer you.

There can be no meeting in the middle if he has no desire or willingness to even be aware of your needs and wants. Frankly, a pet rock would be as satisfying as an intimate friend.

alana_smithee's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence What’s real strange to me is he occasional brings up a phrase of “just don’t take me for granted” after he’s told me how much he loves me, appreciates me and doesn’t want to lose me. At first I thought it was his reaction to being treated badly in his past and that his knee jerk reaction is to give less just in case he gets taken advantage of again. Thing is, it’s been well over a year of us being together and I’ve asked so little of him while spoiling him quite a bit.

harple's avatar

@alana_smithee My ex-husband and I had a very similar relationship to the one you’re describing (there are other factors that resulted in the end of the marriage too) but four years on, not only have I had better and happier relationships and general life, but he has too.

Ben_Dover's avatar

@alana_smithee If he’s not game, I’m available! :P

wundayatta's avatar

How often are we talking about? And how often do you want it?

There are many couples in this world where the libidos are mismatched. Sometimes one partner never wants to have sex—or maybe once or twice a year. This is men just as often at it is women who withhold sex. There are many people who believe in marriage so much that they will put up with having no sex for decades.

Sometimes this is a symptom of other things wrong in the relationship. I know he says he loves and adores you, but is that real? Have you ever told him expressly what your needs are and asked him to provide them, or tell you what he wants? You both have to tell the truth to each other if you are going to work this out.

A lot of times, one or both parties don’t deal with this because they are afraid of losing the other. I think this is a reasonable fear, but I also think you need to know what the other person needs and is willing to give, so you can make a decision about what you want to do with full information.

Like I say, most people are afraid to be honest about these things. It’s too uncomfortable and scary to talk openly. So counselors can help. But a lot of people don’t believe in counseling and don’t think it can help.

All I have to ask is whether you would be comfortable living like this for the rest of your life? If not, then work on it. Talk about it. It takes courage, but you have to do it, because it will not change on its own. It’s your choice. Do nothing and hope for the best, and you will live this way for as long as the relationship lasts. If you want change that works for you, then you have to talk about it. And yes, that carries a risk.

I don’t know. I lived in a sexless marriage for a few years, and I went crazy. Literally. Now I’m an extreme case, and who knows if the sexlessness was related to my mental illness (I think it was). But sooner or later, you’ll find yourself thinking about doing something you don’t really want to do, if not actually doing it. That’s torture, either way.

alana_smithee's avatar

I can’t say we have talked about this but I have talked to him so now I’m going to see if I can emotionally back off and get back out on my own. It’s going to hurt so bad but I really want a guy who I feel great around and believe in.

harple's avatar

Good for you @alana_smithee You deserve good things :-)

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