QUESTION: Hello Chuck and Garland, Help me on this one.
My partner and I have been together for eight years, living together for seven years. Our relationship hasn't been smooth, and we have one child together (5), plus...three other older children from a previous marriage. Right...so my question is his lack of emotion. I love him dearly, but he is a robot. No emotions whatsoever, little or no conversation daily. Comes into the house without a greeting, kisses his daughter, says hi to the boys, and if I get a grunt, I am lucky. I cannot tell you the last time I heard him say I love you.
I have been speaking to him about this for three years (of and on. Nagging will not help) now, and have really given up on expecting to hear it. The mood in the bedroom is different, quite the opposite. He is the most passionate lover that I have ever had...he is the kind of dream guy that every woman wants.....I cannot complain about his attentiveness and his consideration when we are in bed. (except he doesn't talk here either)
Outside...well.....you would swear we are strangers. I stopped being in the same gym with him because I cannot bear how it seems as if we are total strangers. He never acknowledged me, unless some guy came to speak with me.We never are affectionate in public, or outside the bedroom. Don't even try to hold his hand. I have already gone the route of totally vamping out to gain his attention, and get some affection ( I miss the flirting, and the way his eyes used to sparkle when he saw me). I have gone the route of the games in bed, tried flirting outside the bedroom....you name it I have done it.
It is starting to take a toll on me. I feel unattractive, I feel unappreciated...and even though I get attention from other men, (and I go out of my way not too because it annoys me), I get zero from him. He makes me feel like an annoyance, unless we are having sex...I even feel used. We never go out alone, and I have learnt not to expect any celebrations for birthday, christmas etc. I really feel like walking out......give me a man's take on this please. Help me see anothr perspective.
(From GARLAND - This Question got a bit lost in the mix here and went unanswered since June. I truly apologize for that. The Questioner has since provided additional information.)
While I have been waiting, further developments have been happening. I have found out that he has an alternative Facebook account, with an extremely sexy picture that screams "I am available". My attempts to befriend this account have been ignored, meanwhile his friends list of only women (well okay 2 guys out of the 68) is growing daily.
I have even found out that two of these "friends" are calling him.... well actually it was a call from one of his friend that gave me a name, which led tohis profile. This snooping is not like me.... but his refusal to attend family gatherings now, got me suspicious over the past two weeks.Yet, we still make love, passionately. But honestly guys, I feel like crap. I feel like I am not enough for him. He refuses to talk about it, and he refuses to let me know what he is doing. All the signs of cheating are there, and I am sick of feeling like one of the pieces of furniture in our home. We have been living together for the past eight years...honestly, I am bored, I know he is bored, and any attempts or discussions on my part to rejuvenate our relationship is met with refusal. I don't know if I could live in a loveless relationship holding on for the sake of the children (four, two are his, two from my previous marriage) What makes me feel really crappy is the fact that my last six relationships ended the same way..... I am tried of being cheated on...... So my question is..... stay and talk..... or take a walk?
GARLAND: Sorry again for missing your question.
There is so much I want to say, I hope I hit all of the points you mentioned.
You say that your last SIX relationships ended the same way? Let me say that YOU are the common denominator here. You are drawing bums in and you are allowing them to be a part of your life and you are allowing them to dog you out. I hate to say this, but you probably have very poor instincts for men. Sure, I'm certain that some folks will read this and say, "Why does it always have to be The Woman's Fault?" My answer to that is, "No, it's NOT ALWAYS THE WOMAN'S FAULT." But if your last six relationships ended with your men cheating on you, then YOU are doing something wrong, and you are doing it to yourself. I'll come back to this...
As far as your "partner" goes, you need to walk away. You have wasted a ton of your time 'living with' a guy that won't marry you, talk to you or look at you. I can't even muster up an ounce of pie-in-the-sky optimism here for you. I'm afraid that it will give you a glimmer of hope that will cost you another year of your life.
And the "love making," let's not get "love" all soiled in this situation. Doesn't 'making love' require TWO people to love each other? Otherwise it's called... well, you can imagine where I'm going. Don't make what goes on in the bedroom something it isn't. 'Making Love' is a sharing and showing of mutual affection between two people, from what you said, this guy might not spit on you if you were on fire.
The Facebook thing is simply what a man who thinks he's single will do. He'll put his image online and start attracting and spending time with interested women. Let's be honest, are you really THAT surprised?
One thing Chuck and I try to do with this blog is shave off the fluff and BS that some folks might give you. This guy is wasting your time and YOU are letting him do it. And, let me point out that while he is practically cheating on you in your face, he is still rasslin' around under the sheets with you! He is still taking whatever these other women have to give him and he is sharing it with you. Do you know what I'm saying? You could literally be killing yourself for this guy! We certainly don't want this!!!
I think, that once you've had enough of this guy's emotional neglect, you need to move on and starting loving yourself for a while. I don't know if that will take months or years, but after 6 or 7 failed relationships you need to treat yourself to some downtime and some positive energy. Then, when you think you might be ready to date again, you need to get together with a couple of your closest and smartest girlfriends and come up with a dating strategy and a "man-standards" check-list of points that they can hold you accountable to when you bring the next guy around.
In my opinion, just read your question again as if YOU are NOT the writer. And think about the writer as someone YOU love... a little sister, a cousin, your mother... what would you tell her?
CHUCK: I agree with Garland here. Normally, I would say talk to your boyfriend, about his lack of affection, about his seeming need to distance himself from you, about his second "sexy-man" Facebook page. But it sounds to me as though you've already tried to engage him on these issues, without much luck. So, while I know you have tried to put together a family, while I know it will be painful, you need to get the hell out while you can.
You seem to draw a distinction between the affection-free way he treats you everywhere else, and the attention that he shows you in bed. Make no mistake: That doesn't necessarily have anything to do with you. He could be mentally cutting and pasting your face and body with any number of his Facebook honeys. At the very least, he may be working on his sexual game in anticipation of the occasion when he will get extra friendly with these friends. So don't think, just because he's putting on a show in the bedroom, that it's all for your benefit.
It seems as though the only reason you are staying together is your family, and even that doesn't seem good enough for him now. It's a shame that he is not man enough to tell you what he is feeling, but would rather make you feel unloved and trash your self-esteem. He's a real prize.
I'm not going to rough you up about your admitted sorry track record with relationships. Not everyone ends up being the person that they seem to be in the beginning. But I would ask you to be more wary of danger signs when you look to start a relationship in the future. You've been off the market for eight years, though. People are a lot worse at hiding who they are these days. Mostly because they don't care.
But I suggest you end this chapter of your life as soon as possible. You will always be tied to him because of the young child you share. But you are overdue some love from a man who can show you genuine love in more than just the bedroom.