Maybe it's just my own insecurity?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2006
Maybe it's just my own insecurity?
7
Fri, 05-03-2013 - 2:12am

My bf and I have been together for almost 3 years and we are in our late 20s (well both of us are turning 30 in a few months). I think overall the relationship is great. We have pretty good communication, we have a lot in common, our friends get along with each other that we are able to hang out as a group. But i feel like the affection is just not the same as before. Well there are still days when we are just as affectionate but there are also days when we act like old married couples. Sometimes I'm ok with that but sometimes I feel neglected and I miss the random kisses he used to give me. I used to have bad mood swings where I'd just feel really depressed and crave comfort and affection from him and when i don't get it i just get worse. Sometimes for hours I couldn't bring myself to smile. Usually he doesn't know what to do or gets annoyed that I would be upset for no particular reason. And to be honest if the roles were reversed I probably would be too. And it really just become a downward spiral that pulls us further apart. So I have been trying to drag myself out of the mood or try to not get too sucked in into it. He even said many times my mood swings and my refusal to snap out of it would be something that would make him break up with me. I know I sound like a huge brat, but when I don't get enough attention from him, I get moody or kinda mad (for ex he's only seem me once this week after he's hung out w his friend, and he hung out w him again tonight), and he hasn't really want to talk on the phone for long coz he says he's trying to clean, which I get on him about, along with working out more. So I feel like I have no right to complain since he's trying to do what I want him to do. At the same time I want him to want to spend time with me. It makes me wonder if he's bored/tired of me and doesn't want to spend time with me. You can just imagine what else my mind wanders to. As I'm typing this out I realize more and more how ridiculous it sounds. I DON'T want to feel this way and I don't want to be a needy jealous girlfriend. I feel like I used to be much "cooler" of a gf and I still can be when I'm in a good mood. But I find myself wondering more and more about where this is going, if its going well? Is it because I'm getting older and want to make sure I'm on the right path towards building a family? I'm not in a hurry to get married or anything but I want to be on that path, and I'm not sure if he is? Maybe I'm thinking too much but it feels good to at least get this off my chest.

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Fri, 05-03-2013 - 8:59am

watamelun wrote:
<p>My bf and I have been together for almost 3 years and we are in our late 20s (well both of us are turning 30 in a few months). I think overall the relationship is great. We have pretty good communication, we have a lot in common, our friends get along with each other that we are able to hang out as a group. But i feel like the affection is just not the same as before. Well there are still days when we are just as affectionate but there are also days when we act like old married couples. Sometimes I'm ok with that but sometimes I feel neglected and I miss the random kisses he used to give me. I used to have bad mood swings where I'd just feel really depressed and crave comfort and affection from him and when i don't get it i just get worse. Sometimes for hours I couldn't bring myself to smile. Usually he doesn't know what to do or gets annoyed that I would be upset for no particular reason. And to be honest if the roles were reversed I probably would be too. And it really just become a downward spiral that pulls us further apart. So I have been trying to drag myself out of the mood or try to not get too sucked in into it. He even said many times my mood swings and my refusal to snap out of it would be something that would make him break up with me. I know I sound like a huge brat, but when I don't get enough attention from him, I get moody or kinda mad (for ex he's only seem me once this week after he's hung out w his friend, and he hung out w him again tonight), and he hasn't really want to talk on the phone for long coz he says he's trying to clean, which I get on him about, along with working out more. So I feel like I have no right to complain since he's trying to do what I want him to do. At the same time I want him to want to spend time with me. It makes me wonder if he's bored/tired of me and doesn't want to spend time with me. You can just imagine what else my mind wanders to. As I'm typing this out I realize more and more how ridiculous it sounds. I DON'T want to feel this way and I don't want to be a needy jealous girlfriend. I feel like I used to be much "cooler" of a gf and I still can be when I'm in a good mood. But I find myself wondering more and more about where this is going, if its going well? Is it because I'm getting older and want to make sure I'm on the right path towards building a family? I'm not in a hurry to get married or anything but I want to be on that path, and I'm not sure if he is? Maybe I'm thinking too much but it feels good to at least get this off my chest.</p>

To be honest with you, after reading your post, it sounds like you don't take very much initiative in your relationship, except to point out where he is dropping the ball with you.  You say you miss the random kisses he gave you---when was the last time you took the initiative and kissed him first?  Initiated sex?  Occupied yourself for the week so that he was begging you for you to clear your schedule to make time for him?  Instead, you throw a tantrum and think he's supposed to be drawn to you to want to give you attention.

All relationships do go through a "married couple" phase because each has gotten comfortable with the other. But it is a phase--and if BOTH of the participants want to keep their relationship vibrant, then they do things which not only makes them more exciting, but in turn makes the relationship an exciting one to be in.

When you strip away all of your mystery, then what else is there to be excited about? 

Why don't you go do someting that will interest you instead of waiting on him to call or come by or clean or work out--things that give you the excuse to call and complain because he's not spending time with you?  Sure it's much easier to spend time with a friend who isn't all on his behind because of what he didn't do or how he disappointed him this week or that he's mad and can't figure out how to recitfy their own situation.  It's not your boyfriend's job to save you from your emotions.  You're 30--it's time to pull up your big girl pants on that one.

And you should take what he says very seriously: He even said many times my mood swings and my refusal to snap out of it would be something that would make him break up with me.  Don't disregard this because that was a huge, loud warning sign that you're headed towards peril.  Go see a doctor--your mood swings may be chemical/hormonal and that needs to be addressed.  Go see a therapist to help you learn how to navigate your way out of a bad mood. Do something proactive instead of making him responsible for getting you out of your own bad mood.  Just as no one can make you happy--you have to find that within yourself--no one can change your mood. That is totally up to you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2006
Fri, 05-03-2013 - 2:19pm
I agree with you that I have some work that I have to do on my end. I do initiate and show affection, but there's just so much I can show without any reciprocation and getting my pride hurt. I do have my own things going on and my week nights are usually occupied with my own things (cleaning, working out, etc as you mentioned). I guess in the past he's always been the one craving my company and wanting to hang out but not as much lately and I can't help but let my mind run wild sometimes.
Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Fri, 05-03-2013 - 5:07pm

watamelun wrote:
I agree with you that I have some work that I have to do on my end. I do initiate and show affection, but there's just so much I can show without any reciprocation and getting my pride hurt. I do have my own things going on and my week nights are usually occupied with my own things (cleaning, working out, etc as you mentioned). I guess in the past he's always been the one craving my company and wanting to hang out but not as much lately and I can't help but let my mind run wild sometimes.

Relationships grow as time goes on. They do not remain static--anything that remains static, dies eventually.

Just as a baby grows up, just as a plant matures, relationships take off in a myriad of directions. It's to be expected that the way he dealt with you when you began 3 years ago would not be how he deals with you now.

Perhaps he was craving your company---until you allowed your mood swings to run wild and unchecked.  No one wants to be around that kind of negative energy and it's up to you to get a grip on that.  From what you've written, it would seem that that is the main reason why you're seeing less and less of him more than anything else. 

How about his pride being hurt when you let your bad mood off its leash? I'm quite sure he doesn't want to draw back a nub after you've snapped at him for doing something wrong. You cannot expect him to "walk it off" when you don't expect that you have to "walk it off" when you've been rebuffed.

I think that you need to cook him a great dinner, sit him down and truly and with all the heartfelt understanding you can muster, apologize to him for how you've been treating him. Accept the blame for what you've done in the past and be clear to him that your goal is to fix that because you love and care for him that much.. and then, give him the best bee jay you've ever given him.  And when you wake up the next morning, be cheerful, happy and have no expectations that he spend the day with you. Send him on his way and let him miss you and ask to come back to see you.

Stop expecting him to entertain you... and put your mind in a fenced yard.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Fri, 05-03-2013 - 10:42pm

I hear a red flag here and maybe not what you're expecting.  About a "REFUSAL to nap out of it", as he seems to see it - if you can snap out of it - no matter what, I'd suggest you see a counselor who can help figure out where "snap out of it-ABLE" moods can be helped, for many counseling works as well - or better - than pills.  If a therapist helps you see you can indeed snap out of it, then they can also help you figure out what's behind the mood swings and if so, then you should work hard to do just that - but for YOU, not for somebody else.  But there are so many of us who beat up on ourselves thinking if we just tried hard enough we COULD "snap out of it", when in truth there can for some be an underlying health issue or old trauma that's resistant to therapy and/or doesn't respond to pills.  In that case, it can be complicated to deal with, I can say that because that's me.  It's fine and it's his choice if he finds your mood swings to be more than he wants to deal with, just as it's your choice to decide what's best for you, too.  Do understand that relationships change, sometimes the bloom goes off the rose or it comes and goes, but there oughta be a spark and genuine joy in spending time together, regardless.  If you feel like you're "on his back" about doing things like cleaning or working out, a different approach is in order - instead if you agree there is likely a future for you, then a DISCUSSION about expectations is wiser - get better communication off the ground  before you make any permanent commitment to each other - you should be able to already discuss everything you wrote if you truly do have good communication.  Many of us didn't and seriously regretted all we did NOT discuss before we became a full couple.  Has it occurred to you that if you are feeling a lack of affection that maybe that's the truth?  I think most often when there are couple problems, both have contributed to that....but often it's not exactly an equal contribution.  TALK - better figure out where to go right now than keep "awfulizing" and wondering.  Just.....talk.  Every question you wrote needs to get discussed by the two of you.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sat, 05-04-2013 - 11:13am

I have to agree with Kendahke.......I see ME ME ME.  He's not spontaneous?  Are YOU?  He's not as "affectionate" as you'd like him to be?  Are YOU?  You compare yourself to "old married" couples......guess what?  Old married couples are HAPPY old married couples when they learned early on to stop playing games, to talk to each other, to constantly show each other love and affection, and to discuss problems with each other in a calm and rational way.  Marriage (and relationships) don't just "happen" to be happy.  You make them that way by forgetting about ME and concentrating on US.  No guy is going to respond very well to constant whining and complaints......of course he's goint to hang out with his buddies.......because they're FUN, and they don't expect him to say how much he cares about them every 5 minutes. 

I'm not saying it's ALL your fault........in fact, maybe this relationship needs to end.  But I am saying that if you want more, you have to give more, and it seems like you expect HIM to keep everything on an even keel.  If you have an insecurity problem, it's YOUR problem, and only you can fix it.......his job in life isn't to "complete you".......you don't belong in a relationship unless you're already complete, and the right man will compliment that!  You need to learn to love yourself, then you won't be expecting a man to prove that you're loveable!  Try thinking about HIM, and giving to HIM, instead of worrying about your ego.  Maybe it's not too late.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Mon, 05-06-2013 - 5:10pm

Some of these responses seem pretty harsh to me.

I see a number of things going on.  One is that you have mood swings that you find hard to control.  I can absolutely relate to that.  Until I did Natural Family Planning, I thought I was just a very moody person.  Once I started charting my cycles in my 30s, I realized how much of my mood was actually driven by hormones.  In my early 30s I was on BC pills that made me fly into terrible rages, and in my late 40s, my premenstrual moodiness turned to full-on PMDD, and I started taking Sarafem for two weeks a month.  Suddenly, no more moodiness, no more sadness, no more insecurity, no more spiraling down & in.

A red flag for me is that your BF thinks you should just "snap out of it."  It's easy for people who have not been depressed to tell others to snap out of it, but it's impossible for a person who suffers from depression to just snap out of it.  My DH of many years has always suffered from depression; so do two of my kids.  DH has learned how to manage his without medication but one of my kids takes Zoloft, which has made a world of difference.

I really think you need to work on this issue first.  In my case, I knew my moods were cycle-related (because I'd charted for two years and ever since have been *very* attuned to hormonal changes).  You may be able to identify your moods as cyclical or you may find them to be pervasive.  If you feel that you have this tendency to spiral once your insecurities start, you might find that talk therapy will help you.

Couples do change, and you shouldn't expect at three years to be where you were during the first year.  However, the relationship overall should be changing for the better, not the worse, if you're planning to marry someone, and both parties should have a willingness to understand each other and move forward.  It's not a good sign that your BF doesn't want to talk to you when you call or hang out with you.  After 30 years together, DH still has the same attitude he always has had:  everything is better when we're together.  Even during the occasional rocky periods, he never wanted to run away from me, he always wanted to work it out together.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Tue, 05-07-2013 - 9:33am

Great advice from the other posters. What I have to add is that getting in a bad mood when he isn't affectionate isn't working. You need to ask for what you want in a happy way. "Can you caress my hair? Can you scratch my back?"  Then when he does so, praise him. "Wow, that feels so good. You have magic hands." People will tend to repeat behaviors that they are rewarded for. Typically, men aren't as affectionate as women. They are not mind readers. No, it's not as romantic as him doing it on his own, but life is not a fairy tale. Ask for what you want in a positive way. If he cares, he will comply. If he doesn't care, he won't, and maybe the relationship should end.

You're telling him to clean his place and to work out. Mothers do that. Who wants to have sex with Mother? If he's a messy person, you'll have to deal with this in a mature way if you ever live together. Split the chores. If he refuses to do chores, tell him he'll have to hire a maid to clean. I would never tell my husband he has to work out. If he brings the subject up, I'll sometimes suggest what I think works, but I would never nag him about it. You have to accept who a person is without wanting to change him. If you want to change a partner in major ways, it means he's not compatible with you and you probably don't belong together.

Tell him you're going to counseling to work on your emotional state, then make life more fun with him. Do some new activities you've never tried before with him, and ask for what you want in a positive manner and praise him when he does so. Hopefully these changes will put new life into your relationship. Take care.