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Thread: Not feeling like a priority

  1. #1
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    Not feeling like a priority

    Hello all - First post in quite some time - and as always your feedback is appreciated.

    I'm in a 4+ year relationship. Blended family (she has one child, I have three). Living together. I'm 43, she's 38.

    We've had our up and downs over the years. We finally took the step of going to couples counseling and that has worked well. We all have our issues, so I won't go into the past so much as focus on the current situation.

    Our relationship reached new heights over the last 6 months. I recently went to Europe for two weeks (work, solo) - and during my time there I started to think about things as deep as marriage in the next year or so.

    Since returning from Europe, things haven't been good. It started with her not asking about the details of my trip etc - just a general lack of curiosity. Fair enough, I owned the situation and just launched into my stories as I was excited to tell my partner. While I was gone, she did exactly what I hoped she would - reconnect with friends and just be social and active. However, I've been back for 5 weeks now - and that hasn't changed. Literally every single thing she has done has been for herself - with her friends. Sometimes I get invited - other times I'm definitely feeling like an afterthought.

    I clearly communicated, within the first week of being home, that I was longing for some time with her to "reconnect". Undivided attention. A date. "Us" time. Finally, after probably 10 times of being very specific about this need - she caved and set aside a single day for me this upcoming weekend.

    It just feels like there's *always* something else going on, getting in the way of spending solid, quality time with *just* me. We've always had what I think is a good balance in our lives - hobbies, friends, etc. But over the last month, it is HEAVILY tilted to her needs being met above those of the relationship.

    I'm at a loss. I feel unprioritized. I feel alone within the relationship. Given I've so clearly communicated a reasonable, easy to meet need and she willingly continues down the same path, I'm seeing few options. Sure, I'll bring it up at therapy - but that begs the question: Does she really need our therapist to tell her what I've already spoken?

    She's reverted back to her "old" ways - not really telling me what's going on, saying "I'm going to lunch with a friend" and then texting me updates "I'm going to do this now and then I'm going to x, y, z while me and the kids are reasonably thinking we'll be having dinner together? She doesn't show up, doesn't ask about dinner etc?

    From experience, it seems like any time we have a number of days apart (7+ days or so), she seems to go into a mode that is "this is what life was like when I was single". I'm not asking for much of her time here. I've expressed my feelings calmly, so many times on this one issue!

    Thanks for any input you have.

  2. #2
    Silver Member BecxyRex's Avatar
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    Who was watching all the kids when you were gone?

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    Originally Posted by BecxyRex
    Who was watching all the kids when you were gone?
    Their mother and grandmother.

    We both have shared custody arrangements - so kids 50% of the time.

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    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    If carving out one day to be with you after multiple requests is a burden to her, it's clear that the relationship may be coming to an end. It sounds like you're more roommates than lovers.

    Have you had a serious conversation with her about how you see the future if these behaviors continue?

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    Have you discussed what you've shared with us, with her ?

    All of it, just as you did here.

    Does she know you've been considering marriage?

    It really appears like there is a total breakdown of communication.

    For some reason, it also appears like she does not trust you.

    I don't mean trust you not to cheat but trust you with her deeper feelings, about herself, about what's going on with her and how she is feeling about your relationship.

    Clearly, there is a reason she is behaving this way, so my advice is to gently and respectifully ask her what she's feeling and what she wants. No accusations, just an open and honest discussion re the status and future of your relationship.

    If she continues to evade the subject, or gaslight you in any way, consider ending, the relationship may have simply run it's course.

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    Originally Posted by SarahLancaster
    If carving out one day to be with you after multiple requests is a burden to her, it's clear that the relationship may be coming to an end. It sounds like you're more roommates than lovers.

    Have you had a serious conversation with her about how you see the future if these behaviors continue?
    I've been clear that my needs are not being met and that I do not want to be in a relationship where such an easy request cannot be met. I've explained that, for me, a great relationship strikes a balance, but neither of us should have our requests (within reason) so willingly ignored or swept under a rug.

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    Originally Posted by AnonymousSloth
    She's reverted back to her "old" ways - not really telling me what's going on, saying "I'm going to lunch with a friend" and then texting me updates "I'm going to do this now and then I'm going to x, y, z while me and the kids are reasonably thinking we'll be having dinner together? She doesn't show up, doesn't ask about dinner etc?
    So I am guessing this has a lot to do with why you two started therapy to begin with?

    It seems she hasn't reverted to her old ways as much as simply being who she truly is, which is evidently not committed in the way you would hope. Perhaps she tried some other strategies and approaches for a while because she knew it was what she "should" do for the sake of the relationship, but it's not how she sincerely wants to live her life.

    I think you would be wise to step back and ask yourself if you want to feel like you have to convince your own partner to spend time with you, like she has to pencil you in rather than being enthusiastic about seeing you. If not, it is likely time to think about seeking a new partner. She can't feign interest that she just doesn't have.

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    Originally Posted by AnonymousSloth
    I've been clear that my needs are not being met and that I do not want to be in a relationship where such an easy request cannot be met. I've explained that, for me, a great relationship strikes a balance, but neither of us should have our requests (within reason) so willingly ignored or swept under a rug.
    This was the "wrong" way to approach this with her, see my previous post.

    You made it all about you, your needs aren't being met, you don't feel like a priority, and it's all her fault.

    No wonder she's shutting down.

    As I said in my previous post, sadly she does not trust you w her feelings.

  10. #9
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    Originally Posted by katrina1980
    Have you discussed what you've shared with us, with her ?

    All of it, just as you did here.

    Does she know you've been considering marriage?

    It really appears like there is a total breakdown of communication.

    For some reason, it also appears like she does not trust yiu.

    I don't mean trust you not to cheat but trust you with her deeper feelings, about herself, about what's going on with her and how she is feeling about your relationship.

    Clearly, there is a reason she is behaving this way, so my advice is to gently and respectifully ask her what she's feeling and what she wants. No accusations, just an open and honest discussion re the status and future of your relationship.

    If she continues to evade the subject, or gaslight you in any way, consider ending, thevrelatiinship may have simply run it's course.
    Yes, I have spoken to all of this directly with her. I told her when I was in europe - and given the path we'd been on, I was having "more future forward thoughts". I did not say "marriage" because she knows that is a relationship goal for me. Stated from the beginning.

    I do "suspect" the rest of what you are saying here.

  11. #10
    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AnonymousSloth
    I've been clear that my needs are not being met and that I do not want to be in a relationship where such an easy request cannot be met. I've explained that, for me, a great relationship strikes a balance, but neither of us should have our requests (within reason) so willingly ignored or swept under a rug.
    You've obviously done your share of trying to make the relationship work. It can't be one-sided. If she's not willing to meet you half way, you may want to face the unhappy facts.

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