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Thread: My newer bf hates to talk about emotions doesn’t say many loving things

  1. #21
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    What does he mean by "you're next in line after his exwife and exgf"? Does he have kids with them? Does he talk about them incessantly or still have a lot of social contact with them?
    Originally Posted by Jenn3164
    I’m the next in line after his wife and after his ex gf.

    I’m insecure too and feel like I like him more than he does me simply because I don’t get the words from him.

  2. #22
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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2

    What does he mean by "you're next in line after his exwife and exgf"? Does he have kids with them? Does he talk about them incessantly or still have a lot of social contact with them?
    Hmm, I read that earlier but it didn't register at the time.

    But yeah jenn, can you clarify why you feel you're "next in line" after his wife and ex-gf?

    Did I read that correctly?

  3. #23
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    (He told me his ex wife and ex gf ended it. He said He guesses he got lazy). He said he’d work on it to tell me more but really hasn’t.

    He's let the verbal, flirty compliments fall away now that the high of the new romance is entering the next phase. Some of your expectations are reasonable and some aren't. The mentioning of the monthly mark of the anniversary is not something men will be focusing on. You were reasonable in telling him how much you enjoyed the flirty compliments. It is concerning that he knows your love language and doesn't put effort into that area.

    Complimenting people doesn't come naturally to me, but I know that my husband thrives on compliments as far as his cooking and yard work goes, so I make an effort to say things in those instances because I want to make him happy. He knows I value physical affection as my primary love language, and so he makes an effort by holding my hand sometimes when we're out and about, and sometimes caresses my hair.

    Sometimes I initiate "state of the union" talks with him, asking if there's anything I can be doing or things he wants me to stop doing that will make the union stronger. And then I tell him my wishes.

    It's okay to have discussions like this when you're exclusive. What would I say? I'd tell him all the things I appreciate that he's doing. I would tell him that a relationship is like plant. If you ignore it, it will die. If you nurture it, it will thrive. If you both want this relationship to thrive, you will both have to make efforts to keep the spark alive so it doesn't feel like you're platonic friends.

    Of course relationships normally go through highs, lows, and plateaus. There have been a few times with the busyness of life and/or forgetting to inject romance into our union, I felt we needed a pep talk and addressed how it felt like we were just roommates and needed to step things up. We both care so we both make efforts.

    Don't ever be afraid to address reasonable requests, because people can't read minds and you can't let bitterness or angst build up to a point of no return. And don't let him wriggle out with statements like it's "hard" or he's "lazy." I'd ask that even though it's hard, is it worth doing something challenging to make the woman in his life happy? I'd say, "Being lazy about keeping a spark in a relationship might spell the end, and we should learn from past mistakes, not keep repeating them."

    If you lose a person by communicating your reasonable needs, then he's not the right one for you. Just remember to avoid statements like "you never" and stick to things like "I'd like it if . . ." Good luck.

  4. #24
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    I've never once expected my wife to speak my "love language." The entire idea for me has been to understand each others' so that we can better appreciate the love language we're both inclined to "speak." I chose to be with her due to who she is comfortably and naturally, not to have needlessly dramatic conversations with because I'm too immature to recognize and appreciate affection being expressed differently. And if we really were so different I indeed couldn't fully appreciate it, I'd just find someone else-- certainly after only four months in. If I had, that much would be on me, not her. And that would be fair enough.

    So no, I don't think there's any red flag here as far he he goes. Perhaps it speaks to incompatibility in general, but not to any fault. If he weren't conveying affection at all, it'd be a concern. But he seems to be expressing the value he puts in you just fine.

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  6. #25
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    Originally Posted by katrina1980
    Hmm, I read that earlier but it didn't register at the time.

    But yeah jenn, can you clarify why you feel you're "next in line" after his wife and ex-gf?

    Did I read that correctly?
    Nevermind jenn, I think I figured out what you meant.

    By "next in line" you meant, first he dated and married his wife, next was his his ex, and now you.

    So you are his third relationship of any significance?
    Last edited by katrina1980; 08-14-2019 at 11:05 AM.

  7. #26
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    Originally Posted by j.man
    I've never once expected my wife to speak my "love language." The entire idea for me has been to understand each others' so that we can better appreciate the love language we're both inclined to "speak." I chose to be with her due to who she is comfortably and naturally, not to have needlessly dramatic conversations with because I'm too immature to recognize and appreciate affection being expressed differently. And if we really were so different I indeed couldn't fully appreciate it, I'd just find someone else-- certainly after only four months in. If I had, that much would be on me, not her. And that would be fair enough.

    So no, I don't think there's any red flag here as far he he goes. Perhaps it speaks to incompatibility in general, but not to any fault. If he weren't conveying affection at all, it'd be a concern. But he seems to be expressing the value he puts in you just fine.
    Yes, this^^!!! 100% spot on!

    Jenn, try to not overthink this too much, which is easy to do when reading varying responses.

    Bottom line, try to not allow your anxiety or fear of getting hurt to drive this ship.

    Dating is a risk, there is no way around that. Have confidence that you will be okay no matter what happens, which you will be!!

    Accept him, enjoy him, enjoy your blossoming relationship, let it play out gradually and naturally, no pushing!

    Good luck to both of you!

  8. #27
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    My impression, which OP can clarify, is that the "next in line" comment came from her own mind, not from his mouth. Her wondering if she is "in line" to become his next ex. Anxious thinking, anxious projecting, which there seems to be quite a bit of inside this dynamic.

    There's great advice in every post on this thread, and my gut is to add to the chorus of: deep breaths, relax, he sounds good, trust time, trust yourself, don't overthink, and so on. And if that's possible, authentically, I think you're in for a great ride—with him, with life in general, because it's more about cultivating a state of being rather than bending yourself to accommodate this man.

    But I also can't help but wonder if this kind of dynamic actually happens in reality: where someone who is consumed by anxiety and fears can "learn" to be calm, appreciative, and thrilled alongside the very person who, for whatever reason, has triggered those anxieties and fears. I get how we can do this on our own, and how it can help when we get involved with someone—the way, say, I'm sure my decade of yoga has helped me navigate the first 8 months of my new relationship, allowing me to be more calm where maybe I would have once been freaking out. But that's different than suddenly taking up yoga because meeting my girlfriend has made a ball of nerves.

    Cheryl talked about "changing the way you think," and offered examples of her own marriage, one where full gas tanks, not florid sonnets, soothe the heart and strengthen the bond. Lovely. But did Cheryl (I ask this earnestly) spend the first four months—or first year, per her recommendation to OP—in an overthinking tizzy, doubting her now husband's feelings for her and rewiring her brain to process those doubts differently, to "underthink" in order to connect and find nuptial bliss? Or was it just...pretty great? Did she just feel what she needed to feel to keep leaning in?

    I think Rose has offered some wonderful insight here as well—about the nature of being, the nature of loving, how you don't really build love, together, if you can't accept (reemphasized by K above) the inherent risk at the heart of it all, be it after four months of 40 years. Otherwise what you are calling love is more something that exists in a vacuum, a relabeling of the fears and anxieties that are limiting the connection as a powerful connection, which I can't help but feel has happened here a bit.

    Still, I wonder: Can this mindset be suddenly embraced? Can someone just "be confident" inside of something that is zapping confidence? Should courtship feel like learning a new language, or is it about finding someone who speaks more or less the same language as you do—not identical, of course, but not so foreign as to leave you routinely isolated?

    I speak English and French fluently, for instance, which allows me to get by among Spanish and Italian speakers. Easy to relax, connect, even slowly, thrillingly learn a new language without feeling like a fool. But put me in front of someone who only speaks Chinese or Hindi and I'm pretty lost, overwhelmed, skittish. That's no one's fault, just reality. Speaking for myself, I don't want romance or partnership to feel like being airlifted from Minnesota to Mumbai and having to adapt on the fly in order to find food and shelter and stave off the hollowing sense of isolation.

    Like J.man said, if I was feeling this isolated after four months with someone it would more likely be a sign that I was in the wrong country than a sign that I needed to download Rosetta Stone and start cramming for the entry exam to get my visa. To my eyes, along with plenty others here, this guy seems pretty great, the pace of everything seems pretty great, and as a zealous romantic I'd love to see it all work out. I hope it does. But there is a point where anxiety is its own language to listen to, rather than to fight, since it may simply be telling you that, great dude that he is, he's not great for you.

    Part of the reason I asked about the advice your friends have given is to know if it's different, or if it lines up with what people are saying here. If it's the same, you may find yourself running out of voices to encourage you to relax and go with the flow—a week from now, another few months from now—if that voice doesn't at some point become an authentic one inside yourself.

    I'm not saying you need to react to all that right away, but just to allow it to be something you observe as a possibility as you go about making adjustments to how you approach this and think about it. Like the trip you're soon to take together, this whole thing should feel more like a vacation than an endurance test or graduate level language course.

  9. #28
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I second the idea of learning to lean on your own instincts over time. I think healing from your past experiences/relationship and recovering from your old wounds helps to increase self-esteem and trust in yourself. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself either if you feel that someone isn't quite right for you or compatible with your views on life or love etc. What matters is that you are at peace with yourself and your decisions.

  10. #29
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    Many thanks to all of you who took the time to write some really insightful and thoughtful views. I see a lot more than I did. A lot of it is me. Growing up I became hugely insecure and I do believe we can all change provided we want to. But also know I won’t chsnge to please someone all the way some change to do that is ok. Also to clarify my statement about “next in line” was definitely not about becoming the next ex but the next to go on that trip following his exes. Which is ok. Other men have new wives gfs over the decades etc
    I truly truly appreciate all these views and need them to “check” myself. I have the habit of also spiraling when I get insecure. But bottom line for me I’ll just say for now he is great ! And we are happy together! Thank you guys again so much

  11. #30
    Gold Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    @bluecastle, "Changing the way you think" makes you or anyone look at the issue through a different lens or from a different angle. People here on this forum are helpful and kind showing the OP various perspectives which I think is wonderful.

    Regarding my own marriage, every marriage has its seasons. Of course, there was the courtship and newlywed phase and then there's a beat or rhythm of comfort and general unspoken respect and love through actions as opposed to just hot air all the time which can grow tiresome if it's just words and nothing else to back it up.

    Life is a lot of work. It's not about gushing syrupy sweet compliments to a person night and day. Who will bring home the money? Who will pay the bills? Who will run errands such as grocery shop, get gas, go to CVS, Target, Costco, etc.? Who will do the laundry, clean the house, do the yard work? Who will repair cars and maintain them? Who will wash and vacuum the cars? Who will fix it if something breaks down in the house such as construction, plumbing, electrical or install hardware? Who will do the home improvement stuff? Who will cook and do kitchen clean up? Who will pack lunches for tomorrow's work? Everyday living is a lot of work and life gets so busy and laborious. Who will get all that done? If someone in your life can make your life easier so you can actually enjoy it, then that's real love instead of sappy sentiments and then sitting down to watch TV for hours while the other person does all the work.

    I think it's wonderful for couples to tell each other they love each other. My husband and I have those verbal exchanges, however, we don't place super importance in those words because, for example, instead of telling me "I love you" ad nauseum 24 / 7, he expresses his love by being a true, selfless man. He thinks of others before himself. He's very modest and humble. In marriage, he puts me before himself. If something needs to get done, he does it w/o fanfare. I appreciate him and he knows it. He keeps the household humming smoothly because he makes life easy and comfortable. After I come home from a long, hard day of work, everything is miraculously done and taken care of. He picks up the slack. It makes me love him all the more. No words necessary. I can see with my own eyes what real, true love is.

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