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Thread: Is it normal for men not to be affectionate?

  1. #61
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    Originally Posted by Nmr1983
    “ I am who I am and it would be down right ... well... selfish for someone to demand I conform to their standards ESPECIALLY when their need for my change was due to their own unresolved baggage. “


    Figureitout23-
    I am going to disagree with this. My need for affection ( everyone is entitled to their own needs ) has nothing to do with “unresolved baggage” but everything to do with something I put high value on in a relationship. Whether I had baggage or not, I would still want this aspect to be a strong one in a relationship so the two do not go together in my case.

    I am not going to try to change him. I am going to decide if this is something I can live with for the rest of my life.
    For what it's worth, Nmr1983, I understand what you're saying, I think you're approaching this issue in a constructive way, and you don't have to keep explaining yourself to strangers on the internet who are not closer to 100% healed people than you.

  2. #62
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    Originally Posted by firelily
    For what it's worth, Nmr1983, I understand what you're saying, I think you're approaching this issue in a constructive way, and you don't have to keep explaining yourself to strangers on the internet who are not closer to 100% healed people than you.
    The thing is if no suggestions are wanted from people who have experienced things don’t ask. Go ask a mom, a sister, a girlfriend etc.

  3. #63
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    Originally Posted by firelily
    For what it's worth, Nmr1983, I understand what you're saying, I think you're approaching this issue in a constructive way, and you don't have to keep explaining yourself to strangers on the internet who are not closer to 100% healed people than you.
    If people don’t want to explain so that we can get a good picture of what’s going on there’s no point in their posting. I think she’s doing fine and posting what she has.

  4. #64
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    It's very hard to alter a dynamic that has been 4 years in the making. Personally, I think the core dynamic between people—both platonically and romantically—is kind of formed in the first 6 months. Yes, it morphs, ebbs, flows, evolves here, devolves there, but the core is pretty solid, whatever its make up. Think about your long friendships, think about past romances.

    That said, you are not a still point. You are the thing you can control. So rather than just ruminate on whether this is something you can "live with," think about things you can do to answer that question, ways you can live, right now, a bit differently. That action can be patient observation. It can be more talks, but talks without the reflex of "okay I'll shut up now." It can be trying x or y in the bedroom—stepping an inch or two out of your own comfort zone to see if, together, you can find greater comfort.

    Rumination—the art of deciding—is a form of paralysis; blurry matters get blurrier. Action brings clarity. You may not get the form of clarity you want in your mind right now, but that doesn't matter because clarity is clarity: it's bigger than what the mind can produce, because it's what you're actually seeing with your eyes, and feeling in your cells.

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  6. #65
    Platinum Member figureitout23's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by firelily
    I think you're not helping OP by trying to invalidate her needs, shame her for it (destructive, dysfunctional, overanalyzing, prone to drama, nitpick, sabotage... do you have any more words of expressing judgement?) and try to push it under the carpet. I don't think OP can keep these needs under carpet for too long - some people turn out happy eventually accepting their partner's colder ways, but pretending everything is fine when it isn't to OP is not the way to go. And realizing her needs, expressing it and communicating about it with patience to see where it goes - what OP has been doing here - doesn't seem destructive or dysfunctional to me at all. I don't know how your comment would be helpful to her, I just see a commenter being irritated that someone analyzes a problem that you don't have now or you don't see its importance for OP.
    Firefly, Rose can also recognize the immaturity of expecting another adult to change who they are...

    Recognize you may be projecting a bit
    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    It probably, at this point, has more to do with maturity and putting things into context. They're engaged. It's not just a relationship or dating scenario and by the time two people are engaged there should be a lot more understanding and willingness to communicate (there's more invested in that relationship). You also seem to have missed my point: she should be discussing this at length with her partner. It's between them to work out how their relationship should evolve. No one is suggesting to keep anything under the carpet.

    If we're speaking about judgment, you're also passing judgment and invalidating someone else's opinion. Aren't we all expressing our own judgment on an issue? It might best leaving the unnecessary drama in the off topic forum and focusing on the issue please.
    Bingo

  7. #66
    Platinum Member figureitout23's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nmr1983
    “ I am who I am and it would be down right ... well... selfish for someone to demand I conform to their standards ESPECIALLY when their need for my change was due to their own unresolved baggage. “


    Figureitout23-
    I am going to disagree with this. My need for affection ( everyone is entitled to their own needs ) has nothing to do with “unresolved baggage” but everything to do with something I put high value on in a relationship. Whether I had baggage or not, I would still want this aspect to be a strong one in a relationship so the two do not go together in my case.

    I am not going to try to change him. I am going to decide if this is something I can live with for the rest of my life.
    Ok... I’ll just pretend I didn’t read what I read a few pages back when you admitted your unresolved issues then...

    I find it almost comical that you fully recognize you are who you are... yet you can’t recognize your fiancé is who he is...

    It sounds like you already have your answer you had it before you accepted his marriage proposal, what are you confused about then?

    Serious question.

    Again you are adamant to me, you are who you are. Why is it he can’t be who he is?

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    Originally Posted by figureitout23
    Ok... I’ll just pretend I didn’t read what I read a few pages back when you admitted your unresolved issues then...

    I find it almost comical that you fully recognize you are who you are... yet you can’t recognize your fiancé is who he is...

    It sounds like you already have your answer you had it before you accepted his marriage proposal, what are you confused about then?

    Serious question.

    Again you are adamant to me, you are who you are. Why is it he can’t be who he is?
    Serious question-
    How does having had a few bad relationships have to do with a need that someone has? I had it before those relationships and I will always have it.

    He can be who he is. That’s why I am going to observe and make the right decision before we get married. I spoke to him and he knows how I feel. That’s all I can really do. Before we got engaged , he would be more affectionate at times. It seems to have decreased much more since we got engaged.

  9. #68
    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    This is what we call incompatibility issues or not. There are people who are affectionate, and those who are not. It's part of their personality. How would you like it if he says in order to meet his needs you need to be less affectionate? It goes both ways. If this is a deal breaker then maybe you should stop and consider not getting married. You shouldn't have to ask for it, it should come naturally, and that means you both are on the same page. In your case you two are not, and your future, no matter how much discussion, is going to fail.

  10. #69
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    Yes, if it doesn’t change break up. You are you and he is him. Just break up if this is critical for you.

  11. #70
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Not to speak for FiO, but I'm going to attempt to address the concept of "unresolved baggage" from a different angle.

    While you came here frustrated by his lack of affection, which is totally human and understandable, the frustration, in ways, stems equally from a series of choices you've made to arrive at this thorny moment in your journey. Namely: you made the choice to commit to, and eventually get engaged to, someone who did not consistently provide an aspect of romance that you identified, prior to even knowing him, as essential to you for romantic harmony. You made a deal, you could say, on seeing if a dealbreaker wasn't a dealbreaker.

    That is a hard sentence to metabolize—oh, I've swallowed such pills, numerous times!—but there is power and even comfort in digesting it. In digesting it something that was suppressed comes to the surface, and, once there, can be addressed directly instead of being addressed through proxies that only glance the target. Gives you a sense of the full picture here, and your place in it, so you know what you're working with. Takes some of the weight off of him/affection, and redistributes it back to you. Balanced scales make for balanced romances, in both smooth waters and rocky currents.

    Because it's okay. However this goes is okay. Life, in a way, is one big experiment, in which we are both the scientist and the thing in the petri dish, and in which we "use" other people, not with malice, if not always with grace, to test theories in order to better understand ourselves, our truest needs. And sometimes, without quite realizing it, we construct an experiment around fears that have become lodged in our spirit—i.e. in the bags tossed in the attic—at the expense of our truth and the truth of others.

    Fancy talk for: unprocessed baggage. Fancy talk for: someone who gets hurt by passion might seek safety in dispassion, only to realize the limitations of a safety built on compromising the core, immoveable values that make each of us us.

    Is that your situation? Is your situation that simple? Only you know, and of course it's more complicated.

    No human has their baggage perfectly sorted like one of those airport luggage stores—in which, of course, all the bags are empty. Ours are full, and messy. And the wokest, most self-actualized among us will inevitably find that romance shines a light on something the romance was designed, subconsciously, to mute or eradicate. I'd say a great test of chemistry and compatibility between people—aside from hot sex, warm cuddles, great chats, and a mutual love of hikes and vintage furniture—is whether they can, together and pretty organically, allow space for some latent baggage to surface and be processed without the processing of it spelling the end of the union.

    Super rare stuff, that, and stuff that doesn't need to last a lifetime to be validated. It can last a weekend, or four years, or 14. Can you go there, in yourself and alongside your fiancé? It's a tall order if what it requires is a significant shift in each of your cores—if your harmony, thus far, has been predicated on suppressing something that does not have a connection point once surfaced.

    One thing worth remembering, and even getting excited about and find solace in right now: much as we use certain phrases ("He is who he is") the truth is that people are always more mysterious than we know. Look in the mirror. How much of your own self do you know? Five percent? Sixty? The answer is never 100, and anyone who says that knows less than they think. The answer is forever unknowable, or at last unquantifiable. You know as much as you know, while knowing there is more to know. Brain explosion emoji.

    Same goes for him. If, for instance, you can suddenly see some of your own unprocessed baggage a bit more clearly, and know yourself better and judge yourself less for it, it means some version of the same thing exists in him. There is beauty to that—and, who knows, maybe new connection points that, right now, are covered in some dust. If you can detach a bit from "Am I about to enter a chilly marriage for life?" and reattach to "Can I get more curious about this person and my own personhood?" there is room to explore. Exploring is where the gold is.

    Not sure if any of that resonates. I feel for your situation, know that most of the paths you're staring down right now seem a bit foreboding. Inhale, exhale, and remember those paths are just there to explore. There is more you to be found down all of them.

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