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Feeling Invisible Syndrom at 57


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So here I am at 57 (just turned two days ago). Feeling lost and unseen. LTR is going on 7 years in February. We are in our 50s and have been living together for 6 years (not married). 

Here's my concern. I am invisible to my partner. I can literally walk right past him naked and he won't even notice. Or if he does he mutters "uh huh" as in yeah..ok. That's it. Our intimacy has stalled out to the point it's once every three months, which I initiate. 

I'm damn attractive st 57. I keep myself healthy and even though I have that typical little pouchy belly that we all get, I keep pretty fit. I hike and walk and get a nice work out at a horse barn two days a week. I care about how I look. But I don't obsess nor do I plaster on makeup. I pride myself in not needing much at all. 

Anyway, he sees right through me. Nor does he hear what I say a majority of the time. 

It was my birthday recently and I was excited to get dressed up. I walked around the house before we left and not one word said about my appearance. I waited and waited. Finally I did get a "look how nice you look" comment. 

Hmmmm ok. I said thank you and complimented him back saying how WONDERDUL he looked. He's so very attractive to me and I occasionally like to give him bum squeezes to show it. 

We enjoyed dinner together and it was quite a lovely experience together so I wanted to get a picture of the two of us at this lovely restaurant. I asked him to ask the waiter to take our picture together with his phone. He did snap a photo of me when the waiter brought me my birthday treat after dinner. He forwarded  both photos to me. 

I'm pretty modest usually and am always shy in front of the camera. But damn I felt lovely this night and was hoping to see one of those pictures on his Facebook page (he actively posts and recently uploaded photos of his son in college who we were visiting at this time.

Nope. Never shared any of the photos of me. In fact when his family came with us to visit his son in college a couple weeks ago there was not 1 photo with me in it. I simply don't exist. And I do remember being present in photos but none were shared with me in them at all. 

What's the deal here ? 

Am I over reacting ? Again we have been together for almost 7 years. I still get a weird vibe from his family like maybe they don't like me . There were photos taken of the three of us (me,my partner and his son), but no one seems to want to share them with me as I have asked. 

So, yeah. Feeling quite invisible lately. And it's making me feel insecure. Some kind of attention would be a nice surprise. I'll take a playful pat on the bum occasionally. I get a peck on the lips if I'm lucky. 

I'm a sensual being and need affection. A soft caress would go a long way with me. He just doesn't notice me. 

I know it's a common thing for women to become invisible during a certain age. I had no idea it would be to such a degree. 

Help me before I fade away and into someone else's arms. 

B....y...........e.......

 

 

 

 

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I'm 56 as is my husband (soon!).  Happy Birthday! You seem so focused on wanting to be noticed for your looks.  Is it sort of instead of focusing on the ho hum sex life? Why are you two not married?  Do you not wish to be married? What was the reason you two decided to live together? Why do you think his family doesn't like you?  Do you have good friends and a life aside from hanging with him?

At dinner did he pay attention to you and have a good conversation?  

I'm sorry you feel this way and I hope you feel better.  

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15 minutes ago, Willowgirl55 said:

I'm a sensual being and need affection. A soft caress would go a long way with me. He just doesn't notice me.

I'd sit down with him and explain things, speaking of things you want and how you feel, using "I" sentences instead of "you never."

Nobody can argue with you about how you feel, and avoiding "you never" statements will be wise to avoid your partner feeling attacked. 

Such as, "I want to feel more connected to you, and want us to hold hands while we watch t.v."

"I feel most loved by you when you caress my back when we hug. I could use a hug now."

"I've initiated sex the last two times. I'd like it if you also regularly initiate."

When a person cares, they will want to please you. You have to be concrete in your request. I know it's not romantic when these changes first happen, but if he puts in effort, try to feel warm and fuzzy that he cares enough to improve. And then lay on the appreciative words for positive reinforcement. Hopefully, a new pattern will emerge.

If he doesn't care, nothing will change, and that's when I would say, "I'm done."

I'm not one for playing games, but sometimes people need a shake up and a wake-up call. Why not let him see what life will be like without you? Take up a new hobby. Go out with girlfriends more often. Let him miss you. Show him you'll be able to move on with a fulfilling life without him if need be.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Thank you!!! I don't know why we aren't married honestly. I guess we have both been there and done that? His family hinted at us getting married and I didn't know what to say. Most people our age are getting married because of the benefits that do a long with it such as health insurance and taxes . I have crap benefits because of my 3 part time jobs. He has a great job as an engineer and has great benefits. His plan doesn't allow domestic partner benefits so there is that. I'm nervous about being married again. It was too painful the first time as I was the one being divorced. I don't want to go through that again. 

His family seems is still feeling me out I guess (his family consists of his two sisters and their spouses and kids). They recently asked me about my family (after 7 years ) perhaps they didn't like my response. I don't have a good relationship with my half siblings so I explained that to them . That's all the "family" I have. I have friends that I visit and keep busy with my work so I don't rely on him for being my "everything ". That's not healthy. We decided to live together because we enjoy spending time together. As a couple we do many things together. I was a little hesitant to have him move in as I liked my alone time . I still manage to get my alone time so it works out. 

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12 minutes ago, catfeeder said:

My heart goes out to you. Have you told your partner this?

If so, how did he respond?

I did in regards to the infrequency of our intimacy. I subtly mentioned that I miss the intimacy part of our relationship.  He didn't have a good response other than suggesting I try masturbating or buy a vibrator. Not in a mean way but just as a suggestion. Sigh. 

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17 minutes ago, Andrina said:

I'd sit down with him and explain things, speaking of things you want and how you feel, using "I" sentences instead of "you never."

Nobody can argue with you about how you feel, and avoiding "you never" statements will be wise to avoid your partner feeling attacked. 

Such as, "I want to feel more connected to you, and want us to hold hands while we watch t.v."

"I feel most loved by you when you caress my back when we hug. I could use a hug now."

"I've initiated sex the last two times. I'd like it if you also regularly initiate."

When a person cares, they will want to please you. You have to be concrete in your request. I know it's not romantic when these changes first happen, but if he puts in effort, try to feel warm and fuzzy that he cares enough to improve. And then lay on the appreciative words for positive reinforcement. Hopefully, a new pattern will emerge.

If he doesn't care, nothing will change, and that's when I would say, "I'm done."

I'm not one for playing games, but sometimes people need a shake up and a wake-up call. Why not let him see what life will be like without you? Take up a new hobby. Go out with girlfriends more often. Let him miss you. Show him you'll be able to move on with a fulfilling life without him if need be.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Yes, I was thinking of this route also. Just becoming more scarce. Not coming home after work for awhile. Paying my friends more visits. I feel he's taking me for granted a bit and it's making me feel bad. 

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4 hours ago, Willowgirl55 said:

I did in regards to the infrequency of our intimacy. I subtly mentioned that I miss the intimacy part of our relationship.  He didn't have a good response other than suggesting I try masturbating or buy a vibrator. Not in a mean way but just as a suggestion. Sigh. 

Well, this isn't what I meant. 

You said,

5 hours ago, catfeeder said:

I'm a sensual being and need affection. A soft caress would go a long way with me.

That sounds like a simple enough request. Why not start with it? Tell him you've been feeling a bit invisible lately, and you'd really appreciate some affection and attention.

Use this request as an opportunity to ask him to come up with some things you can do for him, too.

Most happy couples negotiate what they want with one another--they don't keep these things a secret to become miserable about.

Head high, and give it a shot. You don't have anything to lose.

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I don't know if this is your photo but this lady is quite attractive so it can't be that. Maybe he genuinely does not have high sex drive to begin with. And it doesn't seem you argue a lot which could kill the mood. Or he might have a side chick.

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6 hours ago, catfeeder said:

Well, this isn't what I meant. 

You said,

That sounds like a simple enough request. Why not start with it? Tell him you've been feeling a bit invisible lately, and you'd really appreciate some affection and attention.

Use this request as an opportunity to ask him to come up with some things you can do for him, too.

Most happy couples negotiate what they want with one another--they don't keep these things a secret to become miserable about.

Head high, and give it a shot. You don't have anything to lose.

He usually doesn't have to ask me . I take it upon myself to tickle his back or massage his scalp. I love giving massages but he's not big on getting or giving massages . I guess I need to speak up and ask him for more physical touching on my part. Sigh. 

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6 hours ago, dias said:

I don't know if this is your photo but this lady is quite attractive so it can't be that. Maybe he genuinely does not have high sex drive to begin with. And it doesn't seem you argue a lot which could kill the mood. Or he might have a side chick.

Yeah that was my birthday dinner this past Friday. It's me. 

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1 minute ago, Willowgirl55 said:

He usually doesn't have to ask me . I take it upon myself to tickle his back or massage his scalp. I love giving massages but he's not big on getting or giving massages . I guess I need to speak up and ask him for more physical touching on my part. Sigh. 

Why do you massage him if he doesn't like it? I love my husband very much -we're in our mid 50s too! - and I told him specifically today when he has to get up early to catch a flight -please do NOT talk to me if you see me this morning sitting with coffee - I desperately need my quiet time before I have to wake up my son for school (and it's the first day back after break - uh oh) - and I helped my husband yesterday with some business trip related stuff but I don't want to be involved this morning unless it's an emergency.  I love him. 

I would HATE if this morning he asked me for a hug or tried to touch or hug me while I was sitting with coffee and zoning for a few minutes. 

I love hugging him.  We hug and kiss daily.  I do not want to be touched while I'm sipping my coffee or even have a person right near me. Whether him, or my son or whomever.   If he really needed a hug then yes of course!! But I want him to respect my personal space and although it's awkward I mentioned to him last night about this since he usually is not up till much later. 

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5 hours ago, Willowgirl55 said:

He usually doesn't have to ask me . I take it upon myself to tickle his back or massage his scalp. I love giving massages but he's not big on getting or giving massages . I guess I need to speak up and ask him for more physical touching on my part. Sigh. 

What's the sigh about?

It's not about assumptions, it's about communication and listening. Who says if one partner asks for physical touch in exchange for something that the other can't ask for "...my favorite casserole dish..." or "...would you hold the ladder so I can clean the gutter tomorrow" or "...some silence in the house for the first half hour when I get home..."

I know couples who've exchanged 'bribe lists,' where if one partner asks the other for something, they'll offer something of value to the other in exchange.

This is in the spirit of fun, not drudgery.

I've also heard of couples doing this in reverse. They ask the other to name something that he/she would like 'me' to try quitting in exchange for trying to quit doing 'x'. They each keep a roll of 20 dollar bills on hand. When either ID's the other doing the thing, the partner forks over a 20 on the spot. They laugh about it.

Point is, negotiation. In a kind and funny way. "If you'll scratch my back right now, I'll wash and dry your bathrobe tonight..." kind of way.

If this makes you sigh, then what kind of communication to you ENJOY with your partner?

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If he doesn't like to be touched it won't occur to him that you Ike to be to touched unless you tell him. And forget that whole "it doesn't mean as much if I have to ask" because that's a good way to remain frustrated.

I used to live with a guy who wanted to drape himself all over me while we slept. I strongly dislike it, so once he fell asleep I moved away from him to the other side of the bed. Conversely, another ex absolutely hated to be woken up, even for sex. He wanted to be left alone and not even touched until HE was ready. I think that's the best way to be woken up lol, but he told me to keep my hands off him until he was fully awake. So I had to respect that.

Anyway, I find the best way to get what I want is to ask.

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Happy birthday. It has nothing to do with age. How old is he? You just think that because you just had a birthday.

You two are in a rut. It's your house, right? But he makes more and you need the extra financial support right?

 Stop chasing. Stop talking at him. Stop begging for sex. Be mysterious. Be out more. 

 

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31 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

stop chasing. Stop talking at him. Stop begging for sex. Be mysterious. Be out more.

Willow...

^^^ this... (well in my case more deep seated as we were married 26+ and I separated our finances and romance in anticipation of a divorce).  late 50s, i moved into a house a few hours away from his and lo and behold with the gap, the romance re-blossomed and we are having some pretty hot interactions.  i am pretty good shape and not (maybe) beautiful but attractive and take good care of myself.  I think WM2's advice is good for that reason.  Absence does make the heart grown fonder, or as one of my GFs used to say, "You don't miss the water 'til the well runs dry."

Edited to add:  the best fun thing is that NOW when I ask him for something I want, esp in bedroom, he complies immediately.  I am in heaven!

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5 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Happy birthday. It has nothing to do with age. How old is he? You just think that because you just had a birthday.

You two are in a rut. It's your house, right? But he makes more and you need the extra financial support right?

 Stop chasing. Stop talking at him. Stop begging for sex. Be mysterious. Be out more. 

 

I don't talk at him. And I try to be playful. Begging ? Not really I've been pretty quiet about it mostly. Be out more ? 

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4 hours ago, spinstermanquee said:

Willow...

^^^ this... (well in my case more deep seated as we were married 26+ and I separated our finances and romance in anticipation of a divorce).  late 50s, i moved into a house a few hours away from his and lo and behold with the gap, the romance re-blossomed and we are having some pretty hot interactions.  i am pretty good shape and not (maybe) beautiful but attractive and take good care of myself.  I think WM2's advice is good for that reason.  Absence does make the heart grown fonder, or as one of my GFs used to say, "You don't miss the water 'til the well runs dry."

Edited to add:  the best fun thing is that NOW when I ask him for something I want, esp in bedroom, he complies immediately.  I am in heaven!

Yeah I guess I need to stay away from home more. I'm not a nagger by any means. In fact he once told me I am so low maintenance he doesn't realize I even need anything.....whatever that means. 

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13 minutes ago, Willowgirl55 said:

Yeah I guess I need to stay away from home more. I'm not a nagger by any means. In fact he once told me I am so low maintenance he doesn't realize I even need anything.....whatever that means. 

I think he's trying to tell you he has no idea what you want or need because you don't tell him.

No one is a mind reader. If you want something, ask! Chances are it'll work out so well you'll be kicking yourself for not speaking up sooner.

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Hi again Willow... I didn't say before... you are so beautiful!  Your girlish charms shine through in your flirty smile!

It's a common thing to begin taking things for granted when folks are safe and secure in a relationship.  Does not mean he doesn't love you, he is just not dialed in to what to do to please you further.

Your partner won't always intuit what you want/need.  HOW you communicate what you want/need is so important and also is the biggest factor on whether or not you receive.

"Nagging" is a negative, as you already know since you don't do it.  So how exactly do you ask for what you want/need without becoming a nag?

You might get some juice out of searching for "how to ask for what I need without nagging," "high value woman" or just throw your hat out into a ring you want to participate in.

In any case, I wish you much success with your honey.  A lot of good advice here from some of the very best contributors.  Hugs!

 

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