Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On Words

My husband is absolutely awful at telling me nice things.  Awful at it. 

I come from a family of 2 sisters and a mom who constantly say nice things.  That my outfit is cute, that those shoes rock with that skirt, that my hair kicks *ss today.  I've never heard Coach tell his family that he loves them; they just aren't the verbal type.  Plus his mom is usually fishing for compliments, which drives him nuts. 

So verbalizing how he feels about a person is completely foreign to him.  He's pretty good about telling me that he loves me, and I know he thinks nice things about me, it just never occurs to him to SAY them. 

I've sat him down and told him how important affirming words are to me numerous times.  He just can't execute them. 

I don't know what else to do.  Telling him that he's handsome or that he looks hot in his running shorts is easy as pie for me (he hates hearing this stuff by the way, I have to be careful not to say stuff like that too often or he acts like I'm mortally wounding him).  I struggle with body image, and his inability to say that he is attracted to me gets harder every day.  In his mind, he's sleeping with me, so of course he's attracted to me.  But I need to hear it.  Then again, maybe I need to be secure with myself on my own and not depend on his "approval".

I knew all of this about him before we got married.  I guess I thought that if he realized HOW important it was to me, that he would make an effort.  His brain just doesn't work like that, unfortunately.

Do you struggle with your partner not giving you what you need sometimes?


  1. I just read your post to my partner, and we were talking about how interesting it is that a girl who really needs to receive love through words of affirmation ends up with a guy who has issues with women needing compliments (based on what you said about his mom fishing for compliments). We've been reading a book related to exactly this topic... there's this school of psychological thought that says that we ALL end up with the person who is "least able to give us what we most need." Some people go through a very long idealistic phase before they get there, but others of us realize it early on. Anyway, my partner wanted me to tell you about the book... it's called "Getting the Love You Want." He and I have totally struggled with getting what we need from each other at times, and this book has helped us a lot. I sympathize with you, because on one level you do need to know you're loved without constant affirmation, but on the other hand it's not too much to ask to have your partner say nice things to you-- not even remotely. And you have to sort it out, because if you tuck that frustration away it will just fester and drive a wedge between you. Anyway, I think you're going through something that all couples go through. Good luck!

  2. I have exactly the same problem with my BF, and as much as I'd like to say that it gets easier when you focus on the OTHER things he does to remind you he loves you, some days, you just need to hear it. No advice from me but definitely a sympathetic ear :(

  3. David is terrible at it, too. I'm incredibly insecure, which makes it hard. I know what you mean when you say 'I know he thinks nice things about me' - I feel the same way. When I tell him it'd be nice to hear him say he thinks I look nice he says something like, 'Well you do! I thought that when I saw you!' SO SAY IT. Blah, men.

  4. My husband is the exact opposite, sometimes. He never fails to tell my I look hot or my tush looks hot or sometime of the sorts and he must tell me that he loves me like 15 times a day. However, what really annoys me is that he HATES it when I criticize myself. So, although this sounds like a good thing, sometimes I feel really fat or ugly and he just doesn't get it and is NOT helpful. If I'm frustrated and can't find something to wear because everything makes me look fat, he gets angry and walks out of the room. And sometimes I just want the reassurance. So, I guess no one is perfect right. I think, like you said, the most important thing is to believe in yourself because no one can do that for you.


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