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Is this a red flag?

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courageous posted 10/13/2013 07:40 AM

My SO has been suffering from depression and the fall, winter, and little bit of spring are hard times for him. I understand this and cut him slack because I have been suffering from depression also so I know what it feels like.

The issue is that he rarely tells me he loves him. I have told him that this is something I need from him. We are in a LDR so I rarely get any physical touch from him. Several times a week I tell him that I miss him, love him, and how he is important to me. Most of the time he might say he loves me or misses me too.....But it's all prompted. Less than once a month he might say he loves me without me saying anything first.

I came from an emotionally vacant marriage, my ex wouldn't share his true feels with me. He would say he loved me only when I said it first. I don't want to settle again.

I know I carry some baggage from my marriage and that I currently need more reassurance than the "average bear". I feel like I get less than average right now.

I just don't know if this is the life I'm going to have with SO. I didn't see the red flags with exwh... I don't want to oblivious this time either just because I love him. I also don't want to have unrealistic expectations. I just feel that since I have brought up my need that something would have changed at least a little bit.

Amazonia posted 10/13/2013 07:57 AM

IMHO not saying ILY (or being verbally expressive) isn't a red flag.


If you have clearly and intentionally expressed an emotional need to your SO, he understands why it is important to you, and he is still unable or unwilling to meet that need, that is a problem. I don't know if "red flag" is the right term here though. It's more of a compatibility issue.

Random thoughts posted 10/13/2013 09:13 AM

I think red flags can be seen in two ways.

For me his actions do not come across as a red flag, he suffers from depression but that shouldn't affect his saying ILY, he might just be an emotionally dry person.

But I do see a red flag in your actions since your marriage was to a man who didn't show you much affection and now here is another man who is doing the same thing yet you are trying to make this relationship work even knowing you are not getting what you need from this relationship.

courageous posted 10/13/2013 09:23 AM

he is still unable or unwilling to meet that need, that is a problem

I'm pretty sure it's not that he is unwilling. When I brought it to his attention he said that he was sorry and that he hasn't been doing well. When he's not doing well he has a very hard time expressing his feelings. Which make me wonder if this is just something temporary.

courageous posted 10/13/2013 09:40 AM

But I do see a red flag in your actions since your marriage was to a man who didn't show you much affection and now here is another man who is doing the same thing yet you are trying to make this relationship work even knowing you are not getting what you need from this relationship.

Well in my marriage my husband raped me, rarely touched me unless he was wanting sex, and routinely mentally and emotionally abused me. He was not like this when we dated but maybe I was just so desperate to get married and have someone that I didn't register it.

With SO we were friends for over a year and were content with that until we discovered feelings for each other. As friends he was a constant cheerleader, getting thru each and every horrible step of my divorce and struggle to survive as a single mom after being a SAHM for the last 5 years. He got me thru 7 courtroom appearances, constant slandering and accusations from my Ex's lawyer, 5 months of job hunting (100 applications) and countless rejections. So he was emotionally there for me. This weekend was my sons's bday party. My help canceled on me at the last minute so I had to host a party at a playground with a 7 and 3 year old while also making sure everything ran smoothly. He offered to fly down and help me

His love language is service. I also show love in acts of service but because of the huge deficiencies in my past marriage I have greater needs in the other love languages. When we are together he touches me a lot (mostly nonsexual). He is afraid of hurting me emotionally because of what my exwh did to me. He lets me be in control.

I don't feel like I have gotten in the same kind of relationship. This relationship is very healthy. My "currency" has been sex appeal, dirty talk, flirting, etc. that's how I have always been treated by guys in my life and that's how I "knew" they loved me. SO respects me which I have never really felt before. So when he shuts down my dirty talk it feels like rejection. To counteract that rejection I need to be reassured that he still loves me but to say "hey SO I need you to say you love me right now" feels forced. I know he would say it and I know he feels it.

notmeanymore posted 10/13/2013 10:29 AM

Depending on his level of depression he may just not have the ability to give you what you need right now. He may be too overwhelmed with his own feelings. It may not be a conscious choice on his part if that makes sense?

homewrecked2011 posted 10/13/2013 10:55 AM

My best friend really loved a guy who suffered from serious depression,,,and kindly, someone who is depressed for 3 out of 4 seasons has a serious problem. My friend married this guy, but the continual drag on having to be "up" for 2 people was too much. She had to divorce him which sent him further into depression.

Are you seeing a counselor?

I think this is a major problem --- a person who cannot give you what you need. If your needs aren't being met,,,and wanting to be told I Love You is not an outrageous request.

We date to find a compatable person to love us, cherish us, help us navigate the world. If the person you love is currently unable to be your "partner", sometimes you have to lovingly let them go to find their way, while you find someone who is more of a match for you.....

courageous posted 10/13/2013 14:24 PM

He may be too overwhelmed with his own feelings. It may not be a conscious choice on his part if that makes sense?

Yes it makes sense because he said something to that effect recently.

Are you seeing a counselor?

Yes and no. During the 6+ month of false R I saw an IC/MC. The IC as the same person as our mc. I was very beaten down when we first started going to her that I didn't fire her. When I explained the evidence I had on his EA she said I needed to concentrate on our marriage and not the OW because she wasn't the issue. Several days later when I discovered the PA I called her and she was shocked because after the 1 hour spent with us she couldn't believe he would be the kind of person to cheat. Then several weeks later when I told her that he would come at me after I took ambien (super strong sleeping pill) and wouldn't take no... That I had built up resentment against him, she told me I needed to get over it..... Instead of telling me that it was rape and telling him what he did was wrong.

She left a bad feeling in me towards counseling. After SI peeps explained to me that he did in fact rape me... I went to a rape crisis IC. I went every week for 2 months. The IC never pushed me on the issue so it wasn't really addressed. We did talk about my depression and SO. He really is very good for me even though it doesn't sound like it. It just hurts me to be in this relationship because when he treats me well he sheds a light on how really horrible I allowed myself to be treated in the past.

Example: during both of my pregnancies (the first one I worked 50-60 hours a week & the second I was a SAHM) exwh told me that if I had any cravings he wouldn't get me anything I had to go to the store to get it myself... He didn't care what time of day it was. When I visited SO at his house I mentioned that I was craving ice cream. He said that I could hang out at his house and he would get me anything I wanted or I could go with him. I was shocked that a guy would actually do that for me. In that moment the words my exwh said played in my head and it hurt so much.

I know I'm fragile and people would say that I shouldn't be in a relationship but I can't get better unless I confront the past. I can't confront the past unless I know what healthy is. I don't know what healthy is until I see it.

I know you didn't ask but SO is in IC also. He is a BH and has a lot of trigger dates in those 3 seasons. His counselor is helping him work thru that. That's why it's hard to tell if he is going to be like this whenever life gets difficult or if this is just part of the healing process for him.

[This message edited by courageous at 5:45 PM, October 15th (Tuesday)]

nowiknow23 posted 10/13/2013 16:27 PM

((((courageous & SO))))

Honey - you and your SO are both in a rough spot here. You are not getting what you need at the moment, and he is facing his own rough time with depression and trigger dates. This is a time that will stress both of you and can put additional stress on your relationship. The key is in communicating, which you seem to be doing, and in supporting each other the best you can.

Sending both of you strength and comfort.

courageous posted 10/14/2013 19:05 PM

Nothing quiet like discovering I have been lied to

At least I know I wasn't crazy. Things have been off. (Non infidelity lying)

jo2love posted 10/14/2013 19:17 PM

(((courageous & SO)))

It sounds like both of you have been through so much emotionally and still have a ways to go on working past it. One day at a time. Sending you both strength.

NaiveAgain posted 10/14/2013 19:43 PM

Nothing quiet like discovering I have been lied to
Are you okay?

courageous posted 10/14/2013 20:02 PM

No I'm not okay. It's like a dday all over again. I'm relieved to know that I wasn't imagining the insensitive way he was talking to me and his refusal to not skype with me... To the point of him getting defensive with me. To realize that he, just like my exwh, is good at deceiving me.

I'm very intuned to feelings and moods due to FOO issues and abuse. I picked up on things not being right and I couldn't figure out why. And now I know he was hiding because he didn't want me to know that he was not handling things as well as he led me to believe.

We plan on talking to night. I'm concerned on the direction of the conversation.

This is why I don't trust anyone... People are always letting me down, leaving me, and making promise they don't intend to keep.

[This message edited by courageous at 8:20 PM, October 14th (Monday)]

Amazonia posted 10/14/2013 20:31 PM

Have you two read Codependent No More? Might be a good one to read together and discuss, with the combo of past experiences you're both combating.

courageous posted 10/14/2013 20:33 PM

Have you two read Codependent No More?

my boss.. You know that one in the very toxic work environment gave me that book and workbook last month. I guess I really should read it... No excuses

courageous posted 10/14/2013 21:30 PM

Nope conversation went horribly bad. I was accused of being deceitful and untrustworthy.

Amazonia posted 10/14/2013 21:32 PM

courageous posted 10/14/2013 21:46 PM

I think this is goodbye

persevere posted 10/14/2013 23:03 PM

((Hugs)) Sometimes that is the best thing, even when it hurts.

And, as difficult as it sounds, being alone is not a bad thing - just uncomfortable at times, but generally beneficial. Thinking of you courageous.

Amazonia posted 10/15/2013 05:15 AM


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