My SO and I have been dating for 10 months. The last time I posted (4 months back), I was going to break up with him because I basically couldn't accept his "uber" social behavior. He wanted us to go out 5-6 times a week. Sometimes with me, sometimes with his buds. He is Mr. Outgoing Party Guy... I am much more introverted and can only go out with groups every so often.
In addition, I felt he wasn't there for me when I needed him. My job was falling apart at the time (I was laid off about a month later). I needed him then and I needed him at other times too. After I witnessed a bike rider get run over by a truck and he went out drinking with his friends before he came to my house to console me, I broke up with him. I felt unimportant. I didn't feel like I was his priority at all.
But I have since learned it wasn't all him. It was me too... especially my passive-aggressive tendencies I learned living with my NPDXH for 16 years. It was my survival mechanism and I was just as guilty as he was. His survival mechanism he used in his M was to go out as much as possible so he wouldn't fight with his W. We had bad, bad behaviors on both of our parts.
Anyway, he was very upset with our break-up; completely unaware anything was wrong! We talked a lot before getting back together. He told me he needed to be told POINT BLANK exactly what I need from him (emphasizing the fact over and over again that he is not a mind reader).
So I told him everything that was a "deal breaker" for me. For example, I told him that I need to be shown that I am his priority... that I can be a little needy especially during stressful periods of my life. I have been feeling insecure and worthless since the job has been failing. I told him I crave quality time and physical touch. This is different than his XW's "love language" (she liked gifts and acts of service). But that was all he was used to. He bought me flowers a lot... but that is not what I "needed".
Since our talk, he has learned my love language (and I have learned his) and we now go out of our way to "talk" in our respected languages to each other. He is totally paying attention to me and I feel like a VIP in his world. I love it.
I also told him when he makes plans with his friends he needs to ask me first. This way I am in the "know" about his activities so if there is a conflict I will be able to nip it in the bud before it becomes an issue. This has caused huge problems between us before. But since our talk, he's been religiously asking me before he makes plans, and there hasn't been any problems. I tell him "yes" about 95% of the time. And I now know in advance when he plans to go out with his buddies so I can get together with my gal friends! Win-win.
From our "almost break-up" in June to our relationship now.... Wow. It's been remarkable, incredible. It gets better ever day. Because we both "care" to make it work.
We moved in together this month. It's my house, so he pays for almost everything and gives me extra money whenever I ask for it.
He does chores around the house without being asked or nagged (!)
He bought us a great TV for "our" bedroom.
He helps with the kids: talks to them, helps them with their HW, loves and cares for them.
He wants to grocery shop with me (and pays!)
He gives me space when I want it (my bedroom is my fortress)
I gave him space when he wants it (I gave him a "Man Cave" formerly known as POS NPDXH's office)
He has never, ever raised his voice to me or the kids.
He's kind to everyone he meets; has tons of close friends
He is so much fun!
I love him.
Every point above is day and night from NPDXH. Day and night.
He is the most aware and compassionate guy I know. And I am so, so, so, so lucky that I found him! And that I didn't drop him when I wanted to.
But, if we stayed "as-is", the relationship would have been over. But the fact he and I both wanted to make changes where it makes sense to make the relationship work is such a new concept for me... and him! A few nips and tucks here and there can make all the difference.
People can change-- if they want to.
I never had a guy who loves and cherishes me so much and is willing to make these little changes in order to keep things going smooth for us. And I am changing myself for him too. In good ways only.
I never had this in any other relationship. Never.
I'm glad I waited almost 6 years since my D and never settled.
For all of you out there... there is hope!!!