User Topic: Question for the men
Member # 29341
Default  Posted: 1:49 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)

I see a theme in the "accepting the love" thread in Recon - ladies saying that they are accepting the love by accepting compliments.

My H told me that he hated it when I would insult myself after he complimented me and that's why he stopped complimenting me in the past (I think there's way more to it than that, but I do believe that may be part of it). I also had an ex who complained that I couldn't accept compliments either.

This seems to be a common theme among women, given the replies. How badly does it bother you when your partner won't accept your compliments? Not at all? Somewhat? A ton?

We're both in our 30s. One awesome 4-year-old daughter.

Posts: 6809 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
Member # 27650
Default  Posted: 1:56 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)

When FWW does it I see her lack of confidence in herself, and a dismissal of me and my opinion. I still say them, but they are much more superficial, because if she is going to blow them off why should I put much effort into it?

I much prefer a thank you followed by touching my arm or a hug. Then we both get our love language expressed to us.

Ironically, before dday when FWW would blow-off my compliments, her internal dialogue was that I did not like her. She projected her feelings of herself on to me. As FWW has gotten "better" through her work on herself, she is more likely to accept the compliment and thank me.

FBS 54
Separated and Divorcing

Posts: 4133 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: FL
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 1:58 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)

I'm not a man, but I wanted to share this. I discussed it with my IC and when I told her that he would compliment me on days/times I felt like crap and therefore I thought he was insincere, she said to me, "why would you deny someone's gift." It really stuck with me.

Why would you deny his gift?

Recently we were in bed and I made mention of my basic trollness (weight is sticking to me like cat hair on velvet), and he said, "The only thing I find unattractive about you is when you talk about yourself that way." He's right. It IS unattractive.

Him WH
2 ddays in '07
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6549 | Registered: Jan 2011
Member # 29341
Default  Posted: 1:59 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)

It seems like the lack of ability to accept compliments is not a BW thing or a WW thing, but a woman thing.

But I wonder if a BW who didn't have a problem accepting compliments before D-Day would have issues afterward, feel like they are fake/forced.

We're both in our 30s. One awesome 4-year-old daughter.

Posts: 6809 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
Member # 29341
Default  Posted: 1:59 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)

The only thing I find unattractive about you is when you talk about yourself that way.

My H told me it was a turn-off.

We're both in our 30s. One awesome 4-year-old daughter.

Posts: 6809 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
Member # 34086
Default  Posted: 2:04 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)

My H told me it was a turn-off.

Not only that, to me it feels like a rejection of my feelings. Eventually you get tired of the constant rejection and it hurts less not to compliment.

Married: 17 years (14 @JFO)
D-Day: 11/09/11
"Ohhhhh...shut up Tred!" - NOT the official SI motto (DS)

Posts: 4003 | Registered: Dec 2011
Member # 9918
Default  Posted: 2:34 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)

When I compliment my W and she deflects it or rejects it, it really doesn't bother me. Sometimes I'll tell her that she looks nice and she'll appreciate it ... that doesn't happen all the time but it's great when she does. I see it as a hit or miss kinda thing ... I don't take it personally.

Posts: 1970 | Registered: Feb 2006 | From: PA
Member # 14833
Default  Posted: 2:38 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)

It's insulting to be backhanded by your own compliment...


The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time...

James Taylor

Posts: 5984 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: A better place
Member # 29909
Default  Posted: 2:47 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)

I've often told my wife when she refutes my compliments that eventually I may start to agree with her. Self deprecation is one thing but outright refusing to accept any compliments isn't attractive at all.

Posts: 81 | Registered: Oct 2010
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 3:10 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)

This is a problem for many males, too.

Among other things, a lot of people train themselves or are trained to hear some self-deprecation after a compliment. Others are trained or train themselves to expect a compliment in return. The result is a lot of false self-deprecation or false compliments, which are easy to ward off.

Also, a lot of times we get complimented for stuff we do easily, so it doesn't make sense to accept a compliment.

But accepting honest compliments is good for both giver and receiver, even though it's sometimes difficult to do.

[This message edited by sisoon at 3:10 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)]

fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10379 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
Member # 28156
Default  Posted: 3:51 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)

I find it very difficult to accept compliments from H. First of all, he used to never give them, so its very convienent now. ANd for me its about your feelings. I can see desire in his eyes while he looks at 25 yr olds. He just looks very insecure and doubtful when he looks a me. So I feel Its faked. I appreciate the effort. BUt say what you mean. I dont need more lies. Eyes tell the truth. He has looked at me with desire. SO My point is, I can tell the difference. Keep it real. I am insecure after all this crap. I dont need you to fake it.

a trigger yesterday

Posts: 951 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: athome
New Member
Member # 39548
Default  Posted: 10:22 AM, June 19th (Wednesday)

Rebreather has a very good point. I know, as a man, when I give a compliment, it is because I mean what I am saying. I know men and women communicate differently, and that is something we all have to learn to deal with, and accept. When I compliment, it is a gift, from the heart. Having it brushed off does hurt. It is like giving a gift, to find out it was returned for something they wanted more.

Posts: 3 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Louisiana
Member # 35417
Default  Posted: 11:14 AM, June 19th (Wednesday)

I think I have a hard time accepting any compliments because if I was so great to him - why the infidelity?

I'm not condoning it, but I think sometimes there is real reason to not accept compliments.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

Posts: 1889 | Registered: Apr 2012
Member # 37982
Default  Posted: 2:24 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)

Check out the Emotionally Unavailable threads for a deep mine of comments on this topic. My FWW had a list of FOO Factors as long as her arm, EU at the top of the list, and inability to accept compliments the leading symptom. It got so bad she just assumed that any compliment by me was living proof of my insincerity, if not outright dishonesty.

Me BH/WH, 63
Her WW/BW, 62
Her DDay Dec 1976 OMW at the door
My DDay, ~ 2years later, confessed ONS the next day
R via "Sweeping under the rug"
Still married, 40 yrs, mostly OK
2 kids, 24 & 20

Posts: 357 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Colorado
Member # 30826
Default  Posted: 2:26 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)

I have a hard time accepting compliments also. He rarely gave me one before he cheated on me(he will tell you different). Now,when he says anything about how I look,I just smile and look away. I just don't believe him.

FWH 45
4 kids
M: June 2001
D-Day: 8/10/10
Status: Reconciling?

..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.

Posts: 7693 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Indiana
Member # 27196
Default  Posted: 2:56 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)

I have a terrible time accepting compliments from H. But, I blame it on him, lol! What I mean by that is this: to me, just a "you look nice" kind of compliment doesn't do it for me (coming from him). He needs to say what 'looks nice'. Like, perhaps, something like this: "wow PPGA, I love that dress, it really brings out the color of your eyes" or, perhaps, instead of saying, "I love you", instead say " I love you because you make me happy " or because "you are loyal" or whatever.

me BS female 56/him WS 59
Married 33 years
D-day July 09/he gave me his slut's STD
Watch my movie: "My wayward husband's adventures in STD land":
Episode 1:
Episode 2:

Posts: 7102 | Registered: Jan 2010 | From: Coastal South
Member # 39381
Default  Posted: 4:01 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)

My H always complimented me expecting that I return the exact compliment to him. He did a few times compliment me just because and I did not accept them. I did this because of the abuse in my life from my parents and from him, that I just quit believing that there was anything good about me at all. It was the first thing brought to my attention in IC. I have had to work very hard to accept compliments from others, but it feels good to me to be able to acknowledge them and for them to be acknowledged. I honestly did not realize that until it was brought to my attention.

2DS, 2DD
BS-Me 32
WH-Him 43
DDay-All 14 years of our relationship. 3PA's, 3 one night stands, and 6 EA's and still counting as we go. Gained enough strength to face it 11/2012

Getting Divorced

Posts: 101 | Registered: May 2013 | From: United States
Member # 31529
Default  Posted: 5:02 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)

It's such a difficult thing for me too. WH sometimes compliments me. Other times puts me down or let's me know he does not find me attractive. Or at least not as attractive as other women he could have.

I have always thought of humility as a positive characteristic. I do not generally toot my own horn. But in the past I feel I handled compliments graciously. WH seems to only see what someone boasts of being. If they downplay their accomplishments or attributes he doesn't see them. So an arrogant OW he sees as beautiful bc she tells him she is. I tell him I'm not going to brag and be sees me as plain

It's a catch 22 for me. Do I start to brag and take on a characteristic I dont like so WH sees me that way? Or be true to myself and be seen as "less than" I really am?

Me-BW (45)
Him-WS (42)
DS 19 (prior relationship)
DDay #1- 10/22/2010 EA/PA with MOW coworker
Dday#2:11/17/2010 beginning secret emails with potential OW#2
DDay #3 11/22/2010 still seeing OW#1
Too many DD's to count: Now up to OW #6.

Posts: 696 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: the south
New Member
Member # 39364
Default  Posted: 5:48 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)

Great thread for everyone to read. I fine if hard to receive compliments too. Amazing how difficult it can be to just say "Thank you" when people say something nice about you...

Posts: 6 | Registered: May 2013 | From: atlanta
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 6:00 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)

This is a problem for many males, too.

Very true. My response is always, "well, I guess you know yourself better than anyone, so never mind".

Same response when someone goes the other direction with the "I'm such an asshole". I never argue that one.

It feels like a very inauthentic communication.

This isn't really a thread jack but have any of you also run into someone complimenting you about something you know isn't one of your traits? That one always stumps when someone calls me sweet. I don't argue but also know they either haven't been paying attention or don't know me.

I wonder if that's what's going on in other situations as well, sometimes. Assigning a trait to someone and complimenting them on it when they know they aren't the embodiment of it.

Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth

Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
Member # 27035
Default  Posted: 7:38 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)

Jana, this is a very interesting thread.

I have a little story about this. I left home after high school for the Air Force (about a million years ago), and I have lived far away from my parents ever since. Not because of any issues, it just worked out that way. Whenever I am home (to this day) my folks are always giving me stuff, wanting to pay for everything, all of that. I would always argue, tell them it wasn't necessary, try to refuse. I vividly remember my mother telling me, sometime in my early 20s, to just take what was offered and say thank you graciously because it hurt their feelings when I didn't. It has always stuck with me and I've always thought it applies to compliments as well.

I certainly get why, after the A, it would be difficult to trust a compliment from your WS though. My situation was complete abandonment so I haven't had to deal with compliments but I will say I sure don't trust anything that he says or does.

"On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good."

Posts: 5271 | Registered: Jan 2010 | From: Midwest
Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 7:56 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)

This isn't really a thread jack but have any of you also run into someone complimenting you about something you know isn't one of your traits? That one always stumps when someone calls me sweet. I don't argue but also know they either haven't been paying attention or don't know me.

You made me laugh with the asshole comment UO!

Don't want to t/j either but with regards to the above....I think this is said ie: you are so sweet, when they actually WISH you were sweet so by saying it, maybe you will start acting that way.

Or, my H gave a good example of someone who NEVER listens to a convo....and then when they actually do listen that one time and you say, "you are such a good listener" REALLY want them to keep it up for the next time.

Is that projecting?

Glad my thread inspired your thread, Jana!

[This message edited by LA44 at 7:58 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)]

Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2461 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
Topic Posts: 22