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Old 01-15-2012, 07:20 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Location: Saskatchewan
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Unlike some of the others above, I don't get the impression that this is just NRE.

The needs you mentioned (needing to feel like an equal partner, feeling appreciated, participating in the marriage) are not really "NRE" type needs. I think of those as being things like: frequent sex, excitement about seeing each other, getting flowers for no particular reason... you know, the kinds of things you have in the beginning but drop off with time. No, the needs you mention are ones that, if anything, should grow over time, not taper off.

Now, I don't think that's a reason to be hasty and actually leave your husband. But it's definitely critical that you inform him that your needs are not being met and that you've reached your breaking point of being able to tolerate living without them. While it might hurt his feelings to point out that your boyfriend is meeting these needs, it may also snap him into reality about the severity of the situation.

What I find helpful when my needs are not being met is to be ultra specific. I used to say things like "I need more romancing." Eventually I realized, he doesn't know what that means. So I started to say things like, it makes me feel really special when you buy me flowers.

The other trick is to lavish him with praise and appreciation when he gets it right, even a little bit. Humans respond very well to positive reinforcement, even when they recognize that they're being trained My husband and I have been known to literally pat each other on the head and say "Good Husband/Wife" which is replied to with "I did good!" I suppose some people might see that as degrading, but it works for us.
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