Originally Posted by Ondine
The issue I am having is with not feeling valued, and I canít seem to figure out quite whatís going on here.
If I tell him specifically that I need some attention it will pick back up for a few days, but Iím getting to the point where I feel like I have to make a special request just to get him to TALK to me, and thatís not exactly great for the self-esteem.
He and I have had conversations about this in the past, because this has been an ongoing issue. They tend to go something like this:
I indicate that I need to feel desired, like I actually have a place in his life, like Iím not just another random chick he doesnít object to hanging out with if he has some spare time and nothing better to do.
He agrees that it is reasonable for me to feel this way.
Rounded up some the the bits that jump out to me most. A lot of what you say I have felt at times. I'll just say that in your case I think I would do a couple different things, not sure in which order
1. Read the Five Love Language book.
make sure I have a handle on the specific actions I need to have happen in order to feel good about a relationship/s. (I would not ask my partner to read it at this point) I'd reiterate these again to my partner once, say I realize they are vital to me feeling good about a relationship and when I don't have them I am unsure if the dynamic is a valuable one for all parties. I personally would send a summary of this idea in an email. I'd observe how they acted for the next month, without me bringing it up again.
2. About the once a week thing. Identify what you actually WANT, how often you want to see them. (I see my bf once a week, sometimes I am bummed he doesn't want to see me more, but I am content with seeing him once a week, so I know I'm just looking for reasons talk myself into finding fault with something that seems to be working for everybody) Suck it up and be vulnerable and tell them if you want to hang out 3x a week for reality TV, tell them if you want a separate date with each of them once a week, tell them whatever your hearts desire is that you think would make you happy (together or separately if its too awkward being vulnerable in front of both at the same time). Ask if they are interested or not in spending that much time together. Digest their answer and decide if you can be content with whatever it is. (I had to tell my bf I wanted to spend X time with him, he countered that he was only able to spend X-1 with me. Was it awkward, YES, but I felt much better once I'd laid my desires out in the open and been able to hear what worked for him and chose to accept it or not instead of just wishing I had X.)
If two of these did not get me results I was OK with, I'd kick myself if I didn't end the relationship/s. If only one of these did not get me results that I hoped for, I'd figure out how important not having that in this particular relationship was. Certainly if #1 resulted indifference or lack of sustained
attempt (not three days) to give me what I asked for that would be an end, with the exception being a response along the lines of "I appreciate that is what you need in a relationship, but I can't commit to providing these things for you. With that acknowledgement at least I'd feel good about knowing my partner knew themselves. So sure, I'd make a last good effort attempt to say what I needed or wanted, and then the ball is in their court. A relationship doesn't have to be miserable
for it to be OK to end it!