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Attraction and fishing for a compliment

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  • Attraction and fishing for a compliment

    This past year, as I approach 40, I have been making more effort with my looks, wearing make-up and doing my nails. In the past this was something I only did on special occassions and my husband would get all excited when I got "dolled-up". Six years ago, when I got a professional manicure for the first time, my husband was so excited, he offered to watch the kids so I could go get my nails done on a regular basis. Back then I didn't take him up on the offer.

    Now, I often sit next to him doing my nails. Once done, I always flash my nails at him and ask him what he thinks. He gives a non-enthusiastic "looks nice" which I know means "I could care less." So finally I congronted him on this and he admited that he likes me just the way I am, not all this fake stuff. I feel comfortable that he "likes" the real me, but I would like like him to be "attracted" to me as well. Given his lack of libido, disinterest in spending alone time with me and no compliments about appearance/sexiness/figure, I wonder if he is even truely attracted to me. I feel like he loves me, but isn't IN love with me. I don't know if I'm just upset that he doesn't compliment me or if he is not attracted to the extra efforts I am making.

    When I ask him, he always says he is very attracted to me, but none of his actions follow through on that.
    Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

  • If your husband were posting here, what do you think he would say about all of this? ie. Why did he used to get excited about you getting dolled up? Why it stopped? Why his libido dropped off? Why he doesn't follow through on his claimed attraction?

    Comment


    • OK, just guessing. You mention his lack of libido. Maybe he is feeling somewhat pressured for sex, and your getting "dolled up" just feels like more pressure. This can easily happen in a relationship where one person wants sex much more often than the other. The one with the lower sex drive can start to interpret everything their partner does as a way to get sex. (one of the reasons this sort of mismatch is so destructive to a relationship).

      I don't know enough about the situation to do more than just guess

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Pollon View Post
        If your husband were posting here, what do you think he would say about all of this? ie. Why did he used to get excited about you getting dolled up? Why it stopped? Why his libido dropped off? Why he doesn't follow through on his claimed attraction?
        My husband has a lot to say and he can be very eloquent with words, but it's not backed up with actions so his words don't mean anything to me.

        I don't know why he doesn't find me getting dolled-up appealing any more, although I have asked. I've also asked why he doesn't show me he is attracted to me when he says so but he doesn't have an answer and often rolls his eyes at me. He says his low libido is due to ED issues he has been having but he won't go get it checked out. I have also told him several times that intercourse isn't everything. I gave him some books on some other kinky stuff, but he never tried it although he said he would be open to it. For a few months, every time we got intimate, I would not try intercourse unless he initiated so that he didn't feel pressured. But that didn't help either. Lately I have stopped asking completely and the rare handful of times he has tried to initiate, I told him he didn't have to. I think he is happier this way.

        I am trying really hard to accommodate him. I just wish he would act romantic or try to show that he was making an effort or make me feel beautiful when he knows it's something I haven't been feeling very confident over these last few years.

        Last year I bought a bunch of stilettos. I thought he would really like them since I never had any before. I was so excited wearing them and showing him my new purchase. He told me that he found feet disgusting. When he saw that I was hurt by that comment, he looked at my feet and told me that as far as feet go, mine aren't bad. He tried to explain that he just didn't like feet and I understand that. But can't he appreciate how they could make me look good. I asked him if he would like it if I wore boots since that covers the feet, but he didn't care for that either.
        Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

        Comment


        • He probably is attracted to you, just not in the way you are to him. The low libido means he doesn't fit sex or sexy into the equation. Complimenting a woman on her figure, makeup, clothes, nails, etc. are all part of flirting. Flirting with one another doesn't have to stop with being in a relationship or being married. But a low or non-existent libido would probably stop the flirting.

          It would be nice if the sex compromise between the higher sex drive and the lower sex drive was we'll do whatever you want this week and whatever I want the next one. But the lower sex drive almost always rules and the higher sex drive is left out in the cold.

          ED doesn't mean low libido in many cases. That is why it can lead to frustration. If the woman is into it, giving her oral can overcome some of that frustration because the tongue doesn't go MIA.
          I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
          ...
          Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

          From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

          Comment


          • Originally posted by sp346 View Post
            the rare handful of times he has tried to initiate, I told him he didn't have to
            A lot of times I empathize with you and really get you, sp. Here I don't. When my wife initiates I jump all over it and let her know I appreciate it. Why would you turn him down? That would seem to be discouraging.

            The other thing I was wondering is how you compliment him and let him know you love him. You don't have to answer me. I'm just saying that men like compliments too. We need recognition as much as women - not just on our sexiness, but on what we bring to the marriage/family or what we do well.
            "Those sowing seed with tears
            Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Stillness View Post
              A lot of times I empathize with you and really get you, sp. Here I don't. When my wife initiates I jump all over it and let her know I appreciate it. Why would you turn him down? That would seem to be discouraging.
              Recently he told me that since he has been out of work, he was been so depressed he has not sexual desire and the only reason we have sex is because he loves me. That made me feel horrible. I don't want to have sex with somebody who is just doing it out of obligation. When he initiates and I give him the out, he usually takes it. If he really does want it, he will continue. BTW, the low libido was even before he lost his job.

              Originally posted by Stillness View Post
              The other thing I was wondering is how you compliment him and let him know you love him. You don't have to answer me. I'm just saying that men like compliments too. We need recognition as much as women - not just on our sexiness, but on what we bring to the marriage/family or what we do well.
              I will be the first to admit I am stingy with compliments. I know that and therefore I really make a concious effort to say nice things to him. I probably don't say it as often as most women, but I do a lot more than is my natural tendency. Definitely more than our early dating years. I keep telling him how good he looks in the boot cut jeans and to wear them again, but he rarely does. When he dies or cuts his hair, I love running my fingers through them. I'm big on action so I love giving him back rubs and kisses.

              Now that he is home, I constantly remind him how special this time with the kids is and thank him everytime he cleans up the kitchen or does something like that. I do feel like it is a double standard because I don't feel appreciated for working full time and coming home and cooking dinner or spending my weekends doing laundry.
              Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

              Comment


              • Originally posted by sp346 View Post
                This past year, as I approach 40, I have been making more effort with my looks, wearing make-up and doing my nails. In the past this was something I only did on special occassions and my husband would get all excited when I got "dolled-up". Six years ago, when I got a professional manicure for the first time, my husband was so excited, he offered to watch the kids so I could go get my nails done on a regular basis. Back then I didn't take him up on the offer.

                Now, I often sit next to him doing my nails. Once done, I always flash my nails at him and ask him what he thinks. He gives a non-enthusiastic "looks nice" which I know means "I could care less." So finally I congronted him on this and he admited that he likes me just the way I am, not all this fake stuff. I feel comfortable that he "likes" the real me, but I would like like him to be "attracted" to me as well. Given his lack of libido, disinterest in spending alone time with me and no compliments about appearance/sexiness/figure, I wonder if he is even truely attracted to me. I feel like he loves me, but isn't IN love with me. I don't know if I'm just upset that he doesn't compliment me or if he is not attracted to the extra efforts I am making.

                When I ask him, he always says he is very attracted to me, but none of his actions follow through on that.
                SP346, didn't you mention in another thread your husband has 'moobs'? If his loss of libido has developed in tandem with his chest fat, and he has also been losing muscle, and gaining fat around his face and waist, and is perhaps feeling tired a lot more then he probably has low testosterone and will consequently not be responding 'properly' to all of your (what be be under any other circumstances) irresistible charms.

                I know things are different in the US than the UK but I think his health insurance should cover a full panel of male hormone blood tests.
                No matter how objective we try to be, we all see through our own eyes...

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Stillness View Post
                  A lot of times I empathize with you and really get you, sp. Here I don't. When my wife initiates I jump all over it and let her know I appreciate it. Why would you turn him down? That would seem to be discouraging.

                  The other thing I was wondering is how you compliment him and let him know you love him. You don't have to answer me. I'm just saying that men like compliments too. We need recognition as much as women - not just on our sexiness, but on what we bring to the marriage/family or what we do well.
                  I agree, if there's one thing that women don't quite get about men it's usually that they underestimate how important it is to compliment men, and how important reassurance is to them. Often it's just the absence of criticism which makes us think we're doing something right.
                  No matter how objective we try to be, we all see through our own eyes...

                  Comment


                  • SP346, I think your husband is lucky to have someone who's standing by him like this. Perhaps if he thinks he has a hormone problem as opposed to an actual sexual problem (although they can go hand-in-hand) he will be more likely to go to the doctors and request help?
                    No matter how objective we try to be, we all see through our own eyes...

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Harmony View Post
                      SP346, I think your husband is lucky to have someone who's standing by him like this. Perhaps if he thinks he has a hormone problem as opposed to an actual sexual problem (although they can go hand-in-hand) he will be more likely to go to the doctors and request help?
                      Talking sex is my expertise. If he wanted to, I could give him a free sex therapy session He just won't go. I found a local expert on the issue and asked him to check out this doctor's website. I don't know if he did, but he didn't talk about it and doesn't go to see a doctor. I asked that during his annual visit to the primary care, he get his testosterone levels checked. He said everything was normal, but I don't believe he truly asked his doctor or even explained his problem.

                      I've stopped talking about it with him because I feel its a waist of time. Right now I just want to feel like I am in a romantic relationship and feel like a desirable woman.
                      Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

                      Comment


                      • As a man the only reason I can think of for his actions (or lack of) and his behavior is that he has come to identify himself as the problem ridden man you see before you each time you arrive home of an evening. And subsequently (this is my best guess from a man's perspective) he is afraid to try in case he fails, it's easier in his situation (believe it or not) for many men to have an 'if I don't try I can't fail' attitude, and bury his head in the sand.

                        My first girlfriend was not cooperative with me at all and told me I should go to the doctor and ask them for a treatment for PE, I was so embarrassed and insecure (all of the stupid common 'stop and start' and squeeze stuff didn't work) I opted not to, she definitely exascepated the situation by being quite unkind to me and in hindsight I am actually quite interested as to what they would have suggested—to a 19 year old with a couple of months sexual experience probably not much, and I'm glad I was never used as a guinea-pig, since this was around the time doctor's started prescribing anti-depressants to young men who complained of premature ejaculation and had exhausted other treatment options.

                        I know it's highly unethical but I'd be tempted to stick a testosterone patch on his arm while he's asleep.
                        No matter how objective we try to be, we all see through our own eyes...

                        Comment


                        • I think once I actually lied and told her I had asked the doctor and she recommended something ridiculous like the squeeze and pause (which I read in one of her girly magazines, she was hot this ex, but not bright ;-) incidentally it didn't work.
                          No matter how objective we try to be, we all see through our own eyes...

                          Comment


                          • Sp what kind of personality does your husband have? Is he outgoing? Loud? Spontaneous? Laid back? Very vocal? Keeps to himself? The reason I ask is because my bf has made comments about how I am not so open about compliments to him. I try to I really do but I am just not a vocal person, I do not talk that much, I am quiet and reserved so complimenting is just not something that I constantly have on my mind so I end up lacking in the compliments or "noticing" department. Is your husband the same way? Just not much of a talker or open discussion type guy? Does he talk but generally avoids getting into anything more descriptive than the basic observation of "yeah you look nice"?

                            You could have a sit down with him and tell him that you just want to be noticed a bit more, not that you need constant compliments or anything but a "hey I like that dress on you" every once and awhile would be nice.
                            There are those who believe that dictionaries should not merely reflect the times but also protect English from the mindless assaults of the trendy.

                            Comment


                            • sp,

                              Has he always been this reserved and withholding? I wonder if he feels sort of emasculated? Not because of anything you have or have not done, but because he is unemployed at the moment, depressed, experiencing low libido due to ED. Perhaps his self-esteem is very low at the moment and those emotions are being passed on to you.

                              I know from your posts that you are communicating your feelings to him, but I don't think he is truly hearing what you are saying. This isn't necessarily about sex, it's about the romance and wanting to feel loved and appreciated. Maybe if you try talking to him without distractions (like a television) and let him know that you married him because you loved him, all of him, and need quality time with him. It sounds like he is on a vicious cycle: stress, depression, low self-esteem, which is only going to exasperate the ED. What he may fail to realize is that his actions are hurting you and that could ultimately cause him more stress because of the wedge that is driving you apart.

                              I know that you have suggested a website, but maybe offering to go with him to the doctor would help. Feeling like you are wasting your time is sad because as far as I can tell, you are being supportive. Hopefully he'll be more open-minded for both or your sakes.

                              Comment

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