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My partner shows little empathy when I am upset

Tagged as: Dating, Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 August 2017) 5 Answers - (Newest, 8 August 2017)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

My brother died in a bike accident and the third year anniversary is next week. I dread this time of year. My mum is still heartbroken. My partner shows he cares through practical things like cooking a meal or walking my dog. I am tactile, warm and romantic whereas he doesn't do the "Emotional or affectionate bit" in his words. I have withdrawn to get comfort from friends and family. I told him that I was upset and coudn't get close to him as I had tried to talk to him about my brother in the past and he seemed uncomfortable. His reply was "Stop trying then." He is not a bad guy. He is a wonderful father to his children but I am struggling so much.....

View related questions: anniversary, heartbroken

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 August 2017):

I agree with all the answers already recieved already except I would like to add one very important point . Does this spill over into other areas of your life ? If so you may need to accept that yes this is who he is and no, he doesn't meet your emotional needs

Unfortunately many men do not realise that although we do get needs met from various sources , a relationship requires a partner to be their physically , practically and cognizantly . The cognizabt means providing words of support, affection and feedback ( or at least attempting )

To deny most women emotional support and affection is equivalent to a woman denying sex . So just ask yourself if it's this one issue or across the board ?

If it's just this then it's probably as wise old owl says , your grief pushing him away . I too have lost many dear loved ones and this can happen . However I have also been in a long term relationship where I've had to accept that my partner was unable ( or unwilling ) to give me emotional support . It's horrible . Unlike what some say , that women marry a macho man and expect a teddy bear , my ezperince is that most macho men reach within and provide the emotional support in the courting days in order to make the woman think he will continue doing so

Only you know how far reaching this issue is in your relationship . I would encourage you yodel support where you can for your loss and also perhaps consider counselling to help you sort through the situation with your partner. Best wishes

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A female reader, Caring Aunty A Australia +, writes (8 August 2017):

Caring Aunty A agony auntIt sounds like your partner was not familiar or had met your brother to be unaffected as he is? Nonetheless he still knows you and the affect your brother’s anniversary has on the family to understand a bit of TLC is in order as he’s done so.

Now because he doesn’t do the emotional or affectionate bit says more about his emotional intelligence in these circumstances. So I have to ask how he is with reading normal day to day social cues about you; does he inquire about your thoughts and feelings when you’re obviously tied, cranky, or distant to see if he can bring you comfort, support and or a pep talk?

As much as he’s not a bad guy, a wonderful father to HIS children that does not excuse him to cut you off, when sharing about your brother with a cold response; “Stop trying then.” That to me is somewhat a fair weather friend? I would expect to be open and free to talk about all that matters to you with the person you’re in a relationship with? I hope at least he’s not averse to holding you in his arms?

For me it does not take a chunk out of a human being to simply listen to you... a cracked record going over and over is a different story to which a person may need to consider Grief Counselling?

My thoughts are with you

Take Care – CAA

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (8 August 2017):

BTW, if you ask for a hug and he won't give you one. Walk over and wrap your arms around him and squeeze as hard as you can. His only choice is to squeeze you back. Hold on tight, and soak it all in. You will feel the strength fill you up.

My dear, I truly hope this will help. Nobody's words will remove your grief or loss. That's God's job. Believe it, or not.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (8 August 2017):

I'm so very sorry for your tragic loss. You will never get over it, but you must learn to live with it. You must carry all the sweet things about his beloved-memory in your heart to ease that pain and loss.

Dwell only on how he enriched your life; not the tragedy that snatched him away. You know that life must come full-circle; and at some point we will all pass-away. We don't get to choose how or when. They don't want to leave us behind suffering. They loved us too much!

Some guys are just not emotional, sappy, or mushy. If that's the kind of guy you wanted; then that's the type of guy you should have committed to. Not the man you have.

I just don't get it. Some women go for the rugged macho types; then want him to be a pussycat. At best, he's a big teddy-bear and he doesn't know how to melt and be sensitive. You were drawn and attracted to his strength; so tap into that, so it will help you to deal with your grief through the power of his strength. You don't have to fall to pieces on the anniversary of someone's death. You celebrate the life that they shared with you up until then. You have a memorial service in honor of them, and you help each other to feel good. Not sorrowful. I love the way some cultures celebrate and pray the souls of their dead to eternal peace. The living, must live on. If our lost loved-ones could tell us, that's what they would say. Why would they want suffering?

I've lost my parents, three sisters, and my partner of 28 years. Yes, it was most devastating. Each and every single time! I have to keep it together and help other surviving members of the family to honor their memories by being strong and joyful that we still have each other. We are strong in our spiritual-faith and beliefs; so we don't see death as final. Just a transition, or passage to a divine plain of existence. I guess it's harder for those who don't. But they have to deal with it somehow. What choice do you have?

If you can't deal with your grief, see your clergyman or a bereavement-counselor for counseling. Everyone can't feel your pain. There is also such thing as being a sympathy-hound; and everyone can't fall apart on cue to make you feel better. I'm not comparing our losses, but I shoot straight from the hip; and sometimes people need a dose of reality and truth in order to heal or grow. Grief is making you think all sorts of ways. I know how that is. Don't take it out on him.

Love your partner for who he is. You can still talk to him about your brother and your loss. He actually does feel your pain, but he's not a woman. You're not a child. He does not express his emotions exactly as you would, or expect of him. It wasn't his brother, all he can feel is empathy.

You should not rest the responsibility of the continuance of your relationship, or condition your love for him, on the bases that he must show emotion as you dictate it to him. That is unfair. Even a cruel thing to do to the father of your children. He feels in a different place and in a different way. He's a different person. If you wanted another type of man, that's the kind of man you should have found; rather than settling for the man you've got. Be not ungrateful for your blessings, or they soon dry-up!

Oh, sweetheart, your grief is making you turn on him. This will pass. Just ask him to hold you. I can't, but I offer you my condolences instead. A big bear-hug does wonders. His heartbeat will send all the right messages to your heart. Trust me on that. I've been there, and I've done that.

Even if we don't share any beliefs, I still forward my prayers for you and your loved ones.

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A male reader, Phil052 United Kingdom +, writes (8 August 2017):

Phil052 agony auntI don't think he is a bad person, I just don't think he knows how to handle this difficult emotional situation. He doesn't know how to talk about your brother and he's not sure of the support you need. It may be a situation where you need to get that support outside of the immediate family. I think this type of sad situation often leads to difficulties in how people react to it. I'm so sorry for your loss, I lost my brother early too, so I know what you and your family are going through x

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