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Feelinglikethat posted 1/28/2020 07:59 AM

In part of our healing, my BS has said that he never felt appreciated. I know that by being selfish and being basically gone from my home mentally during the A that I caused him to feel that way.

I would like some help on how to show appreciation more. We are kind of different people when it comes to tasks and chores. Im more passive and distractible and he is more focused and has direction. I want to be better at being a more reliable partner. I help with the mundane chores of the house, but he always seems ten steps ahead of me.

How do you show appreciation to your spouse? How can i show respect for the things that he does for us?

destroyed1 posted 1/28/2020 08:04 AM

take the 5 love languages test, if you havent already.

Learn what your spouses love language is and start showing them love the way they want it.

Also, I suggest you ask him this question ...

How can i show respect for the things that he does for us?

Who knows, he might just tell you.

The good news is that you've realized that he deserves to be appreciated. That is a step in the right direction. Good luck on your journey to being a better person.

MrCleanSlate posted 1/28/2020 10:08 AM

As a wayward:

One thing I started to do was to take my BW out to a lounge, or a wine bar, once a month or so. Just the two of us. A few glasses of wine, a few appetizers, conversation and focus on her.

Amazing on how taking a few minutes to spend time together and listen to your spouse can make a world of difference in how they feel.

Also, offer to help do things together. I started going grocery shopping with my BW (for years I would stay home with the kids but now they are adults) but more than that I started to help with the shopping list. We sit together every Friday and go through the flyers together.

Find something new you 2 can do together. Make a point of organizing for it. Make it a priority.

Mundane everyday things, but those are what matter.

hikingout posted 1/28/2020 10:17 AM

I like what Mr. Clean Slate has said. I will say my BH now goes to the grocery with me more often, and I too always appreciate that team work and companionship now. He rarely ever went before. He also now stays to help clean up in the kitchen after dinner. We both play a role in that and we talk during that time and it's feels good to me. I feel like he is starting to really see me. We now make a point to talk also for a few minutes when I get home, and we also hug and kiss more when we greet each other or leave each other.

Love languages are huge helps, that book gave a lot of great examples too of things to do if your spouses love language was x,y, or z.

I know I just said most of these things in reverse, I am the WS. But, I have always been good about pitching in, paying attention, etc. The thing that had to change with me was what was motivating me to do those things. I was hustling for love rather than doing them out of my own love.

Im more passive and distractible and he is more focused and has direction.

Let's explore this. I would bet you are focused and have direction at things that are important to you. You were very deep in your hobby at one point, and you likely had a lot of focus and direction there. So, some of this is less about inherent traits and more about motivation. The question you might want to look at is what motivates you in life. What are the things that are most important to you? And then back in with how can you align that motivation with your targets. I do not believe that you are passive and distractible in all things, but that you see that as a quality that may not be true. Challenge yourself on your perceptions.

[This message edited by hikingout at 10:21 AM, January 28th (Tuesday)]

thatbpguy posted 1/28/2020 10:39 AM

Feeling appreciated = time spent.

I knew a couple that divorced after 30+ years of marriage. No infidelity involved. he was a very successful and busy businessman, Christian couple... She was a stay at home mother. But, by mutual agreement, he never made time for her on a daily basis. Her sole complaint was that she fell out of love and became despondent because he never showed he cared. All she stated is that she wanted 30 minutes of his undivided time a day. That's all. But she never got it.

In my second marriage I have made it a point to have no distractions at dinner. None. From the moment I get home, thru dinner and after for a while all I dial in on is my wife and her day went, be an ear and shoulder for her... It pays huge dividends and I never want her to compete with anything or anyone for my time.

Just be there and take a legitimate and undivided interest in her daily. 30 minutes.

fooled13years posted 1/28/2020 11:17 AM

Feelinglikethat, I am glad that you see this:

respect for the things that he does for us

IMHO, everything both partners do should be for the us dynamic of the relationship.

Even if that is time apart doing separate things because that helps the us dynamic.

Appreciation does not have to be an over-the-top reaction but can be just a I notice what you do and I just want to say thank you comment.

Feelinglikethat posted 1/28/2020 11:34 AM

I will ask him again for us to take the love languages tests. We did that before but he believes that he answered according to what he thought he could expect me to do or get out of me.

My immediate response is to be defensive and say ĎI wanted to help him with these things you listed, but he wouldnít let me...í because he is a person who likes to get things done and I like to take my time that we had a lot of discordance in this area. Someone knock me and tell me to get rid of my defensiveness.

I know he does these things because he cares about the family and taking care of us. I want to help and I want him to know I am thankful for what he does.

I am going to explore more about my being forgetful and distractible. This happens in all areas of my life, not just relationship. Even before this hobby or my A, I have to always use a planner and set alarms to remind me to do the simplest tasks like take my medicine or empty the dehumidifier. Its like if its not in my face, I cant remember it. Its a quality that I really hate and I want to improve.

TX1995 posted 1/28/2020 11:56 AM

BS here. I agree on reading Love Languages. Both of you.

My WH was like your H. Very task oriented. He unloads the dishwasher, does laundry. He felt like doing that was ďhelpingĒ me. (His parents were both acts of service). Thing is, I feel like helping me around the house (and taking out trash, etc) isnít going out of his way to show love. Itís shit heíd do anyways. Just like I always took care of kids/social life/cleaned toilets, etc. That was just kind of how jobs split. Now...if he goes OUT of his way to be observant or helpful? It means something - even though acts are not my LL. (For example cleaning out MY cats litter box or noticing Iím out of a soap bar and getting me a new one or taking both kids to school when he can, so that I can sleep in.

Since DDay 1, weíve both made it a point to say thank you. For all of it. At night, we always list out things we are grateful for (goes from making dinner to handling a kidís drama to chauffeuring kids around).

Since my LL is quality time, he now does not work at night. (He used to come home, run, shower and get on his computer most nights.) He asks to play games with me, plans dates (literally NEVER planned anything unless it was our anniversary or Valentines Day), and suggests family outings as well. We do book studies, take classes, listen to books/podcasts together, and have things we can discuss together.

He texts me every day when he gets to work. Tells me what he listened to, usually says some appreciation, tells me his morning work plans, and then texts randomly throughout the day to tell me he is thinking of me (especially at times when Iím going/leaving therapy or an event or having a rough day).

I think the LL and the Gottman Book (7 Principles..?) were instrumental in helping us understand each other. So was a course we took on the Enneagram.

He doesnít get annoyed when Iím not jumping up on Saturday mornings to do housework bc he knows itís not my priority. So sometimes we are lazy and make breakfast and watch tv in bed. And some days we get up and do yard work (I compromise too 😜.

Saying thanks out loud goes a long way in making someone feel seen. For example, my WH took our 12 yo to the dentist a few weeks ago. I had a conflict and couldnít take her, but it was very necessary for her to go. First time heíd taken either of our kids to a dentist (our oldest is almost 15 and had dental issues starting at 3). He came home and said thank you to me for taking care of that stuff for o many years. He actually enjoyed getting to do that for our daughter but it also made him realize how much Iíve done that he never appreciated. Itís the little stuff that makes a big impact.

Feelinglikethat posted 1/28/2020 20:15 PM

Thanks everyone so much. Ive read Gottmans book. I will try to find the five love languages at my library. I hope he will work on it with me.

I wonder if it is okay to ask for love as a WS. Some nights I just want to feel and give love in an intimate, nonsexual way but I worry that its just adding to the list of things that does for me that I donít deserve.

DaddyDom posted 1/28/2020 22:04 PM

Don't underestimate the simple power of "saying something". Taking a moment, even daily, to just say, "thanks" for whatever it is they do or have done.

"I noticed you did the dishes while I was out - thanks!"
"I know you don't ask for it, but I just wanted to say thanks for doing the laundry every week. It's nice to have clean clothes waiting for me."
"Thank you for sticking with me and trying to R. I know it's hard and I don't always "get it". All the same, I just want to acknowledge you for that and let you know I appreciate it."

Like the others said, the "love languages" can help too. Some people do respond to certain forms of appreciation better than others.

One last thing - if chores are the main issue here, then I'd suggest working out something fair or agreeable to both of you. For example, my wife hates food shopping. I don't mind it at all but then I don't usually feel like cooking. So we've worked it out that she's happy to cook if I'm willing to do the shopping and everyone is happy and feels as if they are getting cooperation from their partner.

secondtime posted 1/29/2020 10:23 AM

I'm the BS..No Stop sign.

Thank you. Seriously.

We say it enough, around the house, that even our babies pick up on it.

#3 and #4 said thank you to us after diaper changes.

Empathy. In my case, I'm the breadwinner. I work two jobs to support my family. Yes, I understand that working 20 hours a week and taking care of one kid under 5 isn't a picnic either. But, I also pull my weight around the house and with the kids, so DH never has the responsibilities of a SAHP. DH doesn't do the same with work. So, saying things like "I understand the pressure being put on you to be the only person financially responsible for a family of 6. I understand that's a burden I don't have." That shows that he appreciates me.

He thought about me, and thought about way to help me. I didn't have to ask. (Normally, we subscribe to -no one's a mindreader...if you have a need, spit it out. ) The last time that happened, literally, was about a decade ago. This is the second time in our nearly 20 year marriage that it happened.

So. DH and I have our lanes that we are responsible for. He's responsible for the cooking and grocery shopping, for example. I don't butt in, unless he asks me if I need anything from the grocery store. Otherwise, he's an adult with normal cognitive abilities. I don't need to be involved.

Also, I would look at automating as much as you can (bills on auto pay, for example). It's reliable, and frees up your time for fun things...

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