Apathetic BF Driving Me Up The Wall

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Almond_Joy, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Almond_Joy

    Almond_Joy Member

    Hi everyone,

    I've been with my bf for two years now. He is the laziest, most apathetic person I have ever met. The only things he shows any noticeable excitement in is food, the dog, sports, tv and video games. Everything else he can take or leave. On top of this, outside of that, in terms of domestic matters and things in the relationship, he does not take initiative to make anything happen unless I say something about it.

    Now I'm very action oriented. I like things to be done as efficiently and accurately as possible, and believe in giving everything I do 100%. I believe in helping people and getting work done whenever I see a need, and I get excited about ideas and trying different things. So his casual, lackadaisical behavior grates on my nerves. I've never asked him to change because I don't think that's fair, and I also figured it would help me to be with someone a little less high strung so that I don't get so caught up with making things happen and learn to just enjoy the present.

    However, his apathetic attitude applies to the sexual and emotional aspect of our relationship also. And in that respect his behavior drives me insane. If I don't mention or initiate, we will go a month without sex. When we do have sex, he never seems excited or really into it. It is always short and once he cums he is done for the night. He never grabs my ass or says he finds me sexy or what he likes in the bedroom. Besides a good morning or good night peck on the lips we don't kiss. We don't hug or cuddle. Besides the first time he said it or after an argument, he has never said in sincerity, "I love you." Never says how he feels....about anything outside of the interests I named above.

    I know that's a long list of complaints and when I say all that first, it's easy to ask why are you staying if you're so upset or whatever. Well, it's because there are a lot of good things in this relationship too. He has helped me to be a little less high strung. When I tell him I need him to something, he does it. When he notices I'm sad or upset, he tries in little ways to make me comfortable or happy. He listens to what I say and considers it. I've never had that before, and it means so much to me. I feel respected because of it.

    But because of what's lacking, I do not feel loved. There's no emotional expression in this relationship, no physical passion. I've told him this before, the sex issues more than once, and for a month or so things will improve. Then we'll miss a night or a kiss and we're back to square one. I do not like repeatedly asking for things, it makes me feel like I'm nagging. But with so much lacking emotionally, I go through these phases of feeling so detached. I feel like a roommate instead of a girlfriend.

    I don't know if I'm expecting too much or if this is a typical problem or what. It's been like this since the beginning of the relationship. In the first year I didn't really see it as a problem, because neither of us were really thinking about the long term. But in thi second year, we moved in together, and lately have casually referenced marriage. We've switched into a ling term sort of mode and it's frustrating me and freaking me out because we still have these problems with emotional expression and sex. The idea of spending my life doing this back and forth with these problems depresses me. I shouldn't wonder if my bf really wants to have sex with me or is attracted to me, and I want to know that if I am emotionally vulnerable with my partner that he can reciprocate that with me. I do believe my bf loves me, but he just does not share the drive for depth in life and emotion that I have. It's become a point of huge disconnect for me and I don't know if that's normal or ok or what. Even with these proble.s, I think this is the healthiest relationship I've ever had. I don't want to throw away something great, but I don't want to waste time trying to fix something that can't be fixed.

    I would really like to hear from anyone who may have had or be having a similar experience. I'm really confused and because I can't decide what the right thing is I can't really do anything which is stressing me out. Look forward to responses and thanks for reading.

  2. MatthewM

    MatthewM Member

    Hi Almond_Joy,

    It sounds like you basically run the relationship. I think a common pitfall in scenarios like that is that the partner who is not in charge can become apathetic, because they're used to always being told what to do, so they're just waiting for cues or orders. They take no initiative. I'm not sure what you could do to improve that; as far as sex goes, maybe something as simple as telling him to do whatever you want him to do to you. He may actually be just sitting around waiting for that. I suspect that in the bigger picture though, you may have to come to terms with whether or not you can live with always being the decision-maker, or see if he can be rehabilitated. How you might rehabilitate him I don't know.

    My situation with my girlfriend is actually similar in that she is very much in charge of the relationship as well, but unlike your boyfriend, I don't just wait for orders. I try to accommodate her as much as I can because I know it makes her happy. I wish your boyfriend did the same for you, but I don't really know how you could bring that about because we never had to figure that out ourselves - it happened pretty naturally.

    I do wish you luck. If you need any insights into this male mindset, I'm glad to help. I know we can be maddening and that it's rather unfair, but I'm sure you know by now that these burdens naturally fall on the strong, pretty much just because you're willing to take them on. :)
    Almond_Joy likes this.

  3. Almond_Joy

    Almond_Joy Member

    Thank you for the reply Matthew, I'm glad to hear someone understands this behavior because I've been trying and I don't lol.

    The frustration comes from the fact that I have intentionally created space in the relationship for him to take charge. I may be decisive but I don't run with the freedom of getting to do things my way. I'm not comfortable taking charge when the outcome involves another person. I figure it's not my place to make decisions for another capable adult.

    I've explained this to my bf and asked him to tell me what he wants, Every time I ask he says I don't know, and puts no further thought into it. He just accepts whatever I do or don't do and doesn't establish what HIS personal standards and preferences are.

    You said that you take initiative to do the things your gf tells you or likes without her asking. But you have your own preferences on how to do things or things that you want, right? So how do you handle your personal preferences or times when you want to take charge? Sorry if that's invasive, but this is the heart of the problem to me. My bf says he has no preferences, whatever happens is ok with him. He just goes along with whatever's happening, and if nothing happens he just goes with that too. I find this BIZARRE. I have never met someone who does not want to make decisions or does not have an established preference for things. It's one thing to know what you want and be open to trying different things. But if someone asks you, do you want a or b, and you can't give a straight answer.....??? As someone who is trying to be accommodating and respectful of his wishes....what am I suppossed to do wuth "I don't know?"

    When I push him to give a straight answer or give a detailed/specific answer about something he seems to get irritated, and I feel like I'm hassling him. He doesn't seem to get irritated with sex, but in the heat of the moment I don't want to have to say "touch me here, do this, say that". I've told him already what I like, he just doesn't do any of those things.

    You say it sounds like I run the relationship. That is not what I want. I want me and him to shape the kind of relationship that we both want together. Because he rarely tries to or seems willing to make deicisons, it seems like he doesn't care what happens in or to this relationship. I have explained all this to him already. He said he understands but it still goes on like this....

  4. Almond_Joy

    Almond_Joy Member

    And this I have not said to him, but ultimately I will not rehabilitate him. It's not my job to get someone to tell me what they want, it is my place to create a welcoming space for them to speak and for me to listen. Whenever I ask him for something I always, ALWAYS follow up with asking him if he has questions or concerns. I tell him every time, I want you to tell me what you would like to see or do in this relationship, your happiness is important to me. Whenever he seems excited about something I do whatever I can to support him to keep it going, because I know it makes him happy. It's just that those things never seem to be anything concerning the relationship.

    The idea of begging an adult to tell me what they want is absurd and infuriating to me, which is close to what I'm doing anyway. I'm not going to keep asking for answers he either can't or won't give. But I posted here thinking, maybe I'm not asking for the info I want him to share the right way and there's a better way to do this. I'm not good with being indirect or gentle with words. Either I say what's on my mind or I keep my mouth shut.

    Also, I don't like ultimatums but I have been struggling not to get into that mindset of "either this changes or we're done." I am trying - so SO hard - to be patient, thinking these things don't happen overnight. But it's a serious problem and he is not putting in the effort from what I can tell to fix it. The other thing is that if I do give an ultimatum, he may very well change...but it would be because I threatened to leave. And that's not a healthy premise for a relationship either.

    This is the thinking I haven't shared with him, because I don't want to put that kind of pressuree on him. But this problem is wearing on me - I get irritable much more quickly, I'm sad and unmotivated often. This is draining my energy.

  5. MatthewM

    MatthewM Member

    I think I understand where you're coming from and your frustrations. You speak very clearly and it's easy to understand. I'm going to reply bit by bit, because you've got a lot of info here.

    I assume you mean in charge -of himself- here. If you're sending him signals that you want him to 'wear the pants' in the relationship, that may confuse him because obviously you do in most if not all respects. I don't mean to overly focus on that, but it is significant because IMO the perfect world 50-50 relationship is pretty rare. I think usually there's one partner who tends to run the show more or less.

    Hm, I can see that's a bit different than just deferring to you. Another possibly uncomfortable question here, but have you by any chance (maybe even indirectly) cowed him? If he really has no opinion about anything, either he's like a natural existentialist or he's has his free will stripped from him.

    As regards my girlfriend, I do have opinions and desires, yes, and I share them, which she encourages. But final decisions about things are usually hers. If I have really strong feelings about something I'll fight her, but she still makes the calls in the end. For example, she may decide in my favor if she thinks it's best, based on my argument, but she's still the one deciding. It's all pretty simple really - she's smarter and more capable and has the stronger will. Battling that out all the time is kind of pointless. I do understand the frustration of basically carrying somebody else's water though, which is why I try to be as accommodating as I can. I'm here to makes things easier/better/happier for her, not the opposite.

    Okay that's an easy one - irritation is his frustration talking. That gives us a clue that maybe he does feel cowed by you. (Cowed is kind of a harsh word and makes you sound domineering, sorry. I don't really think that but I can't think of a better word.)

    This one's all on him, and he should be ashamed. Still, maybe you should try the aggressive routine. It might be a turn on actually and re-spark his enthusiasm. Plus, if there really is a sort of inferiority thing going on here, that psychology can play into sexuality and it might actually be a 'kink' for him. Just speculating, but maybe.

    Almost sounds like a square peg/round hole situation, sorry.

    As far as your following post goes, I think maybe you've answered a lot of your own questions there already. I hate to take a doom and gloom aproach, but this person may not be right for you. You seem like you have a lot to offer with your communicative nature, smarts, and desire for mutual happiness ... might be energy best spent on someone who appreciates it. :)

    Also fwiw, I think the way your asking is fine. How could he not get it? So don't beat yourself up about that thinking there's some secret language you're supposed to learn to get through to him. There isn't.

    And try not to be sad. It's tough, but you're not going to go down in flames over this. Everyone's got stages in life, and a lot of them aren't so great. Hopefully the next one will be.

  6. Almond_Joy

    Almond_Joy Member

    Well, your perspective has been very helpful. I'm relieved to hear I don't need a "secret language," because I was starting to think I do, but maybe approaching this with the assumption that he's feeling some of what you've explained will help us make some real progress on this.

    I may have cowed him and just didn't realize it because of the latent frustration. I've had a lot of emotions tied up in this issue so that may have cone through despite my best efforts.

    I'll give this another shot....if it doesn't work I'll accept I may have to call it quits. Thanks again :).

  7. MatthewM

    MatthewM Member

    Good luck, and let us know how it works out.

  8. Pink123

    Pink123 Member

    It looks like you're trying too hard to make him into something he is not. You're a go-getter who makes plans and gets things done. He's a sack of potatoes who would rather veg in front of the tv and let you do ALL the work ALL the time in pretty much every possible situation. Some people are ok with that scenario (like if they're a major control freak) but I'm a lot more like you, where it would drive me up a wall to be in a relationship with someone like him cause I need the equal give and take like you do. You can't really change him, he is who he is. It's at that point where I think you need to either accept who he is and how he is or else you gotta throw this one back and find a guy who is going to at least be able to match your activity level or else exceed it. Sounds like you've been spinning your wheels in the mud for a pretty long time and I know that if it were me in your shoes, I'd be about ready to rip all my hair out from frustration. I realize that when you invest a lot of time in a relationship that it's hard to leave and there's also that attachment to the comfort zone of "knowing" the person and so on. But there does come a point where you really need to think about whether you can continue putting up with this stuff for the rest of your life or if you think it's something that you can't deal with any longer. Only you can make that determination but I think based on all you've written here, the writing is on the wall and this relationship has run its course.
    Almond_Joy likes this.

  9. Almond_Joy

    Almond_Joy Member

    Yeah....thank you pink. It's too early to say how things will work out. I just wanted to post and say thanks for your perspective. I go back and forth because I have an honest worry that I expect too much of people sometimes, and I try to convince myself to be happy with less because what I want is unrealistic. Maybe it isn't but I'm not sold on that.

  10. Scarlettjonesatl

    Scarlettjonesatl New Member

    Hello. I found this thread from a Google post because I was looking for some advice on my current situation. Almond_Joy, your post basically sounds like I wrote it and is currently all of what I'm dealing with. I was curious, what ever ended up happening in your relationship? Are you still together, or could you ultimately not stand the apathy any longer?

  11. andiacmk jsouhnn

    andiacmk jsouhnn New Member

    Hey Almond Joy! I too just found this post. Please let us know what happened! Your original post sounded like something I would have written word for word. Scarlettjonesatl what is your current situation? You said it right. It's apathy. Please let me know ladies! :)


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