Are Men Naturally Unromantic?!
Hi everyone, It's clear from various postings that any topic is fair game on this board, so I'm putting out for public discussion a problem I'm having. I am 44 and my husband is 48. We met in college and have been together for 22 years -- married for 20. We have two kids, ages 11 and 13. Here's what is frustrating me. During our entire relationship, my husband has pretty much never organized a single event or leisure activity for the two of us. In college we 'hung out' which, since we were broke, involved mostly drinking scotch and watching TV or listening to music. We never went on 'dates' per se. Fast forward a couple decades and it's still that way. Money is not a problem. My husband is a worldly, well-travelled, literate, upper-middle class professional. He has an M.B.A. and works at a well known international newspaper, so obviously planning is within his ability. Early on in our marriage, he insisted I was being 'romantic' and what I was asking for was baloney and 'Hollywood nonsense.' I now regret very strongly how I deferred to him on this. I know better now.
I decided it was time for a fresh start. I was very unhappy, and had seen a therapist who told me it was very important for the health of our marriage to do things together. Um, besides work and clean the house and rake the lawn and attend our children's parent teacher meetings. Over a year ago, we sat down and I made my wants perfectly clear. In very simple terms, I suggested we sit down with the calendar, and each pick one date each month to go out and do something fun together. I suggested we alternate. He would take on 6 of the dates and ditto for me. This is basically what the therapist suggested for us. I even suggested some places to look for ideas, like our local tourism office which sends out weekly updates or the weekend section of the newspaper. I really really did everything short of DOING IT MYSELF, AGAIN.
He agreed to everything, said 'you're right' and then, during the entire past year, didn't do a thing. I don't think he really gave it a second thought. Also, He said he'd plan our 20th wedding anniversary weekend, but I ended up doing that too. By the way, since we've had kids (our eldest is nearly 14) he has NEVER even called a babysitter. I do it all. It's like he thinks the only thing he's supposed to really do (and he does it well) is to make sure there's a roof over our heads and money in the bank. And as long as that's covered, he's done.
Finally this weekend, I realized more than a year had gone by since he'd agreed to arrange his babysitting and dates. 15 months, to be exact. I asked him about it. I don't exactly think waiting over a year for a guy to arrange a date is um, being high maintenance. I haven't nagged, by the way. Well, guess what? My husband, the same guy who says the most important thing in his life is his marriage, has no explanation about what happened. He was however, STUNNED. He said he felt he was looking down the barrel of a gun. Like my asking him left him on the ground bleeding. He said he'd obviously failed me and he was sorry. He's done THIS before too, and it hasn't changed a thing.
So, what am I supposed to do now? I'm willing to accept my role in this, which is to make excuses for his shortcomings in the area of showing some interest in the emotional side of our marriage, and how we spend leisure time or even renew our bonds. And Believe me, I'm not asking for champagne and caviar, lingerie and moonbeams. I just refuse to be the custodian and curator of EVERYTHING.
What do you guys think? Is there any hope?