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Scared of a marriage minus the passion?

I am fully aware that I can be a hopeless romantic at times. I’m not delusional about the “fluff I see in movies” kind of romance. I’m just all about passion in a relationship. I just love the idea of being with the one person that truly does it for me – connecting to them on many levels. Passion is important! Am I being naive, though?

One of the many, many fears I have about settling down and marrying is being stuck in a marriage that lacks passion. Do you ever think about what you would do if you ended up with a marriage that had mediocre sex, constant fighting, and awful communication? That sounds like my version of hell!

I have seen some marriages that seem to fit this profile. I always wonder if they were ever in love and passionate about one another. How do couples manage to get so far away from how it was in the beginning?

So I don’t feel like a completely irrational freak, is there something about marriage you fear?

It would be great to have folks who have been there (are there now and are willing to go back) and can give us a true depiction of what it’s like. What keeps you passionate about your significant other? Chime in an dispel the misconceptions! It’s not all bad, I’m sure.

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Blog

332 comments Add your comment

Disillussioned

February 10th, 2011
5:51 am

Unfortunately you spelled out what happens in marriage…the hot sweet thing you married turns into a nagging, frigid, crab…..which then gives rise to the number of men that seek companionship with mistresses…why can’t married women realize that it is physically impossible for men to have a sexual relationship with another women IF they were FULLY meeting their man’s desires….

dd

February 10th, 2011
8:17 am

Been married almost 30 years. First half (or more) was rough, but then my wife decided to take the responsibility for our sex life. It’s been a truly remarkable change, frankly has saved our marriage and rekindled our love for each other. IMO, she should write a book, because I believe a similar transformation is possible in lots of passionless relationships.

She decided 3 things 1) Sex is a major need for most men, 2) she has the power, and thus the responsibility, and 3) By allowing/causing a marriage without passion, she was setting us up for an affair and divorce.

If you are female and in a passionless relationship, please do whatever you can to reconnect. It’s like I heard one time, don’t expect him to “only have eyes for you”, and yet turn him down time and time again to the point of shut down.

Realist

February 10th, 2011
8:22 am

I am afraid that the “marraige without passion” seems to happen more often than not. Case in point. My first marraige ended after many couseling sessions and she had been told she had “sexual anorexia”, which is the clinical term for being frigid. She avoided intimacy and while we were dating, she did whatever she needed to do to get married (the counselor’s words, not mine). We divorced and I swore off marriage. Everything that my friends said would happen, happened. I dated a wonderful woman for 6 years afterwards and we could hardly keep our hands off each other. She was even a bit of a freak, wanting sex in some public places and very daring. We got married and there was a slow downturn for the next 4 years, Just before we had been married for 5 years, she was being very distant, very complacent and the sex had reduced dramatically in frequency and passion. She would lie down naked in front of me when I had suggested sex and was still talking about her girlfriends, work, etc. I guess she wanted me to do my business and get through, so she could get on with her evening. I haven’t cheated, but the thought is rampant in my mind. I’ve had a few offers to do that, but felt guilty and have, to date, been a good boy. I work out, keep myself in shape and SO want to feel what it feels like to actually make out, hold hands, seduce, be seduced, be intimate and be passionate again. She told me that “this was normal” and “I just don’t think about sex any more like I used to.” Nothing I say has any bearing as I am being “too pressuring”, “everything does not lead to sex” and “just ask my friends. they say this is normal too”. I don’t want a divorce and I hate feeling this way. I guess from what I read and hear from my buds….this is exactly why marraige horrifies most man (and many women). How do you turn a porn star into a nun? Marry her.

sameboat

February 10th, 2011
8:30 am

@dd, why did your wife have to take responsibility for your sex life? You make it seem as though she was the only one responsible to make the relationship work. Its funny how you are giving women advice about what to do and not the men, humph!

I am in a passionless marriage and it’s truly taking a toll on me. I dont want to say too much but I will say this. It takes TWO people to bring passion back into a relationship not one.

nels

February 10th, 2011
8:34 am

Absolutely dd, that is it. let the fair sex take charge of the intimacy. They know how to play it all out. Passion has its place however, it is like building a fire, start with a few small twigs and a match and light it, then blow on it a little, add a little more and in time it is roaring fire. Which reminds me, my chimney was taken down by the snow. The chimney guys are building me a new one, it is going up a long ways and then has to be braced against the roof of the house. It will be magnificent when it is done, when it is up there I will be able have a fire[fire and passion] have to get it up and running.

IN DENIAL

February 10th, 2011
8:37 am

Do you ever think about what you would do if you ended up with a marriage that had mediocre sex, constant fighting, and awful communication? That sounds like my version of hell!

How true this is. Sounds exactly like my failing marriage. It’s nothing like feeling that you don’t measure up as a man to your wife anymore. Nothing is ever enough because her passion for you is gone. We as humans cannot fake our passion for someone without the other knowing that something is not right. You may love your spouse but without the longing and passion it’s problably going to end no matter how much help you seek from professionals, spiritual leaders, ect. Hanging on to someone who has lost their passion for you can eventually kill you in worse ways than death could ever do.

SlimDizzyDoodle

February 10th, 2011
8:50 am

Good morning,

Excuse me if I ramble on…feeling really woosie today. So from the already posted comments, mens largest issue is SEX, or lack thereof, in a marriage??

It can be better

February 10th, 2011
8:51 am

I don’t have a passionless marriage at all. In fact, I’m hotter for my wife not than when we married 10 years ago and our intimacy is through the roof. I believe it’s because we’ve made passion and intimacy a priority. But we’ve done that simply because that’s the formula for healthy marriage laid out in the Bible. We are committed Christians who are crazy about each other and have sought to follow God’s plan for our marriage?

Read the Song of Songs. Sounds pretty hot. Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-5. Our bodies are for each other and our goal is to please each other. If both parties love each other and serve each other, marriage is the best thing on the planet. Don’t listen to what the world says. Listen to what God says about marriage. He says it is good, passionate, and steamy.

Purple Rain

February 10th, 2011
8:52 am

Wow, are all these responses from men? As a man let me point out that passion does not mean “sex”. Stop being wusses and take control of your relationship/marriage. All of you pointing out it’s the woman’s responsibility…you sicken me. Be a man and handle your business, if your wife is just emotionally dead like some of them are or they have gone into a shell and not willing to meet you half way either you deal with it or move on.

It can be better

February 10th, 2011
8:52 am

…for my wife NOW than when we married 10 years ago…

typo

It can be better

February 10th, 2011
8:54 am

You don’t have to deal with and move on.

Win her.
Pursue her.
Romanticize her.
Chase her.
Serve her.

IN DENIAL

February 10th, 2011
8:54 am

SDP-Common misconception of most women. Makes it much easier to say all men want is sex. Men & women want to be wanted by their mate. The more the better.

Truth

February 10th, 2011
8:55 am

I am a married woman (2o+ yrs) who very much wants sex but my husband is not often interested. He has let our connection slide. I am attractive, intelligent and out going; not a frigid nag. Sadly, we aren’t affectionate (I try), he rarely does things with me aside from household maintenance and if we go to functions he is distant and no one would guess we are a couple. I have tried to get him to reconnect – did counseling, he blew off the recommendations… Needless to say, I have formed a relationship outside of marriage, where the man is affectionate, willing to try and do things and we have awesome sex. This has worked for a few years now as we are great friends. Connection is what makes any relationship have passion. A passion for life and your partner spills over into everything and makes for wonderful intimacy. Couples need to embrace each other and work together to keep sex and passion in their lives. Marriage w/o passion is sad. Even if there were no actual sex (due to illness) if the connection were there, the desire would live and be fulfilled in other ways. Don’t settle for less.

SlimDizzyDoodle

February 10th, 2011
8:56 am

And I wonder for those of you fellas that say the wife pushed sex to the back burner….were you guys still doing some of the thoughtful things you did when dating, after you got married? Or did you feel like you no longer had to keep up that ‘mental chase’ with her? FYI: four play for women doesn’t start in the bedroom a lot of times. You must begin the ‘play’ with her mind way before you play with her body. Us women like to feel special.. ;-)

Dan - Simply...Superior

February 10th, 2011
8:57 am

@Slim

I agree w/ denial. Wanting to be wanted by your partner is true for (most) men and (most) women.

Leggs - "Free Me-Lo"

February 10th, 2011
8:58 am

Good morning. Very deep posts from all 5 of you.

Marriage w/o passion is in fact a living hell. To not feel connected to you mate is despair on so many levels. I was in a passionless marriage, but it was all on me. I lost all compassion and desire as the years went by. I saw the hurt in him and how the rejection tore him up. I did the “chore” every so often because that’s how I saw it, a chore. What the other persons fails to realize is the passion isn’t gone just by the hands of that “frigid” person alone. No siree. Just like it takes two to tangle, it takes two to keep that flame burning hot.

I do believe it is a huge responsibility of the woman to keep her man interested. Men are visual creatures, and if he’s not turned on at home, or mentally stimulated, he will probably seek it elsewhere.

IN DENIAL

February 10th, 2011
8:59 am

It Can Be Better-AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!

Leggs - "Free Me-Lo"

February 10th, 2011
9:01 am

@SlimDD ~ I remember telling someone that “I made it a point to keep you interested in me in the bed and out of the bed, but you didn’t do the same for me!” When one party is doing more than the other, that flame can quickly turn to embers.

Purple Rain

February 10th, 2011
9:03 am

Dan, I agree. At some point it needs to be addressed and if nothing comes out of that it’s time to move on. I think some people get comfortable or let the cares of the world impede their passions/relationship and as a result end up blaming their mate for the things that are lacking. That opens the door for infidelity. I will open up and say that with the wife being pregnant the move here and just change in general has caused many of silent non passionate nights even going all day without an I love you. it’s scary but I keep pressing because I love her. LOL, I can type on here better than I can talk to her. It’s pride holding me back mostly and I know it. :(

Purple Rain

February 10th, 2011
9:04 am

I still think it’s a two way street and both people involved need to make an effort. I am not into kissing ass just for the sake of winning someone back, getting what I want or providing passion.

Leggs - "Free Me-Lo"

February 10th, 2011
9:05 am

And those embers can smolder into ash, never to be reignited.

Berny

February 10th, 2011
9:06 am

I have a question for the people that posted about being in passionless and sexless marriages. Why do you stay?

SlimDizzyDoodle

February 10th, 2011
9:07 am

Denial – I’m not saying all men want is sex. HOWEVER, according the previous posts, that’s what seems to be the running theme. No one really talked about intimacy, connection etc. Sex doesn’t take much thought being that it is purely a physical act. Which is why i brought up making sure men don’t get lazy about keeping their women MENTALLY stimulated. As long as the mental connection is there and she doesn’t feel like, oh lawd, he wants sex again…then that should be half the battle. (not including any other marital issues at the time…i.e cheating, lying etc)

Purple Rain

February 10th, 2011
9:07 am

Another tell tell sign is if you are showing more passion to your family, job, hobbies than your mate. Slow down and realize what’s important

I wish

February 10th, 2011
9:08 am

“a marriage that had mediocre sex, constant fighting, and awful communication”

Huh. This would be an improvement in my marriage.

Purple Rain

February 10th, 2011
9:11 am

Slim did you read my 8:52? LOL

As much as I love my wife and if the passion was gone after me trying to spark it and she did not respond I would honestly leave.

Mo (aka Moeisha)

February 10th, 2011
9:12 am

Wow, this should be a pretty interesting convo today…..

“Do you ever think about what you would do if you ended up with a marriage that had mediocre sex, constant fighting, and awful communication? That sounds like my version of hell!” Well aside from the mediocre sex part, been there & done that…..and I got the hell on when it all went south.

Relationships are work and the require some form of compromise. I dont believe in denying your partner sex, but at the same time lets understand that you both wont always want sex at the same time.

SlimDizzy – I agree with your 8:56

IN DENIAL – I agree

Tiffany

February 10th, 2011
9:14 am

As I read through the comments, I knew I would have to post something. Then I read “It Can Be Better,” and I must say I couldn’t agree more. My husband and I are working on year 12. We saved sex for marriage and it continues to benefit us in the intimacy/sex department regularly. We honor one another and cherish our time together. We date!!! My most hectic, busiest, crazy day is the night I hand the kids off to a sitter and meet my husband for dinner. We may be too tired for sex on some of those evenings (because we refuse to come home until the kids are asleep), but we ALWAYS have sex the night before because we are so excited in anticipation of the upcoming date!! The date is just a visit to the local Mexican restaurant (usually), but that time is sacred. We reconnect as a couple. We talk. We relax. We plan. We focus on our marriage. Marriage is not about passion (I believe Purple Rain made a similar point); marriage is about committment. We are committed to making it work. My husband is not particularly romantic (in the Hollywood sense), but I CONSISTENTLY feel pursued and cherished by him. That makes it very easy and natural to want to be with him, whether we are watching TV, getting hot under the covers, or catching a quickie in his office before we head home from said weekly date!!

Dan - Simply...Superior

February 10th, 2011
9:17 am

@PR

[Dan channeling his inner PG] Personal pride shouldn’t exist in a relationship. This is the person that I have chosen to be with, and the person that has chosen me. There is no more “her/me” before the “us”.

She may have feelings and I may have them, but in large part, the reason I chose her is because I can talk to her about it; without pride. I can tell her how I feel, know that she will listen, and is willing to account for my feelings; and vice versa.

Wise Diva

February 10th, 2011
9:17 am

wonderful comments so far, I’m feel better already! So it takes work and it can not be done by one person, but one person can be the catalyst to change a situation for better.

Keep it coming!

SlimDizzyDoodle

February 10th, 2011
9:20 am

PR – Well the key part of that post, YES I SAW IT lol, is ‘after me trying to spark it’…so you would not fall into that category of being lazy. ;-)

I wish

February 10th, 2011
9:21 am

“She may have feelings and I may have them, but in large part, the reason I chose her is because I can talk to her about it; without pride. I can tell her how I feel, know that she will listen, and is willing to account for my feelings; and vice versa.”

Dan, what if she isn’t willing to listen, and isn’t willing to account for your feelings?

That is my current station in life. I share how I feel and feel utterly rejected when I do. I feel like crawling into a shell at that point.

Dan - Simply...Superior

February 10th, 2011
9:25 am

@Wish

I can’t rightly say.

I’ve been in relationships like that before and left (disclaimer: Dan’s never been married). In a marriage I could only hope that it would never happen in my relationship.

I really have no words

Devil's Advocate

February 10th, 2011
9:29 am

You love her, she loves you, but the passion and emotion isn’t there. Any discussion about it or the lack thereof results in a heated discussion. Suggestions are negated or rediculed….but you still love and care for each other, share chores, share cooking, but the “want to” the “he/she arouses me so much” has gone the way of the dodo.Sex isn’t inticacy, but intimacy doesn’t mean sex. BOTH are important and a way of connecting, feeling wanted, feeling desired. Id there anyone in here that doesn’t want to be wanted AND desired? A study in Germany stated that after the 4th year in a secure relationship, a woman’s testosterone level and libido drop dramatically. Is it fair to say that a secure relationship is what women and men want, but it had opposite effects on the two genders? What if attempts to rekindle, romance, seduce are met with indifference or nothing different from if you had not? You still love and care for each other….but is that enough?

Raqi V

February 10th, 2011
9:32 am

How do couples manage to get so far away from how it was in the beginning?

Complacency is one reason. Putting your relationship on autopilot is another. And the failure to continue to communicate and interact. You can’t not do things together and expect the passion to thrive.

Not only is marriage not ALL BAD, it’s not bad at all. Marriage is no different than dating WiseDiva. Marriage is committing to date one man and one man only. That same passion you have for your Man you continue to have for your Husband.

Just like the two you have to equally contribute to dating the same goes for being married. You date to marry but you don’t stop dating each other.

I think the biggest mistake people make in and about marriage is thinking it will and/or is supposed to give you some type of fulfillment and keep you in an everlasting state of elation. That’s not how it is or supposed to be. Marriage is not a narcotic. It is not a drug. It’s just a normal part of life. And as with everything else in life it is what you and yours make it to be.

Raqi V

February 10th, 2011
9:32 am

Oh, Good Morning.

Raqi V

February 10th, 2011
9:36 am

Scanning the first few comments it seems like most are saying there is no passion because there is no or a lack of sex. I wonder how many of these allowed the passion to die. For me to have sex I have to feel passion for the man I am with. There is no passion in wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am.

My husband can’t just jump in bed and roll on top of me without having interacted with me intimately outside of the bedroom. Yeah I know firsthand that life happens and we can’t and don’t spend our days skipping hand in hand through flowery meadows. But we share intimacy.

Intimacy fuels passion. Being intimate is having a personal relationship with each other. That part of life we share that is away from our kids, friends, family, work and all else. Talking, caring, sharing. I think the biggest killer of intimacy and murderer of passion is living a life that is not connected. A husband and wife cannot live separate lives and maintain passion. That’s just my opinion and how I deal though.

Derby

February 10th, 2011
9:38 am

If you have been married for a number of years, 15 for me, it is not always going to be hot and steamy. Those are the times when you better have something more to your marriage than passion…passion fades. What would happen if your spouse could no longer have sex? Would you just leave? If you have built your marriage on passion you have set yourself up for failure. All this talk about because there is no passion or it is not hot and steamy like it was when you met is leaving the door open for infidelity is crap……you make the choice to cheat. And, also men kill me when they say, my wife don’t do it like she used to…..do you do it like you used to? Do you treat her like you did when you was trying to get a taste and would have done just about anything she asked to get it? It works both ways.

Randyt (aka "tired of this coolie work, need to get on a plane somewhere)

February 10th, 2011
9:39 am

“a marriage that had mediocre sex, constant fighting, and awful communication”

Is there any other kind of marriage? Certainly describes mine…so ask me why I mgiht be guilty of sabotaging relationships since. Good question, but unfortunately tooooo common.

And for the record, this is seldom about the sex, but more about the issues in marriage that we deal with that end of causing hurt to one or both. Men and women have a remarkable ability to not recognize the deep, log lasting hurt that simple words can cause. With each hurt, another row of bricks is laid in that wall that separates couples from true intimacy.

Solution: Both should have tongues surgically removed on their wedding day, because the ratio of good things being said to bad things, gets way out of proportion eventually.

Raqi V

February 10th, 2011
9:39 am

but that time is sacred

Tiffany I agree. It’s not always about sex, but when my hub and I are relating in other ways the sex is inevitable…without fail.

Randyt (aka "tired of this coolie work, need to get on a plane somewhere)

February 10th, 2011
9:39 am

long not log….typo, again

Randyt (aka "tired of this coolie work, need to get on a plane somewhere)

February 10th, 2011
9:43 am

Regarding Raqi’s comments…very good and insightful, as usual. I would add that she is right, marriage is not all bad. I would submit that the only thing worse than being married is being single…there ought to be a better alternative to both. Just joking of course, life, whether married or single, is what YOU make of it. It is not the other person’s responsibility to maintain YOUR happiness.

Lucinda

February 10th, 2011
9:50 am

Raqi V
Spot on. “A husband and wife cannot live seperate lives and maintain passion.” True, true, true.

Sex is a way men feel connected to a woman, and know that she loves him. It’s really not that complicated. If a woman makes her man feel like he’s the greatest lover ever, his ego is satisfied and he won’t stray. You can’t make him feel that way without sex. Not complicated.

Plus, women like it too!!

Purple Rain

February 10th, 2011
9:50 am

I guess the key is not to get complacent or take the other person for granted. Because it is hard to do the same thing if the person is not responding to the same way that they used to.

Wise Diva is our brother banned for life or for a period of time? Can he have another chance please?

Raqi V

February 10th, 2011
9:51 am

Derby, I agree with you but I disagree more. Marriage is and should be more than sex. However, sex is a bonding agent and it a time for sharing. The passions does not have to die. It may fade as you said but it doesn’t have to die.

I remember my mother having plants for years out on the back screened in porch when I was growing up. She wasn’t always buying new plants but she took great care of the one she had so they lived.

She knew which ones to put in direct sunlight and which could survive is a more shaded area. During the colder months she knew which ones to take inside and which ones could survive the chill with a mere cloth thrown over them. She nourished them and they lived.

She did the same for my father from what I could see. She “wifed” him. Looking back now I remember almost every morning when she gave him his cup of coffee she gave him a small peck on the cheek.

Saturdays were their days after my oldest brother got old enough to watch us while they were gone. Every Saturday unless something unexpected happened like one of them or us being sick, my father took my mother to breakfast and then shopping or whatever they did while they were gone from the house.

Whatever it was that was their time of bonding. It may or may not have included sex but what was most important they did not lose their connection.

One thing she taught me about is it’s easier to maintain the health of a growing flower than to neglect it and let it die then try to put life back into it. You have to water it, prune it, pay it some attention and it will live. That described the relationship she had with my father.

I think the biggest mistake many make is letting the kids take over their lives. Many think when the kids come they longer have to give time to each other like they once did. I guess that’s fine in a marriage with a sole purpose of producing offspring. But when they two are together for each other, the kiddies are just an added bonus. Raise them, nuture them, give them attention, but don’t lose your relationship identity.

Purple Rain

February 10th, 2011
9:51 am

Sex should not be made to feel like a chore.

Woman's point

February 10th, 2011
9:52 am

Derby, point well taken, but let’s go a step further. We married you because of the way you were when we dated you. The same goes for you marrying him. This statement of “you’d better have more in commen than passion because passion fades” is the single biggest copout on the board. Does it fade? Eventually, but not when you are still feeling young, feeling vivacious and feeling amorous. You think only men make the decision to cheat? I dated a PI and the vast majority of his work came from lawyers in divorce cases. He noted that roughly SEVEN ot of ten jobs he had were tailing women and almost always warranted. Men do cheat and get the most pub for it. But in my experience, women do it as much or MORE. To deny an intimate relationship and/or satisfying sexuakl relationship has the same effect on women as it does men. To deny this is sticking your head in the sand. It is important. Look at all of the books, the media, the blogs, the headlines. It’s more than the old “in and out….are you done?” Learn what your partner desires and adjust your thinking. To deny it as “crqzy”, “deviant” or “that’s dirty” is shutting down your partner emotionally and physicaaaly. Sometimes it can never be recovered..

SlimDizzyDoodle

February 10th, 2011
9:53 am

Raqi your 9:36 was basically what I was trying to convey.

‘My husband can’t just jump in bed and roll on top of me without having interacted with me intimately outside of the bedroom’

Me

February 10th, 2011
9:53 am

Let me start by saying that in my marriage our sex is great.

Now, I’ll go on to say that prior to marriage one of my concerns was whether I would be able to commit to one person (sexually and otherwise) for the rest of my life. I did, however, want to get married and have a family. This led me to thoughtfully consider the person that I would be willing to marry. I really thought about I wanted (physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally), how this person would relate to my family, what kind of parent would this person be, is he financially responsible (not rich), is he my best friend, etc… My husband did the same prior to meeting me. We also decided not to move into a physical relationship until all these other aspects of the relationship were solid. While we weren’t virgins, we decided to wait until we were married. I know for some of you this will sound completely antiquted, but we both know many people that got married because the passion was so great that it eclipsed other areas of the relationship that were weak.

I say all this to say, that there are a lot of things that can affect the passion in a marriage – stress, kids, financial upstes, etc… But there are also many other components to marriage than the passion. To use passion as a measure for the happiness of a marriage is shallow. I agree it is VERY important, but what’s good sex if all other areas are lackluster?

We will soon have 3 kids under the age of 4, as I am expecting. My husband’s job is very physically demanding and time consuming; therefore most of the the child rearing and home life falls on me. There are times when at the end of the day, we are both so exhausted that sex gets bumped. However, because other components of the marriage are good, the passion doesn’t wane. And as soon as we are able we have great passionate sex.

Marriage is like an obstacle course; the task at hand is always changing. So while I agree that passion is important. If the only thing that is focused on in marriage is whether the sex is good, it is only a matter of time before constant fighting, poor communication and the lack of passion becomes the condition of the marriage.

Randyt (aka "tired of this coolie work, need to get on a plane somewhere)

February 10th, 2011
9:56 am

@ WD

I would suggest that one of if not the biggest reason that passion dies is that neither is willing to take personal responsibility for keeping the spark burning. Marriage is dayum hard work, and in this age of “entitlement”, each often thinks he/she is “entitled” and should not have to work at it. Guess what boys and girls, life does not work that way. You will eventually get out of a relationship what you are willing to give. We live in a culture of apologists who make excuses for their unwillingness to put in the effort, but are total unforgiving of the other’s excuses.

Second point…put your pride aside and check your ego at the door. Be willing to recognize the efforts of the other. If you want a ring, and he buys you a sleeping bag thinking you will “love it”, give him credit for trying, even when he is clumsy…or he will eventually stop trying.