Getting Through The Valentine’s Day Aftermath

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The Question:

Rori, my husband and I are just now smoothing over a really bad patch in our marriage.  it’s going well…Things are going better, he’s beginning to trust that I won’t break into the anger and arguments I used to regularly create (thank you for teaching me how to get off the “Anger Train!), or that I’ll criticize nearly everything he does the way I used to.

And – he said he didn’t like Valentine’s Day (I said “Okay”), and so, when he got home (late and tired) there was no card, nothing.

I left the card I’d got him on his dresser, and he saw it and said he didn’t have any time to get me a card. It was too late to go out for dinner, so I made dinner, and then, I was so surprised, he wasn’t affectionate and we didn’t have sex.  Do I tell him how disappointed I feel? How do I tell him? Thank you, Lydia

My Answer:

Lydia, Do NOTHING!!!!!! Say nothing!
Our anger is in direct proportion to the effort we put out. And what happened here is textbook.
Valentine’s day is always a minefield.
You are still in the zone in your marriage where he’s testing you ALWAYS!!!!!!  This was a test to see how cool you could be!
He said he hated the Holiday.  That was him giving you the first clue to the “test.”
He pre-warned you that he wasn’t going to do anything. He gave you solid, concrete warning.
At that moment, you could have responded with many things, in many ways.
You could’ve said – “I’m going to need a card and a flower.” Or “I know myself.  I know I’ll want a card. Sounds like a silly request now, and still a request.”
You didn’t say those things for many reasons:
You didn’t know what to say, or how to say it.
You were understandably flabbergasted that any man would deny you Valentine’s Day. It’s simply not DONE!!! You were literally left speechlessly. I mean, what do you say to a pre-ordained “NO”?
You also didn’t say anything because you wanted to be cool.
And this was a good choice for you at that moment! To say nothing but “OK.”
Why?  Because this kind of response to a high expectation situation is so high-end, high-stakes tricky – it requires skill and genuine “cool.” (Valentine’s Day is ALWAYS seen by any man as a “test.”)
Responding in a way that makes you feel heard, makes you feel better, and furthers the relationship requires some ability to have words to speak, a LeanedBack position emotionally and physically, and the bravery that a bit of practice and guidance can give you. (On Siren Island – this is what we do: give you “Scripts,” give you practice using the Scripts, and stay connected with you throughout each experience in your situation. Go here to try Siren Island for 7 days for $1->)
Now, Lydia – you have to go forward, instead of “back” by focusing on the opportunity this “test” gives you instead of focusing on your disappointment.
Men pick up on our disappointment in them very quickly. They are super sensitive to disappointing us. They start to feel guilty, then angry, then distant.
They remove themselves from their feelings and their feelings for us.
They remove themselves from us – literally. This causes coldness, withdrawing, no sex, no romance – it blocks everything.
So, not “feeding” your disappointment is crucial here (Fall In Love With It! That’s very different from feeding it by trying to stomp it down or letting the thoughts regurgitate and build in your mind…).
Now – you have to WIN the test!
You ALWAYS win when you speak and tell the truth – AND, most of the time, the truth is not what we immediately think it is, and so we need to let the truth come to the surface.
The Rori Raye Tool of Riffing will help you with that, and until you learn how to use Riffing fully, you STILL have to know what to say to a man that IS the truth! And you need to let it out and speak it to him right away, in order to stop the spiraling down of disappointment.
The first move you made here, if we’re going to look at it as a test, a game, was not a winner.
Giving him the card before he gave you anything put you at a severe disadvantage.  You put out effort, so you’re pissed at his non-effort.  Classic.
Giving him the card was the attempt by your subconscious to railroad him. The idea your deep brain and old patterns had was to make him feel bad if he didn’t bring anything – even though you KNEW deep down that he would bring you NOTHING!!!
This was a game and you lost the first round.
Then you made him dinner – even though you say it was your choice.  To your deep mind, that was another effort without return.
The result was tension – so no sex.
Here is what you do: Recover from this, get over it, and get on with this relationship as cool as can be.
 Get some help constructing a speech for when you have expectations – so you can state the rules of the test before HE does!!!!!
Like: “Honey, Valentine’s Day is coming up.  I know it’s a big bunch of Hallmark sales stuff, and still, I’m a girl and feel all gooey and romantic about it.  What would you like to agree on about how we deal with it?  I love how we’re getting along, and I don’t want to be silly and end up with some kind of argument.  what do you think we should plan?
Same for birthdays, events, etc.  YOU set the tone and state YOUR wants. Now, he knows what to do.
AND, if he doesn’t “do it as laid out” – now you need a “Scripted Speech” for that possible occurrence. (The world is littered with tatters of emotional hopes that men have scattered by missing birthdays, Valentine’s Day, all manner of celebrations. We need to be prepared to DEAL with disappointment!)
Next time you have an expectation about something – either make your wants totally clear, and have that talk beforehand, or learn how to completely LET GO of your expectations!
Love, Rori
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  1.  #1Lovergirl on February 23, 2018 at 6:39 am

    My stomach is in knots, I’m sure confused. I feel so scared and rejected and sad. I don’t even know how to act and i feel so lost.

    I’m completely baffled by this guy’s behavior. I’ve mentioned him in other threads but here’s the short version.

    Ive known him most of my life, since high school, and we have always been friends. We had sex a few years ago, once, and he wanted a relationship with me but I was going through a breakup and just not up for it. We decided to be friends and we didn’t really hang out though he asked me once or twice after that.

    He started dating someone else for a couple years and they recently broke up. I bought a car from him so was around him for awhile and he was always flirty but it didn’t go anywhere. Then I got him an interview where I work and now he works with me but in a different department.

    He is currently training. I have seen him a few times at work though I keep a weird schedule and come in and out whenever I want so we aren’t there a lot at the same time. He was always super friendly, would hug me and tell me how great i look, etc.

    A few times he called to tell me all about his breakup and his money issues, etc. and I would listen to him. All “friendly” stuff. He said I’m like an angel to him in his life at this time.

    When I’m not there at the office, I’m told he always comes looking for me and asks where I am. Not surprising since he knows me better than anyone there. Any time he has a break from training he’s in my office.

    Anyhow the other day he came in and I was getting ready to go to a basketball game (for work related purposes). My good female friend, who was in the office says I should take him with me since I was going to go alone and I was like yeah you can come if you want to, I have an extra pass. I said I will be working but you can come along.

    He responded “how can I say no to that?” But there was something in his tone that made me think he didn’t want to come. After my girlfriend left and I was finishing up some work he started making excuses. First he reminded me of his financial situation with the job switch and said something about driving there and gas. I was like no big deal you can ride with me if you want and we get free food there because our company pays them money.

    He acted ok with that but I could kind of tell he wasn’t. Then he goes out of the room and made a phone call and came back and said he couldn’t go because his disabled relative that he takes care of needed him. I was just like ok and went by myself.

    I felt a little bit weird about the way he acted (and kind of rejected) so I texted him that now I felt weird and that I didn’t want things to be uncomfortable. He said don’t feel that way, he just had to take care of his relative and I let it go.

    He called me the next day, seeming in a bit of a mood and said he had lost his wallet and asked if it was in my office. I said no I hadn’t seen it but I hadn’t been there and offered to give him the code to get in but he declined and said he would look around the house. It was a weird and kind of cold seeming conversation. He never called back so I assume he found it.

    The next day I didn’t go into the office until evening and he was there during the day. My friend said he came in asking for me and she told him I would be in later. She asked him about the game and he told her he wasn’t able to go because of his disabled relative that he needed to care for.

    Ok, so today I go in the office and he is in training. I know he took a couple of breaks but he never came and said anything to me at all. He is always very friendly so it seems really out of the norm. I know he knows I was there because I had to walk past like a million times for things and there is a big window he can see out of.

    i was laughing and joking with some of the guys in the office (it’s pretty much all men) but nothing flirty or anything it’s all very platonic. He did not smile or wave at me and I avoided looking at him.

    Then he left at the end of his day and said absolutely nothing. I am so confused. Why would he suddenly act like he is angry with me?

    Do you think he is taking the invite to the game super seriously, like I was asking him on a date? I’m so bewildered because to me it was a friendly offer and it was my friend that mentioned it anyway. It’s just weird how he acted.

    WTF? I’m feeling kind of angry now, like how is he going to treat me like that when I haven’t done anything to him?

  2.  #2Indigo on February 23, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Hey there Lovergirl,

    How are you doing. I’ve experienced this kind of behaviour with men many times. In my experience, what you describe is not uncommon at all.

    In my experience, many men will only allow you to reject them once. Once you do, they never fully invest in you again. You may have had your reasons for turning him down all those years ago, and you are fully entitled to them. In his mind though, that was it, and he is probably not going to open up to you as a romantic possibility again. I have heard this from a number of different guys, and it has been confirmed by my own experience as well.

    You say you see him as just a friend, and I’m sure that is true. But men don’t really see us in that pure friendship way, which is why their behaviour when we insist on seeing them as “just friends” is confusing to us. They’re not women. They’re not like our female friends. If he doesn’t see himself pursuing anything romantic with you, he probably sees no reason to hang out with you in “date” like situations, such as going to the ballgame together. Men will pretty much only do those things if they are interested in you – sounds black and white, but that’s pretty much how it is. Likewise, if they are not interested in you, they won’t.

    The point I’m trying to make is, most men who were once interested in you cannot be turned into just “friends.” Either your feelings or theirs will get hurt.

    My best advice to you is, don’t take the fact that he turned down your invitation personally, just let him be, and try to detach your feelings from him. Don’t make an extra effort to be friends; put your attention on the other people in your life.

  3.  #3Lovergirl on February 24, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Hey Indigo. I am feeling kind of overwhelmed lately- lots on my plate but I’m doing ok. As for this guy- the thing is I like him more than a friend. I like him a lot. I’m not sure if it was really a rejection with him a couple years ago. I told him I needed to take things slowly and I wasn’t ready. He was like ok we can be friends then, and he called once or twice after that and talked about going out but we didn’t do it. From my perspective it was more like he wasn’t stepping up to the plate enough. I’m not really sure how he perceived it.

    When he started dating the new girl I was happy for him and her because they seemed happy. Like I said i went to school with both of them. When we did start running into each other again is when I started to feel something for him but we never did anything wrong or got too emotionally involved or anything.

    He was flirty and one time he did ask me if I was going to go watch the Mayweather fight at this guy’s house. I thought he was dating that girl at the time so was wondering why he would ask me that but since he’s told me now that they had broken up for a couple months and gotten back together I understand better. At the time, i was like, no I’d be covering my eyes the whole time anyway (not really much into watching people get beat up lol). Again it wasn’t a direct rejection because he had just asked if I was going to the party/get together with a mutual friend (though I haven’t seen that guy in like 20 yrs so it would be weird to go there without a date).

    Anyhow he always hugs me and tells me how good I look. It’s clear he is attracted to me, in at least a physical way. He even commented a while back that we should hang out sometime and I said definitely and he sent me an emoji with a big smile and a glass of wine.

    So what ended up happening the other day is he went into the office and I came in shortly before he was leaving. I had to walk past where he was once but he was talking to other people and I didn’t know if he saw me or not. My girlfriend saw him leaving and was flabbergasted that he didn’t talk to me so she went after him. She acted like she was getting something out of her car and shouted to him hey you aren’t even going to say hi? I don’t know what else she said but she got him to come back in to the office.

    He saw me there and acted really happy to see me and we got in a long conversation. He was asking about my kids and some issues I am having with my 18 yr old son and offering advice. He was saying how much he loves the job and being there. When he was leaving he said he was going on an outside sale on Saturday but would be in the office on Monday. He asked if I would be there and I said yes because I have meetings on Monday. Then he said he comes in there looking for me every time he’s there.

    So, I don’t know. I still feel like there is a chance with him, even though he turned me down. A guy suggested to me that he might be embarrassed about his financial situation. Maybe he just wants to be the man and ask me out when he’s ready.

  4.  #4Indigo on February 26, 2018 at 1:17 am

    Hey Lovergirl,

    Hard to tell what might be going on with him. Perhaps many things.

    Either way, I don’t think there’s much you can do to “push it” with him, which probably wouldn’t be wise anyway. Maybe just pull back your energy a little, remain his friend if that feels right to you. Carry on with your life and dating other men, if that feels right to you too.

    Men often “come around” in their own time, but it’s not something you can force. Rather just be happy living your own life and remain open to him.

  5.  #5Lovergirl on February 27, 2018 at 5:48 am

    I feel so clueless and afraid of saying or doing the wrong things and this turning into a sexual relationship when I really want something more.

    Today he came in the office to talk to me and starts asking me how my weekend was. There were two other women in the office- my friend and this girl who works for her. The 2nd girl starts taking crazy.

    I told him I had heard they were going to let him out of training early and asked if he was ready to start selling. He flexed his arm at me and made a fist and said something about how oh yes he was ready.

    i don’t even remember what exactly he said but this 2nd girl pipes in with “wow, you look at her like you want to RAPE her” (wtf?! My friend has commented before that you can see the “chemistry” between us on our faces when we talk and he does always look at me and make a lot of eye contact when we are talking but I’m not sure what prompted her to say that).

    Anyhow he looks at me and says “yeah but in a nice way”

    She says “ oh ok, with lube”

    He said “no, I don’t need any of that, I can make things happen naturally”

    He like tried to hold a normal conversation with me but it was awkward because they kept interrupting with jokes, etc.

    Then he says he’s getting ready to leave because he had to meet the plumber and that he is having a problem with his pipes.

    This girl and my friend immediately turned that into a sexual joke because he also said something about the floor being all wet.

    I laughed a little but I didn’t really get into commenting on that stuff or say anything sexual myself.

    Later I texted him that things were a little crazy in the office and that I was kind of embarrassed but super excited about them letting him start selling now and that I hoped everything was ok with the plumbing.

    He said “well I may need some help the plumbing is real backed up now”. It took me awhile to try and decide if he was serious or joking and being sexual so I finally replied “that’s hard” becauSe I knew it could go either way.

    He said “it is very hard right now lol”

    Ugh- now I’m all worried and stressed that he just wants sex or a fuck buddy. I don’t want that with him. I like him too much and I didn’t reply because i didn’t want to make him think that’s okay.

    Ok so obviously he is sexually attracted to me but is there any way I can turn things into a relationship with him rather than just sex? I don’t feel like it would be good to have a casual thing with him.