Why Women Feel Suffocated or Smothered
Dear Little Miss,
Wow where do I start. I have a very special lady in my life who I am engaged to. She is 12 years younger than me (39 and 27)and we were planning a wedding in December of this year. I have two daughters 15 and 9 who she loves and they love her very much. For a period of about two months she has been pulling away from me. I have tried to shower her with complements, flowers, gifts, to let her know how much I love her. Well a couple of weeks ago we found out we are going to have a baby. She was at first excited and and then just depressed. She has told me that she is not sure what happened but the love that she once had for me has faded and she is unsure why. She says she wants to love me and knows she did but is not sure if she will be able to love me again.
I love this lady with all my heart. She is the light in my dark and warmth in my cold. I know she is going through a lot of adjusting to my world with kids and the fact that she moved away from all of her friends and family to be here has been hard on her as well. Then you put the fact that she is pregnant on top of it and I can understand why she is depressed.
I am trying to be there for her but she thinks I am smothering her. How can I be supportive of her and let her know I love her without smothering her? I want her and a family with her more than anything and am desperately seeking answers.
Dear Desperately Loving,
I love how we humans use code words. We say one thing when we really mean something else and then we get all upset when the person we are speaking to doesn’t “Get it.” When women say they need more space, or that they are feeling suffocated, or smothered in a relationship what they are really saying is, “I feel you are requiring too much of me.” In other words, even though I’m sure this is NOT what you are doing, she feels that your actions are asking her to do something that she isn’t ready to do. Whether she thinks you are asking her to be happy, to be intimate, to open up to you, to be kinder, etc, etc, she feels that you expect a certain action from her and she doesn’t like it. This dates back, for women, to our early years when daddy would bring home a piece of candy and we knew our reaction was supposed to be a smile, a hug, and to say, “Thanks, daddy. I love you. You’re the best.” Then we started dating and we were taught that when a boy spends money on you, you should let him kiss you to show your gratitude. Then when we are married, or in a physical relationship, we find that when our man is especially kind it usually means he is hoping for intercourse. Is it any wonder then, that we can easily interpret any act of kindness as a requirement for action on our part? She doesn’t want you to love her less, or to be less kind, she just wants to know that you aren’t asking her to do anything. Don’t try to cheer her up, let her be miserable. Then tell her that you love her for being willing to go through the misery. Don’t try to make love to her, just kiss her and that is it. Let her tell you when she is ready.
Here is a fun thing you can do:
Go buy her a lovely bouquet of flowers. Write on the note: “You are going through so much right now. I am constantly amazed at your strength and your beauty. Please know that I love you, no matter what.” NOW, take one pretty flower out of the bouquet, tie some strings to the bottom of it and clip off the ends of the strings. Leave this flower on her night stand before she wakes up, or send it to her work, with another little note that says, “I just wanted to say I love you, with no strings attached.”
Giving room to breathe,
P.S. Was she pregnant at the time that she first started to pull away from you? If so it is most likely hormones. That was how I found out I was pregnant with my third, I thought I had fallen out of love with my husband (I was so happy to realize that it was just pregnancy mixing up my chemistry).