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To leave my partner because of this?

(51 Posts)
dilemma7 Fri 01-Mar-19 16:41:30

Hi all,

I can't even begin to describe how messed up my head feels trying to process all of this. Hoping for advice and be please don't hold back in honesty, be harsh if needed.

I have been with my boyfriend 5 years and we get on well and have a great friendship too. We live together and have done 4 of those years. We now own a house. He is almost perfect, genuinely very hard to fault and everybody knows/thinks this about him. My main problem here is I have never found him attractive, but I guess in the beginning it was his charm and personality I fell for. I am quite laid back and suppose I just went with the flow and now we are here, and I feel truly awful for not realising sooner that this huge fundamental thing was missing. So here I am looking at my 'relationship' as just mates and feeling love towards him like my brother.

All our friends are getting married and starting families and I do not want either of those things, he wants both, mainly children. I've told him that's not happening but he loves the bones off me and will agree with anything I say!! Which infuriates me as I feel he has no guts to tell me what HE wants.

I spoke to him this week to tell him how I feel and that I am stopping him have the life he really wants. I don't know what I want in the long term to be quite honest, I've asked for time to figure this out. He is absolutely devastated I am thinking and feeling this way. I don't know what to do??

I am so restless in my relationship and feel almost doomed for fear of doing the wrong thing. I feel like I cannot win. Please help me sad

mummymeister Fri 01-Mar-19 16:44:06

Have a look into couples counselling and see if that helps. fundamentally though, if you don't love him and want the same goals in life as him then its time to move on. I get the feeling though that you might not move on until the "something better" is right in front of you. I hope that I am wrong in thinking this for his sake.

GreenTulips Fri 01-Mar-19 16:44:48

Love comes in all different forms

The main issue here is, if you don’t want marriage or children - what do you want to do in your life instead?

Accumulate wealth?

Decide what you want for your future and go from there

Pishogue Fri 01-Mar-19 16:45:41

It seems quite clear, OP. You sleepwalked into a serious relationship, but don't find him attractive, you want very different things for the longterm future, and you feel restless. Why wouldn't you simply end things?

GregoryPeckingDuck Fri 01-Mar-19 16:48:29

The not being attracted to someone thing is a bit silly isn’t it? People change physically. So long as they aren’t repulsive you shouldn’t be basing your relationship choices on sexual attraction.

But the marriage and kids business is. If you want different things it doesn’t matter how much you love each other one or both of you will end up miserable. If you truly want different incompatible things you won’t be able to find them together.

mamato3lads Fri 01-Mar-19 16:49:56

Sorry you're having such a hard time sweetheart. I think personally that if the attraction has gone..or was never really there then you are just biding your time with him. Good qualities by the bucket load are of course fantastic but if this is the man for you, forever, then I would say you really are doing yourself an injustice if you don't find him sexy or attractive at all, you should desire your partner and find them attractive....I personally couldn't stay with or marry a man I felt simple brotherly love towards. Wheres the fun in that? It has to be the whole package surely. Not perfection but I'd say basic attraction is a must! He clearly adores you so be gentle, he will be fine in time. You know this though and you just feel deep guilt about leaving him. That's normal but you can't let it stop you finding that man who has all those lovely qualities AND gives you tingles! They exist trust me.
Good luck XxX

bionicnemonic Fri 01-Mar-19 16:56:23

Odd question perhaps but are you on the pill? It fools your body into thinking it’s pregnant and nature apparently makes us seek out family at this time so we are drawn to people who ‘smell’ like us, whereas when not on the pill we instinctively seek out people who don’t smell like us (to increase the genetic diversity of an offspring) So if you’re on the pill maybe try coming off and see if that makes a difference. I’ve read of people leaving partners after coming off the pill as they felt incompatible, so I guess it can go the other way too

dilemma7 Fri 01-Mar-19 16:58:06

Thank you everyone.

That's it I just feel horrendously guilty for even thinking about leaving him let alone doing it. I'd take his whole life away just like that. He had even told me so himself. I know I would feel huge amounts of relief if I did just end it, but I know I would upset my whole family and his. They all love him to bits and he is the most amazing uncle to my sisters children. He is their favourite person. It just rips my heart out to imagine him saying bye to them. I feel so selfish. But do I just live the rest of my life semi-happy but always wondering 'what if?'. I am only 28!!

I know it would be a bit of a headache to sell our house and deal with material things but I know mentally I would deal with the split ok, but not him. He has even been at the doctors this week due to my confession of how I feel and is now on medication - how on earth am I meant to stand by and watch him break even further and it all be my fault?!

hellenbackagen Fri 01-Mar-19 16:58:12

As someone who had the same relationship I'd say yes - leave , because sooner or later you will meet someone you DO feel attracted to and at that point you may decide you want both marriage and kids WITH THE RIGHT PERSON! Your boyfriend is not that person. Don't waste years (I did. I loved him very much and we did have 2 amazing kids and the relationship worked very well and harmoniously- til after almost 30 years I met some who mate my stomach flip and I knew them I'd missed out on any kind of passion for the entire marriage. I felt so sad. And In the end I left the marriage looking for the complete package next time . I know we'd both settled and I vowed I wanted more next time round. It was very hard to leave. I think op you'd be in that position at some point in life so save the heartache now and find what you really want now. It would be unfair on both of you to settle for less.

XiCi Fri 01-Mar-19 16:59:43

The not being attracted to someone thing is a bit silly isn’t it?

Of course it's not being silly. Why on earth would anyone be in a relationship with someone they weren't attracted to? Thats what distinguishes sexual relationships from friendships. I've been with DH over 20 years and if there was no attraction there I would leave, would be like being brother and sister.

OP, well done for being honest with him, it must have been difficult. You both want completely different things and you know you aren't right for each other. Hope you find the strength to end things

dilemma7 Fri 01-Mar-19 16:59:47

bionic Yes I am on the pill but have been for 14 years so nothing new.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Fri 01-Mar-19 17:01:57

I know you're feeling guilty but it sounds as if you are doing the right thing.

You've been honest with him. And yourself.

I think you're being quite harsh on yourself.

I know I would feel huge amounts of relief if I did just end it, but I know I would upset my whole family and his.

Yes, but you can't live your life for other people. You have to live it for YOU. Imagine how you feel now, but in 10 year's time. With kids.

Just treat him with kindness. (It sounds like you are.) It's all you can do.

Now that you've made it real, there's no going back anyway, as it would never be the same again.

eggsandwich Fri 01-Mar-19 17:09:41

Your not being fair to him by not ending things with him, let him find happiness with someone who will love him for who he is not what he looks like.

mummymeister Fri 01-Mar-19 17:11:42

If you leave now at 28 he/you have another 50 years to get over it. every 5 years or 10 years you wait is less time to do just this.

At the moment, its just the two of you and a house. wait another 5 years and you might have pets. wait another 5 years after that and you might have children. what I am trying to say is the longer you leave this the harder it will get to leave and the more embittered you will become. people who stay in loveless relationships become nasty. they become withdrawn. they over compromise. they change and not for the better.

so what if he is a great uncle and your family will be upset. they will get over it and if they don't that's just tough on them.

a quick and clean break is what you need. and I am sorry he has you on a pedestal but again that is his problem and not yours. He knows exactly which button to push to make you stay so that is what he is doing - pushing the buttons.

hanging around is cruel to both of you because you are living a lie and sooner or later its all going to burst out and the relationship end will be messy and horrible. don't let that happen. take control and go but do it sooner rather than later. the longer you stay the more he will think his strategy of making you stay is working.

AgentJohnson Fri 01-Mar-19 17:21:45

You will take more away from him by keeping up this charade. You want kids etc, just not with him. If you care about him as much as you say you do, prioritise his future by letting him go in the present.

bionicnemonic Fri 01-Mar-19 17:36:56

But you’ve been on the pill the whole time you’ve known you’ve never experienced your relationship without it...that’s just what I was meaning
This article talks about it, but your situation is potentially reversed as you don’t find him attractive, (in these studies people who had been attracted while on the pill lost that when they came off) I hope that makes sense! May not be relevant to you, but may be worth considering coming off it for a few months trial?

crimsonlake Fri 01-Mar-19 17:40:06

This is such a hard one. Is it just a case of thinking the grass is greener? He has charm and personality, surely you must have found him sexually attractive at some point? Are you sure it is not because your relationship has gone stale? Could you have a break for a while and see if you really miss him? If the answer is no to all of these it would be kinder to let him go so he can eventually be with someone who loves him back the way he deserves.

MinisterforCheekyFuckery Fri 01-Mar-19 17:43:51

I know I would feel huge amounts of relief if I did just end it, but I know I would upset my whole family and his.

You can't stay with him because you're worried about upsetting other people. That wouldn't be fair to you or to him. If he's as great as you say then he deserves a love that's 100% reciprocated. Let him go so he can find it. He will be devestated but he will get over it in time. Think how much more devestated will he be if you let this drag on for another year, or five, even ten years?
This is about more than physical attraction. If thinking about ending the relationship brings a feeling of relief then you are very definitely not in love with him. It's unfair to keep pretending.

perci08 Fri 01-Mar-19 17:44:09

You don't find him attractive - well it's finding someone in life that can put up with all our own foibles and then some. . .irrelevant of looks. If it depended on looks we'd never settle down. Which is the next BIG ISSUE. You don't want a family with him but he does want to have kids with you and you've stated you don't want kids with him to his face? That right there is a big issue in any relationship. You're right to think he may be going along with it for your sake, but you have to make a decision about your own happiness. You don't want kids with him means the issue will keep arising, and making you both miserable and arguments grow when two people can't agree on something. If you can't see yourself having a future with this guy - tell him it's over and move on. He can then 'be hurt' and come to terms with it...and move on. No more pretence in doubts.

EllaEllaE Fri 01-Mar-19 17:50:38

Someone can be a wonderful person, and still not the right person for you.

You seem like you want permission to leave. Not being in love is reason enough to leave. Knowing they are not the right person for you is reason enough to leave. That feeling of doom and restlessness? That's absolutely definitely a good enough reason to leave.

It will be hard and people around you will second guess you. But you have to keep repeating: I don't love him. I can't force myself to love him. I respect and appreciate him, but I don't love him. You (both) deserve to be loved.

SleepingStandingUp Fri 01-Mar-19 17:58:42

I know I would feel huge amounts of relief if I did just end it
That's your answer. The longer you draw ito it, the onger you are hurting him. Make the decision, tell him and let both of you move on.
but I know I would upset my whole family and his ultimately your families wbat you to be loved, happy and fulfilled. Your family can still see him if thry choose, that's between them. But you can't live your life for them. You can't marry a guy they like and have kids because they fancy grandkids.

WinnieFosterTether Fri 01-Mar-19 18:05:06

I wonder about the fact you say you're restless because imo all long-term relationships have peaks and troughs. There are points where you're going to feel restless, where you're going to fall in and out of liking/fancying your partner. During those times, it's shared values, kindness, caring, etc, that keep you together.

So, if I were you, I'd actually think about what you do want in life. If what you want is incompatible with your DP's plans then end the relationship. Stop pitying him. It's very infantilising. He's a grown-up. He'll cope.

CouldntThink Fri 01-Mar-19 18:12:53

OP you could have been me 15 years ago. I loved my bf like a friend, cared about him but wasn’t in love with him anymore and used to avoid sex. I wasn’t attracted him anymore, he loved me though. Like you the thought of breaking up with him was like relief, but I buried my thoughts.

You can’t stay with him because your family love him. It’s not their life. They may not understand but they're not the ones having to live with him, sleep with him and be thinking about their future. Don’t live your life for them. Don’t get married and have children with someone you’re not attracted to.

I broke up with bf and it was the best thing I did. I felt such relief, he was devastated but I couldn’t stay with him just because I didn’t want him to be hurt, that’s not a fair thing to do. I met my now husband a couple of years later and I’m so happy. He is so right.

PtahNeith Fri 01-Mar-19 18:22:26

I know someone who found themselves in a very similar situation to you, where they realised they had slept walked into this very serious relationship that actually wasn't right for them.

At the time, the break up was difficult and upsetting and some people didn't really understand why they'd ended the relationship.

But both of them ended up in relationships that made them so much happier and they're thriving now.

28 is no age at all. Don't throw your own future away because you're afraid to ride out a time limited storm. Break ups are usually hard, but that doesn't mean they're not survivable. Just because something ends doesn't mean all the good it brought into your life is erased.

My personal sense is that the kindest thing you can do is to make the decision and act on it, rather than drawing this out and allowing him to get his hopes up or spend a protracted period of time not knowing what's going to happen.

PtahNeith Fri 01-Mar-19 18:27:12

he was devastated but I couldn’t stay with him just because I didn’t want him to be hurt, that’s not a fair thing to do

This. In the long term, chances are you'll end up so unhappy it falls apart anyway. That'll cause a lot more hurt for both of you.

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