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Is this the end or am I emotionally stunted?(8 Posts)
N/C for this as I don't want those who know my real nickname to know its me. And apologies its long but I didn't want to leave anything out.
My partner & I have been together for 6 years, known each other a lot longer but we where both in relationships so had no clue we liked each other as more than friends & even if we did wouldn't have acted on it. In the space of 4 months we had both split with our long term partners and around 6 months after this we admitted our feelings and got together.
Lots of fun, trips out together & for me after an abusive marriage a feeling of calm that I could finally be myself. He was loving and thoughtful a great laugh and we'd talk for hours about anything. I was overwhelmed that I felt so human again after years of going through the motions just existing in a miserable toxic marriage.
As things do after 3 years or so routine began to bring me back down to earth, work was more demanding after a big promotion for me & he was made redundant after 20 years in a niche profession. He set up his own business & I covered the mortgage and all bills for the first 6 months while he built up clients. It was stressful for both of us and we were both exhausted after long days.
Sex became as rare as hens teeth, any show of affection went the same way. We don't argue and just trundled on doing every day things but the feeling of closeness was slipping away.
Which brings me to now, I'm not very good at expressing my feelings. He doesn't tend to talk about his either so communication in this area isn't great. I found he'd looked at porn sites - always in the half hour I had gone to work and he was home alone. Nothing unusual but it hurt that he'd rather get himself off than have the real thing as it were. I'd gained some weight as had he so we had a talk and he said he looked at it as it was easy and he felt self conscious about the 2st he'd piled on.
We both made more effort on the sex front up until a few months ago when he asked me to look for a book he wanted to download on his tablet. I found he had been back looking at porn again - probably hadn't stopped to be honest? Same hurt feelings but at the end of the day a wank is meaningless, many of us do it and it didn't seem to be a weekly occurrence.
It just hit me again that we were doing the same things day in day out and could be housemates rather than partners. So as I say I'm terrible at talking feelings so find it easier to write things down, I emailed him telling him how I didn't recognise or like the boring, frustrated, snappy person I'd become. Said we should talk at the weekend but I had no clue as to how he felt about me anymore. Wrote about lack of sex, lack of affection (from both sides) and that I didn't want to make the first move in either as I feel so inadequate and incredibly childish as it is why should I instigate it all the time.
I have a niggling feeling its me though....I'm just so bad at touchy feely tactile gestures. I crave it sometimes but feel embarrassed asking for a hug, as if Im needy & seek reassurance. I suspect this comes from my parents relationship, although happy enough I never saw a single display of any real emotion be it bad or good between them. I find it hard to empathise with people directly, if I read a thread here I can empathise bur in RL I wouldn't be able too. I'd feel embarrassed as I couldn't hug the person or find anything useful or comforting to say.
I love my partner but have I been the one who hasn't put in the effort? If I did would he be likely to do the same? Dreading the talk at the weekend but also wishing it would come sooner so I can find out if he still wants me and we can try to bring back some spark.
Does it all sound pathetic and trivial or do I have something to worry about?
No it doesn't sound trivial, a relationship without intimacy is depressing, unless you both agree it's purely platonic.
Why are you shouldering all the blame, it's him too no?
You both need to make the effort to have some romance, a night away in a Hotel is a good start but unless he is willing to actually change things then you may have a bigger issue than you thought.
Stop blaming yourself, you've done nothing but support him and be a good partner.
Thanks for your reply Jan, I know he has got lazy but then so have I. The less he gives the less I want to give so it's a viscious cycle I suppose.
The last time we went to a hotel was to meet up with his family, I made the first move and all was fine. We seemed like different people, more relaxed and open. This lasted a few weeks when we got home but things slipped back again.
I'm wavering between putting in a lot more effort and just walking away, if he can't change for any length of time what's the point. You're right it is depressing and has had an impact on my self confidence. I feel invisible, unappreciated and unsure of what he feels for me?
Things won't ever be as exciting as they were at the start of the relationship but it's not all bad. He's a good guy who has done some really thoughtful things but is that enough.
One thing I don't get from your message is whether you two have plans together - common aims and desires (not specifically sex but for your lives, generally.)
For lots of women, desire comes from closeness, and it's not necessarily physical contact that will initiate it. You might feel closer romantically and therefore physically if you start to make plans together. They don't need to be big - just a day out somewhere fun, away from the routine. You mention being stuck in a rut. Biologically, who'd want to create life if the life you live isn't up to much?
I'd start by giving your whole life a shake up with the emphasis on having some easy-to-get fun as often as possible. Plan some day trips, some evenings out where you do something, not just sit in a restaurant. Think about some of the things you most want to do in life, and ask him what his are - small or large, and do some. (They can be cheap or free - being in the studio audience of your favourite comedy show on TV or radio; having a beach bonfire etc.)
Written down, this stuff sounds a bit cheesy and superficial but I really think it has a profound effect. When we make the effort to have new experiences with our long term partners, we are showing that life with them is fun and that we are willing to put effort and imagination into keeping it fun. Take turns to surprise each other and have a laugh instead of having heavy gloomy chats about your relationship. It might work.
Great idea, to be honest we don't really do anything these days as we're both so busy with work. He's had to work quite a few weekends and I end up doing all the housework while he's out.
We both enjoy the same things so having something to look forward too (away from the bedroom) could really help. It sounds stupid but I was so focussed on the problem I couldn't think of any possible solutions. Thank you so much for taking the time to give me your suggestions, I'm already feeling more upbeat/optimistic & less inward thinking.
I think this is a classic case where counselling should help.
DP & I suffer from this - we have shift work, and very elderly cats to deal with. The poor bugger is permanently tired, and when I'm up for it, there's normally a knackered old cat demanding attention...
We regularly sleep in different bits of the flat in order to get a decent amount of sleep despite the marauding moggies... so when the time strikes, it really has to strike. Poor guy had had a couple of hours off a night shift, and I'd realised the cats were asleep, and the time was right for me, so I ploughed into the bedroom, hoiking off my clothes, saying (in hushed tones) "quick, get it up, the cats are asleep!" Poor guy was roused from his deep sleep with some mad woman (me) wanging her boobs in his face, grabbing hold of his knob...
It's normally a very chaste relationship, due to the cats - so when the bonkage happens, it makes both of us very happy!
I've been in relationships in the past where it has just fizzled out, and from my perspective, it was because I'd put on comfort pounds. It was about 18 months for me where things changed to turning into housemates, with this relationship, it's been a lot longer, and it's not a housemate kind of relationship. I don't know what to suggest, although taking on the lions share of the housework, for me makes me really grumpy - when DP was working awful shifts where he was essentially a hotel resident in the flat, I blew up at him because if felt like I had a teenager living in the flat, and that wasn't what I'd signed up for when I asked him to move in.
I think from my perspective, communication has been the key. Also, being with someone who genuinely feels lucky to be with me, and will do anything to make it work - he's been trying to find the right job ever since I lost the plot with him.
I hope you find a solution, OP x
It's hard - but talking is the start. Open honest comms with a real interest in what people are saying is vital.
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