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What's wrong with me / my relationship - feeling a bit lost

(71 Posts)
littlemisslost88 Sun 15-Nov-20 09:58:19

This is the first time I've ever tried to put everything in writing about my relationship and I'd love some advice as I don't feel at this stage there is anyone I can talk to openly about it without judgement.

My boyfriend and I have been together for quite a long time. We are the same age and got together at 18, still together at 33. Both each other's only real relationship.

We still get on great, we have mutual friends, close to each other's families, shared interests and still have fun and don't run out of things to talk about.

We have lived together for 11 years now and own a house together. He's a lovely person with no temper or abusive traits at all, he gives me the freedom to do as I please and I do for him. We spend time together, sometimes not as much as I'd like because he sometimes does put his own hobbies or friends first. If I raise it he is receptive for a while, not a major issue though but sometimes I do feel a bit like 'part of the furniture' rather than a priority.

He doesn't really want to get married, and isn't the best with communicating tricky topics. Whenever I used to mention marriage he would say it changes nothing which I do understand. But also if he is happy with me and we are together this long, why so anti marriage? I never wanted to either but I don't know what I want anymore.

Our sex life is quite dead, used to be ok in the beginning, the past 5 years or so it's uneventful and a couple times a year max, always initiated by me. I think we are both uncomfortable discussing it to be honest which is strange as we are comfortable to discuss most other things.

I do want to be with him but also miss physical affection and emotional closeness. He will hug me but that's usually it, I have sometimes wondered if he could be asexual or gay, or if it's just me.

I'm not proud of myself but around a year ago an older colleague pursued me. I had lost a bit of weight (was never overweight) and things still hadn't changed between us. This man gave me lots of attention and flattery. In a moment of weakness we kissed a few times but I shut it down after that (he had a partner too and was in a sexless marriage - I know that justifies nothing here).

I've been trying to work on our relationship but I still feel a bit neglected and unwanted. Sometimes it feels more of a flatmates situation and I want to fix it. We have so much history and so love each other so I don't want to leave. But I also don't want to be a bad person and risk making another poor decision.

I have toyed with the idea of asking about an open relationship. I don't think he would be for it at all, and not even sure it's realistic. I don't want to be getting random sex from different men, I want intimacy and connection. He seems happy plodding along as we are with seemingly no sex drive.

I got curious one evening and went through all of his devices just in case there was someone else. Couldn't find any evidence and he is always where he says he is, open with his passcodes and has a location tracker on (not that I've ever asked him to put it on). I also don't think he watches porn or if he does I've never picked up on it. Not that I'd mind if he did I guess.

I just need to figure out a way forward here. Is opening up our relationship going to help in any way, or do I need to work on myself, accept things as they are or force him to have an uncomfortable chat? I have struggled with anxiety and mental health issues and these are worse since the pandemic, I think being at home has given me no escape and lead to overthinking all of this and wondering what to do as I know it's not healthy.

Aside from physical/emotional connection we do get on well and he is supportive in other ways. I don't want to lose what we have but something has to change here - he's a lovely person compared to some of the slime bags here that some people find themselves with, but I feel like just 'putting up' with things isn't good for anyone.

Im starting to feel like all relationships will develop major problems over time and questioning the meaning of it all. I feel lost, scared and upset at what to do here. I'm so torn, I really don't want to lose him as he's a great companion and a lovely person in every other way.

Has anyone else been here or got any advice to give?

OP’s posts: |
Sarahlou63 Sun 15-Nov-20 10:07:07

Lots of issues here - do you think he'd be willing to talk to a counsellor? There's little point in you working on the relationship if he's not prepared to put in an equal amount of work.

littlemisslost88 Sun 15-Nov-20 10:12:20

Sarahlou63

Lots of issues here - do you think he'd be willing to talk to a counsellor? There's little point in you working on the relationship if he's not prepared to put in an equal amount of work.


I really don't know... he's quite private and hates me discussing things with friends/family, not these things but irrelevant random things I've shared sometimes bother him. So I think it would take a lot for him to be on board.

Just wanted to clarify on the affection as not to drip feed too. In terms of physical affection, he will often hold my hand when we are out walking or give me a hug, sometimes we do snuggle on the sofa but he does tend to throw me off after a while. Says I am too warm so doesn't like me too snuggly with him in bed but sometimes allows it.

In terms of emotional closeness - I can be open with him about many things but this topic in that I think our relationship needs looking at is something that I think he buries his head in the sand over. If we do argue he will happily talk things through after but it's just certain topics that would make him uncomfortable eg. If I raised our sex life. If I raise that I feel like a flat mate or part of the furniture he will say thats not the case.

Also he never cries, I feel like I always do. Not sure that is at all relevant!

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Palavah Sun 15-Nov-20 10:13:11

It sounds as though your relationship has run its natural course

littlemisslost88 Sun 15-Nov-20 10:17:16

Palavah

It sounds as though your relationship has run its natural course


I don't think it's that black and white. I feel perfectly content at the thought of growing old with him and I do feel like he's my companion in most other ways. I don't want to lose him from my life.

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Palavah Sun 15-Nov-20 10:24:11

Well both of you need to be invested in making it work if you're going to stay together. If he is willing to discuss things and you want the same things out of the relationship in terms of time spent together, sex, physical intimacy and affection, and marriage and kids, then you've got a chance.

If not, you have time now at 33 to go out and find someone who wants the same things as you.
Leave it a couple of years and it will be much much harder. If you want kids then your options will start to narrow significantly in your later 30s.

You and he have a logn history together. That won't go away. You can always be friends and/or you can always stay in touch. But you cant force him to be the partner you want if he's not willing to invest the time and effort.

user1493413286 Sun 15-Nov-20 10:37:15

I think a big decision is what you want from the future - do you want marriage and kids as you haven’t mentioned children here but it seems unlikely if you’re not having sex. And if you’re still in this situation in 30 years then will you be happy?
Reading your post it does sound like the relationship has run it’s course but I see that you don’t feel this way. In some ways I think opening the relationship would then mean that you get physical intimacy but I think you might then find that you aren’t being fulfilled in other ways and it may open a big can of worms which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it may then may it clearer what you want.

S00LA Sun 15-Nov-20 10:43:17

I don’t think you are compatible in some important ways.

You want marriage and he doesn't.

You want a sexual relationship and he doesn't.

He’s not going to change. So you need to decide if these are deal breakers for you or you can live together as flat mates / friends forever.

Personally I’d be leaving, but that’s just me.

You don’t mention children, so I assume you both don’t want them?

Manxiety Sun 15-Nov-20 10:45:21

Oh OP. Please reread your post. You are just 33 and staying out of habit and some weird sense of commitment.

This will not improve. He is selfish and isn't considering your needs at all. You are making all the sacrifices. What is he giving?

You have one life only. Live it. Please.

Sarahlou63 Sun 15-Nov-20 10:50:43

Have you asked him how he feels about the relationship, specifically about your sex life?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 15-Nov-20 10:59:21

You both got together when you were 18 and had no real life experience behind you. You have changed, he has not really changed at all. People do change and you've both drifted apart. Many couples who do get together at 18 do not last and you're basically both just plodding along now and are bogged down by the sunken costs fallacy. People get bogged down by focusing on their sunk costs.

Your points of concern re him are indeed valid ones to be making.

Are you really only together out of habit and or fear of the unknown now?. These are no reasons either to remain together in what is really a sub par relationship. One of you will have to be an adult here and end this. Given his non communicative nature I doubt it will be him and on some level he is probably quite happy as he is.

Glad you gave this OM the boot here; he was a chancer who targeted you because you are and remain vulnerable here. And his own relationship was sexless, of course it was (they always are)!

Fullmoonparty Sun 15-Nov-20 11:07:05

This is exactly what happened to me and my ex, and could have written that word for word - I guess even though I wasn’t that madly happy I did just think it was ‘maybe all there is to it’ after such a long time, and the grass isn’t necessarily greener - I was ok plodding along - again we got on well but I think ended up more best mates/housemates. It all came to a head when we were due to get married (I think he proposed just to do the right thing (idiot) as I’d never pressured him) and he then decided he didn’t want to be with me anymore - well he didn’t know what he wanted so I ended it. He also didn’t want kids, which I didn’t at first but then I really did, so how would that have worked? I think I had given up a lot of my needs and wants for his. I think it’s hard when you do still actually like them as a person but not sure once you’ve lost that spark if you can ever get it back. Without the sex, you’re just mates, not in a relationship. It’s hard when you’ve been with someone for such a long time from a young age but you don’t always grow together. I’d say cut your losses and move on, you’re still young. I wasn’t that young but still managed to move on, meet someone else and have a much wanted baby...good luck flowers

Apileofballyhoo Sun 15-Nov-20 15:55:36

Was your sex life good in the beginning? I cab understand it dwindling off but if it was never there it can't really be rekindled.

EarthSight Sun 15-Nov-20 16:31:08

I find it unbelievable that so many relationships dwindle sexually so that sex only happens every few months. Not that would automatically solve intimacy issues mind you - that's actually a related but different thing.

I think you might frustrated at home apathetic he is, that he's not very interested in you or maintaining your intimacy, that he's happy to plod along as friends. I think many people have good functioning lives like this, but it does make them vulnerable when they meet someone one day that ignites that fire for them again.

he would say it changes nothing which I do understand

Weakest argument ever. I mean it's so weak it's laughable. If marriage means nothing, then I'm sure he won't mind booking a registry office wedding with you next week if they have the slot free. If someone doesn't want to get married, then fair enough, but saying it's not important or won't change anything is dishonest or delusional. By saying 'no' to it, he's actually making a statement about hoe important it actually is - that's why men often won't do it.!

FippertyGibbett Sun 15-Nov-20 16:33:18

I think it’s time to move on for both of you.

Aquamarine1029 Sun 15-Nov-20 16:47:02

Just because you've spent so many years with him doesn't mean you should waste even more of your precious time. Sunk cost fallacy springs to mind here. It's a dangerous trap to get caught in.

Your relationship simply isn't working. He can't give you what you need and that's not going to change. Don't wake up a decade from now consumed with regret, and sadly, I think you will if you stay.

littlemisslost88 Sun 15-Nov-20 17:03:39

Apileofballyhoo

Was your sex life good in the beginning? I cab understand it dwindling off but if it was never there it can't really be rekindled.


Yes it was fine in the beginning and more frequent/adventurous. Just seems to have seriously tapered off in recent years. I don't want to lose what we have, I'm terrified

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Aquamarine1029 Sun 15-Nov-20 17:10:42

I don't want to lose what we have, I'm terrified

Aren't you terrified about all of the things you're missing out on? As someone who is a lot older than you, I think you should be. Living without intimacy and feeling emotionally unfulfilled is soul crushing. I've seen this happen with far too many people. I'd hate for you to be one of them.

littlemisslost88 Sun 15-Nov-20 17:11:55

I really don't want to lose him, I want to find a way to talk about this and see what our options are. It's not like I have this raging sex life and want to do a ton of kinky things. But would probably entertain the thought of opening up our relationship in some way. Or try and bring the intimacy back.

I don't want to start over with someone else who may turn out to be no better or have other issues. I think he does love me but the physical part has fallen off a cliff.

I don't know what to do next.

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littlemisslost88 Sun 15-Nov-20 17:13:02

Aquamarine1029

*I don't want to lose what we have, I'm terrified*

Aren't you terrified about all of the things you're missing out on? As someone who is a lot older than you, I think you should be. Living without intimacy and feeling emotionally unfulfilled is soul crushing. I've seen this happen with far too many people. I'd hate for you to be one of them.


What's to say I will find that any time soon though, or that there won't be further problems somewhere down the line? Differing views, infidelity, other shitty personality traits..

I can see myself growing old quite content with him. I just need to try and figure out this one issue.

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ravenmum Sun 15-Nov-20 17:27:00

When you say you would be content living wiith him for another 50 years, what do you mean by "content"?
At present you missintimacy, connection, physical affection and emotional closeness, and you sometimes feel neglected and unwanted, you don't do as much as you would like together and you wonder if he is gay. That's not a set of conditions I'd link with "content"? Also not "one issue"?

littlemisslost88 Sun 15-Nov-20 18:05:24

ravenmum

When you say you would be content living wiith him for another 50 years, what do you mean by "content"?
At present you missintimacy, connection, physical affection and emotional closeness, and you sometimes feel neglected and unwanted, you don't do as much as you would like together and you wonder if he is gay. That's not a set of conditions I'd link with "content"? Also not "one issue"?


I don't think he's gay. Had wondered it, sometimes wonder if he's a bit asexual or could just be a low sex drive. I do get some of those things just not enough of it or consistently enough.

And when I point out we need to spend time together he is happy to do so. We do things like go out for dinner, holidays, day trips, adventures etc so it's not like everything is dead.

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littlemisslost88 Sun 15-Nov-20 18:06:12

I feel like all of these 'intimacy, connection, physical affection and emotional closeness' are one issue that can be worked on together surely?

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Mintlegs Sun 15-Nov-20 18:07:29

Apart from the lack of sex is there any reason you think he may be asexual or gay?

littlemisslost88 Sun 15-Nov-20 18:11:44

Mintlegs

Apart from the lack of sex is there any reason you think he may be asexual or gay?


No not really.. I think the pandemic and me having mental health struggle is making me think into this more than maybe I should be. It's making me get quite unsettled.

I need to do a bit more research into asexual traits... he will kiss me on the cheek/forehead, hug me, sometimes snuggle on the sofa etc. Tells me I look pretty in certain things but I feel like the sex/jumping each other's bones thing is dead.

Just need to figure out if we get it back, if I accept it's changed.. or something else

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