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Is it me or has he stopped making effort

50 replies

Disillusioneddaisy · 16/12/2019 20:50

When my dp and I first got together he was so romantic. Made lots of effort, texts, dates, weekends away. He'd occasionally drop in just 'to see me' and lots of thoughtful get the picture.

Three years on we live together and are engaged but he never seems to make effort like that anymore. Sex life is irregular due to alleged low libido. Hardly instigates dates unless pushed. Would rather spend his time watching series or playing on his xbox than suggest a day out. But he works hard, does a lot around the house and is reliable in that sense. We had a big summer holiday with my dc this year as well as a couple of weekend breaks and a new bathroom this year so I don't know if I'm maybe just expecting too much. But on a day to day basis it just feels like he's stopped making effort or showing romance and love like he did to begin with. Aibu? Is this just how life and relationships get after a while?

OP posts:
Disillusioneddaisy · 17/12/2019 08:58

@Hearhoovesthinkzebras perhaps you're right. Maybe I'm focusing on the shortcomings too much and not appreciating all of his good points of which there are many. I guess I just miss how things were to begin with.

@MiniTheMinx yes it has. Sex has only ever been monthly which I could handle tbh. But lately it's got even less than that so I'm starting to struggle a bit now. If it's a case of us not being compatible sexually then I guess I either accept it or leave and because I don't want to leave I suppose this is my lot

OP posts:
Dontunderestimateme · 17/12/2019 09:02

The whole dynamic between you doesn't sound too healthy to be honest. You mention that he is older, and earns more, so you can't initiate or plan nights out etc due to lack of money. It sounds very much like he is in charge of what happens and when, and you are just expected to go with what he wants. You should both have access to similar amounts of money, and both have equal say in how your leisure time is spent. Three years in, I wouldn't expect him to be treating you as such, but if you fancy a night away or similar, you should be able to suggest it, and it should be an option if funds allow. I think some serous talking is needed.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea · 17/12/2019 09:03

I think a mismatched sex drive coupled with his lack of interest in things other than box sets and Xbox will grind you down over the years.

I don't know if his good points will outweigh this in the long run.

Clymene · 17/12/2019 09:08

Honestly, I'd end it. If it's like this 3 years in, it's not going to get better. You're signing yourself up to a lifetime of no sex and no fun.

Life's short, don't squander it

MiniTheMinx · 17/12/2019 09:20

I would think it's quite possible that if a man has a low libido, he would have low levels of desire for you or even anyone, so he's less likely to be motivated to make romantic gestures. I think men can be fairly straight forward in this sense, that their behaviour is functional. So if they have a sex drive and a desire to have sex with you they will put in the groundwork to make that more likely to happen.

MiniTheMinx · 17/12/2019 09:24

That's why in the beginning they make such an effort, and later stop making such an effort. Either they become lazy (there is always an underlying reason) or outright lack any desire (bored) or complacent (you'll put out anyway, so why make an effort)

MiniTheMinx · 17/12/2019 09:33

Sad but true, maybe "settled" is a state many want but feeling settled for some men means that they become complacent. The only cure to that is to make them feel unsettled, ie shake things up a bit, rather than clinging on you might be best to become less emotionally available, busy yourself in other ways, become less physically available by going out and taking up hobbies, all the while continuing to be charming, flirty, fun, .....but always always spell out exactly what your problem is. The opposite of feeling settled or complacent is unsettled and having to make an effort.

AnuvvaMuvva · 17/12/2019 09:48

So as he hasn't been in the mood for a long time, nothing has happened. And I find that very depressing and hurtful. Not just because I miss the sex and the feeling of being desired but because he's effectively going about his business knowing that I'm fed up and not seeming to care in the slightest. I know he can't help or control his libido and perhaps we're just not compatible in that sense but it's the way he's basically taken sex off the table without really speaking to me properly about it.

I'd say this is a dealbreaker.

tinytoast · 17/12/2019 09:51

@Disillusioneddaisy Romance is not all about gifts and hotel nights away. You can be just as romantic at home.

I would communicate with him as an adult and do not listen to everyone telling you to split (classic mumsnet).

Tell him you want the two of you to be more romantic. Put aside a night where that is a priority. Tell him you want to have more sex. The man is not a mind reader!! And I can see the 'He should know what I want' line coming but that's not always the case. He doesn't know whats going on in your head. Tell him then prioritise.

tinytoast · 17/12/2019 09:53

Relationships require constant work and maintenance and maybe it will take a while of expressing yourself to get into a romantic routine. You will get there though! :)

Dontdisturbmenow · 17/12/2019 09:54

So how old is he and what is your working situation? Could he be tired and stressed from work?

OH and I definitely don't have the same energy we used to have working FT for 30 years in high demand jobs.

AnuvvaMuvva · 17/12/2019 09:56

The only cure to that is to make them feel unsettled, ie shake things up a bit, rather than clinging on you might be best to become less emotionally available, busy yourself in other ways, become less physically available by going out and taking up hobbies, all the while continuing to be charming, flirty, fun, .....but always always spell out exactly what your problem is.

I LOVE this post, and the advice! It's totally 100% what I'd do (and am actually doing myself at the moment, lol) in most situations.

But I think the total lack of sex puts this into a different category. The OP won't be getting anything from this relationship at all, except basic companionship. No passion, love, sex, romance, flirtation, desire... Nothing. That sounds bleak, and like she'd end up leaving or having an affair a few years down the line.

I think a good modern marriage is based on love, and sex is a part of that, AND it's the only part you get SOLELY from your partner. Without sex, what's the point of being committed?

The OP is a single mum. I've been there and I know it can make you feel like your dating pool is drastically reduced, so when someone decent comes along you're tempted to grab on and not let go. But I think the fact you posted here, OP, means you're really just not happy. This goes deeper than "he's not making an effort" for you. I think you're wondering if it's going to make you happy for the rest of your life and, if not, whether you should bail out now.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea · 17/12/2019 10:48

@tinytoast the OP has clearly told her partner she is unhappy. He makes an effort for a bit then lapses back into his natural state.

I'm not the first to jump onto the LTB bandwagon but it feels like this relationship has run its course.

Disillusioneddaisy · 17/12/2019 11:17

I really don't want to end it. As much as I'm fed up with the irregular sex and lack of effort I do realise that I have a good man. I want to try and improve things not end it.

OP posts:
Clymene · 17/12/2019 11:30

In what way is he a good man?

Does he cherish you? Does he make you feel interesting, listened to and supported? Desirable and exciting? Does he do small acts of kindness? Does he notice when you're down, ask you about your day, remember what's going on with your life?

Because the man you're describing doesn't sound good to me. He sounds lazy and boring and that he really doesn't care whether you're happy or not.

If he isn't making any effort to make you happy after three years, I can promise you he'll make you bloody miserable after 10.

Disillusioneddaisy · 17/12/2019 11:36

@Clymene he does some of those things - he is kind and generous, he would help me if I had a problem, he helps around the house, pays for holidays, asks me about my day and asks if I'm ok/upset. But yes the passion is definitely lacking. With that I feel like we'd be a good match. But at the minute it does feel like things have got stale. I just want to be able to turn it around.

OP posts:
OxfordCat · 17/12/2019 11:46

Sounds rubbish. Making an effort should never stop in a healthy relationship. If you love someone and want to be with them you make an effort sometimes.

Disillusioneddaisy · 17/12/2019 15:22

I also like the idea of becoming a bit less emotionally available, going out more, doing things for myself and prioritising myself. Might shock him into upping his game a bit. But in reality I like being with him and just want a bit more passion and romance

OP posts:
UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea · 17/12/2019 16:42

Sounds like a plan OP. If you want to do fun things then go for it. Leave him at home with his Xbox and box sets.

My mum has wasted half her life waiting for my dad to take the initiative to organise something. She just leaves him at home now.

Disillusioneddaisy · 19/12/2019 07:20

So I tried to talk to him and was really shocked and disappointed in his reaction. He said nothing of substance and got quite sulky and cross. I tried to remain fair and calm and said that neither of us are in the wrong for feeling the way we do but how are we supposed to move forward if we aren't compatible sexually, emotionally and basically with what we want in life? He had no answer and basically shut down.

I feel really downhearted today. Obviously I'm not going to do anything before Christmas but I have serious doubts about the future now. We are engaged but no wedding plans in place yet and perhaps it's best to keep it that way for now.

I stand by the fact that he is a good man but looking 10 years down the line I'm not sure I can be happy with someone who dismisses my feelings and basically pleases themselves.

OP posts:
KellyHall · 19/12/2019 13:40

Well done for being honest. It sounds like you're going to have some big changes, by yourselves, in the new year. See it as an opportunity!

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea · 19/12/2019 15:30

Sounds like a plan. Take your time to make a decision, and as others upthread suggested, maybe start to detach a little.

Sorry it's so rubbish for you.

Disillusioneddaisy · 19/12/2019 15:40

I have a series of failed relationships under my belt. Some with highly toxic, abusive people and others with people who were just not right for me. I finally thought I'd cracked it this time. Things started off so well and we seemed to want the same things. I didn't get into a row last night, I just walked out of the room. Looking back there have been a few occasions when he's gone down the sulky path when I've challenged anything he's said/wanted. I can't be bothered with that. He knows I'm pissed off and is greasing around me now which goes to show even a small bit of detachment brings on the effort again but I don't want to play these silly games.

I will have to give some thought as to whether all this really is a deal breaker. Part of me really doesn't want to go through yet another break up and uproot dc. I'm starting to wonder if it's me. Maybe I bring out the worst in people or simply choose very badly.

OP posts:
Muminneedofadvicelol · 19/12/2019 19:00

You sound like a lovely person.

Sound to me like you're going to just need to warn him you want a chat. Pick the day and time so he can't make excuses and knows you are serious about this chat. Put all your cards on the table. Tell him exactly how you feel and how serious you feel about changing things and if they can't be changed, then that is going to make some decisions. He probably doesn't even realise. I'm sure everything will be fine but honesty is the best policy. Hope it all works out for you. Enjoy your Christmas x

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea · 19/12/2019 20:55

Please don't put yourself down. Almost everyone has "a series of failed relationships" in their history. You sound lovely. It's not compulsory to be in a relationship and it's not a measure of your worth. We sometimes judge single people unfairly when in fact it's far preferable to being part of an unhappy couple.

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