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Thread: Self improvement - for me and my relationship

  1. #1

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    Self improvement - for me and my relationship

    Hi all,

    Me and my partner have been together for almost a year now. Early on in this relationship, I made a big mistake and cheated whilst at a party. It had been a very turbulent time for the following couple of months but we managed to make things right between us. My partner on the odd occasion felt quite anxious about what had happened and rightly so - but we did not let this stop us enjoying each others company.

    Since then, we have had a countless number of good times and made lots of memories together. However, in recent months, I have found it difficult to perform in the bedroom. We talked about this issue early on and I tried to reassure my partner that it was nothing to do with him. After discussing this issue on several occasions, I decided to go to see a doctor as I believe it was an effect of stress. I also suffered from a lot of abdominal bloating which greatly affected my mood, especially when trying to be intimate. We have always been great at showing affection towards each other, but on quite a few occasions my lack of sexual desire was noticed.

    The doctor advised me that primarily my bloating and stress were likely the culprits, or a contributing factor at the least, to having a lessened sexual desire with my partner. Without going in to too much detail, he explained that a lot of nerves in the abdomen link to our sexual organs. It was also noticed by me and my partner, that when I was having a good day with little or no symptoms, our sexual passion was as good as ever.

    The stress is an ongoing issue, which I believe stems from my desire to spend as much time with my partner as possible. I work away from home and am provided a small but adequate accommodation as part of my job. My partner lives a 20 minute drive away, so most evenings I try to rush through my routine of a gym workout and dinner, in order to maximize the time spent with my partner. I would stay at my partners family home quite often, which would mean getting up super early to drive in to work (which created a lot of stress in itself).

    Another added element to the stress is that my current job moves to another location in early 2019; a location where my partner is not simply a 20 minute drive away. I am currently not in the financial position to buy a house in this area, and I do not believe in renting property as I have accommodation provided at a good rate through work. I have been looking at my career options and have been putting in place steps to make big changes, which, given time, would open up more of a stable lifestyle opportunity for my relationship.

    Now on to the main issue and the reason why I am seeking help to fix my relationship. On a couple of occasions, when I have had spent time away from my partner, I had been sending suggestive texts and pictures to another guy that I had met once in the past (we met briefly at a Pride event). The issue started as sometimes I would find myself having spare time when not with my partner (a rarity).
    On occasion I would masturbate - sometimes out of boredom, sometimes out of necessity due to not being able to perform in the bedroom. I don't really know how the masturbation led to messaging this guy, but I think it may have been because I knew he was gay and that he always seemed very chatty to me, as we had infrequently talked about day to day career problems over the net. I know this is not an excuse or a reason to lead to being suggestive, but I can only put it down to being "in the moment" with masturbation and a slight attraction to the guy in question.

    This infidelity came to light after my partner decided to look through my phone. I was a little angry that he had done this, but at the same time I also understand. We talked it over some and he was very angry at me - we have since had a short cooling off period and we met up again the other night to talk. We had argued through the day over text, and our meeting did not make things any better. We both still love each other very much but we have agreed that I need to make some changes and understand why what's happened has happened. He ultimately called time on us - I then broke down for the first time ever in the relationship. Despite calling time, he said that he loves me and wants it to work - but that we need some time apart and that I need to come to some kind of understanding on why I have allowed this to happen to an otherwise perfect relationship.

    I have been exploring in my head the reasons why I think I may have flirted with another guy over the net. Initially, I thought it was purely just linked with masturbation (I usually use the internet for material) and that this guy I had messaged was simply a way to enhance masturbation. I must stress that I have no emotional connection with the guy that I had messaged, and he was out of my mind instantly. I knew deep down that what I was doing would be seen as disloyal by my partner, especially after our turbulence early in the relationship. I had felt guilty each time but kept telling myself that it was meaningless and that I wouldn't do it again.

    After further thinking, I realised that having very little "me" time and spending each day rushing through my tasks (work, gym, work social events, cooking etc) would burn me out. Quite often, I would reach my partners house and be exhausted. This wasn't always a problem, but I believe this was a contributing factor to the bedroom issues. Although I love spending time with my partner, I think that I had very little balance in respect to giving myself time to relax and enjoy my own space. Every day was just a rush of things to tick off so I could relax on the evening in my partners company.

    It would be silly of me to dismiss masturbating in private as not taking away from my desires with my partner; it is something that I have always done as I have only been in a couple of relationships that lasted any meaningful length of time. Our bedroom intimacy definitely improved when I reduced the frequency of masturbation, especially during times where I know me and my partner would be able to have sex.

    I appreciate that this is a long read, but I would like some honest opinions on my situation and suggestions as what could be done to help improve myself so that I can help understand how we have got to this point - and so that I can assure my partner that I really want this relationship to work and prove to him that despite this recent bump, we can have a future together.

    Many thanks
    Ash

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    It sounds like you've identified a lot of the issues. Spending too much time with your partner. Why can't he visit you? Is this situational ED? Is it after a few drinks? Unfortunately it sounds like it's not working out with your partner not only because of logistics but lack of novelty you seem to need for stimulation.

    Why not spend less work nights together and alternate visiting each other alternate cooking dinner, going out etc. Finding a therapist who is in your community and sensitive to your issues could also help you sort out the stress and need to stray.
    Originally Posted by Ash19
    I decided to go to see a doctor as I believe it was an effect of stress. I don't really know how the masturbation led to messaging this guy, but I think it may have been because I knew he was gay and that he always seemed very chatty to me

  3. #3

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    He is able to visit me and has quite often - but my living quarter isn't great for hosting (shared) and it can feel very claustrophobic. It was diagnosed as situational ED, but I chose not to opt for meds on the advice of the doctor - to tackle the stress and improve my diet to help with the abdom problems.

    No, it was mostly when sober - we have had some great sex after a few drinks.

    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    It sounds like you've identified a lot of the issues. Spending too much time with your partner. Why can't he visit you? Is this situational ED? Is it after a few drinks? Unfortunately it sounds like it's not working out with your partner not only because of logistics but lack of novelty you seem to need for stimulation.

    Why not spend less work nights together and alternate visiting each other alternate cooking dinner, going out etc. Finding a therapist who is in your community and sensitive to your issues could also help you sort out the stress and need to stray.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Serious question: You say you love this guy but you've cheated on him twice in your very short, one year relationship. Do you think you are capable of monogamy?

    I'm thinking you'd be better off breaking up with your current partner which will alleviate your stress (and hopefully the ED) and when you're healed and have figured out whether you are poly or mono, you look for a partner that has the same nature.

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  6. #5

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    Yes, I believe I do love him and that I am capable of monogamy.

    We have touched on poly/mono in the past; but the conversation didn't really go anywhere as neither of us seemed keen to pursue that route.

    Originally Posted by ThatwasThen
    Serious question: You say you love this guy but you've cheated on him twice in your very short, one year relationship. Do you think you are capable of monogamy?

    I'm thinking you'd be better off breaking up with your current partner which will alleviate your stress (and hopefully the ED) and when you're healed and have figured out whether you are poly or mono, you look for a partner that has the same nature.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ash19
    Yes, I believe I do love him and that I am capable of monogamy.

    We have touched on poly/mono in the past; but the conversation didn't really go anywhere as neither of us seemed keen to pursue that route.
    Keen to pursue what route? You've been poly the whole time you've been committed to him!

  8. #7
    Gold Member SGH's Avatar
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    Yeah, thatwasthen hit the nail on the head. I do not understand how people who repetitively cheat on a partner can turn around and say they prefer monogamy. All that means to me is that you want to be able to do whatever you'd like behind your partner's back to fulfill your sexual needs while knowing that your partner is fully committed to only you.

    Frankly, it sounds like most if not all the issues lie in your corner. You chose to run yourself ragged with how often you see your partner, you engage in certain diet choices that have caused physical issues leading to sexual problems with your partner, and you've chosen to entertain others while in a "monogamous" relationship. I don't know if what you had with your partner can or should be salvaged, but I'd say it comes down to you simply deciding to grow up and make choices that benefit the relationship, not just you.

    Considering the problems you currently have it may be wiser to simply end the relationship when you move. You will not struggle less with making time to see your partner or fidelity when you are farther away from one another.

  9. #8
    Super Moderator Capricorn3's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ThatwasThen
    Serious question: You say you love this guy but you've cheated on him twice in your very short, one year relationship. Do you think you are capable of monogamy?

    I'm thinking you'd be better off breaking up with your current partner which will alleviate your stress (and hopefully the ED) and when you're healed and have figured out whether you are poly or mono, you look for a partner that has the same nature.
    I agree with the above post. That was my immediate thought too. Too much cheating in such a short space of time. I would also strongly advise you break up and get yourself sorted out before getting involved in any relationship. Do whatever it takes for however long it takes, but right now I don't think you're good relationship material (sorry).

  10. #9

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    As in, we discussed that we both wanted to be monogamous. I obviously failed in that respect; but I want to understand why it has happened because I want to do my best moving forward with the relationship. I knew too well that messaging another guy was wrong - but I made up a false bubble in my head, telling myself that it was just another way to get off by masturbating. This almost allowed me to feel less guilty about the situation.

    Originally Posted by ThatwasThen
    Keen to pursue what route? You've been poly the whole time you've been committed to him!

  11. #10
    Gold Member SGH's Avatar
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    I knew too well that messaging another guy was wrong - but I made up a false bubble in my head, telling myself that it was just another way to get off by masturbating. This almost allowed me to feel less guilty about the situation.
    That's why the cheating happened. You just said it yourself that you justified the behavior even though it broke the boundaries of your relationship. There doesn't need to be a deeper reason. You just want to look for one so you don't feel like the "bad guy". Hate to break it to you, but it sounds like you lack self-control and empathy for your partner.

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