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Thread: Maybe we should separate

  1. #1
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    Maybe we should separate

    Hello. I've been a serious relationship with a woman for a little over a year and a half. There is love between us and there are things that I love about her and I think she feels the same way, but I can't shake the feeling that our relationship is one sided. There are a few reasons I feel this way. One is she doesn't talk to me much at all. Most of the time when I try to have a conversation with her about anything the only response I get is dead silence. We spend a lot of time saying nothing to each other because she just won't talk. I'll make an attempt at conversation and almost every time I'm met with a response of silence. It feels like I'm getting the silent treatment and I can't help but feel hurt and frustrated by it.

    The other thing is she doesn't have a lot of time for me due to her kids. She has two boys 17 and 14 and she does not want me staying the night at her house because of that. She also can't stay the night at my house because she can't leave the kids at home alone overnight. When she does come to my house, she usually leaves by 9:00 because she's tired and has to drive home. Same thing if I go to her house. She's falling asleep by 9:00, so I get to spend an hour or two with her at the most, mostly in silence, and then I have to go because she's fallen asleep.

    The things I love about her are she's very affectionate and she loves adventure. She's always down to go out and go anywhere to do anything. She loves going out and experiencing things and we do that a lot together. We've done a lot of really cool and fun stuff together. But when we do, it's mostly in silence. I attempt to engage her in conversation, but she responds with silence about 90% of the time. So we spend long car rides back and forth to the places we go together in silence. We go out to dinner and I try to have a conversation, but she responds very little so I give up and we sit there having our meal in silence. It's very frustrating for me. We also have a very good sexual connection that I am very satisfied with, but it seems like outside of the bed, she has little interest in me. I text her during the day and about 90% of the time I get one word responses. So as usual, I just figure she doesn't want to talk and I leave her alone.

    I have tried on two occasions to ask her about what she wants from our relationship. I communicated to her that I want someone to share my life with, to live together and to grow old together. Both times she has given me basically no response to my attempts to have this conversation. Which again, leaves me very frustrated. The second time she did give up the information that we can't live together because the house that she rents from her parents will not allow her to have a live in roommate in the rental agreement.

    She tells me often that she loves me, but I can't seem to shake the feeling that if she loves me, it's for sex and for going out and having fun, and beyond that, she doesn't have much interest in me. I could be wrong about this, but I can't find out because I know she's not going to give me an answer! Ugh!!!!

    So I'm thinking maybe this relationship isn't going to work out. I know we both will be hurt if it ends. There are other things she's done that have greatly frustrated me as well. I have taken her to meet my friends on four separate occasions, but every time she does not participate in the conversation. The three of us sit there and have a great time and she says nothing. I mean literally nothing. Not a peep. Although the last time I could see that she did make an attempt to participate and I was surprised by that. I don't know if I can accept a relationship that's based on what she wants and my feelings don't matter. Scratch that. I know I can't accept that. But if I'm misreading her, I don't know how to get clarification from her. Maybe I just need to walk away.

    I'm thinking I will make one last attempt to communicate with her about what her and I both want from our relationship. If anyone has any advice or recommendations on how I might go about approaching the subject in a way that might help her to open up and communicate with me, I would GREATLY appreciate it. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
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    This isn't a relationship.

    This is strange and how does one bond in a serious way if they're not even talking to you?

    This can't continue. -_-

  3. #3
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Sorry to be meeting again under these circumstances.

    It is nearly impossible for me to read the above and not simply go: yeah, time to end it. I'm a romantic through-and-through, and a lover of exploring problems, particularly in the realm of hearts and minds, but I can't find much of a foothold here to get traction on. You sound very unhappy. Last you posted about all this, three months ago, you sounded pretty unhappy. When "pretty" is morphing to "very" the writing is generally on the wall. Heck, you wrote it yourself, above.

    I don't have a secret thermometer that I can mail you to put under her tongue and get a clear reading of how she feels about you, whether she's into your full soul or just into you as a sex-and-adventure buddy. And even if I did? If you needed the thermometer to learn what you can't learn from actually being with someone, what's the point, really?

    She's got a lot going on, as I recall from past posts. Maybe too much to be present in a relationship, or at least too much to be present in the way you need from romance at this juncture. Or, heck, maybe it's taken a year and half to realize that you guys just don't have enough connection points to keep the operating system flashing green. Best, often, to call that for what it is rather than trying to extract something that isn't there, at least not with the potency you need to keep the buzz going.

    That said, you're thinking of making "one last attempt" to communicate and are seeking some advice about how to toss a Hail Mary. Well, my first advice, if you choose this path, is to try not to think of it as "one last attempt" because that front loads the whole endeavor with a near impossible goal. You're either genuinely open to trying to communicate, or you're not, and only you know that. So be honest, to yourself, about whether you're even still on the ship.

    If you are, I think you just have to be vulnerable and honest. What's that look like? Well, it doesn't look like reading her a laundry list of every time she's mute and tired at 9pm, since that's like throwing a sword at someone to get them to hug you. It looks like you telling her that you love her, want this to work, but are really struggling right now to see it working as things have been going. You tell her that you've tried to express yourself, best you can, but that you're really at a loss right now understand where she is, in her head and heart. And you ask her if she can help you understand that, if she is interested in helping you both understand the other a bit clearer so you can go deeper, together.

    And then you listen. You listen to what she says and what she doesn't say. You listen to your spirit, and how all that lands. Does it give you something to lean into, or not?

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    Wow. She must be stunning for you to want to spend time with her. Most people would get bored a lot sooner, staring at an unblinking porcelain doll with her mouth fused shut. I think of a story my father told me when he was a handsome high school football player dating the prettiest blond cheerleader. He quickly came to see she was quite one dimensional, and felt like he couldn't have an in depth conversation with her. He began to notice my mother in the diner where she worked, who was pretty AND three dimensional, open to sharing everything about her life. My parents have been happily married for 64 years.

    I also know the frustration of trying to enjoy a conversation with a guy I dated for a year. When I'd ask him non-intrusive questions, taking an interest in his life, like: "Is your son going to the prom this year?" He'd answer: I get questions asked of me all day at work. I don't want to answer your questions too." When I'd say, "Do you have a bucket list of places you'd like to visit in the future?" He'd reply, "I can't even think beyond tomorrow, let alone years from now."

    Thank God that relationship ended, as I now am in a happy marriage where we talk about things as frivolous of what kind of candy we ate as kids, and about serious stuff, like family matters.

    The bad outweighs the good here. Looks fade for many as we age. If you can't enjoy a fun companionship with discussions, what are you going to do? Sit there and be entertained by the TV? And if she really wanted to progress things, she'd speak to her parents about changing the rental agreement since your relationship has passed the newbie stage.

    Just curious--does she engage in great discussions with her kids, or is she just as wooden with them? Does she even have any friends, and if so, how does she act with them?

    When you have such an important decision to choose a lifetime partner, why are you settling?

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  6. #5
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Sorry to be meeting again under these circumstances.

    It is nearly impossible for me to read the above and not simply go: yeah, time to end it. I'm a romantic through-and-through, and a lover of exploring problems, particularly in the realm of hearts and minds, but I can't find much of a foothold here to get traction on. You sound very unhappy. Last you posted about all this, three months ago, you sounded pretty unhappy. When "pretty" is morphing to "very" the writing is generally on the wall. Heck, you wrote it yourself, above.

    I don't have a secret thermometer that I can mail you to put under her tongue and get a clear reading of how she feels about you, whether she's into your full soul or just into you as a sex-and-adventure buddy. And even if I did? If you needed the thermometer to learn what you can't learn from actually being with someone, what's the point, really?

    She's got a lot going on, as I recall from past posts. Maybe too much to be present in a relationship, or at least too much to be present in the way you need from romance at this juncture. Or, heck, maybe it's taken a year and half to realize that you guys just don't have enough connection points to keep the operating system flashing green. Best, often, to call that for what it is rather than trying to extract something that isn't there, at least not with the potency you need to keep the buzz going.

    That said, you're thinking of making "one last attempt" to communicate and are seeking some advice about how to toss a Hail Mary. Well, my first advice, if you choose this path, is to try not to think of it as "one last attempt" because that front loads the whole endeavor with a near impossible goal. You're either genuinely open to trying to communicate, or you're not, and only you know that. So be honest, to yourself, about whether you're even still on the ship.

    If you are, I think you just have to be vulnerable and honest. What's that look like? Well, it doesn't look like reading her a laundry list of every time she's mute and tired at 9pm, since that's like throwing a sword at someone to get them to hug you. It looks like you telling her that you love her, want this to work, but are really struggling right now to see it working as things have been going. You tell her that you've tried to express yourself, best you can, but that you're really at a loss right now understand where she is, in her head and heart. And you ask her if she can help you understand that, if she is interested in helping you both understand the other a bit clearer so you can go deeper, together.

    And then you listen. You listen to what she says and what she doesn't say. You listen to your spirit, and how all that lands. Does it give you something to lean into, or not?
    Thank you. As usual, you response is very helpful. I love her. I know she loves me too. If she would just talk to me. I would be so relieved. I'm either perfectly happy or willing to accept everything else between her and I. You're dead on as far as how to approach the subject. I know what I need from the relationship, but as to whether or not she's in agreement, I haven't a clue.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    There are different levels of intimacy and I do not know how you could possibly have an emotionally intimate relationship with someone who does not communicate. We aren't talking a poor communicator here. From what you describe, she flat out doesn't talk. You cannot connect with someone who will not share.

    You listed some very nice things about the time you spend with her, but basically she's an activity partner, not an romantically connected one.

    Your last line is you asked how to communicate with her what you want. It doesn't appear that you have any problems communicating and you have a clear idea as to what it is you want. You just don't have a willing participant.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jul-els
    Thank you. As usual, you response is very helpful. I love her. I know she loves me too. If she would just talk to me. I would be so relieved. I'm either perfectly happy or willing to accept everything else between her and I. You're dead on as far as how to approach the subject. I know what I need from the relationship, but as to whether or not she's in agreement, I haven't a clue.
    Here's the thing I'm struggling to understand from the original post: What, exactly, do you love about her? You described a near-mute above. Now, I admit, I read all that as biased by emotion, as a crude coloring of things.

    Still, I do wonder where the person you love ends and where the idea of who you love begins, and whether it's that idea, more than the person, that you're holding onto. The idea that tomorrow, or next week, the conversations will be engaging. The idea that once things are a bit more settled with the kids, the eyelids won't get heavy before 10pm. The idea that if you can just phrase everything just so you'll find the code to getting her to open up. And so on, and so forth.

    I haven't been with this woman for a year and a half, so I don't know if you've got a foundation, with her, that leads you to believe those ideas can be realized. Only you know that, but at a moment like this it is always worth asking if we are holding onto something that is real or to an idea (or two or four) that allowed something to blossom that was never as real, or hearty, as we'd hoped.

  9. #8
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    Originally Posted by Andrina
    Wow. She must be stunning for you to want to spend time with her. Most people would get bored a lot sooner, staring at an unblinking porcelain doll with her mouth fused shut. I think of a story my father told me when he was a handsome high school football player dating the prettiest blond cheerleader. He quickly came to see she was quite one dimensional, and felt like he couldn't have an in depth conversation with her. He began to notice my mother in the diner where she worked, who was pretty AND three dimensional, open to sharing everything about her life. My parents have been happily married for 64 years.

    I also know the frustration of trying to enjoy a conversation with a guy I dated for a year. When I'd ask him non-intrusive questions, taking an interest in his life, like: "Is your son going to the prom this year?" He'd answer: I get questions asked of me all day at work. I don't want to answer your questions too." When I'd say, "Do you have a bucket list of places you'd like to visit in the future?" He'd reply, "I can't even think beyond tomorrow, let alone years from now."

    Thank God that relationship ended, as I now am in a happy marriage where we talk about things as frivolous of what kind of candy we ate as kids, and about serious stuff, like family matters.

    The bad outweighs the good here. Looks fade for many as we age. If you can't enjoy a fun companionship with discussions, what are you going to do? Sit there and be entertained by the TV? And if she really wanted to progress things, she'd speak to her parents about changing the rental agreement since your relationship has passed the newbie stage.

    Just curious--does she engage in great discussions with her kids, or is she just as wooden with them? Does she even have any friends, and if so, how does she act with them?

    When you have such an important decision to choose a lifetime partner, why are you settling?
    If by stunning you mean super model good looks, no she isn't that. But she is a wonderful lover. In the bedroom she is very expressive and has no problem showing how she feels. It's almost like she says everything physically instead of verbally. The only problem I have with that is we can't spend our lives in bed together making love. It would be nice if we could, but obviously, we can't.

    At least your boyfriend said something to you when you asked him something. She many times responds to me with silence. Often. It hurts me.

    I don't think she can change the agreement with her parents. Again, I have no way of finding out, because she isn't going to talk to me about it, but I have a feeling it isn't an option.

    With her kids and her friends, she's pretty much the same way. Her ex is a very toxic person and I think all three of them are scarred from it to some degree. She got through that with herself and her kids intact. She is a survivor in that sense and I give her credit and respect her for that. But that's in the past. She needs to let the wall down now that she had to build for so many years. I know I can't get past it. I've tried. It's exhausting. But there is love between us I don't doubt that. And love isn't always so easy to find. And not something that should be casually tossed aside. But I hear everything you're saying. I'm just at such an impasse at the moment.

  10. #9
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Here's the thing I'm struggling to understand from the original post: What, exactly, do you love about her? You described a near-mute above. Now, I admit, I read all that as biased by emotion, as a crude coloring of things.

    Still, I do wonder where the person you love ends and where the idea of who you love begins, and whether it's that idea, more than the person, that you're holding onto. The idea that tomorrow, or next week, the conversations will be engaging. The idea that once things are a bit more settled with the kids, the eyelids won't get heavy before 10pm. The idea that if you can just phrase everything just so you'll find the code to getting her to open up. And so on, and so forth.

    I haven't been with this woman for a year and a half, so I don't know if you've got a foundation, with her, that leads you to believe those ideas can be realized. Only you know that, but at a moment like this it is always worth asking if we are holding onto something that is real or to an idea (or two or four) that allowed something to blossom that was never as real, or hearty, as we'd hoped.
    I honestly don't know how to put in to words that I know that she loves me. But I do. I can just feel it. I know that sounds silly, but not everything in this world is always tangible or able to be put into words.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Oh, I believe you. But you actually skipped my question. What is it, exactly, that you love about her? What is it that you are considering fighting for, or not? Is it something you have seen, and experienced, or is something you have hoped for, imagined? If you subtracted the physical connection here would you believe there is a "there" there to salvage?

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