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Enough love to make relationship work? Happy enough?


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My girlfriend and I have been together over 6 years now, but last night she told me she loves me but isn’t as happy as she would like to be, and feels that we are missing the spark/passion that she wants in a relationship. I wouldn’t say that this means she wants to break up, (we care for each other greatly) but it sounds like she doesn’t feel like there is hope for our relationship to work long term (so maybe she does). Basically the old “I love you but I’m not sure if I love you enough”.


Some background: we both have struggled with insecurity and self-esteem issues; I tend to be more shy and she is definitely more social. She seems to easily/quickly get attached to people she works with. I have always found it difficult to really connect with people, and I have always had issues being emotionally/physically intimate with her and past lovers (I find it difficult to really open up on a deeply significant level). We always get along great but have various/different interests. We have had some ups/downs in our relationship, most of the time they boiled down to communication issues (e.g. really talking to each other). I asked her to marry me 3 years into our relationship, she said yes but we never made specific plans for the wedding - neither of us were really ready. Two years ago she moved out of the country for a year for a work opportunity, before she left and while she was away we talked every week, visited occasionally, and verbally confirmed that we were committed to each other (I question whether we really were, because either I would have quit my job and moved with her, or she would have chosen not to go).. 7 months into her work assignment, we found out she was pregnant, the last time we were intimate was xmas/new-year, she said she was still on the pill but it turns out this was not true. Weeks after the baby news, a woman she works with emailed me and said she has been having a relationship with her for months, which turns out was true. I confronted the situation and we went through some intensive counseling (together and individually), my emotional walls definitely crumbled a lot at this point, she decided to move back and have the baby here. This episode really clarified how important she is to me and how much I want to be with her, we confronted a lot of our relationship issues and renewed our commitment to each other. I actually have been able to put aside the trust issues /shock/hurt from the affair and have been quite happy, it seemed the same for her (and she verbally confirmed this many times). It has been about a year now, we bought a house together, and have improved our relationship/communication/closeness significantly. On our anniversary a few months ago we bought wedding rings and have been talking about eloping in Vegas. But the last few weeks I have sensed she has been somewhat reserved, I finally got her to open up a bit and she got out the “I love you but I’m not sure if I love you enough”, and that she feels comfortable in our relationship but wants the level of passion she felt in our (and other) new relationships.


My armchair psychological analysis is that her upbringing (absentee father, overbearing/codependent/overprotective mother), has lead her into our relationship where she feels comfortable/safe, with me as somewhat of a father figure. I have a very stable family but have always struggled with breaking through my own emotional wall. I too feel safe/comfortable in the relationship, and feel like we have really reached a new level of communication/love that neither of us had in previous relationships.


But maybe she really doesn’t feel this way and is trying to convince herself by “going through the motions”. Maybe she is just scared of commitment (me too?). Maybe I really can’t deliver the kind of passion/love she really needs. Are our levels of passion/happiness incompatible? Could it just be a case of “the grass is greener”?


I really want this relationship to work, for us and our child. I really want to put effort into making it work and to be happy. I don’t want us to repeat mistakes, I want us to grow emotionally together and be truly happy. But I also don’t want to drag her into the relationship, have her realize years from now that she really will never be happy with me


Am I being unrealistic? Is this something that we can work through (with more effort/counseling)? Or are we stuck with “we are who we are” and perhaps our relationship is doomed?


How much love is enough love to make a relationship work? And/or is the “quality” of that love that makes it enough?


Thoughts/suggestions/feedback would be appreciated!

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I think and I will state the obvious here that she looking for something that your not providing. I think what she said was a cry for help. Did she ever explain why she cheated on you? Why with another female? Was it about the sex? Do you take her out for dinner and dancing? Whats the spice like in your relationship? ect... I know you said she is a social person and your shy, but you might want to break out of comfort zone for one night a week, don't you think it's worth it. I don't think that you two still haven't gotten to the roots of her problems yet? Now you ask is love enough, well, no it's not. The other person has to want to be in that relationship in order for it to work and yes it takes two. Just tell her you still love her, tell her as many times as you can, try and hug her as often as you can. If you still love her, which I think you do, its worth fighting to save it. My personal philosophy is give everything a hundred percent into what I am doing. If I get rewards then great, but if it fails then I tried.

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