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the love has changed - is there hope?

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Apologies if I ramble on, never had to do this before and find it awkward pouring my heart out to complete strangers...


I have been with my partner for 12 years, there was an instant attraction that we both felt, and while we are not married we may as well be, our relationship has had it's up's and downs we are (or at least I thought we were) very happy together.

Her career is doing great and I've always supported her fully (even though she works 60+ hours a week) This year we sorted out our finances (they were in a mess but are controllable now) and fixed up our home so it looks great.

here's the problem... Our sex life has been steadily declining over the past 3 or 4 years to the point where when we did have sex there was no emotion, the quicker it was over the better seemed to be the call of the day, foreplay did not exist at all. I felt she only did it because I initiated, this always made me feel bad and I would just lie next to her frustrated for another few months. I've always put this down to her being tired and streesed from work but even when I tried to be extra romantic on her days off she would say that she knew why I was doing it and that put her off the mood. This has been a problem for me because I still have a strong sex drive.

Last week she told me that she is no longer physically attracted to me but still loves me 'like a brother' and wants to be with me... from what I can get out of her, and it's very hard to get a dialouge on the subject, it appears she wants to change our relationship so that we are 'good friends', like sleep in separate rooms but share all the other parts of our life. She says she has not been interested in looking for anyone else. I love her more than ever and she knows this, I'm so confused and mixed up, all I want is a 'normal' loving relationship and doesn't that include intimacy and lovemaking once in a while? I really can't imagine life without her. If it wasn't for this damned sex issue our lives would be great, I'm going thruogh so many emotions, hurt, fear and anger, sadness, whenever I try to talk to her about it I end up saying something mean and instantly regret it or bursting into floods of tears.

I suggested councelling last night but she instantly said 'no, it's a waste of time'. This morning she said I could book a councellor, but i'm not sure how much conviction was in her voice, she's been very calm throughout this whole thing, while I've been an emotional trainwreck.

My boss sent me home today as I was so upset, what do I do? is there any chance we can rekindle our passion, will she ever regain those lost feelings, can I live life without any sexual contact or am I better to give in and move on?

I have no idea what to do next!

Someone, anyone please help!

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Sad, oh god! When my current boyfriend broke up with me last feb. I felt my world falling apart, he came crawling back 2 nights later but i still felt like the biggest and saddest idiot in this world...How could he do that to me? After all we had shared, after how I loved him, after everything I gave him?...mind you our relationship of almost 2 years is a NEWBORN compared to one of 12!


This is the hardest thing I can imagine anyone in love going through. Spending over a decade together and then someone falling out of love.


Sweetie, by now I don't think there is much you can do other than to face it. It's not like she is hinting it, or incinuating it. She flat out told you she is not IN love with you anymore. Although she may love you, loving and being in love is so different and far apart from being anywhere close to the same emotion. How someone falls out of love after 12 years, I don't know. And although you may be willing to switch heaven and earth around, and pull the highest mountains for her and to save your relationship...it does not seem she's willing to do the same. She doesn't even want to go to counseling. It's like she's telling you "Im sure of this, don't even try"...


It would help to know if you have talked to her about this since and if she holds on to these statements still. If she is still on the same boat I can only tell you that its best you two don't live together, and to really try and occupy all your free time. I cant even imagine where you start moving on from 12 years, but you obviously can't cling on to all this hurt. Please keep us posted so we can further try and help you!

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Hi there,

I think you should take her word and book that counselor. As long as she is willing to try, there is some hope.


You say that the other parts of the marriage are ok. I wonder one thing though. Do you still flirt with your wife? Touch her and play with her---not only when you want sex. If you only do it when you are in the mood then that is what is bothering her too---feeling like just a sexual release to you. Try touching and playing ( teasing her playfully--make her laugh) without looking to get sex out of it and see what happens.

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Hi there,


Well I cetrtainly wouldn't agree with Schatziek that your relationship is doomed. First look at the positives. She still has strong feelings for you, wants to stay with you, your relationship is graet in every area except for the sex.


Yes you should definitely see a counsellor. She may sound half hearted about it but I would not read too much into that, most people are wary of counselling until they get into it.


I have been in a similar situation to yours, after a number of years the intimacy died. It is difficult to get it back but certainly not impossible. Book your counselling now, don't try and convince your partner to be more enthusiastic about seeing one, the counsellor will get her involved in the process. Good luck and let us know how you go.

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  • 1 month later...

sorry not posted sooner, it's been about a month down the line, life has turned itself upside down and I'm now extremely sad and tired. One minute I'm doing ok, being positive, planning a new life then the next I'm melancholic and in a daze, not knowing who I am or what I'm meant to do!

A little update:

After the advice given here, we talked some more and she definitely didn't want to seek help or advice, or even work things out... (waste of money, apparently)

I left for a week to give her space & time to think and when I got back we talked a little more, she definitely has no intimate feelings for me whatsoever. When I suggested trying to start from the beginning again she put it in plain, easy to understand english 'she doesn't fancy me anymore' doesn't think she has for several years and can't see things changing. so thats that I guess, I now have to try and find a way of moving on, damn hard as it pains me to see her and not be able to show any feelings towards her, can anyone suggest how you can stop loving another person? If I hated her I think things would be easier but damn it I don't!


Due to personal circumstances I have nowhere else to move to permanently (I gave up a hell of a lot to be with what I thought was my best friend and soulmate) so for the present am still in the 'marital house' she works long hours and I spend almost all my free time away at some friends houses so contact has been minimal, I started off by figuring that if I leave her alone she might find time to think about what we had what she's giving up etc but I think all it's done is confirm that she wants out.


She went out about 2 weeks ago with her friend and came back late & drunk, woke me up when her friend called and hard as I tried not to I heard them talking about some blokes they had met in the club, that has to have been one of the most heart wrenching things I have ever endured. I asked her the next day if she could at least keep things not so in my face but she was quick to let me know it was none of my business anymore and she could do as she liked and I was being selfish because I was always away 'enjoying myself' every weekend, oh how I wish that had been true! I have never been so miserable in all my life! thank god I have friends who are supportive, hasn't been much fun for them..

on the upside, there are days where I feel good about myself and not a total failure... I'd like to think that as time goes on there will be more days like that, god I hope that it does get easier!

anyway thanks to any who reads my sad tale and if theres only one thing I've learned from all this then it's to keep the lines of communication open all the time... It may be too late for this relationship but maybe I will eventually be able to use what i've learned in a future relationship... the thought of having to start dating again terrifies me!

thanks again,



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I'm sorry for what you're going through.

Honestly, as much as you love the gal and you might be strapped for cash, you need to find your own place. You can't let her have a relationship with you, but not. That doesn't make any sense. Also, I have a feeling once you find your own digs and (try very hard to) move on with your life, she'll change her tune pretty quick. Right now she's taking advantage of you and the situation. Have some balls and stand up to this by leaving. During this time take care of your health and career. Pick up some hobbies. Give her the freedom to find out what's out there----I'm sure she'll be shocked and come running back. And when she does, tell her you want to go to counseling together. If she doesn't want to, say goodbye.

Also, I'm wondering why you two never bothered to get married in 12 years? It doesn't sound like you two were interested in making more of a commitment, other than being friends. Are you two afraid of the permanence and the responsibilities of a commitment? Be honest with yourself. Worrying about intimacy problems before you make a real commitment to a partner is sorta like putting the cart before the horse. And maybe in a way you should feel lucky, because she doesn't sound like she's able to be in a committed relationship, since she can't even communicate or work on serious issues with you. If that is the case, count your blessings and move on.

Good luck!


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thanks for advice, I know I have to move on, it's just trying to find a suitable place, there are underlying circumstances involved which I don't think are relevent to the topic.

Bottom line, I have to move on, I do know this but there are certain limitations as to where I can stay...


marriage: we practically were married, the only thing we didn't do was actually spend the money and tie the knot officially. We lived together, everything was in joint names, bank accounts, mortgage, loans, we did loads together (when we could afford it), we just didn't feel the need for marriage, we got engaged but both decided that we didn't need the certificate, same went for children neither of us were particularly bothered about having them, then her career picked up... it's not that uncommon, is it?

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Hi there,

I'm sorry that things did not work out. I know you wanted it to, but sometimes things are out of our control.


You will move forward and you will heal..it might take some time...but you will get there. I have learned that with each break up we learn something new about ourselves and about relationships and we take this to our next relationship. Maybe his lady was not the right one for you, I know that's no consolation now, but the door is now open for new possibilities for you. This time you could actually meet someone who will love you the way you need, you just have to get past this time in your life and you will.


Keep your chin up

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Sure, there are many people that live together and do all the things that married people do but they aren't officially married. A lot of people would argue that it's just a marriage certificate, and it doesn't guarantee anything. Many people take marriage lightly. But I guess I'm old-fashioned in the sense that I see marriage as the ultimate commitment to each other. No more testing the waters to see if things will work out; you are (supposedly) in it for the long haul and hopefully will learn to work things through when problems arise. That is just my opinion.


As far as your circumstance, I think your girlfriend wants her cake and eat it to, and she will continue to get it as long as you continue the arrangement you are in now. Nothing will change unless you take some action, but maybe you feel if you stay, that you still have some kind of hold on the relationship or you feel safe, even if you are miserable. But I dont see anything changing soon if you do remain where you are.


Take care, Michele

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