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STUCK in the mud and need 3rd party advice - Please Help!


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I'm hoping to get some meaningful advice as I am not sure how to handle the relationship I am in. Thank you for reading!


I am a 40 y/o male and have been in a relationship with a 39 y/o female for over 12 years now. Never married, no children, nor do either of us want children. I clearly stated when we started dating that I would never get married (my personal choice, that's not the issue here) yet I believe she brushed it under the rug as I always get bothered why we cant just get married. Same pressures from her family, as they obviously want their daughter to be married off. I can understand this.


The issue is that I have been relatively unhappy for the majority of the time we have been together. It sounds easy to just say break it off, but there are several reasons why I feel I cannot just walk away. Had I done so in the first few years, it would have been easier, but now that I have let this drag on for many years, I find myself struggling to do anything. She does not feel the same way. She appears to be content in the relationship (except the non-marriage part) and that just makes it that much harder. We do not have a sexually active relationship (maybe once/twice a year) primarily because of her. This really bothers me, as I am a very sexually driven person. Believe it or not, I continue to stay monogamous, although unhappily so. I'm pretty certain it's not a matter of performance, as I have usually been complimented in prior relationships. Her on the other hand, I would say is about as exciting as watching paint dry in the bed, when it ever happens. I have had great partners in the past, so I have good experiences to compare to. She would prefer to 'cuddle' on the couch, which I now just get irritated by, as it will never lead to anything. We also don't really share any common interests. She is a home-body and comes home from work and watches TV (20 or so shows she dvr's so never at a shortage) until she goes to bed. I do not watch any of these shows, nor really have interest to. I'd rather watch sporting events, however, I wouldn't call myself a sports freak (I don't do fantasy, etc.). I also like to go out and have drinks with friends, and she has zero interest in this. I understand this, as why would she want to go out with me and my friends, but we've been together for 12+ years, and many people I hang out with have never met her (they call her snuffleupagus). But she doesn't really have any friends of her own that she goes out with. On occasion, an after work drink with co-workers, but not often as she isn't one to drink. I am a relatively quiet person and can't say I'm much of a conversationalist when I'm out, so she claims she doesn't want to go out with me as I wouldn't talk to her. She is also a HUGE pet person. She had a dog when I met her, we got a 2nd dog a couple years into the relationship, and now she recently went out and got a 3rd, against my permission, while I was out of town. I don't dislike dogs, but more than 2 is just ridiculous. I have also grown to become less accepting of them, as they seem to drive me up the wall sometimes, but I digress. Because of the dogs, we are not able to travel when we want. I have a job where I am fortunate to travel and am allowed to fly someone out for the weekend. She cannot join me because of the dogs so I often just bring out a friend if it's somewhere worth going, which I personally find pathetic. Who wouldn't want to travel?


I don't put on a false front, meaning, I think it is pretty clear that I am not generally a happy person. She blows this off as my mother is a negative person, and she thinks it is hereditary. I can see some of it, but not entirely. I am tending to find I am happiest when I am not with her and out with others, which I know is not a healthy relationship, but given the time invested, there are several reasons I can't just walk away, which are as follows:


My biggest hesitation is that she is not in a position to support herself if she were on her own. She does not earn a wage to where she could support herself if she were on her own. I purchased a house about 4 years ago, which is in my name and I pay for 100% of the mortgage and bills. She just has her monthly car payment and couple credit cards which she pays, yet barely has enough to stay afloat. I also require her to pay for all the groceries; however, is only about $100 every 2 weeks, as we generally eat out 4-5 times a week (and I pay for) I'm not angry about the living expenses situation, as I intended to pay for everything. The point is that if we were to go separate ways, she can barely survive now, how would she survive if she needs to pay rent somewhere? She does not have family in the area.


Secondly the dogs. One of the main reasons I bought the house, was for her and the dogs. I find that this was a big mistake, as she is now accustomed to a decent living style, and if we were to split, would likely have issues finding anywhere that takes 3 dogs (no, she would never give any of them up).


I believe I have enabled her to the point of no return. She is very comfortable in the situation she is in, and I cannot see how I can just pull the rug out from under her. I have never had a heart-to-heart with her, and just can't find myself to do so. I am just settling, and am very unhappy about it. I wish some strapping young lad would come along and "steal" her away from me, which thoughts like these make me realize just how much I need to get out. Or should I just deal with it?


Sorry so long winded, as I could probably write an entire book on the situation. Any advice is much appreciated !

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Well....you just said all these horrible things and negatives about her, yet YOU have been living like this for 12 years and haven't left her despite being free to do so literally at any point in time. Does not compute. Sorry, but it sounds like you might be a bit full of it. No sane person would stay in a relationship like that for 12 years and foster dependency to boot, aka I intended to foot all the bills.


Anyway, if you want out, then give a separation settlement so to speak. Meaning find her a place to rent and prepay the rent for a year. Seems only fair under the circumstances. It will give her a year to get a better job and find better financial footing while you can walk away guilt free.

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I have never had a heart-to-heart with her, and just can't find myself to do so.


This is a big mistake.


First of all, forget the idea of sucking it up and just dealing with it - that's not the best idea for you or anyone, believe it or not. Well, maybe for the dogs, but that's it!


Second - some things about her you may need to accept as just a difference from you - and not something to disrespect her for (I don't mean that you are actively disrespecting her - but that you have lost respect for her) or justify you allowing your friends to be rude towards her behind her back (calling her Snufflophagus, etc). The fact that she's an introvert - that's not a bad thing - it's just different from you. Yes, if you go out together and you don't talk to her or make conversation - it might feel boring and awkward for her. Why don't you make an effort to make some conversation with her so she'll enjoy being out with you instead of just saying "I'm not much of a talker, that's just how it is." She needs to change - but you can make some changes too, right? Also, not everyone likes to travel. It might be unusual but it's not a personal fault - it's just a difference from you.


You have to talk to her. It's not fair to anyone to avoid having this conversation. If you are this unhappy - have this many issues - and you won't even communicate with her - that's a huge fault with YOU. How do you expect to make any relationship work if you won't communicate? It won't work. I know communicating can be difficult for some people - but you have to get over it and start learning how to do it.


You absolutely have to tell her how you feel - and you have to tell her that you are seriously considering ending the relationship so she understands how important it is to listen to your concerns. And together - you can work out a compromise (on the social stuff, and on her travelling to join you occasionally) and you can work out what the problem is with the sex issues. Has she completely lost her drive? Is she willing to work on it? Is she willing to be open with you about what she likes and doesn't like? Is she willing to make an effort?


Communicating is your first step here.

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