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In a weird place, don't know if we are breaking up or not


Ludwig

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I suppose I should start with some context. I'm 29m and she's 32f, we have been together for 5ish years now and living together for 4. We fight pretty regularly, I'd say our interactions are about 60/40 positive/negative. We rarely have sex these days, and we seem to blame each other for the reasons as to why that is... although admittedly I don't communicate my reasons to her as I see them as being either selfish or hurtful or both. I get a block and just go silent. This happens too when we're having arguments about the relationship. We could be kinda sexually incompatible, when we are having sex and I do something she doesn't like the feel of, it kills it for her and I get into a negative thought cycle and the whole mood dissolves.

 

Our communication seems to be the main issue here though. I can be quite afraid to voice my opinion to her as I don't quite know what her reaction will be. She can be quite temperamental, there was slight propensity of using violence towards me early on in our relationship but we talked this out and she now doesn't do this behaviour. She still does get aggressive sometimes with strangers, like in a road rage kind of way or if she encounters someone she perceives as being rude or -ish. I find she has a tendency to over-react, particularly when she feels I haven't communicated my plans or intentions for an envening.. things that deviate from our routine. We do a lot of stuff together outside the house, and at home the routines are pretty regular.

 

She is very spiritual and is getting increasingly involved in an organisation which she is learning from. It's secret and esoteric stuff which she can't tell me about, she is sworn to secrecy. I do know a bit about it and have supported and helped her along the way. I also know a lot of the values it espouses are generally positive, so I'm not worried about it's contents or effect it has on her or on me (I would feel like I was betraying her trust if I was to be more specific, sorry!) I have accompanied her on some other stuff that's not directly related to the secret group; I brought her to a guy to do shamanic journeying, to deal with past issues she had, and I participated in a sweat lodge retreat with her. We started attending a Buddist meditation group recently, it was something I wished to pursue and she was also interested in it, but we havn't been free to attend the last few weeks. I'm pretty much agnostic but I wanted to show her that I have a spiritual side, and I found the meditation to be really helpful in terms of relaxation and our communication.. there was no chance of a fight after coming away from the session! I'm going back to it this week on my own anyways...

 

Related to this however, is that she spends a lot of time on the internet and particularly in a private group of occult practitioners. One of the men in this group she has formed a connection with. He helped her deal spiritually with a betrayal by a couple she was friends with years ago. They have exchanged a letter or two, but she interacts with him on this forum a lot. She admitted to me on holiday recently that she had a crush on him, and has masturbated about him, even though she has no idea what he looks like! She felt really stupid and I forgave her, tbh I didn't really get angry or feel overly jealous or threatened cause I just kind of dismissed it as being kinda silly, which she called though it was too. The thing is I'm realising this deep meaningful communication is what she wants from me in our relationship and she's not getting it. I've told her I don't believe in a lot things she puts quite a bit of stock in; the tarot, astrology, these some other deterministic or fate based outlooks. I do have respect for tarot and to an extent astrology in terms of them being tools you can use to help see yourself or situations from another perspective, but I worry that she has just seen the ending of our relationship as being ordained by fate... and I feel it's not something I can question her on as it means challenging some of the fundamentals of her beliefs. I studied philosophy and anthropology in college and whenever I bring my perspective I have a tendency to relate it things I studied, but I think she thinks I'm just trying to undermine her beliefs so I try not contribute these perspectives. I think she might not approach me with this stuff for this reason too, but I haven't confronted her with any of this.

 

Anyway, this has all come to a head now, she said she wants to break up. Between the lack of sex and a lack of deep meaningful communication, she feels our relationship is dead. This was two days ago now. We're still living in the house together, still sleeping in our bed, still being physically affectionate to each other in our ways... I don't know what's going on!!! I still don't really believe it's happening and I won't until one of us leaves the house. I'm taking this rather calmly though, I don't know why I don't feel more strongly about this... she thinks I'm emotionally repressed and I guess to a certain extent I am. Doing some heavy reading on some self-help forums etc. I realised that I often think way more about how others think of me and I have tended to define myself in relation to that, rather than let myself be myself. Talking about this a few times over the last few weeks and she wants me to try counseling, but I don't really feel like I need it! Maybe when you guys read all this you'll see why but from my perspective I just can't understand what is going wrong, or why I have such a block on things. I tend to blame it on how she reacts to me, but that's not seen as legitimate from her perspective. That's my problem, she says. I don't know what to think, is she right or not??

 

I do want to stay with her, and am still very attracted to her, and I don't think our problems are insurmountable, it's just hard in the context of all that gone before it now. The only other explanation is that it's the internet friend she wants to be with, and there's more going there than I know about.. he lives in a different country so there's no physical cheating going on but it's still a thing that could have been the catalyst for this.

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Yeah, we have these recurring arguments all the time... But nothing seems to change. I generally get blamed for not making any efforts to talk to her, plan activities, initiate in the bedroom.. but I know she's tired from her quite high energy job, or she's absorbed in the internet and her studies, or she generally doesn't want to go out on weekends etc.

 

It seems really obvious what I need to do, but when I do I'm just met with resistance and a lack of reciprocity. She's starting a new job next week so maybe her mood will change.. but I can't stand that our relationship is dependant on her being in the right mood all the time! I feel like I'm not afforded the time of day to even influence this. Last time I asked her to go on a date night she refused, and she said she would do something for me for Valentine's this year instead...she brought me for breakfast and a walk. That was it. I had gotten her a present of jewellery which she didn't like and returned. I was okay with this at the time but it feels pretty sucky now.

 

I'm going to try the counselling number this evening, and me and her will no doubt talk about this tonight again. It's been really helpful writing all this down. Thanks for reading.

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