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Stay or go? If I stay, how can I improve this?


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I am looking for advice on this situation.


I am female and nearly 33. My partner is nearly 31. We've been together for almost 5 years. We've lived together for 4 years.


Here's the situation:

- We started off with a great relationship. He said some stupid things when we first met - he told me he'd slept with prostitutes in the past, but since he is a reformed drug addict (7 years sober) I chalked it up to his past inebriated behavior

- 6 months into our relationship I moved back to town to be with him (we had to have a long distance relationship for months 3-6 of being together). When I used his computer I saw a bunch of "escort" websites in the url field. He swore that he hadn't had sex with prostitutes but he masturbated to their websites.

- 1 year into the relationship I started walking in to him masturbating/using porn an hour or two after I'd attempt to initiate with him

- 1.5 years into the relationship I asked him to only watch "hollywood" porn and nothing with teenagers in it, he agreed. Our sex life continued to be decent.

- At multiple points in the following months after he agreed to "hollywood" porn I saw more teenagers and more third world country porn on his computer. I asked him to stop using porn because he couldn't honor our commitment and we needed to improve our relationship (and wouldn't be able to do this with his frequent, inappropriate and out of bounds porn use). He agreed but still made several returns.

- Our sex life slowly dropped off from 1.5 years into our relationship and onwards. It has since dwindled to once every 1-2 months


Other circumstances:

- About 1.5 years into our relationship my father who is a mentally ill alcoholic had a major accident that caused severe brain injuries. He was had a 7% chance of ever coming out of his coma but he survived. He was in the hospital for months (I visited him every day as there is no other family members in the province) and then he came to live with us for 5 months because he had nowhere to live. This put a huge strain on our relationship and I was quite difficult throughout this (developed insomnia and would rant for 1-2 hours because I was so out of it). My partner stuck with me through this.

- My partner's father developed lung cancer about 2.5 years into our relationship. It took his father a year to overcome it but he survived. This was obviously very stressful for my partner.

- My partner started law school 2 years ago at a top law school and he has been working long hours

- I developed a major illness 2 years ago and it took me a year to recover, I am just getting back to work now


My issues:

- My partner seems very resentful towards me and finally admitted to this a year ago. I have as a result made an enormous effort to be very kind to him

- My partner has been very disinterested in sex for about 1.5 years. He masturbates frequently, even leaves cum-stained socks next to the bed (yup). He often masturbates when I am out in the livingroom pretending I don't know what's going on.

- My partner has made various returns to pornography (those that I'm aware of). He even had videos of the "Naked News" on his computer - an old tv show where unattractive "anchors" deliver news stories without clothes on. He was using some reddit site where couples submitted videos of themselves having sex, which I found ironic because these people are obviously attempting to spice up their sex lives while my partner is totally shut down to ours.

- My partner is wonderful in so many ways. He has stood by my side through so much. He is very supportive generally. So I don't understand why he is completely okay with rejecting me regularly despite his awareness of my loneliness

- He is generally closed off emotionally. He keeps all electronic devices locked - when my laptop crashed he wouldn't even let me use his for urgent purposes.


What I have tried:

- I have tried initiating sex or fooling around every 1-3 days over a 6 month period. About half of these consisted of just no strings attached blowjobs (he has expressed that I am very good at these). He generally wouldn't turn me away but he wouldn't be that into it.

- I have tried having heart-to-hearts. A year ago he said that he'd turned away because I wasn't that into sex when I was sick. 6 months ago he said it was because of resentment. Then 2 months ago he said it had gotten boring... This is odd because I find he is more into vanilla sex than I am.

- I want to do couples counseling but it is prohibitively expensive... I am hoping to be able to afford this in a few months.

- After many months of initiating I've given up because I felt like he wasn't into it.


I don't think this should matter at all but to those who think it does, yes I'm very attractive. When we first started dating he expressed that I was far more attractive than he had ever expected his future life partner to be.


A few more things:

- I have always had excellent sex throughout prior relationships

- I am very close to his mother and sisters... I am financially entwined with his wealthy family

- I am turning 33 and wonder about if I want children

- My partner has expressed that he still wants children and marriage (I am very confused by this since he doesn't want sex).


I want happiness in my life and I am starting to feel so neglected that I feel sexually disconnected. I am surprised when I get hit on. I am also fiercely loyal and am not at all interested in having affairs.


Any advice would be very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I'm happy to provide more information.

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I dunno. The bit about him leaving cum-soaked socks just about sealed it for me.


All men will crack one off on the side, but when you're actually doing it with your missus in the house and leaving those nasty sounding socks by the side of the bed, I'd say that counts as dishonourable behaviour. As well as rather sexually immature behaviour.


Nothing wrong with a "touch" of porn, but he sounds like a bit of a porn addict, as it goes.


I'll say this time and time again, personally - it's easy to find men who will treat you "right", you know there's millions of men who can tick the boxes. But it's the "wrong" things they do which dictate where things go. To me, if I was leaving cum-stained socks by the side of the bed, I'd start to wonder whether I was actually any good for this woman. It sounds as if things have got rather unhealthy.


Cracking one off because she went away for a couple of days, even to porn, is perfectly understandable. Even watching porn together and all that. But the socks thing and the you in the other room thing. Nah, that's not healthy sounding to me.


Sex is a very important part of the relationship. Sounds like yours has broken down, and I must say I think you could probably find someone more suitable. This guy doesn't sound particularly special. Forgive me for being blunt. Sexually, I'd say he isn't treating you with enough respect.

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Thank you Zaphod. He is wonderful in many ways - when my father was in the ICU my partner was in the family waiting room every day, just to support me. My partner also encouraged me to apply to grad school.


He has been kinder to me than any other man (in every way except for in the bedroom) and that's why I'm having a hard time resolving this. I don't have a childhood family, his family has become my family. So I am very confused about what to do.

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I should mention that for about a year after my dad's accident I yelled at my partner a lot. I was really out of it and my partner's porn use really bothered me. There were a number of occasions where I literally walked around our home ranting. He says he is hesitant with me because of this... But I haven't had this behavior in a long time.


You mentioned that this is sexually immature behavior. May I ask what you mean by that? I am curious. Thank you again

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Hmmm... sounds like it's a porn/sex problem specifically, as it goes.


See a sex therapist together, maybe?


I have thought about that... I am concerned because I thought that sex therapists generally use porn to help couples get their sex lives back on track haha... This would be counter-intuitive for us. I would actually love to watch some "ethical" porn with him and would have been open to this before, but there's been too much lying and secrecy around his degrading porn for me to want to open that door.

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I think your partner sees you as Ms Right Now and not Mrs Right. He's got plenty of issues, as do you, but really I think he's checked out and this relationship is over.


It's up to you to accept it and be strong enough to walk away. If I were you, I would get individual therapy. You sound more emotionally dependent on each other than in love.

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I think your partner sees you as Ms Right Now and not Mrs Right. He's got plenty of issues, as do you, but really I think he's checked out and this relationship is over.


It's up to you to accept it and be strong enough to walk away. If I were you, I would get individual therapy. You sound more emotionally dependent on each other than in love.


Thank you for the response Ms. Darcy. I would think he isn't taking our relationship seriously enough but he is the one who has talked about our future together the most (by far). I never saw myself as the marrying and having children type but he made it sound like a great idea for a wonderful life together. He has talked about it less in the last year however.

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Thank you - totally agree about the therapy. I've been in therapy since my father's accident. Having him living at home was extremely challenging, getting him to brush his teeth, not drink, etc. He is young but severely mentally ill and the brain injuries impacted this.

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