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Complicated situation


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My partner 38M and I 33F have been together for 6 years. We bought a home a year ago in a rural area, and  since then I have been feeling like something is missing in the relationship.

In the beginning things were great. But after a while I noticed that I was the only one to initiate sex and started to feel a little undesirable. I brought it up to him many times but nothing changed regardless of his promises to make an effort.

Then I noticed that I was the only one to do any housework, or deal with the mental load, keeping on top of anything we needed, knowing what needs to be done, he does chores if I ask him specifically but he doesn't take initiative. I started to feel like I didn't have a partner, someone to share the responsibility with. He doesn't suggest anything, going out, trips, activities but is happy to go along with anything I suggest.

Since before buying the house I felt like things were getting a little stale, I did everything from making special dinners, suggesting trips, date days, dressing up for sex to spice things up. I brought it up that he didn't show me he wanted me and he took that to mean that he was rubbish in bed. Since then he's developed a psychological problem and only lasts about a minute. He says he gets too nervous. It just feels like we can't be ourselves with each other, we're not close, don't share anything, basically the intimacy is gone and probably wasn't there in the first place.

Eventually I got frustrated and stopped trying. Since I stopped trying, I've noticed that we don't have sex at all, he doesn't kiss or hug me. I felt starved of affection and lonely. Then I started to feel indifferent. Then I started to resent it a little, now I don't even want him to be affectionate anymore. I feel like I've lost my attraction to him.

He's a nice guy, he's very responsible, he goes to work everyday, is a good provider, he's trustworthy, is very generous with gifts but I don't want material possessions, I want connection and passion. He'd rather pay for everything rather than put in real effort. I feel like he tries to make up for the lack of affection with material possessions which makes me feel guilty. He'd rather pay the pet insurance than put down fresh water or clean up after them, he'd rather buy groceries than make a meal, buy something for the house that I chose rather than choose it together, he won’t clean or do laundry, he doesn’t have the best personal hygiene, he’ll pick the easiest option for him, to pay for it to be done for him, that sort of mentality.

When I stopped trying, all we seemed to do was sit and watch TV every night and I'm so bored of it. He gets irritated if I try to do anything else that doesn't include him, a hobby or read or even look at my phone. He texts me all day everyday, we see each other every evening at home, he won’t go and do his own thing, see his friends, pursue any hobbies, I feel like I'm being transformed into something I don't want to be by this life. I feel isolated, stifled and pushed into a life I don't want. I lost my job recently (cuts due to post-covid losses) and I'm looking for new work (I have savings), and I know I wouldn't be able to afford a place of my own long term (savings won't last long).

I'm happy to do all of the chores and house stuff at the minute since I'm out of work, but it won't change when I find another job, I'll still have to do it all, I'm in an area I'm not familiar with, it would be extremely difficult to leave my pets behind, I'm the one they're bonded with the most and I would be worried he'd forget to give them water or look after them properly, but I just feel like something is missing and I'm wasting my time on this when I know that an important part of our relationship is over.

He’s always been overweight and I was very skinny when we first got together but since covid, I’ve gained weight, he encourages me to eat poorly, and tries to interfere if I try to workout. I feel like I don’t recognise myself and I’m losing sight of everything I was and wanted.

We don't even sleep in the same bed anymore, I feel awkward if we touch each other, It's like we're friends and that's enough for him. I love him but I don't think I'm in love with him anymore. I don't know what to do and I really don’t want to hurt him. I’m so over talking to him, writing him letters, begging and pleading for things to change, I've sickened my own self with the broken record. There's something a little disheartening about telling someone to want you and I'm not unattractive either. Should I accept being comfortable but loveless and sexually frustrated or do I risk it all to find meaning even though I'm well aware I may never find it? Things are getting strained (He’s become very passive aggressive with me) because I think he can feel I’m less invested in the relationship recently. I feel so unsure and guilty. Please help!

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22 minutes ago, lozz1 said:

Should I accept being comfortable but loveless and sexually frustrated or do I risk it all to find meaning even though I'm well aware I may never find it? 

No! You should not! 

What is life without love, deep meaningful love?

You are short changing your life. 

You need to talk to him and make it clear apologies without change behavior are mere words. 

Edited to add- To give you some insight into single life....

I'm not in love right now.  I'm in between loves, as i say.  lol 

To feel love with someone that loves & wants me back is a requirement

It's not the worst time of my life. At all!  I'm actually quite happy everyday. Yes. Every. Day. I wake up happy and I go to bed happy.  Sure life is still life and I have my challenges, too. but any minute that lightening will strike!

You have to believe in yourself and what you deserve. 

Edited by Lambert
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I agree with Lambert.  Why did you move and buy a house with him? These issues only came up in the last year? 

As far as covid weight -especially if you are unemployed make sure you do you -you work out - think outside the box if needed -and make your own food if what he eats isn't consistent with healtfhful eating/losing weight.

 

Edited by Batya33
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I was fooling myself I suppose, I thought everything got better once we were more settled, once we weren't saving for the mortgage. I really did want to believe that he would change. He really is a nice person, but I just think he let everything between us die. I know I can look myself in the eye and say I did enough before I gave up but I think he's the type that will always expect another chance. Nah, the sex stuff has been a problem for longer, but we've definitely grown apart more since we got the house, it's like we had a goal to work towards and now that's checked off, there isn't anything else and now there's no more excuses. We're just really good friends, so it seems.

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Yeah I actually do think I'd be happier as a single person. Surely I can't be the only one who's unhappy if there's such a lack of intimacy? Yeah good point, it's easier to get my old self back now rather than years down the line when I'm fatter and more unhappy. Thanks for the advice to both of you, really good points. 

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56 minutes ago, lozz1 said:

He really is a nice person

Is he?

According to you, he sabotages your efforts to become healthier, pouts when you want to spend time on your own hobbies, tries to text-tether you when you're not together...none of that sounds very nice. It sounds quite selfish. 

 I think you still have your blinders on. He might not be a horrible person, but he sure doesn't sound like a very good partner anymore. And your relationship is virtually already dead in the water. Not even sleeping in the same room?

OP. It's time to do the inevitable, and end this. Yes, it will hurt him. But is this not already hurting you? There's better out there. 

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2 hours ago, lozz1 said:

Since before buying the house I felt like things were getting a little stale, I did everything from making special dinners, suggesting trips, date days, dressing up for sex to spice things up.

OP, you need to get away from this ^ mentality of doing anything at all to force a relationship to work. You won't die if you are single, OK? I promise you'll be just fine. You've got to learn to walk away the moment you realize you are the mule pulling the whole cart solo.

Buying the house despite the above ongoing issues is why you are where you are now. More tied up in a messy situation.

Also, he is not a nice person at all. A nice man will come home and do his share of chores. Even a half way decent human being will make sure that animals are fed and watered. Sorry but when you are afraid that he will forget to feed/water the animals....you've really sunk to a special kind of low to still claim that he is a nice man. A nice man will be mindful of your needs, not just his own. Also seconding everything @MissCanuck said - he is passive aggressive and manipulative af. He has you tethered in more ways than one - stuck in a house, stuck on text, stuck unable to do anything without him. You feel isolated because you are being intentionally isolated and sabotaged so you don't get away from him.

My advice is get out and get away no matter how hard that is. While you are seeking out a new job - open your parameters to far far away from this guy to the best position that you can get. Meanwhile, if you have farm animals, start looking for new homes for them. Dogs and cats you can take with you, but it may take some searching for a rental that will accept all of you, so get on that as well.

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My husband also got complacent. He didn't prioritize our relationship. All he did was work and then go home and sit in the rocking chair (where we couldn't even sit next to each other) and read a book or watch TV. He came home from work so late he never ate dinner with me and our son. And he complained when I sat with him at the dinner table to keep him company while he ate his dinner at 8:45 pm. Every evening when he got home I'd greet him with a smile and ask him how his day was. He'd growl "sh*tty' and keep walking. Real nice.

I talked and talked and talked to him and he just didn't see any reason to change. He told me I needed to change by getting off his back. He became truly unpleasant to be around. And he blamed ME when I started spending time with my girlfriends. I would have rather spent time with him but apparently he didn't want me. Oh, and no sex either.

I divorced him. The first year I was on my own I made $11,000. Yeah, the entire year. And yet, I had my own (tiny) apartment that I shared with my son and we are every day and had all of the basics. My ex husband paid minimal child support but we made it. And keep in mind, I had a child to care for. But I felt so free! No more Mr. Cranky at home, no more asking and asking for his time or attention, no more being ignored or belittled.

If I can do it (and trust me, I am no superwoman), I bet you can too.

Edited by boltnrun
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Thank you all so much for the encouragement. I do feel like he's isolated me and got me into a mentality that just being nice, not aggressive, not physically abusive is enough. I think it's affected my self esteem over the years. I am probably better off, my plan will be to find new work, move out, and enjoy being free to work on myself. Thanks for all your advice. 

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20 hours ago, Parrotcake said:

We bought a home a year ago in a rural area

Was it this bad before you bought the house together? Whose idea was it? Since you co-own you'll have to work out the logistics and financial aspects.

As far as his withdrawal and lethargy, there's not much you can do. What you can do is live as roommates and be more specific about precisely what tasks you need help with.

For example he seems ok grocery shopping. Focus on specifics rather than talking at him or writing letters about lack of affection (particularly since you claim he's is unattractive to you). 

He seems complacent and you want him to change but without specific tasks he is ready willing and able to do, it will be difficult until you can make other arrangements. 

In the meantime see your physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Do you have health insurance?

 

  

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Sorry about this.  Nobody enjoys the friend zone, when they desire to be more than friends.
It looks like you have a series of changes (new house) that you'd hoped would create new steps in your relationship...this is totally normal.  However, if your spouse is only going for the ride most of the time, this will lead to resentment.  Not sleeping in the same bed is not what a couple signs up for in their 30's either.  Red flag.

Three questions to ask yourself...
What is keeping you in the relationship?
Would you like to start a family?

Do you honestly see things getting better after checking off the next relationship milestone? 

 

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30 minutes ago, smackie9 said:

Get a job, gain your independence, move on. 

For anyone reading the forum (men & women)

always have some independence.  Even when you are coupled and happily so, be your own advocate.

its so easy to give up our independence, but once lost, it's a lot of work to regain.  Even if it starts out from a loving place.

If you are thinking about becoming part of a one income household,  you have to agree to what this means and your role.

Do not allow your worth to be diminished once the honey moon is over.  And the way to that is to talk it out first. 

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To all reading Parrotcake's posting. 

 

Take her story to be a strong warning message.

 

Never make a major purchase such as real-estate with a person without either being married to them, or having a specific written, signed, witnessed and notarized agreement describing your joint ownership and how it will be handled if you break up.

 

I realize this doesn't help Parrot, but hope will prevent someone else from having a problem in the future. 

 

This isn't easy. One could even say, why have an agreement? That is betting your relationship will fail.

 

No, it is protecting both of you. 

 

Making a real-estate purchase, although an emotional act when a couple, Is a business action. If married, you both have an interest based in law. If simply living together, both need to protect themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Whoeveriam
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On 2/7/2022 at 2:51 PM, Parrotcake said:

... I do feel like he's isolated me  

Nobody can isolate you without physical force--or your permission.

Withdraw your permission. Pursue your hobbies, explore new interests, make new friends. When he complains, offer him the option of joining you or getting over it.

Really, what's the down side? You don't want him to pout? What if you learn to be okay with him pouting, because either it can motivate him to make some changes OR, you're too busy to notice all that much?

Your new behaviors can energize you to find the right activities, the right friends, the right work, and eventually the right home. Meanwhile, take pride in your resilience, invest in legal advice for best options to divide your household when you are ready, and the best steps to take in that direction.

Pursue your health, possible therapy, whatever it takes to reverse sinking into a hole that will only become more difficult to climb out of later.

Head high, and write more if it helps.

 

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