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At what point do you give up? :( Bf won't say he loves me & after 3 years, says I'm bad at sex


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Background, me (26F) and my boyfriend (32M) have been together for about 3 years. However, our relationship escalated quickly as we moved in together after only a few months & then COVID lockdown happened & we spent every waking minute together for a good year or so. Been through job changes, moves, etc. There are many positives to him & we get along great, but since this is an advice forum, perhaps the post may come across as negative. The only thing to note, is that generally he can be very judgmental & critical, even with gifts so that now special events like his birthday next week are stressful & psychologically taxing trying to think through every way he can interpret anything. He recognizes this is a character trait of his stemming from his upbringing & tries to keep it in check.

 

So, our relationship was going pretty great for the first 2 years. Then, my BF started talking about how he the best part was over because of the honeymoon phase & how the good parts only last 6 mo - 2yr. I feel like that's a bit of a defeatist attitude & self-fulfilling prophecy.... sure enough we've been having loads of problems in the last 6 months or so. Side note: he says attraction isn't the issue, I'm 122lbs & very fit with a nice body (without going into more details). I've never had complaints from any previous partners even in committed long-term relationships and/or men with similar "equipment".

 

The biggest two issues, which are especially large because we are planning to move across the country in 2 months, so it would be nice to resolve them before that level of commitment.

My BF hasn't told me he loves me yet. He knows (or at least did know, but he's always forgetting things & insisting he never knew) that with a rough family background, I grew up never saying ILY or being told. The only 3 men to ever say it to me were drunk, in the midst of sex, took it back later, using me, or some combination. One time about a year ago, we were drinking and my current BF accidentally started to say it but cut himself off & I got upset and told him I wanted him to say it sober so I could know he meant it. He said he'd thought it often but just hadn't said it (and has his own issues from the opposite kind of family where ILY was said often but usually as a front/performance).... that was the last we spoke of it 😞 I don't know how to prompt him to say it or discuss this with him. I don't know how I can ever believe him saying he loves me if I tell him I want him to say it. He even brought up marriage at one point, but we hadn't even said that yet. Later he said he wouldn't marry me until I was at least 29 so my brain was developed enough to make that kind of commitment. (***???) Now he says he doesn't believe in marriage at all. I'm not obsessed with marriage, but it would be nice if the relationship were headed that direction at some point or if I could at least know he loves me. He says he cares & wants to be with me & isn't afraid to sign another lease or discuss buying a house, but has not mentioned the "L" word. Advice on how to broach the topic? Or thoughts on why he'd want to keep moving forward in a rather serious, committed relationship if he doesn't love me? This has been on my mind for more than a year now & has made me contemplate ending things.

I love my BF. I love having sex with him, it isn't perfect but I enjoy it and find myself feeling satisfied almost always. My BF originally was enthused as well & very into the sex. His interest got lower with time (which he says is natural, especially for men... another self-fulfilling prophecy??) & he often acts annoyed with me coming onto him & says I want sex too often. The rejection hurts a good deal, especially when he ends things in the middle of "activities" because, for example, I didn't want to do it in the closet (he complained I lacked spontaneity) or if I pause to point out something like the fan being off or the cat getting into something (because clearly I'm distracted & not into the passionate moment like him). He occasionally voiced things he did not like, such as I clawed too much (I stopped clawing him) or I don't french kiss enough (so I intentionally do this a lot now) & he didn't want to do it with the lights off (which I like on occasion) because then he wouldn't be aroused, so we haven't done this in years. Which in my opinion, shows my ability to change.
He wants me to communicate openly, but if I even mention something I think could be different, he says we shouldn't do it all together (we've never done it in the shower & he refused doggy style for 2 years because I didn't like the tilted/high angle he likes to do it from). He was never very into handy things & for years basically won't let me put my hands on it at all. A few months ago after repeated fights & random conflicts, I got him to admit that there was an underlying issue & he confessed he was dissatisfied with the sex, mostly because it was boring/repetitive & not enough BJ's. He will exclusively be the dominant one, so I suggested we do more positions but he rarely initiates them, so I'm not sure how the boring/small set of regular positions is my fault or how to fix it. As for BJ's, I told him I was open to doing that more often if he were willing to help me initiate or ask me to do it (can be stressful for me from past traumas). He has not asked me to even once since then and I made sure to initiate this without prompting I think 4-5 times now. And has begun adding a new complaint almost every time we do it. I cum too fast, I cum too slow, jealous of me liking men in videos, sex should be more spontaneous, we should schedule it in advance to work with his routines, I'm allegedly a starfish, I move my hips too much, I don't do well on top, don't get wet fast enough/too much effort, sex shouldn't always want it hard & fast (but he thinks I'm not into if I'm not loud for slow/gentle sex), says he felt like he was raping me (when I was playfully resisting which has been a normal but irregular part of the dom/sub situation), etc.
He even has an issue with me doing actions that are "for him" in bed .... but also complains that I don't do enough to satisfy him & improve & says I'm a selfish lover & he's a giver. He is not delicate, tactful, or gentle with these complaints. A few weeks ago, he initiated sex but seemed off and I asked if he wanted to do it or was only doing it for me and he said "we might as well now because your period is coming up" then continued coming on to me. When I tried to reciprocate, he pushed my hands away, pulled away from my bodily kisses, and then in the midst of making out he cringed & flinched like he was disgusted & told me not to have my mouth so wide. I ended this half-assed attempt at sex & brought up how he makes so many complaints that I no longer feel comfortable.

 

Since then, it has been 3 weeks (WAYYY long for us) and he told me that he was fine giving me time & space to work through "my" issues but has since gotten mad at me for being upset & distant and says he is uncomfortable about my discomfort. I've tried talking with him at least 3 times to resolve this & each time he just tells me more about how bad I am at sex & how I'm doing it wrong (his exact words) & adds more insults/complaints to the list. He suggests that I'm insensitive & selfish because I'm not willing to change. I told him that that's too long of a list to change & that just because he likes something better, doesn't mean I'm bad or wrong. His proposed solution is that when I'm comfortable enough to have sex again, he teaches me how to have sex (-_- his words exactly) & that we watch porn & I imitate the porn stars & he gives feedback so I can improve. I don't know how to relax & ignore all the pressure he's putting on me & insults he given me knowing that there is so much he dislikes about me. He doesn't want to end things though but I don't get why. If I was sooo bad in his opinion, why didn't he end it before spending years with me??? 😕 Now I'm invested and I love him and I want to have sex with him, but I find it difficult to feel desired & wanted when he is seeming to be impossible to please.

Do you believe this is the best solution? Have any better ideas? Do you think there's something more to the issue? Any tips on how to ignore all the judgement & get it out of my headspace? Is it worth the stress & effort to "improve" every single action when it feels like he's using me just for his pleasure & wants me to just be a piece of flesh that suits him perfectly?

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I think he's watching too much porn and stuck in a different fantasy world. I'm sorry to tell you that. Don't move away with him anywhere. I'd reconsider the relationship as his version seems a bit cartoony, disingenuous and pessimistic.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, johsette said:

 we moved in together after only a few months

Sorry this is happening. Too much too soon. Sadly he treats you like a dog in obedience school. Insulting and hurting you until you do what he wants.

Do not move around with him anymore. Make plans to work harder and make more money to get your own place.

He's an abusive jerk. You need to focus on extricating yourself from this not on pleasing him or fixing him.

Edited by Wiseman2
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Posted (edited)

HE DIDN'T SAY ILY. So he doesn't love you. If by 2 years he doesn't, he won't.

HE TAKES YOU FOR GRANTED.

HE KEEPS ON CRITICISING YOU like a parent?!! He sees and brings out the worst in you.

He disrespects you. I mean comon, wait till you're 29 yo?!!! The ***?? And he wants to teach you how to have s*x?!!

This is way too much. He really doesn't treat you like an equal partner.

Honestly, I would suggest you break up with him and stop being treated so disrespectfully. You can't and won't change him. It doesn't matter if you love him or not (and he doesn't even love you...). Seems he keeps on taking and taking from you in this relationship and asking you to be something you're not. While he doesn't give anything himself really.

Stop accepting being treated like a spare gf. Many men would treat you decently out there and would tell you ILY within a few months... Otherwise, you're wasting your time. He won't even consider you in the marriage decision, and you want to marry someone who doesn't love you?!

OP, I'm sorry to say. This is not what healthy romantic love is like. You need to love yourself more than this man and relationship to let go of the fantasy you have of them and give yourself the chance to find better love.

You can do much much better. And you don't deserve his sick treatment. You can do much much better.

Edited by DarkCh0c0
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Guest Anonymous
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, johsette said:

His proposed solution is that when I'm comfortable enough to have sex again, he teaches me how to have sex (-_- his words exactly) & that we watch porn & I imitate the porn stars & he gives feedback so I can improve.

Can you hear how insulting and disrespectful that is? He doesn't seem to like very much about you at all and thinks he can mould you into some kind of real-life porn fantasy. 

There are plenty of men who are capable of saying they love their partners and able to work through intimate problems without resorting to endless criticism and put-downs. Why are you sticking around? This guy is subjecting you to emotional abuse. 

Edited by poorlittlefish
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, johsette said:

He doesn't want to end things though but I don't get why. If I was sooo bad in his opinion, why didn't he end it before spending years with me???

Because he's jerk. He has the benefits of a gf (you pay rent with him, cook, sex, ect.) without him lifting a finger for you. He also won't leave because it's difficult to find women who would put up with his abusive/trash behaviour.

That's why. It's not about you. It's about him having to start over.

I'm very sorry you are going through this. It's time to give up as you call it. I would suggest you distance yourself and block him asap after the break up. Seek support from friends and family (idk if he managed to isolate you from them, but seek that support when you can). He might beg, plead, guilt trip you, make fake promises, or even go as far to pretend to say ILY, but you need to go. You need to look out for your heart and best interests cause he doesn't give 2 cents about them.

You deserve better and can do better girl. Believe in yourself and that inner voice that brought you here. Life can be better and happier.

Edited by DarkCh0c0
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Posted (edited)

Break up, he’s a selfish and cruel lover. 
 

Or stay and die a mental death from a thousand paper cuts. 
 

(Like, even if he’s awesome in many, many ways, you two are sexually incompatible). 

Edited by 1a1a
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5 hours ago, johsette said:

Later he said he wouldn't marry me until I was at least 29 so my brain was developed enough to make that kind of commitment.

What kind of loser dates a girl with an undeveloped brain?

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Why do you tolerate this sort of treatment from him? Don't kid yourself it's because he's a lost puppy with his dysfunctional family and doesn't know any better and you're the heroine who can lift him up out of that past and train him how to love and trust and treat people with respect. Or that deep down he loves you and cherishes you ..... he just "can't" show it.  Please.  Figure out why you benefit - is it because it confirms for you you don't deserve better? Because you like the challenge of jumping through hoops to win the prize that is him -and if he loved you back you'd get bored? Because you're afraid of being alone?

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, johsette said:

Is it worth the stress & effort to "improve" every single action when it feels like he's using me just for his pleasure & wants me to just be a piece of flesh that suits him perfectly?

Absolutely not.

You say there are "many positives" about him--perhaps there are. But no amount of positives outweigh the negatives that you've shared here. He is awful. 

5 hours ago, johsette said:

Now I'm invested and I love him and I want to have sex with him, but I find it difficult to feel desired & wanted when he is seeming to be impossible to please.

Uninvest yourself. Chalk these last few years up to experience, break up with him, and move on.

Don't make the "sunk cost" mistake of wasting even more time in a bad situation simply because you've already spent three years in it.

There is more to life!

Edited by Jibralta
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He sounds like a selfish jerk and ego maniac. Especially with bed comments. To teach you sex by only cattering to what he likes otherwise no sex? You allowed him to talk to you way too much. So, in return he doesnt respect you. And thinks you are some kind of doll to suit his needs.

"6 months- 2 years" is also the time when our "rose colored glasses" fall off. So we see the true version of the person who we are with. What you get now is the true version of him. Selfish and egotistical guy. That keeps you there for convenience. Not because he loves you or even wants to marry you. Dont buy a house or commit to somebody like that.

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Yup dump him. Girl this is only convenience, without any real obligation to you. You are his roommate/share the rent,  hangout, have occasional sex. Talk is just that... talk and not to be taken as promises. He uses talk about the future as a carrot on a stick to just keep you around. After 3 years he doesn't love you yet? he never will. 

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Posted (edited)

Outside of articulating the words ILY, does he act lovingly towards you?   I understand the importance of needing to hear him say it, but his behavior towards you is anything but loving.  Whether he loves you or not is shown by his actions towards you.

It sounds as if his demands in bed is nothing more than moving the goal posts.  My guess is you could continue to adjust to meet his demands, but the goal posts will continue to move further, and you'll never get it right. . according to him.   He sounds like he's playing some cruel game with you.

 Do you want a life time of this?   Or are you waiting for him to be someone entirely different than he his.  What you have is standing right in front of you.

Believe you deserve someone who adores you.

Edited by reinventmyself
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My first thoughts are he is an abusive jerk, he is now bored of you as he said himself, and you should look into getting tested for STIs. His facade is fading now, and it's escalating, and in general these things tend to continue to escalate in these situations. Actually, booking that appointment with your doctor or a clinic would be the thing I suggest you do first. And while you are there, ask if there is someone they can connect you with to talk to about this. I can guarantee you that if you were to share this information  they would be seeing red flags for you being in a high risk situation. This isn't a healthy sexual nor romantic relationship. 

You mentioned you have a history of gravitating towards abusive partners and you are carrying trauma from previous experiences. Sadly, it seems you have found yourself in another unhealthy situation. The best thing you could do is invest in yourself going forward. Get all the support you can, and get out of this first. He won't do it, he isn't a good person and will continue to use you for his benefit as long as it suits him. You are going to have to leave. 

 

 

 

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Like @DarkCh0c0and other have said, he "keeps you around" because you allow him to abuse you. I bet you even tell him you love him! Why should he give that up? He knows the chances of finding another woman who doesn't feel great about herself and who will accept his abuse is very slim.

You describe your body as being one that men seem to like, but what about you? Why don't you feel good about yourself? You know you don't have to keep seeking and staying in relationships with men who treat you poorly. Staying and trying to "get" these men to love you won't cure childhood trauma. It actually makes it worse.

He isn't going to "change" because he has no reason to. He's getting everything he wants. So you can think about what YOU want. A partner who will always find fault with you and who deliberately seeks out and criticizes what he knows will hurt you the most? Or a loving, caring and supportive partner who will love you as you are and who will actually tell you he loves you? Your choice which you prefer.

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The way he treats you and the way you allow yourself to be treated is really messed up.

Why are putting up with this? Why don't you think you deserve better?

Being alone would be better. 

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You can clearly do better, much much better than this dolt. Quit wasting your life on a romantically stunted fool, this level of disdain for you is astounding.

 

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12 hours ago, johsette said:

me (26F)

You are in prime time dating age. Young yet mature enough. Run from this freak. Your life will be much better with a man who love and respects you.

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17 hours ago, Tinydance said:

When someone loves you, it's very easy to say "I love you", it just comes out naturally. If after three years he can't say it, that must be because he doesn't. And when you love someone, you don't constantly put them down and tear them apart. Look at how he treats you. That isn't love.

Exactly, admitting 'love' to your partner should come easily. As you DO feel it for them.

Also, they 'show you'.  Is not all about 'words', it's actions.

IMO, you two are not so compatible anymore.  Is like this is more of a chore to 'try' and please him.  Do you feel he's just not so happy anymore?  Hard to please?

And re: about how your BF is having to teach you on how to have sex.  It's fine & normal for a couple to want to explore new avenues in that line, but one should not feel obligated or pushed to do things. 

I just get the feeling you are questioning a lot now because you don't feel 'good enough'? You don't feel special with how he's acting.

Maybe this isn't meant to be.. not for you. Is it just too many challenges - not only because he won't say 'love', but he doesn't show it to you either, does he?

 

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