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When the intimacy is gone...


nublu2

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I've been in a long term relationship that has otherwise been relatively normal, although looking back, the intimacy and romance drastically declined over the years. Declined to the point of nonexistence more recently. 

For quite some time I have just put up with it but I don't feel like I can do that anymore. 

Life still seems "normal" but I don't feel like there is anything left in the relationship for me. We are just friends, but I feel like I am missing so much. 

I would really love to find a woman that I can love and romance and please in so many ways, and have the same for me, but I feel like that will never happen now.

It's not like I am expecting some fairytale romance... But wow!  Would some romance ever be nice!  Just somebody to make me feel good being around her. And hopefully me doing the same for her. 

Still trying to figure out if it is better to keep the "normal" life and being a sad, lonely guy. Or doing something drastic and perhaps still being alone anyway.  

Feels like a tough position to be in when just looking for love. 

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Have a chat with your partner when you’re both calm, tell them you feel like the intimacy between you both has dwindled painfully low. You miss being close to them. Have they noticed this too? Do they miss it as well? Would they be interested in taking steps to grow the intimacy between you two again?

 

Find out what their answer is and assess from there how to move forward.

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Have you talked to your partner about this? If so, what was her response?

Your feelings are understandable. Most are not going to be happy in a sexless relationship. But if you have spoken to her and nothing has changed, you need to re-evaluate the relationship altogether. 

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6 hours ago, nublu2 said:

Still trying to figure out if it is better to keep the "normal" life and being a sad, lonely guy. Or doing something drastic and perhaps still being alone anyway.  

Drastic like cheating or drastic like ending it? Do you have children? What happens when you are affectionate with her and what do you two like to do together?

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8 hours ago, nublu2 said:

I've been in a long term relationship that has otherwise been relatively normal, although looking back, the intimacy and romance drastically declined over the years. Declined to the point of nonexistence more recently. 

Sorry this is happening. How old is she? Do you live together? If so for how long? Do you have kids together or from other relationships?

When did the intimacy start dropping off?  You claim you want to "find a woman who...", so it seems you don't love her and already have one foot out the door. Do you want to leave the relationship or try to work things out?

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Its sounds like you lost passion and intimacy and only left with longevity. Hence the feeling of just friendship, you probably spent years together and aside of that thing, nothing else connects you.

8 hours ago, nublu2 said:

I would really love to find a woman that I can love and romance and please in so many ways, and have the same for me, but I feel like that will never happen now.

 

Why? People find romance even in later years. If you desire one, its never too late to break things up and search for somebody else where you would feel all those things.

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7 hours ago, 1a1a said:

Have they noticed this too? Do they miss it as well? Would they be interested in taking steps to grow the intimacy between you two again?

Thank you for your feedback. 

I have tried to talk to her about it in the past but generally her response is focused on the sexual aspect and she just claims that it is a 'woman thing' that they don't need it the same way men do. 

But that doesn't explain the lack of intimacy and romance as well. 

Doing some reading, I have come to suspect that she is likely asexual and aromantic.  So no, I don't think she is missing anything from the relationship. She is probably quite happy the way it is. And that is the most difficult part. 

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34 minutes ago, nublu2 said:

she just claims that it is a 'woman thing' that they don't need it the same way men do. 

Well, then, there's been absolutely no compromise after communication. If a person cares, even if they are not feeling it, to please their partner, they would make more effort.

People break up all the time, freeing themselves to eventually find the partner who is right for them. It's difficult but not impossible. You will go through all the stages of mourning the relationship and then get to the healing part of moving on, just like everyone else. And then you'll have life experience to choose more wisely the next time around. Good luck.

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23 minutes ago, nublu2 said:

Doing some reading, I have come to suspect that she is likely asexual and aromantic.  

How long have you been together? Was it ever romantic/sexual? When did she start checking out and why?

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19 minutes ago, nublu2 said:

Thank you for your feedback. 

I have tried to talk to her about it in the past but generally her response is focused on the sexual aspect and she just claims that it is a 'woman thing' that they don't need it the same way men do. 

But that doesn't explain the lack of intimacy and romance as well. 

Doing some reading, I have come to suspect that she is likely asexual and aromantic.  So no, I don't think she is missing anything from the relationship. She is probably quite happy the way it is. And that is the most difficult part. 

It is not an all women thing.  I value sex and romance in a romantic relationship pretty high on the list of things.  I mean what's the point of a romantic/sexual relationship if there isn't any romance or sex?

It bums me out it is accepted as normal that men need sex and women don't or shouldn't.  Both genders need physical touch.  It's not creepy or ***ty to like sex. It's not.

If someone doesn't, that's them.  They need to be with someone that also doesn't.  

I say move on... Being lonely on your own does happen, but it's a totally different thing than being lonely while in a relationship.  Lonely single people have hope of meeting someone and are motivated to do that.  Lonely, attached people just suffer behind closed doors, like those depression medication commercials with the smiley face mask.

 

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8 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

But if you have spoken to her and nothing has changed, you need to re-evaluate the relationship altogether. 

Yes, I think this is the point that I am at - reevaluating the entire relationship. 

But it is not easy and there are complicating factors like kids and finances.

This is why I am struggling most.  I wonder, is it best to just carry on as is and me be the miserable one?  Is it selfish of me to want more and break up a family for that? And then everybody is miserable.

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2 hours ago, Batya33 said:

Drastic like cheating or drastic like ending it? Do you have children? What happens when you are affectionate with her and what do you two like to do together?

I'm not even interested in cheating because I want - or rather, feel that I need, more than just a fling.

I think the only way it works for me is to end the relationship and find somebody with some common interests and needs. But current circumstances make that very difficult. 

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1 hour ago, Wiseman2 said:

Sorry this is happening. How old is she? Do you live together? If so for how long? Do you have kids together or from other relationships?

When did the intimacy start dropping off?  You claim you want to "find a woman who...", so it seems you don't love her and already have one foot out the door. Do you want to leave the relationship or try to work things out?

Thanks. 

We are in our 40s and have kids together.  That for me is the complicating factor. Other than my needs, the relationship and family is relatively normal so that's one of the things I am struggling with. It feels a little selfish that I would risk all of that... but I also am in a relationship where I feel completely alone. 

As I indicated in another response, I think she may be asexual and I hadn't even heard of that before. We had somewhat of a sex/intimate life prior to kids. Then the natural drop off with young kids and then there was always something else that prevented it from happening. 

I wanted and was truly trying to fix it before. In fact that was my concern is that it was only me seeing the problem and trying to fix it. But understanding sexuality means there is no fixing it... so it is either put up with it or leave. Neither is a very good or easy situation. 

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6 minutes ago, nublu2 said:

Yes, I think this is the point that I am at - reevaluating the entire relationship. 

But it is not easy and there are complicating factors like kids and finances.

This is why I am struggling most.  I wonder, is it best to just carry on as is and me be the miserable one?  Is it selfish of me to want more and break up a family for that? And then everybody is miserable.

I don't think everyone will be miserable.  Kids know when their parents aren't happy.  By leaving and making yourself happy, you show your children a valuable lesson.  That we are all responsible for our happiness and seeing that our needs are met.  By surrendering to your wife's needs, you are basically teaching your children that it's normal to stay in an unhappy situation for others. Which it's not.  It's a choice.

I think making the excuse that you will stay for everyone's benefit but your own is a convenient and noble excuse.  You are the martyr, and you can stay safe in this situation.  It's risky to take chances and to change.  It's just like parents who say they live for their kids.  That's not life.  That's duty and you raise your kids to be successful happy adults that leave and go on to live their lives.  Each person has to live for themselves.  

How great would it be for your kids to be with and see a happy dad.  

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1 hour ago, Kwothe28 said:

Its sounds like you lost passion and intimacy and only left with longevity. Hence the feeling of just friendship, you probably spent years together and aside of that thing, nothing else connects you.

This is spot on!

You have nailed it. 

But it is the complicating factors, mainly kids, that makes the move-on option so difficult. 

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53 minutes ago, nublu2 said:

But it is the complicating factors, mainly kids, that makes the move-on option so difficult. 

Well yes. Divorce doesnt favor men, kids would maybe be thorn up etc. But you staying there for the kids is not a valid excuse if you are miserable. Kids would be fine, you would still share custody and see them. Lots of people divorce and lots of kids now come from broken marriages. Its fine and its better then staying just because you are together long and have kids. Divorce is not the end of the world. 

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@spinstermanquee you make a great point.  Don't throw away your marriage if it can be saved.  I am very happy for you that you were able to do this.  I truly believe if 2 people are both willing to do the work, take responsibility for their part and making it better, it can be fixed!  

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I think it's key to determine if the wife was always kind of "meh" about sex or if they used to have a satisfying sex life and it dropped off. 

One big reason why I divorced my husband was the lack of sex. We went at it like rabbits (even when my mom was living with us!) until about the eighth year of our marriage. Then it stopped like someone had put up a six foot wide brick wall. My husband was unwilling to try to make it better (he said "married people don't act like that" even though we had been married and "acting like that" for seven plus years). 

So I'd be curious to know if your wife was always somewhat disinterested in sex or this is something relatively new. 

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I have some questions.

-Have you or do you feel like you have checked out of the marriage?

-Do you feel like you have tried everything to save the  marriage?

-Do you want to try and save the marriage?

These need to be answered brutally honestly by you before any of us can help.

 Lost

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5 hours ago, Andrina said:

Well, then, there's been absolutely no compromise after communication. If a person cares, even if they are not feeling it, to please their partner, they would make more effort.

This is largely what I have been thinking for quite some time now. 

I was curious if there were others that thought the same.

Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. 

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5 hours ago, Lambert said:

It is not an all women thing.  I value sex and romance in a romantic relationship pretty high on the list of things. 

...

Lonely, attached people just suffer behind closed doors, like those depression medication commercials with the smiley face mask.

 

Thanks for the perspective, I appreciate it. This is helpful. 

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4 hours ago, boltnrun said:

Was she like this when you were dating and when you got married?

Did you marry her hoping she would "change"? Did she hope you would "change"?

No, I don't think either of us changed necessarily. Looking back I realize now that she was never that romantic or intimate - but I think I made up enough for both of us!

But when you don't have those aspect to the relationship and then the physical sexual aspect disappears too, then you realize quick that you are just friends, not lovers. 

It appears that there are some people that just don't need or want the sexual or romantic parts of a relationship. I think she's that way and just finally came to realize it. 

It wasn't so bad before because she would engage, but doing so reluctantly and not being interested in it does nothing for either partner. 

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3 hours ago, spinstermanquee said:

Maybe get someone to watch the kids, take her on dates, do something with her just because she likes it, surprise her with flowers?  Go for a walk, hold her hand, talk about little things?  Give her a foot massage while you look deep into her eyes and tell her you love her?  I think you have grown apart and when you want to visit the bedroom, she looks at it as just sex (eye roll) and therefore not very desirable.  The missing ingredients could be feeling close to you like she did in the beginning, feeling understood and appreciated, adored and loved...

 

This is very helpful, thank you. And I am glad to see things are better for you now. 

I guess the question in our situation is whether there are issues we need to work out, in which there may be a chance to work it out. Or whether she is actually asexual in which case there is no hope. 

I have been trying all of the above for so long now, with no reaction, so I strongly suspect it isn't that.

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