Post # 1
I started dating SO two years ago which was basically when he started messing up in college. It’s been two years of seeing him struggle and not try and being depressed and being a ton of emotional and general life support. We’ve had some incredible times too, but that’s always been there in the background. I didn’t realize how much this has affected our relationship until now when he’s actually getting his life together.
I feel like I’ve fallen out of love with him. I love him as my best friend, but I don’t want to spend nearly as much time with him, and I am not sexually attracted to him anymore. I think I withdrew emotionally a while back because I couldn’t handle putting so much emotional effort in and seeing nothing change.
I really do believe he will succeed now, but in the back of my brain I’m thinking “I just don’t want to deal with this anymore”. Which sucks. He’s an incredible guy and the most loyal boyfriend I could imagine. We’ve talked about this, and we both believe he will continue this change for the better, but I’m having a hard time getting back into it. I really don’t want to have sex – when he gets horny I get anxious and uncomfortable because I’m just not really comfortable with sex right now, and not having sex often has led to problems too.
I really want this to work out because he’s finally turned a new leaf and is a great guy, but I need to figure out how to get myself back into this relationship. Any advice would be appreciated.
Post # 2
juliana192: let me get this straight…. you were there for the struggle but now that he’s doing better you aren’t feeling it anymore? that’s kind of backwards.
My only advice is that if you have to TRY to love someone or be attracted to them, they aren’t the right person for you. I suggest you cut ties and let him find someone that’s going to want him in every way. Clearly you don’t.
Post # 3
juliana192: Well.. if you’re not married, you’re not sexually attracted to him anymore and you’re not that bothered about being around him all the time, I think the relationship has run it’s course and you’re basically not in love wiht him anymore.. in which case I don’t see the point in continuing with the relationship. Aside from going on a romantic holiday with him and seeing if that helps, maybe.. but whenever that’s happened to me in a relationship then it’s meant ”the end”..
Post # 4
Sounds like it’s been a rough few years. You obviously were there for him as a source of support and encouragement to him during that time, which sounds like has made you feel a bit exhausted, maybe resentful and perhaps more like a friend than a girlfriend. I haven’t been in your situation, but my boyfriend and I have had to deal with a fair amount of challenges (job losses, moves, family issues) and so I’m sympathetic to the strain that puts on your relationship. One option to consider, which has helped us after a rough stretch, is to take a few steps back. Date each other again. Do things that are fun and make you both laugh. Plan surprises for each other. See if you can reignite that spark. I know at least for me when things were difficult my first inclination was to try to hold on tighter, but a little space was like magic for us.
If you’re still not feeling attracted to him or like he’s the guy for you, then it might be time to think about walking away. Some people aren’t meant to be together forever — he was VERY lucky to have you while he was struggling, and maybe the relationship has run it’s course. And that’s okay. Move on so that you both can find your true loves!
Post # 5
juliana192: I think you should start by maybe ‘forgiving him’. It sounds as if now that he is on the up and up, you are carrying some feelings of resentment?! Which, after putting 150% into something for so long (without much return), is fairly normal. It would be really difficult to endure such a struggle with someone, and then go ‘back to normal’.
Certainly communicating these things to him is imperative. Learning to be an equal partner with him, rather than a caretaker is impertative, and slowly getting back into a new comfort/groove will be important, but it will take time.
And, sometimes hardships in relationships can make or break it. So, if after time and soul searching you realize this is not something you can bounce back from, then that is OK too.
Post # 6
Give yourself some distance and take care of yourself for a bit. Your needs have been secondary in the relationship for a long time, and that breeds resentment or apathy. Its hard to be emotionally involved with your partner if they don’t take care of themselves for extended periods of time without shutting off your own feelings to get through the day. Go out with your friends a little bit more, get involved with your hobbies, or whatever. See if you find yourself missing him. When you’re ready, go on a few dates and see if you guys can focus on you and your needs for awhile. If it works, great. If not, at least you gave it a try, which it sounds like you really want to do for the relationship.
Post # 7
Why do you want to ‘fall back in love’? Do you feel you owe it to him?
To me, this sounds like a relationship that has run its course.
Post # 8
KC-2722, amanda3334455 & stardustintheeyes:
I don’t get it. Juliana192 said clearly that she wants to make it work and so you tell her to quit?? Married relationships are not the only ones that count, and every relationship requires work.
If we all quit things when they got a little hard, we wouldn’t succeed. She obviously values and loves her SO quite a bit and wants to stay in the relationship, but is in a troubling period.
juliana192: I think Meredith80, OUgal0004, and mooooose gave you some great advice. Focus on starting fresh and communicating your feelings as much as possible. Best of luck, and regardless of what happens between you and your SO, make sure it feels right for you..
Post # 9
juliana192: Is it possible that you are a “fixer” at heart? You like to be the person who supports others and helps them get their lives in order? If so, the appeal may not be there now that he can stand on his own to feet.
My main concern is that you are feeling this way only two years in and when things are going well. DH and I have had our rough patches over the past 11 years, but we don’t have to “try” to love each other. Sure, relationships will have highs and lows, but usually those lows come when times are tough. I am not suggesting you break up, but maybe you should really evaluate what you are looking for in a relationship and if it is possible to get that from your current relationship.
Post # 10
geneva2: It sounds like things have been hard for awhile now actually and the OP has appeared to try very hard to weather the storm. Coming out on the other side, she feels over it and can’t bring herself to have sex with him.. Why continue? Some things are worth the effort, some aren’t worth the toll they take on us emotionally.
You can love someone as a person and walk away without it being considered ‘giving up’.
Post # 11
KC-2722: I agree that it is okay to walk away. What I’m saying is that she clearly wants to make it work. If she wants to make it work and is asking for advice on how to do that, what’s the point of telling her to leave?
Post # 12
bmo88: That was my thought, too. When someone who’s been sick for a long time gets well – especially emotionally sick – it changes the entire dynamic of the relationship, and it makes sense that it would take some time to readjust. It could turn out that you do, naturally, fall back in love, or you could realize that it’s no longer a good fit. The only way to figure that out is patience, and as another PP said, forgive him.
As far as the sex stuff goes, trust your gut, but don’t hide behind the anxiety. I went through something similar a few years ago because some date rape trauma resurfaced, but (following my therapist’s advice) I had to push through some of the anxiety to get to the other side by focusing on the fact that I was in a loving, safe relationship. I wanted to, though, but felt like I couldn’t. If you don’t want to have sex, don’t do it.
Post # 13
geneva2: Whats the point of continuing to tell me not to tell her to leave? Just because you want to make it work on the surface, it doesn’t mean you actually do.
I’m not going to tell someone to stay in a relationship that sounds like its dead. She specifically asks for ANY advice.. Not just advice that supports her staying with someone she doesn’t think she loves anymore.
Post # 14
juliana192: It sounds like you two were fairly young when you met… people change and people grow. Sometimes they grow out of eachother.
You cant MAKE yourself go back to being in love. Try taking a nice vacation together and reconnecting. If that doesnt work, i think it is time to reevaluate.
Post # 15
- Wedding: December 2014 - Loft
juliana192: “basically when he started messing up in college” wow. You outed yourself before you could even try to pass this off as something he was doing wrong. You’re unsupportive and unappreciative. Do that guy a favour and leave. I don’t think you want a self sufficient adult. You want someone you can parent.