Author Topic: 7 year relationship. No sexual desire. She wants to get married. Any Counselors?  (Read 31669 times)

Malkynn

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Let me just point out an obvious and important fact that isn't getting enough attention in this thread:
Her need isn't to marry you, her need is to have you *want* to marry her so that she can feel "chosen" by you.

That is a TERRIBLE reason to marry someone.

This isn't about her consuming need to commit *to you*, it's about her consuming insecurity about you seeming to not want to commit *to her*. This is about her identity and self worth.

I won't go into too many details, but I've been in her position at the same age, with similar but markedly different circumstances.

Do you know what was much worse than not feeling secure in my relationship?
Not feeling secure in my engagement and future marriage either.

Sure, for a few weeks I was blissfully elated and preoccupied myself staring at a big shiny ring, but eventually and insidiously, the doubt and resentment about how hard it had been to get him to propose poisoned that happiness.

You cannot make her feel secure, you don't actually have that power, it's simply not something that you can give her, even if you wanted to.

Let me leave you with a chilling fact that hopefully sinks deep into your psyche after you read it:

I deeply admire and respect my ex fiance for leaving me and not going through with the wedding, even though I hated him for a long time. He's an anxious and hesitant person in general, and to this day, I don't know where he found the balls to actually call off a fully planned wedding, but I am eternally grateful to him for doing it.

Now that I'm very happily married and know what I would have been missing, I know how much I owe him, and I actually love him in a way for what he did.

mm1970

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Malkynn is wise.

I don't have a horse in this race.  But...my next door neighbors moved in 7 years ago after buying the house (foreclosure).  They'd been living together for about 7 years, were in their early 30's I think.  I remember having some conversations with them when they first moved in (we had a new baby, I was sleep deprived). The guy says "I guess we should probably get married eventually, eh?"

Well, they did.  A year later.  Only a few months after that, she left to go do yoga in Africa.  And...never came back.  Or at least came back to get her stuff and take half the house.  After years of pushing him to commit, he committed, and she bailed.

Sometimes, if it doesn't feel right, it isn't.

OTOH, everyone goes through ups and downs in their relationships.  Sometimes you can work through them, sometimes you can't.

lhamo

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Not sure how deep you went in therapy, but it sounds to me like she may be someone with a trauma history.  Not easy to work through, and she may not even realize it.  Might be worth delving into if you really want to try to salvage things.

former player

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Not sure how deep you went in therapy, but it sounds to me like she may be someone with a trauma history.  Not easy to work through, and she may not even realize it.  Might be worth delving into if you really, want to try to salvage things.

Possible, I suppose, but these are two people in their mid-twenties who've been together since they were 18 and were sexually active together at the start of the relationship.  OP's girlfriend seems to consider OP's affair to have been the "trauma history".  Her being demi-sexual seems to me the more likely answer from that history, and that is not a cause for therapy, just being on a different sexual spectrum from OP.

Most 18 year old girls whose boyfriend of a few months cheated on them would dump his ass and move on, maybe by redefining their relationship as the friendship it obviously is rather than trying to fake a romantic relationship for all these years, and both would probably have been happier for it. 

PoutineLover

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The more this goes on the more dysfunctional it sounds. By setting up this ultimatum, she's made it impossible to "win" this game. At this point, she can't trust you if you do propose, and there's no advancement if you don't. It's immature and she should know that there's no ring or paper that prevents people from cheating. You do or you don't, she either trusts you or she doesn't. This relationship was probably over when you got back together, if not after the next break, and by now, way past due. The sooner you can internalize that, the sooner you can move forward with your life.

marble_faun

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Yeah, I agree with everyone else. 

If you do choose to get married, you might end up celibate "til death do you part."  Will that be worth it?

To me it sounds like you are both clinging to a teenage-era relationship like a security blanket.  It's cozy, you know each other well, you have a shared history.  But at the core of the relationship is this gaping chasm of incompatibility, with no guarantee that it will ever improve.

You are still young. If you free yourselves now, you both have plenty of time to marry other people and have kids (if that is what you/she eventually want). But the longer you drag this out, the more of your life is being spent on this stalemate relationship, and the less of it on whatever is coming next.

Breaking up will be sad.  But eventually you will find new rituals and comforts.  Let the relationship be a fond memory, not an anchor dragging you down for life.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 11:40:12 PM by marble_faun »

Hula Hoop

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I agree with everyone else.  You need to break up.  The lack of sex is a symptom of something fundamentally wrong with the relationship and if you were to get married it would make everything about 1000x worse. 

Breakups are tough and a first ever breakup is the toughest of all.  But you just have to rip off that band aid, mourn the loss of the relationship and move on.  As a veteran of many breakups, I recommend breaking up and then not speaking or interacting in any way with your girlfriend for a minimum of 4-6 months. If you need to pick up things from each other's apartments, send a friend or relative to do it. After that time has passed, you won't care so much anymore and you'll have moved on to some extent.  After that, you can speak if you see each other on the street or at a social event - if you both feel like it.  The really bad breakups that I've experienced have been the ones where I continued to interact with the guy for whatever reason.  It might feel good at the time but it just prolongs the agony.

Milizard

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Ok, I havem't read everything here, but a good part of the first half.  I can relate to your GF, so I can feel I can say this.

1.  She needs you to be a different person, and deep down she knows this.
2.  You are not a different person, you are you. 
3.  You would both be happier with different people.
4.  The ship has sailed on this relationship, if there was ever a chance to board in the first place.  She will never get the feeling she wants from you, because it needed to come towards the beginning.  Too much time has passed.

You are putting way too much work into this trying to make it work.  You haven't even gotten into the nitty gritty of life yet, and you're   spinning your wheels just trying to get it started.  Cut your losses.  It's a lost cause. 

iris lily

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Ok, I havem't read everything here, but a good part of the first half.  I can relate to your GF, so I can feel I can say this.

1.  She needs you to be a different person, and deep down she knows this.
2.  You are not a different person, you are you. 
3.  You would both be happier with different people.
4.  The ship has sailed on this relationship, if there was ever a chance to board in the first place.  She will never get the feeling she wants from you, because it needed to come towards the beginning.  Too much time has passed.

You are putting way too much work into this trying to make it work.  You haven't even gotten into the nitty gritty of life yet, and you're   spinning your wheels just trying to get it started.  Cut your losses.  It's a lost cause.
Oh yes. OP this thread is sad. It seems you are valiantly flogging a relationship that is not a solid romantic partnership.  It makes me sad to see someone so young so entrenched in seemingly  adult responsibilities. It is as though you two are playing Grown Up.

Have you noticed that in all of the posts on this thread no one has chastised you for ďcheatingĒ ? You know why  that is?  It's because you were 19 years old.  That is a time where we explore our sexuality and different partners. I wouldnít call that cheating as much as dating around.

Please for the love of God cut this girl loose for her own good and for your good.


zoochadookdook

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So talking last night went in circles.

I said I cant get engaged without some sort of sexual relationship established. I said I cant get engaged promising mairraige when I'm not in 100%. I tried to make the points that things wont change if we do get engaged and if she cant trust me now it wont be different then. If she is demi sexual it possibly could work but.......

She said she's waiting til engagement to open up like that. It's  just not possible for her to open up before so how is she supposed to do what I want before getting engaged. It feels like a slap of rejection of her that I dont want to and emotionally she's tired and sad because she feels unwanted. She knows she wants to marry and spend the rest of her life with me but she needs to get engaged to really try to make the rest work.  She says she does trust me, she does love me, she feels cherished, but she mentally needs this commitment of moving forward to be able to move forward.

It really is a conundrum. She sees it as I either want to move forward or I don't.  There's no other way to move forward to her vs getting engaged. Anything other than that feels like rejection and causes her to withdraw.

She has said early on changed her and she feels like I want that young her back which she cant be like that. She feels inadequate and doesnt understand why I cant just love her and commit as is. It's not like that though-i do love her. She even read some low/high libido articles last night with me and was like we could do these things.

She wants so badly to make it work and doesn't get why I can't make myself propose. I feel like I cant propose because I'm not 100%. We have a life together and she's been living with me since I moved here. She's had marriage in her mind for the last 5+years.

« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 08:03:34 AM by zoochadookdook »

Kris

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So talking last night went in circles.

I said I cant get engaged without some sort of sexual relationship established. I said I cant get engaged promising mairraige when I'm not in 100%. I tried to make the points that things wont change if we do get engaged and if she cant trust me now it wont be different then. If she is demi sexual it possibly could work but.......

She said she's waiting til engagement to open up like that. It's  just not possible for her to open up before so how is she supposed to do what I want before getting engaged. It feels like a slap of rejection of her that I dont want to and emotionally she's tired and sad because she feels unwanted. She knows she wants to marry and spend the rest of her life with me but she needs to get engaged to really try to make the rest work.  She says she does trust me, she does love me, she feels cherished, but she mentally needs this commitment of moving forward to be able to move forward.

It really is a conundrum. She sees it as I either want to move forward or I don't.  There's no other way to move forward to her vs getting engaged. Anything other than that feels like rejection and causes her to withdraw.

She has said early on changed her and she feels like I want that young her back which she cant be like that. She feels inadequate and doesnt understand why I cant just love her and commit as is. It's not like that though-i do love her. She even read some low/high libido articles last night with me and was like we could do these things.

She wants so badly to make it work and doesn't get why I can't make myself propose. I feel like I cant propose because I'm not 100%. We have a life together and she's been living with me since I moved here. She's had marriage in her mind for the last 5+years.

She is withholding from you. But expecting you to commit fully 100% to her.

This is BS. Break up with her.

zoochadookdook

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I agree with everyone else.  You need to break up.  The lack of sex is a symptom of something fundamentally wrong with the relationship and if you were to get married it would make everything about 1000x worse. 

Breakups are tough and a first ever breakup is the toughest of all.  But you just have to rip off that band aid, mourn the loss of the relationship and move on.  As a veteran of many breakups, I recommend breaking up and then not speaking or interacting in any way with your girlfriend for a minimum of 4-6 months. If you need to pick up things from each other's apartments, send a friend or relative to do it. After that time has passed, you won't care so much anymore and you'll have moved on to some extent.  After that, you can speak if you see each other on the street or at a social event - if you both feel like it.  The really bad breakups that I've experienced have been the ones where I continued to interact with the guy for whatever reason.  It might feel good at the time but it just prolongs the agony.

She sees it as something to look forward to not something that's an issue. And me not wanting to get engaged makes her withdrawal and feel less wanted.


A break up would suck but I'd still want to be friends. She owns over half the furniture in my house/we have dogs together. I love this girl and couldn't just kick her out.

zoochadookdook

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So talking last night went in circles.

I said I cant get engaged without some sort of sexual relationship established. I said I cant get engaged promising mairraige when I'm not in 100%. I tried to make the points that things wont change if we do get engaged and if she cant trust me now it wont be different then. If she is demi sexual it possibly could work but.......

She said she's waiting til engagement to open up like that. It's  just not possible for her to open up before so how is she supposed to do what I want before getting engaged. It feels like a slap of rejection of her that I dont want to and emotionally she's tired and sad because she feels unwanted. She knows she wants to marry and spend the rest of her life with me but she needs to get engaged to really try to make the rest work.  She says she does trust me, she does love me, she feels cherished, but she mentally needs this commitment of moving forward to be able to move forward.

It really is a conundrum. She sees it as I either want to move forward or I don't.  There's no other way to move forward to her vs getting engaged. Anything other than that feels like rejection and causes her to withdraw.

She has said early on changed her and she feels like I want that young her back which she cant be like that. She feels inadequate and doesnt understand why I cant just love her and commit as is. It's not like that though-i do love her. She even read some low/high libido articles last night with me and was like we could do these things.

She wants so badly to make it work and doesn't get why I can't make myself propose. I feel like I cant propose because I'm not 100%. We have a life together and she's been living with me since I moved here. She's had marriage in her mind for the last 5+years.

She is withholding from you. But expecting you to commit fully 100% to her.

This is BS. Break up with her.

I mean she's not required to have sex/feel that way towards me; and if she is demi sexual she can't unless she feels what she determines is that catalyst of a emotional connection (moving forward to engagement). I've asked her is a engagement where I'm not 100% is to mairraige would mean the same to her and she said yes it's what she wants.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 08:10:11 AM by zoochadookdook »

Malkynn

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So talking last night went in circles.

I said I cant get engaged without some sort of sexual relationship established. I said I cant get engaged promising mairraige when I'm not in 100%. I tried to make the points that things wont change if we do get engaged and if she cant trust me now it wont be different then.

She said she's waiting til engagement to open up like that. It's  just not possible for her to open up before so how is she supposed to do what I want before getting engaged. It feels like a slap of rejection of her that I dont want to and emotionally she's tired and sad because she feels unwanted. She knows she wants to marry and spend the rest of her life with me but she needs to get engaged to really try to make the rest work.

It really is a conundrum. She sees it as I either want to move forward or I don't.  There's no other way to move forward to her vs getting engaged. Anything other than that feels like rejection and causes her to withdraw.

It's not a conundrum. It's a decision she is making.
She is making a bad decision.
That's not on you.

You are not happy with the state of your sex life, so you are very reasonably concerned about moving forward in a relationship that *is not* working. That is reasonable.

She has decided to put her emotional well being and self worth in your hands. That is unreasonable, and nonsensical.

It's not a conundrum, it's a young woman who has convinced herself of a series of things that are not reasonable and not rational, and one of you needs to stop this nonsense.

Just because it makes sense to her doesn't mean it makes sense. She doesn't need an engagement ring, she needs to be single and spend some quality time with a good therapist to learn how to not assign her self worth to the actions of others.

I repeat, this is not a conundrum. This is a slow motion bad decision.

tyort1

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You know, sometimes things just don't work out.  And that's OK.

iris lily

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I agree with everyone else.  You need to break up.  The lack of sex is a symptom of something fundamentally wrong with the relationship and if you were to get married it would make everything about 1000x worse. 

Breakups are tough and a first ever breakup is the toughest of all.  But you just have to rip off that band aid, mourn the loss of the relationship and move on.  As a veteran of many breakups, I recommend breaking up and then not speaking or interacting in any way with your girlfriend for a minimum of 4-6 months. If you need to pick up things from each other's apartments, send a friend or relative to do it. After that time has passed, you won't care so much anymore and you'll have moved on to some extent.  After that, you can speak if you see each other on the street or at a social event - if you both feel like it.  The really bad breakups that I've experienced have been the ones where I continued to interact with the guy for whatever reason.  It might feel good at the time but it just prolongs the agony.

She sees it as something to look forward to not something that's an issue. And me not wanting to get engaged makes her withdrawal and feel less wanted.


A break up would suck but I'd still want to be friends. She owns over half the furniture in my house/we have dogs together. I love this girl and couldn't just kick her out.



None of that shit matters except for the dogs. Just make sure the dogs are taken care of. Furniture is a throwaway. At your age you shouldnít be buying furniture anyway that has perceived value. Ikea and hand me downs are perfectly fine. And so what if you have an empty house with little furniture after she leaves? It really does not matter.

You all are the classic case of taking on adult responsibilities when you donít have the maturity and good decision making power of adults.

Your break up will likely be long and very painful and already you are prolonging the pain by saying 1)  you would never kick her out and 2) you want to be friends .

You will need to give her a date by which you have to move out of your house and Iím not talking  months Iím talking weeks.



Omy

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Why stay in a relationship that isn't working for either of you?

In my 20s, I was in a relationship that wasn't working particularly well, so we decided to move in together. That wasn't going all that well, so he asked me to marry him. We were good friends and the relationship "looked good on paper", but we wanted very different things. I knew that if I said yes, the marriage wouldn't go very well and we would probably have children to "fix" that. So I said "No" and we broke up and moved on.

If you decide to go against everybody's advice and do a trial engagement, you should not invest much in the ring. That is money that will likely be flushed down the drain. If all goes magically well, and you marry and live happily ever after, you can upgrade the ring at the 5 or 10 year anniversary.

Hula Hoop

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I agree with Malkynn.

And what I really don't understand is why your GF is so desperate to get engaged and married when your relationship has such big flaws.  You said that she's been thinking about enagement for 5 years and you are only 25 years old.  Is it possible that she's getting pressure from society/her family to have the big engagement and the big poofy white dress?  As an old married person, let me tell you that marriage is not about that.  It's about compatibility (including sexual compatibility), shared values and a shared commitment. 

And why is she saying that she'll be able to 'open up' after engagement when for the last 7 years you've virtually had no sex life?  That makes no sense at all. 

You seem determined to hold onto this relationship out of guilt or who knows what else. But really listen to all of us and get out.  We're not saying "throw her out".  We're telling you to break up with her which is perfectly normal thing to do and way less cruel that marrying her if you're not 110% in love with her and ready to spend the rest of your life with her.

zoochadookdook

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I agree with everyone else.  You need to break up.  The lack of sex is a symptom of something fundamentally wrong with the relationship and if you were to get married it would make everything about 1000x worse. 

Breakups are tough and a first ever breakup is the toughest of all.  But you just have to rip off that band aid, mourn the loss of the relationship and move on.  As a veteran of many breakups, I recommend breaking up and then not speaking or interacting in any way with your girlfriend for a minimum of 4-6 months. If you need to pick up things from each other's apartments, send a friend or relative to do it. After that time has passed, you won't care so much anymore and you'll have moved on to some extent.  After that, you can speak if you see each other on the street or at a social event - if you both feel like it.  The really bad breakups that I've experienced have been the ones where I continued to interact with the guy for whatever reason.  It might feel good at the time but it just prolongs the agony.

She sees it as something to look forward to not something that's an issue. And me not wanting to get engaged makes her withdrawal and feel less wanted.


A break up would suck but I'd still want to be friends. She owns over half the furniture in my house/we have dogs together. I love this girl and couldn't just kick her out.



None of that shit matters except for the dogs. Just make sure the dogs are taken care of. Furniture is a throwaway. At your age you shouldnít be buying furniture anyway that has perceived value. Ikea and hand me downs are perfectly fine. And so what if you have an empty house with little furniture after she leaves? It really does not matter.

You all are the classic case of taking on adult responsibilities when you donít have the maturity and good decision making power of adults.

Your break up will likely be long and very painful and already you are prolonging the pain by saying 1)  you would never kick her out and 2) you want to be friends .

You will need to give her a date by which you have to move out of your house and Iím not talking  months Iím talking weeks.

Yeah the dogs are like our children. Neither one of us would want the give them up or keep them away from eachother. The younger one is bonded to the older one.

RetiredAt63

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When my DD was roughly your age she saw a lot of friends drifting/sliding into marriage because they were already living together and starting to talk about joint major purchases like cars and houses.  But it was sliding into, not purposely thinking things were wonderful and they wanted that for the rest of their lives.  She saw she was also sliding into marriage and realised it was simply forward momentum, no real desire to make things official. She broke up with her boyfriend, moved out and couch surfed for almost a month before she found a new place and a room-mate.  A couple of years later she met a guy who was right for her, and they got married last year.  He had also had a long-term relationship that was over, so they were both very cautious and made sure things were right at each step before they moved to the next.  They were also both a lot more mature when they met than when they had gotten into their previous relationships, which helped a lot - they knew who they were and what they wanted and needed.  They are very happy together. 

All of us older people here would like to see you and your girl friend happy.  It is just that it is highly unlikely that the two of you will be happy together.

zoochadookdook

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So talking last night went in circles.

I said I cant get engaged without some sort of sexual relationship established. I said I cant get engaged promising mairraige when I'm not in 100%. I tried to make the points that things wont change if we do get engaged and if she cant trust me now it wont be different then.

She said she's waiting til engagement to open up like that. It's  just not possible for her to open up before so how is she supposed to do what I want before getting engaged. It feels like a slap of rejection of her that I dont want to and emotionally she's tired and sad because she feels unwanted. She knows she wants to marry and spend the rest of her life with me but she needs to get engaged to really try to make the rest work.

It really is a conundrum. She sees it as I either want to move forward or I don't.  There's no other way to move forward to her vs getting engaged. Anything other than that feels like rejection and causes her to withdraw.

It's not a conundrum. It's a decision she is making.
She is making a bad decision.
That's not on you.

You are not happy with the state of your sex life, so you are very reasonably concerned about moving forward in a relationship that *is not* working. That is reasonable.

She has decided to put her emotional well being and self worth in your hands. That is unreasonable, and nonsensical.

It's not a conundrum, it's a young woman who has convinced herself of a series of things that are not reasonable and not rational, and one of you needs to stop this nonsense.

Just because it makes sense to her doesn't mean it makes sense. She doesn't need an engagement ring, she needs to be single and spend some quality time with a good therapist to learn how to not assign her self worth to the actions of others.

I repeat, this is not a conundrum. This is a slow motion bad decision.

Right but she doesn't see it as her decision; she sees it as my decision to either be with her or not and that will make her feel a certain way.  She's said if she has sex before then she'll feel like she's just winging it for someone who only might want to get engaged so that's not really an option. She's placed such a high pedestal engagement that it really is to her-my choice. To get to that point maybe I need sex? That's  not a option. I said I need more romance and she just breaks down and says she can't be the young kid she used to. So yeah-in her mind I'm either trying to make this work or I'm not via engagement or just bailing and breaking up.


I can see myself with her and she can see herself with me. I do love her 100% I just dont feel the relationship is 100%. To her this is the logical step and that's why my hesitance is wearing on her so hard.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 09:39:37 AM by zoochadookdook »

RetiredAt63

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She's said if she has sex before then she'll feel like she's just winging it for someone who only might want to get engaged so that's not really an option.

Well, you are not someone she has been dating for a short while who only might want to get engaged if she has sex, you are someone who would definitely get engaged if you were sure you two were OK together sexually.  So her reasoning is invalid. Hers, not yours.

Has she considered that if you do get engaged and she still doesn't want to have sex with you, or it is a chore for her, you would call off the engagement?  She seems to think being engaged is more of a commitment than it really is. 

Lots of people don't have sex until marriage because of religious reasons, they are gambling that it will work out.  But this is not the situation with you two.

former player

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Right but she doesn't see it as her decision; she sees it as my decision to either be with her or not and that will make her feel a certain way.  She's said if she has sex before then she'll feel like she's just winging it for someone who only might want to get engaged so that's not really an option. She's placed such a high pedestal engagement that it really is to her-my choice. To get to that point maybe I need sex? That's  not a option. I said I need more romance and she just breaks down and says she can't be the young kid she used to. So yeah-in her mind I'm either trying to make this work or I'm not via engagement or just bailing and breaking up.


You are overemphasising your friend's (no sex for nearly 7 years makes her a friend not a girlfriend) feelings and opinions and arguments at the expense of your own.  But her feelings and opinions and arguments are not more valid than yours.  The sense I'm getting is that she is all about what she needs from you and you have fallen into the trap of being more about meeting her needs than your own.  is that residual guilt from your affair 6 years ago?  Whatever, it is not an equal emotional relationship between the two of you and is a very bad foundation for a life together regardless of whether you ever have sex again in your life or not.

I can see myself with her and she can see herself with me. I do love her 100% I just dont feel the relationship is 100%. To her this is the logical step and that's why my hesitance is wearing on her so hard.

One of the things which is making this so hard is that both of you are continuing the fiction that the two of you have a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. It's just not there, and hasn't been for a long time.  Sure, the two of you have been living together reasonably happily in a brother/sister relationship but it's not the fulfilling life that both of you should be wanting.

zoochadookdook

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She's said if she has sex before then she'll feel like she's just winging it for someone who only might want to get engaged so that's not really an option.

Well, you are not someone she has been dating for a short while who only might want to get engaged if she has sex, you are someone who would definitely get engaged if you were sure you two were OK together sexually.  So her reasoning is invalid. Hers, not yours.

Has she considered that if you do get engaged and she still doesn't want to have sex with you, or it is a chore for her, you would call off the engagement?  She seems to think being engaged is more of a commitment than it really is. 

Lots of people don't have sex until marriage because of religious reasons, they are gambling that it will work out.  But this is not the situation with you two.

That's the thing. I don't know if I'd definitly get engaged if we had sex. I'd want to establish a sustainable/mutual understanding of a sex life that works for both of us. She has said the same thing about religions waiting until mairraige.

That's what's unclear. I've said: if we get engaged and we cant establish this then what? She seems to think that it will just happen and I'll fall in the loop/she can get herself to open up again. And I guess it is true neither of us knows unless we try because right now nothing is going to change.

zoochadookdook

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Right but she doesn't see it as her decision; she sees it as my decision to either be with her or not and that will make her feel a certain way.  She's said if she has sex before then she'll feel like she's just winging it for someone who only might want to get engaged so that's not really an option. She's placed such a high pedestal engagement that it really is to her-my choice. To get to that point maybe I need sex? That's  not a option. I said I need more romance and she just breaks down and says she can't be the young kid she used to. So yeah-in her mind I'm either trying to make this work or I'm not via engagement or just bailing and breaking up.


You are overemphasising your friend's (no sex for nearly 7 years makes her a friend not a girlfriend) feelings and opinions and arguments at the expense of your own.  But her feelings and opinions and arguments are not more valid than yours.  The sense I'm getting is that she is all about what she needs from you and you have fallen into the trap of being more about meeting her needs than your own.  is that residual guilt from your affair 6 years ago?  Whatever, it is not an equal emotional relationship between the two of you and is a very bad foundation for a life together regardless of whether you ever have sex again in your life or not.

I can see myself with her and she can see herself with me. I do love her 100% I just dont feel the relationship is 100%. To her this is the logical step and that's why my hesitance is wearing on her so hard.

One of the things which is making this so hard is that both of you are continuing the fiction that the two of you have a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. It's just not there, and hasn't been for a long time.  Sure, the two of you have been living together reasonably happily in a brother/sister relationship but it's not the fulfilling life that both of you should be wanting.


From my understanding very low sex relationships can work and do exist if that's how both partners are happy. I'd guess most people are usually not 100% in sync regarding libido and want; but they work it out or dont.

I agree though, due to how both of us feel we don't want to do the other. She doesn't see it as herself having any choice. I could have ignored all my feelings and just got engaged/married in the future and dealt with it but I wont let myself as I'm lacking a big part of the relationship. She believes that parts not missing and it's up to me to choose if I even want to try it.

Hula Hoop

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I'm sorry to be harsh but this is emotional blackmail.  She's trying to make it all your fault that you can't commit to engagement/marriage when in fact it seems to be both of your faults (or possibly just her fault) that your relationship has become a brother/sister type one - at least for her. 

And this saying "I can't be the young girl I was when we met" is just insane.  She's 25 not 55.  She's at the peak of her youth - as are you.  Just break up with her - don't let her emotionally blackmail and guilt you into staying in this very weird situation.

I can't imagine what she gets out of engagement to someone she appears to no longer be sexually attracted to.  Is it possible that she is gay?  Sorry to be harsh but 7 years of no sex just seems extraordinary when you're living with someone who you're in love with enough to want to get married.

Malkynn

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So talking last night went in circles.

I said I cant get engaged without some sort of sexual relationship established. I said I cant get engaged promising mairraige when I'm not in 100%. I tried to make the points that things wont change if we do get engaged and if she cant trust me now it wont be different then.

She said she's waiting til engagement to open up like that. It's  just not possible for her to open up before so how is she supposed to do what I want before getting engaged. It feels like a slap of rejection of her that I dont want to and emotionally she's tired and sad because she feels unwanted. She knows she wants to marry and spend the rest of her life with me but she needs to get engaged to really try to make the rest work.

It really is a conundrum. She sees it as I either want to move forward or I don't.  There's no other way to move forward to her vs getting engaged. Anything other than that feels like rejection and causes her to withdraw.

It's not a conundrum. It's a decision she is making.
She is making a bad decision.
That's not on you.

You are not happy with the state of your sex life, so you are very reasonably concerned about moving forward in a relationship that *is not* working. That is reasonable.

She has decided to put her emotional well being and self worth in your hands. That is unreasonable, and nonsensical.

It's not a conundrum, it's a young woman who has convinced herself of a series of things that are not reasonable and not rational, and one of you needs to stop this nonsense.

Just because it makes sense to her doesn't mean it makes sense. She doesn't need an engagement ring, she needs to be single and spend some quality time with a good therapist to learn how to not assign her self worth to the actions of others.

I repeat, this is not a conundrum. This is a slow motion bad decision.

Right but she doesn't see it as her decision; she sees it as my decision to either be with her or not and that will make her feel a certain way.  She's said if she has sex before then she'll feel like she's just winging it for someone who only might want to get engaged so that's not really an option. She's placed such a high pedestal engagement that it really is to her-my choice. To get to that point maybe I need sex? That's  not a option. I said I need more romance and she just breaks down and says she can't be the young kid she used to. So yeah-in her mind I'm either trying to make this work or I'm not via engagement or just bailing and breaking up.


I can see myself with her and she can see herself with me. I do love her 100% I just dont feel the relationship is 100%. To her this is the logical step and that's why my hesitance is wearing on her so hard.

Dude...based on my first response in this thread, literally no one understands her thinking more than I do. You don't need to explain to me why she is pushing you and how she blames you.
Trust me, I get it.

Because I get it is why I'm going to hammer this home: her desire to get engaged is IRRESPONSIBLE and IRRATIONAL and it puts you in an incredibly distressing position.

I get it.

...but you still have to do the right thing.

SunnyDays

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Don't know where I heard this, but it seems applicable here:  if the sex is good, it's 5 % of the marriage; if the sex is bad (or non-existent, I guess), it's 95 % of the marriage.

wenchsenior

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Sexual problems and mismatches are common in relationships, but this seems less a sexual issue than your gf's need for unrealistic markers of 'certainty' and validation from you. She's using the hypothetical promise of sex as some sort of reward for you making her feel emotionally fulfilled, which strikes me as a really immature and unhealthy approach to a relationship.  Her sense of self-worth, self-confidence, etc. has to come from within herself, or there will always potentially be something making her feel insecure about herself that requires 'fixing' by an external source.  What if you are married a few years and it becomes "but if I even catch you glancing at another woman, it makes me feel unwanted"? Or, "I won't feel truly chosen unless you want to have kids with me?" Or, "If you really valued me, you'd buy me/let me buy this thing I want"? Or whatever.

Re: sex...  as a woman who has been through radical fluctuations of desire for sex AND responsiveness during sex, I can tell you that for me, sexual interest and responsiveness is 70% driven by purely physical factors (e.g., hormone levels, health issues), and 30% by outside factors (stress level, state of my relationship, etc.)  I've had a previously strong sex drive/responsiveness turn off like a light switch b/c I went on the pill, or b/c my hormones were otherwise out of whack (with zero other changes in life, happiness, partner, etc).  So I'd make 100% sure that there isn't something physical driving your gf's lack of sexual interest.  You say she was originally interested in sex.  Does that mean she was truly physically 'into it'? Did she get actively horny? Did she orgasm? Or did she just do it for the closeness/out of obligation, etc., early in the relationship?  Does she still have sexual desire that she satisfies other ways (e.g., masturbation?)  You need to be clear on this b/c if this is a physical thing, then fixing that might take the issue completely off the table. In other words, she might be interpreting her lack of interest in sex as a mental thing, when it is in fact completely physical in origin.

Going years without sex or sexual desire when one is otherwise healthy and one's hormones are not artificially jacked up indicates either some notable psychological issues around sex OR simply that she is mostly asexual or has an extremely low sex drive (which is perfectly fine, but would make her an unsuitable marriage partner for you).

But even if her lack of desire for sex IS 100% due to what she says it is, we are right back to my original point (see first paragraph).

My fear is that you are both falling prey to over-weighting your sunk costs in terms of time and emotional effort, and mistaking these for evidence that you are a good long-term match.  People change over time, often A LOT.  Many people on this thread have already commented about the challenges of failing to end relationships when they should be ended, b/c of comfort, logistical and financial convenience, etc.  The problem is that so many people later look back with regret not on the relationship itself, but just on the excessive time and energy they spent locked into it.

I know someone who just went through this. Got involved around age 20 with a young man, whom she sincerely loved. Sex was fine in the beginning and the relationship was fine, if not terrific, for the first 5 years or so.  But then she decided to go to college. He did more or less what he'd done since high school.  They began to grow apart. Sex life stagnated, they began to fight about longstanding but previously less important issues related to their long term goals.  They went to therapy and things would improve for a little while. They had shared finances, families, pets.  But they never shared a long-term vision for the future.  And their sex life gradually became nonexistent. Soon, 15 years had gone by, and they had spent roughly half their time together living as cranky roommates. He was still playing video games most of his time off, still working the same types of jobs he had right out of high school, with no ambitions to buy a house, save for retirement, or do anything else. She had a Master's degree, a budding career, and wanted to move along in adulting. They fought a lot and resented each other, but just couldn't bring themselves to cut their losses and end it.

Finally, my friend walked away.  By that time she was in her mid-30s.  It wasn't that she didn't love her ex, but he just was not a suitable life partner for her.  And she knows that he never was, and she was too conflict averse to face up to it earlier. He was suitable short-term partner for the carefree days of their early 20s, and she bitterly regrets that she didn't have the vision and strength to end it 10 years earlier when she could think of relationship as a good one, instead of a tar pit she should have ended long ago.  It could have saved them both 10 years of unhappiness and self-doubt, and also opened up 10 years of opportunities to find more suitable long term partners.

Don't be my friend. Those kind of regrets are hard to live with.

Roots&Wings

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Some interesting perspectives here, and certainly the trust/commitment/sex issues are intertwined.

It sounds like she won't feel comfortable with sex without emotional intimacy and trust/commitment, while the OP won't feel comfortable with commitment without sex/physical intimacy. Neither is right or wrong, but they are pretty key differences to navigate. It's good you're seeing a counselor.

Side note, as a demisexual person, emotional intimacy is necessary to even feel sexual attraction, and the idea that sex is a key factor in a relationship is basically a foreign concept (sex simply doesn't drive us). It's probably similarly weird for a sexual person to think that sex would not be absolutely necessary and a primary focus in an intimate relationship. Everyone has their own understanding of "intimacy", "romance", and what they're looking for in a relationship. It's never a good idea to make assumptions here.

Malkynn

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Some interesting perspectives here, and certainly the trust/commitment/sex issues are intertwined.

It sounds like she won't feel comfortable with sex without emotional intimacy and trust/commitment, while the OP won't feel comfortable with commitment without sex/physical intimacy. Neither is right or wrong, but they are pretty key differences to navigate. It's good you're seeing a counselor.

Side note, as a demisexual person, emotional intimacy is necessary to even feel sexual attraction, and the idea that sex is a key factor in a relationship is basically a foreign concept (sex simply doesn't drive us). It's probably similarly weird for a sexual person to think that sex would not be absolutely necessary and a primary focus in an intimate relationship. Everyone has their own understanding of "intimacy", "romance", and what they're looking for in a relationship. It's never a good idea to make assumptions here.

Needing trust and emotional intimacy is one thing.
Demanding an engagement as a prerequisite to work on the relationship is not the same thing.

Roots&Wings

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^ Right, it's not the same thing, but it sounds like the OP is demanding sex as a prerequisite to continue the relationship, and she is demanding an engagement to commit sexually. They are not on the same page with this.

zoochadookdook

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^ Right, it's not the same thing, but it sounds like the OP is demanding sex as a prerequisite to continue the relationship, and she is demanding an engagement to commit sexually. They are not on the same page with this.

That's pretty much what it is. It's ridiculous as we've been happy for years in all other aspects of our relationship. Like we sacrifice for each other, we don't just coexist. Everyone asking why we didn't break up years ago-we like being together. It's comfortable. It's happy. It's something we've grown into and something that matters to us. Yeah not having sex sucks and it's taken a negative toll on me but I'm not saying that was the defining aspect of our relationship. By putting the pedal down on engagement it seems to have become the defining aspect of our relationship though.

zoochadookdook

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I'm sorry to be harsh but this is emotional blackmail.  She's trying to make it all your fault that you can't commit to engagement/marriage when in fact it seems to be both of your faults (or possibly just her fault) that your relationship has become a brother/sister type one - at least for her. 

And this saying "I can't be the young girl I was when we met" is just insane.  She's 25 not 55.  She's at the peak of her youth - as are you.  Just break up with her - don't let her emotionally blackmail and guilt you into staying in this very weird situation.

I can't imagine what she gets out of engagement to someone she appears to no longer be sexually attracted to.  Is it possible that she is gay?  Sorry to be harsh but 7 years of no sex just seems extraordinary when you're living with someone who you're in love with enough to want to get married.

It's crazy on paper but as someone who's been in a sexless relationship for this long-you can be happy without it. It's just something you don't let define how you treat the other person. She very well could have a hormonal issue (mentioned below due to bc).

Malkynn

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^ Right, it's not the same thing, but it sounds like the OP is demanding sex as a prerequisite to continue the relationship, and she is demanding an engagement to commit sexually. They are not on the same page with this.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with him stating his needs.
That's honest and fair.

She either wants to work on a sex life with him or she doesn't.
That's also fair.

Refusing to own her own feelings and demanding the insanity of getting engaged is not honest or fair, not to him and not to herself either.

He's stuck with her through this for 7 years. He hasn't demanded anything of her, he's simply refusing to take a huge next step with her under these circumstances, which is beyond reasonable and responsible.

So yeah, they are not on the same page.
Marriage is not the answer. Either rational compromise or breaking up are the right answers. 

zoochadookdook

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Alright so she'll be home tonight and i'm sure we'll get in the same sad repetitive loop of why I won't get engaged. It leaves me 2 options.

1: Tell her we aren't getting engaged on the trip. I want to see if your BC has been limiting your emotions towards me all this time. Get off it when we get back and let's see how we can progress. If you aren't willing to try this then we should break up as I can't in good faith get engaged or married if our relationship stays how it is now.
2: tell her we are getting engaged on the trip, conditionally to see if we can progress our relationship. Make it a point that I am not committed to marriage at this point but if she believes it is what she needs to progress our relationship I will engage in it.

I'm not 100% how her mind works but it's possible the past experiences have got her to close off completely sexually-and she rationalizes it as only being ok when she's with me forever. I personally don't think relationships should be worked on through marriage but rather before. I'm just trying to figure out how to word it so she doesn't take it hard in that I must not love her completely or just want her for sex sort of reasoning.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 11:46:02 AM by zoochadookdook »

Hula Hoop

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#1 all the way. 

for #2 - the whole point of getting engaged is that you are getting married.  Otherwise, what does "getting engaged" mean?

dcheesi

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I think that many of these replies are overly harsh, even if I don't exactly disagree with their recommendations.

All I see here is sadness.  I'm of the opinion that no one should even consider getting married until they hit at least 30, and that your 20s should be spent figuring out what kind of person you most want to spend your life with.  What I see here is people who haven't figured it out, trying to jump in too early, and thus setting themselves up for divorce. 

But love blinds you in all kinds of different ways.  If I may for a moment offer you one of the hardest love lessons I had to learn, it's that if you have doubts now then things are only going to get worse.  Marriage is hard and children only make it worse, and you need to have a rock solid foundation built before you try to go adding all that froofery on top of it.  In every case when I debated with myself whether my ongoing relationship struggles were normal growing pains or a sign of impending doom, it was the doom.  Always the doom.

Who you marry is probably the single most important decision you will make in your life, and should be considered with the same sort of cautious deliberation that you used to approach buying a house, or choosing a college.  If you're not absolutely thrilled with your choice, it's not the right choice.

You don't sound thrilled.
I generally agree, but I'll offer a single, 2nd-hand anecdote as counterpoint: I do know of at least one case where someone with misgivings went on to have a healthy committed relationship. In that case, part of my friend's concern was to do with timing/stage of life (this was his first post-graduation girlfriend, so he had some FOMO regarding opportunities to "shop around" or "sow his oats"). Another part of it was a very legitimate concern about her attitude and behavior at home; however, in their case the addition a child turned out to be exactly what was needed to improve that situation. (Basically she was bored and aimless at home, and taking it out on him; among other things, I suspect that she was caught between a staunchly feminist ideology vs. a personal desire for an old-fashioned SAHM lifestyle.)

I'm not saying that this is the way it works out in most cases, and certainly not that it's especially likely in the OP's case. But it is possible for things to work out in these situations. It's just that it's a high-stakes bet, with relatively long odds compared to other scenarios.

tyort1

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If you have't had sex in several years, why is she on birth control at all?

fuzzy math

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^ Right, it's not the same thing, but it sounds like the OP is demanding sex as a prerequisite to continue the relationship, and she is demanding an engagement to commit sexually. They are not on the same page with this.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with him stating his needs.
That's honest and fair.

She either wants to work on a sex life with him or she doesn't.
That's also fair.

Refusing to own her own feelings and demanding the insanity of getting engaged is not honest or fair, not to him and not to herself either.

He's stuck with her through this for 7 years. He hasn't demanded anything of her, he's simply refusing to take a huge next step with her under these circumstances, which is beyond reasonable and responsible.

So yeah, they are not on the same page.
Marriage is not the answer. Either rational compromise or breaking up are the right answers.

Exactly. He hasn't threatened to end the relationship and hasn't cheated again despite not having had sex in what sounds like at least a year or many years. He was ok with his relationship as it was until she started talking about engagement and he basically said their relationship in their current form was not engagement material. She has been the one driving this whole process.

OP - are you hoping she will just make the decision on her own? Are you worried about her feelings to the point that you are unable to do it yourself? This could drag on for a very long time. She is emotional and irrational and is not just suddenly going to have the light bulb go on and become more reasonable about the whole thing. Ain't gonna happen. You are doing her a kindness by letting her go in her early to mid 20s in that she will have enough time to move on, find herself, unfuck whatever portion of her brain has been consumed by this, AND still have enough time in her fertile years to find someone appropriate to marry and have children with. By holding onto this towards your 30s you are robbing her of that option.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 11:54:16 AM by fuzzy math »

zoochadookdook

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If you have't had sex in several years, why is she on birth control at all?

Helps regulate periods. Quite a lot of females take it for issues other than sex.

Malkynn

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Go with #1, #2 is a fake engagement and you will just end up in this exact same situation again when she starts pressuring you to set a date.

If you two don't have the trust and communication skills to get through this with #1 approach, then you are not ready for marriage anyway, regardless of the mismatched sex drive issue.

#1 is honest and compassionate. You aren't saying "put out or I'm gone", you're saying that you want to stay and try things that might help. You *are* in fact showing your commitment.

Don't expect her to react well, but more importantly, don't interpret her reacting poorly as an indication that you've said anything wrong.

Hula Hoop

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I would go with #1 and try seeing a sex therapist. 

dcheesi

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^ Right, it's not the same thing, but it sounds like the OP is demanding sex as a prerequisite to continue the relationship, and she is demanding an engagement to commit sexually. They are not on the same page with this.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with him stating his needs.
That's honest and fair.

She either wants to work on a sex life with him or she doesn't.
That's also fair.

Refusing to own her own feelings and demanding the insanity of getting engaged is not honest or fair, not to him and not to herself either.

He's stuck with her through this for 7 years. He hasn't demanded anything of her, he's simply refusing to take a huge next step with her under these circumstances, which is beyond reasonable and responsible.

So yeah, they are not on the same page.
Marriage is not the answer. Either rational compromise or breaking up are the right answers.
I think OP is totally in the right to hold at least some progress on the sexual intimacy front before getting engaged. However, I'm not sure that calling her position "insanity" is entirely fair. Keep in mind that a century ago, her demand for a commitment to marry prior to engaging in sex would have been seen as entirely appropriate, and even admirable. Our modern culture regards that as ill-advised, and perhaps with good reason; but it doesn't mean that her position is necessarily invalid. Particularly if she is demi-sexual or the like, she may just be stating her own honest emotional need. It's a regrettable impasse, but not one I would demonize her for.

Of course it's also possible that she's being disingenuous and emotionally manipulative, but we can't really know that from our distant position, based only on what's been said so far.

Also, as I stated before, I'm not convinced that the mere act of "putting a ring on it" is necessarily going to do it for her at this point; she might need to feel an enthusiasm from the OP that simply isn't there. It sounds like she herself may not understand what exactly it would take to turn her on again, so even following her requests to the letter might or might not do it (as she herself has indicated). Which brings me back to the idea that it's a regrettable impasse that may not leave them with a good way forward at this point.

zoochadookdook

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Go with #1, #2 is a fake engagement and you will just end up in this exact same situation again when she starts pressuring you to set a date.

If you two don't have the trust and communication skills to get through this with #1 approach, then you are not ready for marriage anyway, regardless of the mismatched sex drive issue.

#1 is honest and compassionate. You aren't saying "put out or I'm gone", you're saying that you want to stay and try things that might help. You *are* in fact showing your commitment.

Don't expect her to react well, but more importantly, don't interpret her reacting poorly as an indication that you've said anything wrong.

She probably won't react well. She's built this up in her head for a while but after asking me what else we can do i have to say something

zoochadookdook

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^ Right, it's not the same thing, but it sounds like the OP is demanding sex as a prerequisite to continue the relationship, and she is demanding an engagement to commit sexually. They are not on the same page with this.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with him stating his needs.
That's honest and fair.

She either wants to work on a sex life with him or she doesn't.
That's also fair.

Refusing to own her own feelings and demanding the insanity of getting engaged is not honest or fair, not to him and not to herself either.

He's stuck with her through this for 7 years. He hasn't demanded anything of her, he's simply refusing to take a huge next step with her under these circumstances, which is beyond reasonable and responsible.

So yeah, they are not on the same page.
Marriage is not the answer. Either rational compromise or breaking up are the right answers.
I think OP is totally in the right to hold at least some progress on the sexual intimacy front before getting engaged. However, I'm not sure that calling her position "insanity" is entirely fair. Keep in mind that a century ago, her demand for a commitment to marry prior to engaging in sex would have been seen as entirely appropriate, and even admirable. Our modern culture regards that as ill-advised, and perhaps with good reason; but it doesn't mean that her position is necessarily invalid. Particularly if she is demi-sexual or the like, she may just be stating her own honest emotional need. It's a regrettable impasse, but not one I would demonize her for.

Of course it's also possible that she's being disingenuous and emotionally manipulative, but we can't really know that from our distant position, based only on what's been said so far.

Also, as I stated before, I'm not convinced that the mere act of "putting a ring on it" is necessarily going to do it for her at this point; she might need to feel an enthusiasm from the OP that simply isn't there. It sounds like she herself may not understand what exactly it would take to turn her on again, so even following her requests to the letter might or might not do it (as she herself has indicated). Which brings me back to the idea that it's a regrettable impasse that may not leave them with a good way forward at this point.

She knows what she wants to be engaged before she wants to bring sex into the relationship. Whether or not she'll feel enthusiasm or anything different is unknown but she knows that's how she feels regarding sex. She doesn't know if she'll be able to gain a libido or such again but she wants to try and introduce that. This puts me in the position of "do I want to try and advance it as these are her clear standards?". She was asking what else she can do or what else I need to move forward and there's really not a good answer.

zoochadookdook

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I would go with #1 and try seeing a sex therapist.

I can add that on. I'm just trying to figure out how to best say all this without absolutely crushing her.

Malkynn

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^ Right, it's not the same thing, but it sounds like the OP is demanding sex as a prerequisite to continue the relationship, and she is demanding an engagement to commit sexually. They are not on the same page with this.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with him stating his needs.
That's honest and fair.

She either wants to work on a sex life with him or she doesn't.
That's also fair.

Refusing to own her own feelings and demanding the insanity of getting engaged is not honest or fair, not to him and not to herself either.

He's stuck with her through this for 7 years. He hasn't demanded anything of her, he's simply refusing to take a huge next step with her under these circumstances, which is beyond reasonable and responsible.

So yeah, they are not on the same page.
Marriage is not the answer. Either rational compromise or breaking up are the right answers.
I think OP is totally in the right to hold at least some progress on the sexual intimacy front before getting engaged. However, I'm not sure that calling her position "insanity" is entirely fair. Keep in mind that a century ago, her demand for a commitment to marry prior to engaging in sex would have been seen as entirely appropriate, and even admirable. Our modern culture regards that as ill-advised, and perhaps with good reason; but it doesn't mean that her position is necessarily invalid. Particularly if she is demi-sexual or the like, she may just be stating her own honest emotional need. It's a regrettable impasse, but not one I would demonize her for.

Of course it's also possible that she's being disingenuous and emotionally manipulative, but we can't really know that from our distant position, based only on what's been said so far.

Also, as I stated before, I'm not convinced that the mere act of "putting a ring on it" is necessarily going to do it for her at this point; she might need to feel an enthusiasm from the OP that simply isn't there. It sounds like she herself may not understand what exactly it would take to turn her on again, so even following her requests to the letter might or might not do it (as she herself has indicated). Which brings me back to the idea that it's a regrettable impasse that may not leave them with a good way forward at this point.

A century ago was a long time and a different world.
She's gone 7 years not being engaged.
She's demanding an engagement because she wants to feel "chosen" by him because his infidelity years ago makes her feel insecure.

Regardless of the motivations though, when someone says very clearly that they are not comfortable moving forward with marriage, pushing them to do it anyway is not reasonable, not fair, and not healthy. Period.

And you are absolutely right. Proposing won't solve anything.

Also, I'm not actually villifying her if that's your issue with my posts. I feel like good, normal people are perfectly capable of doing totally batshit things for unhealthy reasons all the time. Pointing out that what someone is doing is a TERRIBLE idea for IRRATIONAL reasons is not the same as villifying that person.

In fact, it's more compassionate to recognize when someone is not thinking rationally. It's most compassionate to know when you need to hurt someone, even if it's really hard.

This isn't a case of him being good and her being bad. It's a case of two people who seem to deeply care about each other falling down a rabbit hole of whacky logic due to an issue that is steeped in insecurity and guilt and was never resolved properly.

As a pp said, it's the relationships that are 90% perfect that are the hardest to manage sometimes, especially when one party decides to double down on an illusion.


zoochadookdook

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^ Right, it's not the same thing, but it sounds like the OP is demanding sex as a prerequisite to continue the relationship, and she is demanding an engagement to commit sexually. They are not on the same page with this.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with him stating his needs.
That's honest and fair.

She either wants to work on a sex life with him or she doesn't.
That's also fair.

Refusing to own her own feelings and demanding the insanity of getting engaged is not honest or fair, not to him and not to herself either.

He's stuck with her through this for 7 years. He hasn't demanded anything of her, he's simply refusing to take a huge next step with her under these circumstances, which is beyond reasonable and responsible.

So yeah, they are not on the same page.
Marriage is not the answer. Either rational compromise or breaking up are the right answers.
I think OP is totally in the right to hold at least some progress on the sexual intimacy front before getting engaged. However, I'm not sure that calling her position "insanity" is entirely fair. Keep in mind that a century ago, her demand for a commitment to marry prior to engaging in sex would have been seen as entirely appropriate, and even admirable. Our modern culture regards that as ill-advised, and perhaps with good reason; but it doesn't mean that her position is necessarily invalid. Particularly if she is demi-sexual or the like, she may just be stating her own honest emotional need. It's a regrettable impasse, but not one I would demonize her for.

Of course it's also possible that she's being disingenuous and emotionally manipulative, but we can't really know that from our distant position, based only on what's been said so far.

Also, as I stated before, I'm not convinced that the mere act of "putting a ring on it" is necessarily going to do it for her at this point; she might need to feel an enthusiasm from the OP that simply isn't there. It sounds like she herself may not understand what exactly it would take to turn her on again, so even following her requests to the letter might or might not do it (as she herself has indicated). Which brings me back to the idea that it's a regrettable impasse that may not leave them with a good way forward at this point.

A century ago was a long time and a different world.
She's gone 7 years not being engaged.
She's demanding an engagement because she wants to feel "chosen" by him because his infidelity years ago makes her feel insecure.

Regardless of the motivations though, when someone says very clearly that they are not comfortable moving forward with marriage, pushing them to do it anyway is not reasonable, not fair, and not healthy. Period.

And you are absolutely right. Proposing won't solve anything.

Also, I'm not actually villifying her if that's your issue with my posts. I feel like good, normal people are perfectly capable of doing totally batshit things for unhealthy reasons all the time. Pointing out that what someone is doing is a TERRIBLE idea for IRRATIONAL reasons is not the same as villifying that person.

In fact, it's more compassionate to recognize when someone is not thinking rationally. It's most compassionate to know when you need to hurt someone, even if it's really hard.

This isn't a case of him being good and her being bad. It's a case of two people who seem to deeply care about each other falling down a rabbit hole of whacky logic due to an issue that is steeped in insecurity and guilt and was never resolved properly.

As a pp said, it's the relationships that are 90% perfect that are the hardest to manage sometimes, especially when one party decides to double down on an illusion.

It's nearly impossible to make my case without her feeling like it's her fault/I'll never want to marry her etc. And it's not like that, it's just I want to establish our relationship better. I think she's more time sensitive and i'm not immune to that either.

Malkynn

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  • Posts: 868
^ you can't avoid hurting her feelings, they're already hurt. You also can't fix them for her.

I get it, it's incredibly hard to be the source of pain to the person you love. It sucks. A lot.