Author Topic: 7 year relationship. No sexual desire. She wants to get married. Any Counselors?  (Read 66040 times)

Malkynn

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As other have said, she has a self-esteem issue that her self-worth is tied up being engaged/married as indicators of her self-worth. I honestly think that you two separating would be best for both you and her in the long term. You could find someone who doesn't find loving up on someone they care about as a chore. And even if it is hard and tough, she will learn to see herself as an individual with a self-worth SEPARATE from your relationship or commitment level. Honestly if you love and care for her as a person, the best thing to do is separate so she can do that work. It's not going to happen with you two emmeshed like this.

Think of the alternative. You get engaged, you end up breaking up either before or even after you are married (for obvious fundamental differences). Now emotionally, mentally ALL her eggs are in one basket, she hasn't developed resilience and identity separate from being a "happily married" part of a couple. That's a worse fate to put her through.

You are young and both of you will survive this. Both of you have some growing up to do.

100% agreed.

I think given everything you have shared, there is no healthy way for her to move forward with you.
She will get hurt and I think you will end up feeling like an asshole for hurting her.

The most loving thing you can do is leave her and tell her that you want her to work on herself, for herself.

In fact, the only reasons I see for you staying with her at this point are highly selfish ones. If you truly understand where she is coming from the way you say that you do, then deep down, you know there is no path forward that doesn't further traumatize her.

You know this.
Man up and do the right thing. Give her the only chance she has to actually heal as a human being.
Let her go.

madgeylou

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You have heard it from so many people -- you and this woman are not compatible in terms of life partnership

Right now you're just torturing each other trying to figure out how you can take this thing that you don't want, and change it into something you do. Just stop. Stop torturing each other. Rip off the band-aid and move on. It will suck in the short term but in the long term, you'll both be free to find someone who suits you better.

Omy

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You are at an impasse. You've spent seven years in limbo. You can no longer "agree to disagree".

If either of you "gives in" to the other, the relationship will eventually end. Whoever "gives in" will resent the other for the remainder of the relationship.

Solid relationships are founded in trust and both partners wanting to give the other whatever makes them feel happy and safe. If you are not meeting each others wants and needs, it is time to move on and find partners who will.

zoochadookdook

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She also wants guarantees that are impossible to give.

I agree. Ugh.

To be fair we both do. I want to reestablish sexual compatibility which she doesn't know if she can/can feel like that-especially since so much of her worth and feeling good about herself has been tied to me choosing to spend the rest of my life with her. When you break it down it is a choice (either a good one or a bad one depending on how much I care about my own needs/etc). 

Actually, there is very little in this whole long thread that tells me that what you want is to have a sexual relationship with this woman and to marry her.  We've heard a whole lot about what she wants, and very little about what you want (other than for you sex and marriage go together - which is the most normal thing I've found in this whole thread).  The fact that the two of you have shared a house/bed for the last six years without having sex pretty much tells me that she is not the one for you and never will be.

Also, look at this from your friend's point of view: she had a relationship lasting a few months when she was 18.  That relationship ended (for good reasons) and has never been re-established - the friendship between you was re-established, but not the relationship.  Now, 6 years later, she is saying that she expects marriage, and has done so for a long time but without actually telling you so (or, as Cool Friend points out, actually doing the hard work and asking you).  That looks pretty crazy to me - she has been building castles in the sky for years, and is now trying to guilt you into building them for her.

I think the worst thing you can do is persist with this fantasy that there is a relationship between the two of you that could lead to marriage.  Please, for your sake and hers you need to put an end to this untenable situation and set both of you free to make better lives for yourselves, separately. Forget the cruise (sunk cost), move out of the same bedroom if you are still in it, and set a deadline for one or other of you leaving the house you are sharing (and if she is the one who stays, she pays you full market rent, no excuses).

I guess you're right. I've been looking at this more of how I can establish myself feeling the way she does about our relationship and that has led to reflection on things I'm missing (whether I'm aware of them or not).

She's definitely been relying on expectations and hopes and a blind commitment for a long time. Now she is trying to get me up to the same level and we're both understanding that it's not just something we can force.

I could get the cruise refunded but not the flights. That being said I've told her i'd rather she go with a friend/sister or such and still take the trip as I feel it'd be good to have time apart to better sort our feelings out. She has repeatedly said she does want to go with me but i'm thinking it's just holding on to the idea we can still get to engagement/not letting go of that.

zoochadookdook

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It's not possible to have a conversation without marriage involving sex because it comes back to-if i never want to get married/never get there than why open up in that way I think? Like she wants to change herself-but she wants to feel like she's doing it with purpose towards how she views advancing our relationship.

To paraphrase the bolded: She wants to be doing it for herself.  She does not want to be doing it for you.

This is exactly what we've been trying to tell you.  She has no interest in opening up to make you happy.  Full stop.  She only has an interest if it advances her own agenda.  She is making it extraordinarily clear that your happiness is not a concern for her in its own right, only for how it can get her what she wants.  She is being 100% selfish here.  She's demanding unconditional love and commitment from you, but she is not offering the same in return.  Do you see why this does not look like a healthy, mutually respectful, loving relationship to us?

She has said she wants to do it to allow herself to let go of her reservations and expectations as they really are kind of roadblocks in our relationship-but yes she's doing it for her idea of how us should be to a degree as well. She's doing it because she has this need to be married and she's accepted that her as she is won't do it. That to me is a positive. She's frustrated though as she sees it as her being the only one that has to change and doesn't understand why i can't make any sort of effort towards marriage/engagement with her newfound willingness to give up on her principals. I think the difference is I don't know what exactly would get me to the point of engagement. I only know what our relationship has been missing and how that's made me feel. I've told her this and it's a similar thing. She's felt like she's missing a shared view of the future and it's made her feel uncertain and such. They're interwoven in that she can't disconnect the importance of my needs as something separate from our relationship/her needs in said relationship. I mean I understand-why waste time trying to get someone to share your point of view/share your feeling of commitment if you don't know if they ever will?

All of those reasons are about her, not about you.  You are still redirecting, and allowing her to redirect.  That is not a positive.  That is very much a negative.  She has not tried at all to see this through your lens, to validate your feelings, or try to understand what you need to be happy.  Note I said to be happy, not to marry her.  She is only interested in what you need to marry her, not in making you happy.  You should not marry someone who does not want to make you happy.

Please, please, read and reread all the advice we have given you.  Stop defending her, and start defending yourself.

Right these are absolutely my needs. And I can't help but feel guilty to a degree about having this need to be happy in a relationship that I am currently in and have been in. I should not feel guilty for what I need-but in the context of her feelings how she's able to feel through what she deems as important-it's just something that in the past I have been able to set aside for her happiness and in doing that deemed it as a viable relationship to her.

zoochadookdook

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It's not possible to have a conversation without marriage involving sex because it comes back to-if i never want to get married/never get there than why open up in that way I think? Like she wants to change herself-but she wants to feel like she's doing it with purpose towards how she views advancing our relationship.

To paraphrase the bolded: She wants to be doing it for herself.  She does not want to be doing it for you.

This is exactly what we've been trying to tell you.  She has no interest in opening up to make you happy.  Full stop.  She only has an interest if it advances her own agenda.  She is making it extraordinarily clear that your happiness is not a concern for her in its own right, only for how it can get her what she wants.  She is being 100% selfish here.  She's demanding unconditional love and commitment from you, but she is not offering the same in return.  Do you see why this does not look like a healthy, mutually respectful, loving relationship to us?

She has said she wants to do it to allow herself to let go of her reservations and expectations as they really are kind of roadblocks in our relationship-but yes she's doing it for her idea of how us should be to a degree as well. She's doing it because she has this need to be married and she's accepted that her as she is won't do it. That to me is a positive. She's frustrated though as she sees it as her being the only one that has to change and doesn't understand why i can't make any sort of effort towards marriage/engagement with her newfound willingness to give up on her principals. I think the difference is I don't know what exactly would get me to the point of engagement. I only know what our relationship has been missing and how that's made me feel. I've told her this and it's a similar thing. She's felt like she's missing a shared view of the future and it's made her feel uncertain and such. They're interwoven in that she can't disconnect the importance of my needs as something separate from our relationship/her needs in said relationship. I mean I understand-why waste time trying to get someone to share your point of view/share your feeling of commitment if you don't know if they ever will?

She doesn't have a need to be married, she has a fixation on marriage as a solution to her problems and she is fundamentally and critically wrong.

Right; but how do you talk to someone who believes that it is the right option? Because any no" is seen as rejection. It's not seen as logical or as anything other than a personal affront and it is a need for her in that way. Whether or not she's right or wrong doesn't really play into her personal needs; just the reasoning behind them.

sol

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Ugh.

Yea, I think I got to that same point about 48 hours before you and Kris did.

This whole scenario is fucked up and depressing and it looks to me like both parties are going to be miserable and there's not a damn thing anyone here can do about it.  They are young and foolish, and needlessly torturing themselves in some sort of twisted codependent emotional BDSM game in which they take turns making each other cry.  That's not love.  That's not even fun.  I don't see any possible future for these two that doesn't involve years of resentment.

We should go back to watching JoJo's "will they won't they" relationship thread.  That was also excruciatingly painful, and seemed equivalently hopeless, but at least it was funny in a sort of dark and twisted way.

Cool Friend

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It's not possible to have a conversation without marriage involving sex because it comes back to-if i never want to get married/never get there than why open up in that way I think? Like she wants to change herself-but she wants to feel like she's doing it with purpose towards how she views advancing our relationship.

To paraphrase the bolded: She wants to be doing it for herself.  She does not want to be doing it for you.

This is exactly what we've been trying to tell you.  She has no interest in opening up to make you happy.  Full stop.  She only has an interest if it advances her own agenda.  She is making it extraordinarily clear that your happiness is not a concern for her in its own right, only for how it can get her what she wants.  She is being 100% selfish here.  She's demanding unconditional love and commitment from you, but she is not offering the same in return.  Do you see why this does not look like a healthy, mutually respectful, loving relationship to us?

She has said she wants to do it to allow herself to let go of her reservations and expectations as they really are kind of roadblocks in our relationship-but yes she's doing it for her idea of how us should be to a degree as well. She's doing it because she has this need to be married and she's accepted that her as she is won't do it. That to me is a positive. She's frustrated though as she sees it as her being the only one that has to change and doesn't understand why i can't make any sort of effort towards marriage/engagement with her newfound willingness to give up on her principals. I think the difference is I don't know what exactly would get me to the point of engagement. I only know what our relationship has been missing and how that's made me feel. I've told her this and it's a similar thing. She's felt like she's missing a shared view of the future and it's made her feel uncertain and such. They're interwoven in that she can't disconnect the importance of my needs as something separate from our relationship/her needs in said relationship. I mean I understand-why waste time trying to get someone to share your point of view/share your feeling of commitment if you don't know if they ever will?

She doesn't have a need to be married, she has a fixation on marriage as a solution to her problems and she is fundamentally and critically wrong.

Right; but how do you talk to someone who believes that it is the right option? Because any no" is seen as rejection. It's not seen as logical or as anything other than a personal affront and it is a need for her in that way. Whether or not she's right or wrong doesn't really play into her personal needs; just the reasoning behind them.

Unfortunately, for reasons you see very clearly, you can't.

zoochadookdook

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As other have said, she has a self-esteem issue that her self-worth is tied up being engaged/married as indicators of her self-worth. I honestly think that you two separating would be best for both you and her in the long term. You could find someone who doesn't find loving up on someone they care about as a chore. And even if it is hard and tough, she will learn to see herself as an individual with a self-worth SEPARATE from your relationship or commitment level. Honestly if you love and care for her as a person, the best thing to do is separate so she can do that work. It's not going to happen with you two emmeshed like this.

Think of the alternative. You get engaged, you end up breaking up either before or even after you are married (for obvious fundamental differences). Now emotionally, mentally ALL her eggs are in one basket, she hasn't developed resilience and identity separate from being a "happily married" part of a couple. That's a worse fate to put her through.

You are young and both of you will survive this. Both of you have some growing up to do.

I don't know if it's a self esteem issue or just something that's always been something she needs for higher validation of choosing the correct relationship/will always desire and want. She knows she does want to be married and is willing to do anything to make that happen-but I don't want her to act certain ways JUST to want me to marry her and that's something we have a hard time speaking about. She sees it as "well if i don't then we didn't try and we just break up and we never got to see what if"? I know we're emotionally attached and compatible to at least some degree because we've been together this long.

I've absolutely explained the breaking up engagement/marriage would be worse to our relationship in my mind than a relationship now; and she's compounded that by saying if we broke up after we did start having sex it would be much harder on her but it's something she's willing to do if i need it in the relationship/as long as our goals are both marriage.

runbikerun

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You've been told the answer repeatedly, but maybe it needs to be spelled out.

You talk to her by telling her the relationship is over.

Absolutely nobody on this thread sees any realistic prospect of this working out. She has issues that will not be solved by a proposal or a wedding, and is utterly unwilling to address them. She has responded to your entirely reasonable expectations by engaging in thinly disguised emotional blackmail and the use of sex as a bargaining chip. There is no happy ending for the two of you as a couple: you need to pull the plug so that you can find someone who won't do those things, and so that she can figure out what the absolute hell she's doing.

End it. For your sake and for hers, end it. You're both miserable right now, and there is no basis for any hope that will change.

zoochadookdook

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It's not possible to have a conversation without marriage involving sex because it comes back to-if i never want to get married/never get there than why open up in that way I think? Like she wants to change herself-but she wants to feel like she's doing it with purpose towards how she views advancing our relationship.

To paraphrase the bolded: She wants to be doing it for herself.  She does not want to be doing it for you.

This is exactly what we've been trying to tell you.  She has no interest in opening up to make you happy.  Full stop.  She only has an interest if it advances her own agenda.  She is making it extraordinarily clear that your happiness is not a concern for her in its own right, only for how it can get her what she wants.  She is being 100% selfish here.  She's demanding unconditional love and commitment from you, but she is not offering the same in return.  Do you see why this does not look like a healthy, mutually respectful, loving relationship to us?

She has said she wants to do it to allow herself to let go of her reservations and expectations as they really are kind of roadblocks in our relationship-but yes she's doing it for her idea of how us should be to a degree as well. She's doing it because she has this need to be married and she's accepted that her as she is won't do it. That to me is a positive. She's frustrated though as she sees it as her being the only one that has to change and doesn't understand why i can't make any sort of effort towards marriage/engagement with her newfound willingness to give up on her principals. I think the difference is I don't know what exactly would get me to the point of engagement. I only know what our relationship has been missing and how that's made me feel. I've told her this and it's a similar thing. She's felt like she's missing a shared view of the future and it's made her feel uncertain and such. They're interwoven in that she can't disconnect the importance of my needs as something separate from our relationship/her needs in said relationship. I mean I understand-why waste time trying to get someone to share your point of view/share your feeling of commitment if you don't know if they ever will?

She doesn't have a need to be married, she has a fixation on marriage as a solution to her problems and she is fundamentally and critically wrong.

Right; but how do you talk to someone who believes that it is the right option? Because any no" is seen as rejection. It's not seen as logical or as anything other than a personal affront and it is a need for her in that way. Whether or not she's right or wrong doesn't really play into her personal needs; just the reasoning behind them.

Unfortunately, for reasons you see very clearly, you can't.

She's getting hurt here no matter how I explain my side. She's getting hurt and thinking of ways she can fix me to get to her point. So there is no real right way to navigate this that caters to both our feelings without making one or both of us feel wrong/hurting the other.

Cool Friend

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Exactly.  You cannot avoid hurting her.*  Breaking up will be difficult and painful for both of you, no doubt about it.  But every day this goes on becomes more and more difficult.  The sooner you do it, the more pain you will save her--and more importantly, yourself--from.

*should add that the pain of not getting engaged is self-inflicted pain on her part, due to her completely unrealistic expectations.

Raenia

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It's not possible to have a conversation without marriage involving sex because it comes back to-if i never want to get married/never get there than why open up in that way I think? Like she wants to change herself-but she wants to feel like she's doing it with purpose towards how she views advancing our relationship.

To paraphrase the bolded: She wants to be doing it for herself.  She does not want to be doing it for you.

This is exactly what we've been trying to tell you.  She has no interest in opening up to make you happy.  Full stop.  She only has an interest if it advances her own agenda.  She is making it extraordinarily clear that your happiness is not a concern for her in its own right, only for how it can get her what she wants.  She is being 100% selfish here.  She's demanding unconditional love and commitment from you, but she is not offering the same in return.  Do you see why this does not look like a healthy, mutually respectful, loving relationship to us?

She has said she wants to do it to allow herself to let go of her reservations and expectations as they really are kind of roadblocks in our relationship-but yes she's doing it for her idea of how us should be to a degree as well. She's doing it because she has this need to be married and she's accepted that her as she is won't do it. That to me is a positive. She's frustrated though as she sees it as her being the only one that has to change and doesn't understand why i can't make any sort of effort towards marriage/engagement with her newfound willingness to give up on her principals. I think the difference is I don't know what exactly would get me to the point of engagement. I only know what our relationship has been missing and how that's made me feel. I've told her this and it's a similar thing. She's felt like she's missing a shared view of the future and it's made her feel uncertain and such. They're interwoven in that she can't disconnect the importance of my needs as something separate from our relationship/her needs in said relationship. I mean I understand-why waste time trying to get someone to share your point of view/share your feeling of commitment if you don't know if they ever will?

She doesn't have a need to be married, she has a fixation on marriage as a solution to her problems and she is fundamentally and critically wrong.

Right; but how do you talk to someone who believes that it is the right option? Because any no" is seen as rejection. It's not seen as logical or as anything other than a personal affront and it is a need for her in that way. Whether or not she's right or wrong doesn't really play into her personal needs; just the reasoning behind them.

Unfortunately, for reasons you see very clearly, you can't.

She's getting hurt here no matter how I explain my side. She's getting hurt and thinking of ways she can fix me to get to her point. So there is no real right way to navigate this that caters to both our feelings without making one or both of us feel wrong/hurting the other.

The right way to navigate this is to say "I'm sorry, but this isn't working for either of us.  I know it hurts to end things, but it will hurt more if we drag it out longer.  There's nothing either of us can say or do to fix things.  This is it."

Every possible outcome at this point includes both of you hurting.  That's inevitable.  You both feel wrong because you are both at fault for allowing it to reach this stage.  That doesn't change the inevitability of the end.  All you can do now is allow the grief to happen so you can both start to move on.

GreenSheep

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She's getting hurt here no matter how I explain my side. She's getting hurt and thinking of ways she can fix me to get to her point. So there is no real right way to navigate this that caters to both our feelings without making one or both of us feel wrong/hurting the other.

When that happens, you have to take care of yourself first and just do the best you can to let her down gently. You can't sign yourself up for a lifetime of putting your own feelings aside in favor of someone else's. To some extent, how much she gets hurt is dependent on how she views things. It's not a crime to break up with someone. It will hurt her in the short term, but she will probably be grateful for it in the long term. Ask anyone who's ever been dumped. It might make you feel like a jerk in the short term, but over time you'll see that you're not a bad person.

Boofinator

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She sees it as "well if i don't then we didn't try and we just break up and we never got to see what if"?

Life is about choices. None of us can ever possibly know the answer to every "what if?", so instead we make choices that optimize our expected current and future happiness. Marriage (and engagement by proxy) is one of those massive choices: will this single person improve my lifetime happiness? Breaking up, though it feels like a big choice, is usually not* in the grand scheme of things: there are a lot of fish in the sea who will be compatible with you. So this is your choice: Are you more likely to be happy in marriage with this person, or to meet and marry someone more compatible with you who you will have no qualms against marrying because you actually want to spend the rest of your life with her? Not knowing you, I'd be willing to bet a decade of my pension savings (to follow the theme from runbikerun) that you will meet somebody much more compatible with you than your current partner, but you have to break up first to answer your "what if?". A lot of other posters shared which words to use to make the break-up as clear and painless as possible.

*The exception is when someone breaks up with a partner who is very compatible due to commitment-phobia or FOMO of all the booty out there, but that is not the case with you two.

bwall

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At this point, the only thing worse than ending the relationship is continuing it. By continuing the relationship you are wasting her time and that is the one thing that money cannot buy.

If you love her, cut her loose so that she can find the right person for her before it's too late for her to have kids--one of her stated goals in life. As a man you can have kids in 20 years if you so choose. She can't.

fuzzy math

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As other have said, she has a self-esteem issue that her self-worth is tied up being engaged/married as indicators of her self-worth. I honestly think that you two separating would be best for both you and her in the long term. You could find someone who doesn't find loving up on someone they care about as a chore. And even if it is hard and tough, she will learn to see herself as an individual with a self-worth SEPARATE from your relationship or commitment level. Honestly if you love and care for her as a person, the best thing to do is separate so she can do that work. It's not going to happen with you two emmeshed like this.

Think of the alternative. You get engaged, you end up breaking up either before or even after you are married (for obvious fundamental differences). Now emotionally, mentally ALL her eggs are in one basket, she hasn't developed resilience and identity separate from being a "happily married" part of a couple. That's a worse fate to put her through.

You are young and both of you will survive this. Both of you have some growing up to do.

I don't know if it's a self esteem issue or just something that's always been something she needs for higher validation of choosing the correct relationship/will always desire and want. She knows she does want to be married and is willing to do anything to make that happen-but I don't want her to act certain ways JUST to want me to marry her and that's something we have a hard time speaking about. She sees it as "well if i don't then we didn't try and we just break up and we never got to see what if"? I know we're emotionally attached and compatible to at least some degree because we've been together this long.

I've absolutely explained the breaking up engagement/marriage would be worse to our relationship in my mind than a relationship now; and she's compounded that by saying if we broke up after we did start having sex it would be much harder on her but it's something she's willing to do if i need it in the relationship/as long as our goals are both marriage.

You were only compatible with her because you accepted no sex with no questions for 6 years. She was only compatible with you because she never brought up marriage expectations for 6 years. Now that the cat is out of the bag you obviously do not have any more illusions that you are compatible.

Every word you've stated of hers is that her having sex is going to mess her up/ upset her/ destroy her. Don't destroy her.

marble_faun

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Yeah, don't go on the cruise.  As you said, she can go, and you can take the time alone to reflect.  With these intense discussions happening, it doesn't sound like being cramped together in a ship cabin will be very pleasant anyway.

The problem isn't just sexual incompatibility. It's also her way of arguing, which (as others have noted) seems highly manipulative, with little attempt to appreciate your viewpoint. This doesn't bode well for your future either. 

I take back what I said a few thread-pages ago about waiting to see what happens with the BC.  She doesn't see the status quo as a problem, doesn't really want to want to change, and is considering your interests only grudgingly.  And that's within her rights, but you don't need to be along for the ride anymore.

Cassie

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When you are young and in love sharing the same bed you shouldn’t be able to keep your hands off of each other. This is not normal.

LadyMuMu

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I've written and rewritten paragraphs but it all comes down to this:

Don't go on the cruise. Don't get engaged. Don't have sex. Stop living together. Break up.

I'm sorry you've spent so much time in a dysfunctional holding pattern with one another. You may want to look at why that was acceptable to you for so long. But don't make things worse now simply to avoid a difficult conversation.


sol

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When you are young and in love sharing the same bed you shouldn’t be able to keep your hands off of each other. This is not normal.

I try not to superimpose my views on "normal" on other relationships.  I agree that it's uncommon.

But it could still work out, if for example they were both happy in an asexual relationship.  Or if they worked out some other arrangement where they lived together in marital bliss except one of them regularly paid sex workers for emotionally meaningless sexual release outside of marriage.  Or if they had some other kind of sexually open relationship where everyone's needs were met in a way that protected their union. I can even envision a minimally functional scenario in which they compromise on sex once per week at a pre-determined date and time, rain or shine, regardless of desire. 

I believe that all marriages become sexless eventually, and that doesn't mean the love has to die.  Pray that it's late in life.  If you're very very lucky, then some day you will both be confined to side by side hospital beds in your 90s, physically unable to do more than hold hands, and you can still be very much in love at that point in your lives.  It's only a matter of time before age and infirmity rob each of us of our sexual abilities, and I wish for all of us a happy and fulfilling relationship long after that day comes.  Sex isn't everything.

But when I was in my 20s, it was pretty damn close.

Don't go on the cruise. Don't get engaged. Don't have sex. Stop living together. Break up.

I think everyone here except the OP recognizes that this is good advice, with approximately zero chance of being followed anytime soon.  I think these people are doomed to heartbreak.  It's just a matter of how many more years they waste before they get there.

On the bright side, they are both much more likely to find what they're looking for after they suffer through that temporary misery.  OP is going to have tons of crazy sex with hot girls who are so eager for it he won't be able to keep up.  His gf is either going to discover her own sexual liberation, or find happiness with someone else who doesn't care about sex.  They'll both be better off after the breakup, some day.

wenchsenior

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Yeah, don't go on the cruise.  As you said, she can go, and you can take the time alone to reflect.  With these intense discussions happening, it doesn't sound like being cramped together in a ship cabin will be very pleasant anyway.

The problem isn't just sexual incompatibility. It's also her way of arguing, which (as others have noted) seems highly manipulative, with little attempt to appreciate your viewpoint. This doesn't bode well for your future either. 

I take back what I said a few thread-pages ago about waiting to see what happens with the BC.  She doesn't see the status quo as a problem, doesn't really want to want to change, and is considering your interests only grudgingly.  And that's within her rights, but you don't need to be along for the ride anymore.

I also take back my same previous advice.   Checking to see what happens off BC is only useful if she was actively into/enjoying/desiring sex in the early days of the relationship and is unhappy about not having any desire now or in the future. When the Pill killed my sex drive, I wasn't motivated toward sex anymore, but I was MISERABLE about that. I wanted to want/enjoy sex! Your gf does not seem to prioritize that part of herself (let alone your needs in this regard) in any way at all. Which is FINE, but again, makes her a fundamentally unsuitable partner for you.

But the longer this thread has gone, the more it has become obvious that the sex is just the tip of the iceberg as to your unsuitability for each other as life partners.  You don't communicate well. Your gf's self-esteem problems appear to be enormous: she is looking for external validation of her worth (which is unhealthy in and of itself),  and further attaching that validation to actions on your part that require to you sacrifice what you want, and FURTHER STILL she is then attaching said requested sacrifices to additional fantastical ideas of 'certainty and security' (which, practically speaking DO NOT EXIST in most areas of life). 

You, in turn, appear to have been incredibly passive in asserting your own needs, even though you also seem lukewarm to the whole life-goal concepts of marriage and kids.  Based on what you've written, you don't even seem entirely clear on what you want out of marriage, which is a clear signal you shouldn't get married.  I suspect that you also might be suffering from self-esteem problems that make you a poor candidate for marriage at this point in life.  The two of you appear to be locked in a dysfunctional 'handcuff' dynamic where you stay b/c it's comfortable and b/c you feel guilty for cheating years ago, and she makes you feel like only you can fulfill her emotional needs.  And she stays b/c she is an emotional black hole that requires constant outside reassurance that she's worthwhile/loved, while clinging to a fantasy of certainty that doesn't really exist in life or relationships.  In turn, you have spent years feeding her dysfunction by providing these things to her with barely a peep about your own needs and expectations.

Cut bait and move on.  This is no recipe for a healthy/happy marriage.  Honestly, in some ways it is not even a recipe for a healthy friendship.

ysette9

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@zoochadookdook I wish for a moment you could see your situation through the eyes of us strangers on the forum. I suspect you have been in your situation for so long and accepted it as normal that it is difficult to see how very dysfunctional it appears from the outside. You seem to be a very well-intention, kind person. We've already discussed your friend's self esteem issues but I think you should also spend some time asking yourself about your own. You have gone six long years denying your own fundamental needs and desires and not even bringing that up as a topic of conversation, but accepting it. That is not normal. You deserve better than that and you deserve to advocate for your own needs. I doubt there is anyone on this thread who would go so long having something fundamentally important to them not met in a relationship, and not even bringing it up as an issue.

In a small way I understand your friend. I had been with my boyfriend for six years or so and knew this was the person I wanted to marry. He wasn't there. That was really hard on me because I felt stuck, rejected, and kept wondering what it was about me that was lacking. We definitely could have been better about our communication on the topic and that is something we improved slowly over time. However the difference is that when I finally decided I had had enough of not getting what I needed, I asked my boyfriend to move out. I told him I needed some more space. Not that I wanted to break up completely because I loved him and our relationship was fundamentally good still, but I could no longer live in what felt like a sham marriage when what I wanted was the real thing. It was hard on both of us, but I think it did us both a lot of good. He moved out. I took a temporary job in another state, and we had more time to ourselves to think and grow and be independent.

What was critical to me is that I finally had the confidence in myself to look at what I needed, see that I wasn't getting it, and do something about it. There is something very empowering about taking control of your own fate. I recommend it to both of you. I also can't speak highly enough of the importance of having time in your 20s to experience independent adulthood for learning and growing and just having fun. This time of your lives is supposed to be fun! It gets harder after this. This really is not supposed to be such a difficult slog.

You are a good person and I wish you the best. Please remember that you matter and your needs matter and to start giving them equal weight.

Cool Friend

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It's so tough to see our relationships for what they are when we're deep in them, isn't it?  I was in a 3-year relationship with a person who also had deep self-esteem/abandonment issues and demanded constant (I mean daily, several times a day) affirmation of her worth from me.... which she would reject, because she didn't believe positive things about herself.  I was luckily experienced enough with relationships to know that the self-worth had to come from within her, so we had a long discussion where I would explain how draining it was constantly trying to fill this bucket-with-a-hole and how it was destroying our relationship.  I was unfortunately not experienced enough to avoid falling for her deflection, redirection, and manipulation, so this was a routine conversation we would have every couple of months.  Sometimes she'd ease up for a week or two, but inevitably would fall back into her own patterns.  It took me a long time to figure out she simply wasn't interested in doing the work to make our relationship better.  One milestone moment was when I learned that her therapist was giving her practical tools to work on this, but she didn't want to use them because she didn't think they would work.  She didn't even want to try.  So I had to call it quits.  My situation was different in that our sex life was spectacular; we were very compatible in that area .

Breaking up with her was very difficult, because other than her implacable self-esteem wounds, she was a sweet, good-hearted person with a great sense of humor and I really loved her.  But I gotta tell you: the relief and peace of mind I felt after we split was priceless.  And you know what?  Months down the road she contacted me to tell me that she hoped there weren’t any hard feelings between us and that she wished me the best.  Breaking up was hard.  But it was necessary for us both.

I hope my story helps you.

Malkynn

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This thread may be many pages, but let's not forget that it's only been a few days of chatting with internet strangers after 7 years or this being OP's normal.

It's a huge paradigm shift for him to go from the reality of a few days ago:

"my relationship is great, we'll probably get married some day, she hasn't had interest in sex me since I cheated years ago, but that will probably work out eventually as long as I'm patient and respectful"

To

"I should break up with her, it's the only reasonable thing to do"

I've been in enough dumbshit relationships to know that those boats are hard to turn around sometimes.

runbikerun

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This thread may be many pages, but let's not forget that it's only been a few days of chatting with internet strangers after 7 years or this being OP's normal.

It's a huge paradigm shift for him to go from the reality of a few days ago:

"my relationship is great, we'll probably get married some day, she hasn't had interest in sex me since I cheated years ago, but that will probably work out eventually as long as I'm patient and respectful"

To

"I should break up with her, it's the only reasonable thing to do"

I've been in enough dumbshit relationships to know that those boats are hard to turn around sometimes.

Malkynn demonstrating almost casually exactly why the Best Post On The Forum thread is really a Malkynn's Greatest Hits thread.

ysette9

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This thread may be many pages, but let's not forget that it's only been a few days of chatting with internet strangers after 7 years or this being OP's normal.

It's a huge paradigm shift for him to go from the reality of a few days ago:

"my relationship is great, we'll probably get married some day, she hasn't had interest in sex me since I cheated years ago, but that will probably work out eventually as long as I'm patient and respectful"

To

"I should break up with her, it's the only reasonable thing to do"

I've been in enough dumbshit relationships to know that those boats are hard to turn around sometimes.

Malkynn demonstrating almost casually exactly why the Best Post On The Forum thread is really a Malkynn's Greatest Hits thread.
The only person to give Malkynn a run for her money would be if Laura33 chimed in. :)

zoochadookdook

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This thread may be many pages, but let's not forget that it's only been a few days of chatting with internet strangers after 7 years or this being OP's normal.

It's a huge paradigm shift for him to go from the reality of a few days ago:

"my relationship is great, we'll probably get married some day, she hasn't had interest in sex me since I cheated years ago, but that will probably work out eventually as long as I'm patient and respectful"

To

"I should break up with her, it's the only reasonable thing to do"

I've been in enough dumbshit relationships to know that those boats are hard to turn around sometimes.

Yeah I mean-kind of been a integral and steady constant in my life for the past 7.5 years or so. It's not like I can just instantly look at someone I care about deeply in a new light without trying to discuss it with both of us and trying to at least make something work. I was in a happy enough for me state up until this last week and then it's just been shitty for both of us. I really wish she hadn't scheduled this vacation as that puts us on a crunch

Malkynn

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This thread may be many pages, but let's not forget that it's only been a few days of chatting with internet strangers after 7 years or this being OP's normal.

It's a huge paradigm shift for him to go from the reality of a few days ago:

"my relationship is great, we'll probably get married some day, she hasn't had interest in sex me since I cheated years ago, but that will probably work out eventually as long as I'm patient and respectful"

To

"I should break up with her, it's the only reasonable thing to do"

I've been in enough dumbshit relationships to know that those boats are hard to turn around sometimes.

Yeah I mean-kind of been a integral and steady constant in my life for the past 7.5 years or so. It's not like I can just instantly look at someone I care about deeply in a new light without trying to discuss it with both of us and trying to at least make something work. I was in a happy enough for me state up until this last week and then it's just been shitty for both of us. I really wish she hadn't scheduled this vacation as that puts us on a crunch

I get that, but in far more important ways, it's great that this has FINALLY forced you two to actually talk about your problems.

I mean, you were only "happy" because you were both utterly and completely ignorant about each other's reality.

As hard as this is, it's a good thing.

Never forget: all things worth doing are hard.

ysette9

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This thread may be many pages, but let's not forget that it's only been a few days of chatting with internet strangers after 7 years or this being OP's normal.

It's a huge paradigm shift for him to go from the reality of a few days ago:

"my relationship is great, we'll probably get married some day, she hasn't had interest in sex me since I cheated years ago, but that will probably work out eventually as long as I'm patient and respectful"

To

"I should break up with her, it's the only reasonable thing to do"

I've been in enough dumbshit relationships to know that those boats are hard to turn around sometimes.

Yeah I mean-kind of been a integral and steady constant in my life for the past 7.5 years or so. It's not like I can just instantly look at someone I care about deeply in a new light without trying to discuss it with both of us and trying to at least make something work. I was in a happy enough for me state up until this last week and then it's just been shitty for both of us. I really wish she hadn't scheduled this vacation as that puts us on a crunch

I get that, but in far more important ways, it's great that this has FINALLY forced you two to actually talk about your problems.

I mean, you were only "happy" because you were both utterly and completely ignorant about each other's reality.

As hard as this is, it's a good thing.

Never forget: all things worth doing are hard.
“Happy” by ignoring each other’s reality and simultaneously living in silence while each of you had needs that were going unmet and unable to talk about them. Growing is tough and this is a hard time you are going through, but I share the optimism of others that if you break up you will both be much better off down the line.

Captain FIRE

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You know, the cruise doesn't need to be reconciliation or one of you doesn't go/canceled.  It's ok to take the cruise as a chance for a nice farewell (that you both recognize is a farewell and you'll separate shortly afterwards).  Weird as it may be, my college bf and I planned out a future break up - we agreed to break up upon college graduation, which I think was maybe ~6 weeks or less away at that point.  It was so hard to say farewell to someone I really cared about, and putting it at a natural separation point helped some.  Like you, we were good together in a lot ways, but not ultimately right.  We did not tell anyone of our intentions, which was admittedly a bit awkward when families were greeting each other at graduation, but no harm.  (Now, don't be like me.  We backslid after the summer, and it took another year or so to end it for good.)

zoochadookdook

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You know, the cruise doesn't need to be reconciliation or one of you doesn't go/canceled.  It's ok to take the cruise as a chance for a nice farewell (that you both recognize is a farewell and you'll separate shortly afterwards).  Weird as it may be, my college bf and I planned out a future break up - we agreed to break up upon college graduation, which I think was maybe ~6 weeks or less away at that point.  It was so hard to say farewell to someone I really cared about, and putting it at a natural separation point helped some.  Like you, we were good together in a lot ways, but not ultimately right.  We did not tell anyone of our intentions, which was admittedly a bit awkward when families were greeting each other at graduation, but no harm.  (Now, don't be like me.  We backslid after the summer, and it took another year or so to end it for good.)

That'd be a better way of looking at it but I feel like she wouldn't think about it like that. Like it's a big reversal for her these last few weeks as well-from going to thinking of being married to considering that we might break up.

Malkynn

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You know, the cruise doesn't need to be reconciliation or one of you doesn't go/canceled.  It's ok to take the cruise as a chance for a nice farewell (that you both recognize is a farewell and you'll separate shortly afterwards).  Weird as it may be, my college bf and I planned out a future break up - we agreed to break up upon college graduation, which I think was maybe ~6 weeks or less away at that point.  It was so hard to say farewell to someone I really cared about, and putting it at a natural separation point helped some.  Like you, we were good together in a lot ways, but not ultimately right.  We did not tell anyone of our intentions, which was admittedly a bit awkward when families were greeting each other at graduation, but no harm.  (Now, don't be like me.  We backslid after the summer, and it took another year or so to end it for good.)

That'd be a better way of looking at it but I feel like she wouldn't think about it like that. Like it's a big reversal for her these last few weeks as well-from going to thinking of being married to considering that we might break up.

Yeah...

When I was in your girlfriend's position, I could not have gone on a vacation as a loving way to break up. Its good that you recognize what this is doing to her.

I would have spent the entire vacation trying to orchestrate romantic moments to convince him that we should still get married and not call off our engagement.

It took me a solid 6 months to accept what he was saying. In that time, I tried EVERYTHING to convince him otherwise. It wasn't pretty.

If you go on this cruise, she will spend the entire time obsessing about how to convince you to get engaged.
I think you know this.

zoochadookdook

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You know, the cruise doesn't need to be reconciliation or one of you doesn't go/canceled.  It's ok to take the cruise as a chance for a nice farewell (that you both recognize is a farewell and you'll separate shortly afterwards).  Weird as it may be, my college bf and I planned out a future break up - we agreed to break up upon college graduation, which I think was maybe ~6 weeks or less away at that point.  It was so hard to say farewell to someone I really cared about, and putting it at a natural separation point helped some.  Like you, we were good together in a lot ways, but not ultimately right.  We did not tell anyone of our intentions, which was admittedly a bit awkward when families were greeting each other at graduation, but no harm.  (Now, don't be like me.  We backslid after the summer, and it took another year or so to end it for good.)

That'd be a better way of looking at it but I feel like she wouldn't think about it like that. Like it's a big reversal for her these last few weeks as well-from going to thinking of being married to considering that we might break up.

Yeah...

When I was in your girlfriend's position, I could not have gone on a vacation as a loving way to break up. Its good that you recognize what this is doing to her.

I would have spent the entire vacation trying to orchestrate romantic moments to convince him that we should still get married and not call off our engagement.

It took me a solid 6 months to accept what he was saying. In that time, I tried EVERYTHING to convince him otherwise. It wasn't pretty.

If you go on this cruise, she will spend the entire time obsessing about how to convince you to get engaged.
I think you know this.

I have an inkling of a idea. It might now be pretty but I have to tell her I am not getting engaged right now/in the forseeable future. She'll ask why not/am i not dedicated to working towards marriage? And i'm still working on what to say after that. I want her to go with her friend or sister-i know she won't go alone and she's said she'll be sad the whole time anyways if i was there or not soooooo

Another random factor is that I just started a professional office job at a IT company 2.5 weeks ago and her aunt sits right by me/got me a interview. Just more fluff in the mix.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 01:39:37 PM by zoochadookdook »

sequoia

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Re: 7 year relationship. No sexual desire. She wants to get married.
« Reply #334 on: April 10, 2019, 01:39:01 PM »
She's interested in marriage, you're not.

You're interested in sex, she's not.

To be blunt, it doesn't sound like your wants/needs are compatible for a long-term relationship.

This is a much more concise version of what I was going to say.

The fact that you're here stating such large life questions shows that you have serious reservations. Your partner is trying to bully you into making a commitment before she will even try to make the relationship something you'd want. Sounds like a 100% no go.

+1 for both post ^^

Captain FIRE

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I have an inkling of a idea. It might now be pretty but I have to tell her I am not getting engaged right now/in the forseeable future. She'll ask why not/am i not dedicated to working towards marriage? And i'm still working on what to say after that. I want her to go with her friend or sister-i know she won't go alone and she's said she'll be sad the whole time anyways if i was there or not soooooo

If you have decided that you are going breakup, THAT's what you tell her, not that you are not getting engaged right now (which is just a delayed tactic and painfully prolongs the eventual breakup).  And if you've decided that, you don't need to have a lot of explanations.  Something as simple as "This is not right for either one of us.  We fundamentally want different things out of a relationship than we can give each other."

ysette9

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You know, the cruise doesn't need to be reconciliation or one of you doesn't go/canceled.  It's ok to take the cruise as a chance for a nice farewell (that you both recognize is a farewell and you'll separate shortly afterwards).  Weird as it may be, my college bf and I planned out a future break up - we agreed to break up upon college graduation, which I think was maybe ~6 weeks or less away at that point.  It was so hard to say farewell to someone I really cared about, and putting it at a natural separation point helped some.  Like you, we were good together in a lot ways, but not ultimately right.  We did not tell anyone of our intentions, which was admittedly a bit awkward when families were greeting each other at graduation, but no harm.  (Now, don't be like me.  We backslid after the summer, and it took another year or so to end it for good.)

That'd be a better way of looking at it but I feel like she wouldn't think about it like that. Like it's a big reversal for her these last few weeks as well-from going to thinking of being married to considering that we might break up.

Yeah...

When I was in your girlfriend's position, I could not have gone on a vacation as a loving way to break up. Its good that you recognize what this is doing to her.

I would have spent the entire vacation trying to orchestrate romantic moments to convince him that we should still get married and not call off our engagement.

It took me a solid 6 months to accept what he was saying. In that time, I tried EVERYTHING to convince him otherwise. It wasn't pretty.

If you go on this cruise, she will spend the entire time obsessing about how to convince you to get engaged.
I think you know this.

I have an inkling of a idea. It might now be pretty but I have to tell her I am not getting engaged right now/in the forseeable future. She'll ask why not/am i not dedicated to working towards marriage? And i'm still working on what to say after that. I want her to go with her friend or sister-i know she won't go alone and she's said she'll be sad the whole time anyways if i was there or not soooooo

Another random factor is that I just started a professional office job at a IT company 2.5 weeks ago and her aunt sits right by me/got me a interview. Just more fluff in the mix.
I think the response to why you aren’t dedicated to working towards marriage can include something along the lines of pointing out that you want fundamentally différent things in life, that your relationship is not currently healthy due to your lack of strong communication, the fact that each of you aren’t getting your needs met, and that she still isn’t hearing you and giving appropriate weight to your happiness in this relationship.

Short answer: marriage is something we talk about when we have a solid, strong, and mutually happy relationship. You haven’t reached that prerequisite yet.

ysette9

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One more thing.

Not “working towards marriage” (whatever that means) is not the problem in your relationship, it is the symptom. You need to treat the root cause, not the symptom.

zoochadookdook

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One more thing.

Not “working towards marriage” (whatever that means) is not the problem in your relationship, it is the symptom. You need to treat the root cause, not the symptom.

I think she wants to see that i'm dedicated to getting our relationship to marriage-as she always planned to be married some day-thus dating with intent.

PoutineLover

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One more thing.

Not “working towards marriage” (whatever that means) is not the problem in your relationship, it is the symptom. You need to treat the root cause, not the symptom.

I think she wants to see that i'm dedicated to getting our relationship to marriage-as she always planned to be married some day-thus dating with intent.
I bet you anything that she will start dating someone else after you break up and she will get engaged, married and have a baby within 2 years. If she wants to get married, she can. Just not to you, since you are incompatible. There's no sense in entering an unhappy marriege with your eyes wide open.

zoochadookdook

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One more thing.

Not “working towards marriage” (whatever that means) is not the problem in your relationship, it is the symptom. You need to treat the root cause, not the symptom.

I think she wants to see that i'm dedicated to getting our relationship to marriage-as she always planned to be married some day-thus dating with intent.
I bet you anything that she will start dating someone else after you break up and she will get engaged, married and have a baby within 2 years. If she wants to get married, she can. Just not to you, since you are incompatible. There's no sense in entering an unhappy marriege with your eyes wide open.

I have no doubt she could!

Boofinator

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One more thing.

Not “working towards marriage” (whatever that means) is not the problem in your relationship, it is the symptom. You need to treat the root cause, not the symptom.

I think she wants to see that i'm dedicated to getting our relationship to marriage-as she always planned to be married some day-thus dating with intent.

Didn't you say that you've thought about marriage with this girl? So it isn't that you don't want to get married; it's that you don't want your marriage to resemble your current relationship in the sex department.

To echo what several people have said: when I was in my twenties, and when I had a girlfriend, there was almost never a lack of physical intimacy, even with the girl who was planning to wait until marriage (take a guess as to whether that went according to plan). I then had one girlfriend who was much less interested in getting intimate, and that was the easiest breakup I ever had*. But know what made it easy? I knew that that level of intimacy wasn't normal and wasn't what I wanted based on past experience. Fortunately, you seem to have grasped that no intimacy isn't what you want, but unfortunately, you don't seem to have the past experience to realize that there is someone much better for you out there.

*Unfortunately, I made the mistake of trying to be friends. The intimacy always increased for a little while, we'd get back together, and then things would get shitty and I'd break up again. This happened half a dozen times over the course of a year. Pathetically, I finally gave up and lived in this lackluster relationship for three more years before we both agreed it was a shitty relationship. (Denouement: I was banging my now-wife within three months after the breakup, and she got together with her now-husband shortly afterwards. Wife and I are still going fairly strong almost a decade later.)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 02:35:22 PM by Boofinator »

zoochadookdook

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One more thing.

Not “working towards marriage” (whatever that means) is not the problem in your relationship, it is the symptom. You need to treat the root cause, not the symptom.

I think she wants to see that i'm dedicated to getting our relationship to marriage-as she always planned to be married some day-thus dating with intent.

Didn't you say that you've thought about marriage with this girl? So it isn't that you don't want to get married; it's that you don't want your marriage to resemble your current relationship in the sex department.

To echo what several people have said: when I was in my twenties, and when I had a girlfriend, there was almost never a lack of physical intimacy, even with the girl who was planning to wait until marriage (take a guess as to whether that went according to plan). I then had one girlfriend who was much less interested in getting intimate, and that was the easiest breakup I ever had*. But know what made it easy? I knew that that level of intimacy wasn't normal and wasn't what I wanted based on past experience. Fortunately, you seem to have grasped that no intimacy isn't what you want, but unfortunately, you don't seem to have the past experience to realize that there is someone much better for you out there.

*Unfortunately, I made the mistake of trying to be friends. The intimacy always increased for a little while, we'd get back together, and then things would get shitty and I'd break up again. This happened half a dozen times over the course of a year. Pathetically, I finally gave up and lived in this lackluster relationship for three more years before we both agreed it was a shitty relationship. (Denouement: I was banging my now-wife within three months after the breakup, and she got together with her now-husband shortly afterwards. Wife and I are still going fairly strong almost a decade later.)

Yeah and through telling her that she kind of filters it as marriage is something we're working towards and she wants to know i'm dedicated to working towards it. I believe she just wants that knowledge that I will do whatever it takes to make it happen.

ysette9

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One more thing.

Not “working towards marriage” (whatever that means) is not the problem in your relationship, it is the symptom. You need to treat the root cause, not the symptom.

I think she wants to see that i'm dedicated to getting our relationship to marriage-as she always planned to be married some day-thus dating with intent.

Didn't you say that you've thought about marriage with this girl? So it isn't that you don't want to get married; it's that you don't want your marriage to resemble your current relationship in the sex department.

To echo what several people have said: when I was in my twenties, and when I had a girlfriend, there was almost never a lack of physical intimacy, even with the girl who was planning to wait until marriage (take a guess as to whether that went according to plan). I then had one girlfriend who was much less interested in getting intimate, and that was the easiest breakup I ever had*. But know what made it easy? I knew that that level of intimacy wasn't normal and wasn't what I wanted based on past experience. Fortunately, you seem to have grasped that no intimacy isn't what you want, but unfortunately, you don't seem to have the past experience to realize that there is someone much better for you out there.

*Unfortunately, I made the mistake of trying to be friends. The intimacy always increased for a little while, we'd get back together, and then things would get shitty and I'd break up again. This happened half a dozen times over the course of a year. Pathetically, I finally gave up and lived in this lackluster relationship for three more years before we both agreed it was a shitty relationship. (Denouement: I was banging my now-wife within three months after the breakup, and she got together with her now-husband shortly afterwards. Wife and I are still going fairly strong almost a decade later.)

Yeah and through telling her that she kind of filters it as marriage is something we're working towards and she wants to know i'm dedicated to working towards it. I believe she just wants that knowledge that I will do whatever it takes to make it happen.
I think this is a pointless road to try to go down because I agree with others that you two are incompatible, but why isn’t she also doing whatever it takes to make this marriage thing happen? Fair is fair, right? Especially since this is something she seems to want more, she should be willing to put more of an effort (like I do more housework as I care more about having a clean house than my husband).

Setting that aside though, I think we have reached a point of going round a round in circles. You are doing an admirable job of trying to see things from her perspective and be fair and kind to her. So much so I think you are losing sight of how irrational her requests are. But it doesn’t matter that much. She wants something you aren’t ready to give. You want something she isn’t able to give. You don’t have a solid basis for a mature, long-term relationship. You are both unhappy. You don’t see a path to resolving these incompatibilities.

What is the next step in your mind?

Yes, this is the project manager in me coming out, but you should have an idea of what things you can reasonable try next, a reasonable timeline for that, and identify on your head criteria by which you can judge whether it is worth continuing to sink time and effort into this or cut your losses and move on.

Boofinator

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Yeah and through telling her that she kind of filters it as marriage is something we're working towards and she wants to know i'm dedicated to working towards it. I believe she just wants that knowledge that I will do whatever it takes to make it happen.

But why are you doing "whatever it takes" to get married? You should be doing whatever it takes to get into a healthy, happy, loving relationship. In this day and age, marriage generally follows from that. And I'm sorry, but if she hasn't gotten the least bit intimate with you in six years even while living together, it is very unlikely that the "loving" part will follow after your engagement or marriage.

Has your counselor had anything to say about you two not getting physically intimate for this period of time (to include no desire from her)?

Kris

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OP, I just want to say one more thing:

One of the hardest lessons to learn as a young dating person is this:

You don't need a "good reason" to break a relationship off. You don't need a reason that will convince/make sense to the person you're breaking up with. You don't need a reason that will make the other person agree with you.

You don't even need a reason that is "justifiable" to the other person.

"We are not compatible" is a fine reason. "This isn't what I want" is a fine reason.

Frankly, "You don't like comic books as much as I do" is a fine reason.

The point of dating is to find out whether you want to be with that person longer term. Whether this is the person/a person you very much want to spend the rest of your life with.

If you find after a period of dating that you do not, then you are justified in breaking it off.

If and when you decide to end it with your friend, do not let yourself be lured into an argument over your reasons. In fact, I think it's best not to go deep into the reason other than "this relationship isn't right for me." Do not let yourself be lured into trying to convince her. Because she will argue with you. She will try to convince you.

There is no good that can come of that. I've been on both sides of this equation. I've been the breaker-upper, and have tried to find a "good" way to say it. There isn't one. Just do it. And end the conversation.

I've been the person being broken up with, too. As a younger person, I remember begging the other person to tell me "Why???" If you try to give her "good" reasons, she'll argue, or she'll try to deflect and talk about how terrible you make her feel, and try to make you get her to console her (which is step one toward getting you to change your mind). By the time you get to the breaking up part -- especially because you've been to counseling -- she already knows why. Resist her desire/need to rehash it forever.

Just say it, and finish the conversation. Go stay with a friend for a while if you have to. Give her some space to come to grips with the fact that your mind is made up. That it really is over.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 03:35:43 PM by Kris »

Tyson

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I think the OP is just engaging in the Sunk Cost fallacy.  That's a hard one to work through. 

http://time.com/5347133/sunk-cost-fallacy-decisions/

ysette9

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I think the OP is just engaging in the Sunk Cost fallacy.  That's a hard one to work through. 

http://time.com/5347133/sunk-cost-fallacy-decisions/
Yes, and he has spent his entire formative adult life with this personal, so he has no other experience for comparison. He doesn’t *know* how much better a better relationship could be because he has only experienced this disfunction. It is hard to appreciate what you’ve never experienced.

GreenSheep

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OP, I just want to say one more thing:

One of the hardest lessons to learn as a young dating person is this:

You don't need a "good reason" to break a relationship off. You don't need a reason that will convince/make sense to the person you're breaking up with. You don't need a reason that will make the other person agree with you.

You don't even need a reason that is "justifiable" to the other person.

"We are not compatible" is a fine reason. "This isn't what I want" is a fine reason.

Frankly, "You don't like comic books as much as I do" is a fine reason.

The point of dating is to find out whether you want to be with that person longer term. Whether this is the person/a person you very much want to spend the rest of your life with.

If you find after a period of dating that you do not, then you are justified in breaking it off.

If and when you decide to end it with your friend, do not let yourself be lured into an argument over your reasons. In fact, I think it's best not to go deep into the reason other than "this relationship isn't right for me." Do not let yourself be lured into trying to convince her. Because she will argue with you. She will try to convince you.

There is no good that can come of that. I've been on both sides of this equation. I've been the breaker-upper, and have tried to find a "good" way to say it. There isn't one. Just do it. And end the conversation.

I've been the person being broken up with, too. As a younger person, I remember begging the other person to tell me "Why???" If you try to give her "good" reasons, she'll argue, or she'll try to deflect and talk about how terrible you make her feel, and try to make you get her to console her (which is step one toward getting you to change your mind). By the time you get to the breaking up part -- especially because you've been to counseling -- she already knows why. Resist her desire/need to rehash it forever.

Just say it, and finish the conversation. Go stay with a friend for a while if you have to. Give her some space to come to grips with the fact that your mind is made up. That it really is over.

This is extremely good advice that I think everyone needs to hear or needed to hear at some point in their life. It's also true for so many other things that involve other people... declining invitations, etc. There's nothing wrong with politely saying "no" or "not anymore" and leaving it at that. In fact, as Kris noted, it's usually best.

Fish Sweet

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I don't know if your girlfriend is anywhere on the ace spectrum, but I am, and your story make me wonder if that might play some part in your situation.  There are plenty of asexual, gray-ace, etc. people for whom attraction and desire are dependent on very specific factors/only apply in specific situations, and who can go long periods without sex and then happily reengage with it.  Maybe this is the case for her, maybe it isn't, but I wanted to offer this perspective.  I am asexual, and I have a girlfriend who is not.  We are not intimate (although I know this is not the case for all ace folks.) Our relationship works for us at this time. 

If that fact changed, and my girlfriend came to feel that mutual intimacy was very important and necessary to a relationship, we would ultimately have to break up.  This wouldn't be anyone's "fault," not really-- not mine for not wanting to engage in intimacy, not hers for wanting something very personal and fulfilling and important for most humans, not out of lack of respect or love or willingness to make the other happy, but because our fundamental needs have become mismatched.

Your girlfriend's reasons don't really matter, in this case-- whether she's lost her sex drive, a matter of personal conviction, religious mores, she only wants to get it on in the confines of holy matrimony, whatever.  They are all good, fine personal reasons to not get intimate, and you can love her and respect her wishes.

And your reasoning-- wanting to be intimate and know you share intimate chemistry and compatibility before tying the knot-- is a very good, valid, fine reason too, and to be respected too.   

This isn't a matter of 'fault' or even being unrealistic-- your girlfriend may be perfectly accurate in her judgment that she'll be able to happily and enthusiastically be with you after you've exchanged vows.  But you're mismatched, fundamentally incompatible on this point, and couching it in terms of "if only she'd stop being selfish and do XYZ for you" or "if you really REALLY cared about her you'd stop being selfish and just propose already" is only going to hurt the both of you.  I think you should take a break from each other, at minimum, and work from there.