Author Topic: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker  (Read 54095 times)

JLee

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #50 on: March 18, 2015, 12:07:49 PM »
There has been a lot of good advice posted here - so I won't elaborate other than to say I couldn't do it.  I would suggest ethical non-monogamy, but chronic rejection from hugs would be a hard stop for me.  I might need/want more physical connection than some people, but still - that's rough.

Phil_Moore

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #51 on: March 18, 2015, 12:22:13 PM »
If you can't solve the problems that are identified, don't get married because of inertia, or because you don't want to face up to the possibility of breaking up. You're not going her any favors if you carry on with a relationship simply because you don't want to go through ending it, or don't want to deal with being single.

+1

I hate to say it but if I wanted to live with someone with shared sense of humour, interests and goals but intimacy was off the table, I would just flatmate up with one of the guys from the pub football team.  And I would still be pretty miffed if he refused to hug me ever.  Sometimes a man needs some hug action even if it is beard-on-beard.

charis

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #52 on: March 18, 2015, 12:55:33 PM »
I'm curious as to how she thinks she can get married while refusing to even address this issue with you.  That's unacceptable.   I don't care what the issue is, if one spouse's basic needs aren't being met and the other spouse refuses to even discuss it, that is toxic to the relationship.

MishMash

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #53 on: March 18, 2015, 01:09:02 PM »
It honestly sounds like she's been sexually assaulted at some point in time in her life.  I am CRAZY about people touching me, like I will seriously break your damn hand if I'm not expecting it kind of crazy, it took my husband a looooong time for me to be comfortable having sex with him and he got it.  That said, I do have a fairly low libido (pill) however we still have sex multiple times a week, even when I don't want to, because I know it's something that is important to him.  If she's not willing to go that far, don't marry her.

stlbrah

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #54 on: March 18, 2015, 01:11:24 PM »
The OP posted a topic yesterday about how he felt he wasn't going to do anything special w/ his life. It sounds like he is bored. I have been there, and there is nothing worse than having a boring life.

My suggestion will just get shot down. But I would end the relationship. Travel and try new things for a few years, become a real life Indiana Jones, and then find someone new that fulfils your needs. IMO most men don't end relationships that they should because they are afraid they won't find anyone new, which is completely delusional. If you are doing anything worthwhile with your life, you will find someone new.

Side note: If its libido related, go see a doctor.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 01:13:44 PM by stlbrah »

windawake

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #55 on: March 18, 2015, 01:31:28 PM »
I'm more concerned about her not caring about how much this issue is bothering you. It's a big deal to you and she doesn't seem open to discussing or sharing her feelings with you. It's also a problem that you want to be intimate and she won't concede at all. Sure, desire is one part, but the more you do it the more you want to do it. Sometimes you have to fake it till you make it.

mtnrider

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #56 on: March 18, 2015, 08:19:45 PM »
I strongly agree with couple's therapy.  There can be a number of reasons for this physical or psychological, and you really want to know what's going on in her head.  For example, some people who are OCD or Aspy just don't like contact, and aren't likely to change.  Others might need help getting over an incident from their past.

As everyone said, don't go through with the marriage without thinking this through very carefully.  It's must worse to be years down the line and you find that she's unable to change, and/or that you just can't live with it anymore.

You're not being selfish if you call it off.

pbkmaine

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #57 on: March 18, 2015, 08:48:45 PM »
OP: Please don't think that marriage will fix problems in a relationship. It doesn't.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #58 on: March 18, 2015, 08:53:30 PM »
OP: Please don't think that marriage will fix problems in a relationship. It doesn't.

Agreed. It will just make them more complex and expensive to resolve.

If you are not feeling 100% good about things [which you are clearly not] take marriage off the table and start thinking about whether you should not be with this person at all.

-- Vik

RQO

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #59 on: March 18, 2015, 09:24:52 PM »
Kiwi: you'll notice that this is my first post on the MMM forum.  I'm a long-time (2+ years) on-and-off lurker, who finally registered for the sole purpose of chiming in on your post.  You might even consider this a message from a future/alt. universe version of yourself, one who chose a path that he is now warning you against (insert creepy music here).

Assuming that there are no medical issues at play (and based on your description of your early relationship, I'm guessing there's not), go with your gut on this one.  Things almost certainly won't improve.  In fact, they will probably only get worse over time.  And as they get worse, resentments will build.  You'll eventually find yourself dropping snarky passive-aggressive comments in the adult version of pulling her pigtails in some misguided attempt to get her attention.  This will only lead to more resentments on her part.  And if you're a decent enough guy, looking for that which is missing outside of marriage is an option you won't allow yourself to seriously consider.  And if you have children, divorce won't really seem like a good option either.  And eventually you'll find slowly going somewhat crazy over the whole matter.  Love can die of benign neglect.  Trust me.

And none of that is to say she is a bad person.  But if you're incompatible on such a basic level, and she's indifferent to your needs, it's far better to move on now.  There's a whole, big wonderful world out there full of people, very likely including someone for whom you are better suited.

The Happy Philosopher

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #60 on: March 18, 2015, 10:11:41 PM »
If it were me I would get out. You are room-mates, not lovers. Marriage will only complicate things. Tell her you care about her but can't get married under these conditions. If she isn't willing to work through these issues find someone you are more compatible with. Good luck.

Spondulix

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #61 on: March 18, 2015, 11:37:28 PM »
There is much more than sex in a relationship based on love. Personally, I think sex is over-rated, and if I were in a sexless marriage, and as long as I knew that my wife loved me, I would still chose my wife without the sex and I would still be happy, because my wife is the most wonderful, kind, simple, gentle, loving, caring and attractive woman I ever met and I am 100 % sure the lack or absence of sex would not be a reason to leave her.
Now this is a REAL sign of intimacy in a relationship. What a wonderful thing to say about your partner.

Spondulix

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #62 on: March 18, 2015, 11:53:54 PM »
It honestly sounds like she's been sexually assaulted at some point in time in her life.  I am CRAZY about people touching me, like I will seriously break your damn hand if I'm not expecting it kind of crazy, it took my husband a looooong time for me to be comfortable having sex with him and he got it.  That said, I do have a fairly low libido (pill) however we still have sex multiple times a week, even when I don't want to, because I know it's something that is important to him.  If she's not willing to go that far, don't marry her.
When I'm anxious (whether it's over work or feeling rushed or whatever) being touched is like nails on a chalkboard, so the last thing I want is intimacy. It has absolutely nothing to do with my partner (and I've never been assaulted). I completely agree with whoever said it could be a lifestyle problem and not a relationship problem. At 24 or 27, it's entirely possible that neither of these people have any f'ing clue who they are or what they need, let alone how to fix a relationship that's become stagnant. (No offense intended, btw.)

They haven't been married before. What experience do they have with difficult conversations in a relationship? Probably very little. If they were 10 or 20 years into a relationship with these issues, I'd say run for the hills. But this one sounds like it needs more time to figure out. Maybe she's not in touch with her body. Maybe she's not in touch with her emotions. Maybe they are both immature and don't know how to experience intimacy (outside of sex). This is the EXACT type of issue where a couple can learn about themselves, and how to communicate and work through things that aren't working. A good marriage isn't one where you get along all the time... It's those moments when you butt heads (and how you handle it) that defines who you are. I see two people willing to go to therapy and try to repair things - which is more than most couples do.

davisgang90

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #63 on: March 19, 2015, 05:34:04 AM »
Your fiancť sounds like a roommate, not a potential life-partner.  I would be very wary of taking this to the next level.

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #64 on: March 19, 2015, 05:57:46 AM »
It honestly sounds like she's been sexually assaulted at some point in time in her life.  I am CRAZY about people touching me, like I will seriously break your damn hand if I'm not expecting it kind of crazy, it took my husband a looooong time for me to be comfortable having sex with him and he got it.  That said, I do have a fairly low libido (pill) however we still have sex multiple times a week, even when I don't want to, because I know it's something that is important to him.  If she's not willing to go that far, don't marry her.
When I'm anxious (whether it's over work or feeling rushed or whatever) being touched is like nails on a chalkboard, so the last thing I want is intimacy. It has absolutely nothing to do with my partner (and I've never been assaulted). I completely agree with whoever said it could be a lifestyle problem and not a relationship problem. At 24 or 27, it's entirely possible that neither of these people have any f'ing clue who they are or what they need, let alone how to fix a relationship that's become stagnant. (No offense intended, btw.)

They haven't been married before. What experience do they have with difficult conversations in a relationship? Probably very little. If they were 10 or 20 years into a relationship with these issues, I'd say run for the hills. But this one sounds like it needs more time to figure out. Maybe she's not in touch with her body. Maybe she's not in touch with her emotions. Maybe they are both immature and don't know how to experience intimacy (outside of sex). This is the EXACT type of issue where a couple can learn about themselves, and how to communicate and work through things that aren't working. A good marriage isn't one where you get along all the time... It's those moments when you butt heads (and how you handle it) that defines who you are. I see two people willing to go to therapy and try to repair things - which is more than most couples do.
I think you are saying a lot of good and sensible things here.  I'm just not sure they apply to OP's situation.  A four year relationship which has had a gradual tailing off of intimacy sounds pretty normal for mature adults to me.  And it seems from OP's post that the lack of sex, and even more the lack of hugging and kissing, is not mood-dependent.  And for a couple in their early twenties in a new relationship, sex every two to three weeks is I suspect very considerably below the norm.  Which is not a problem is both partners are happy, but unfortunately one partner here is very unhappy and the other partner doesn't seem open to change even within a counselling process.

Sorry to say, I think the OP has found an awesome friend in this girl but not a life partner.  He is still a year out from the proposed wedding: knocking it on the head now is going to be a lot easier than doing it later.

deborah

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #65 on: March 19, 2015, 07:26:38 AM »
Love can be expressed in a lot of different ways. A couple can be very happily in love without intimacy, and people I know even say it is better without intimacy, and longer lasting.

However, this needs to be a very mutual agreement - not something imposed by one on the other. Imposition would be the deal breaker for me.

stuckinmn

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #66 on: March 19, 2015, 08:34:55 AM »
Do not think the problem will get better post-marriage.  I'm reminded of the old joke of why is the bride smiling when she walks down the aisle?  Because she knows she's given her last b-job.

As others have said, if you are fine with celibacy, then this is not a problem.  But if it is problem for you already, it is only going to get worse.  Get out now. 

zurich78

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #67 on: March 19, 2015, 09:01:13 AM »
I don't think people should ever get married to someone they think they can live with.

Maybe I'm idealistic, but, I kind of think the only reason to get married is when you've found someone feel you cannot live without.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #68 on: March 19, 2015, 09:11:33 AM »
The lack of sex is one thing. But not even wanting to be hugged/kissed is another.

It's one thing to not be interested in sex/have a low libido, but it's another to get defensive over an attempt at a hug.

I'm curious as to how she thinks she can get married while refusing to even address this issue with you.  That's unacceptable.   I don't care what the issue is, if one spouse's basic needs aren't being met and the other spouse refuses to even discuss it, that is toxic to the relationship.

That said, I do have a fairly low libido (pill) however we still have sex multiple times a week, even when I don't want to, because I know it's something that is important to him.  If she's not willing to go that far, don't marry her.

I'm more concerned about her not caring about how much this issue is bothering you. It's a big deal to you and she doesn't seem open to discussing or sharing her feelings with you. It's also a problem that you want to be intimate and she won't concede at all. Sure, desire is one part, but the more you do it the more you want to do it. Sometimes you have to fake it till you make it.

TOTALLY agree with all of these. I too have a lower libido than my BF, but the big differences are a) I ACTIVELY work on trying to make him happy in this way (and after reading some of y'all's posts I'm thinking maybe I should try getting off hormonal BC?) and b) I love other kinds of physical intimacy (hugs, kisses, massages, snuggling). the lack of ANY of that would make me feel so unloved and totally insane!!!
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 09:13:29 AM by rocksinmyhead »

partgypsy

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #69 on: March 19, 2015, 10:21:32 AM »
Holy cow, my hubs and I have been together close to 25 years and have sex a couple times a week, which is of course less than at the beginning but acceptable to both of us.  And I still get a charge holding, kissing him. Don't get me wrong we do not have a perfect relationship and argue alot, but we end up making up in the end. I think that would be hard to do without that physicial, emotional intimacy, which for me are related.
I think it is great that you signed up for couples therapy to address these issues. I think you need to see whether you can get on the same page, make compromises to get on the same page, or if that is not possible, whether it is a dealbreaker to you. I know some people sex or physical intimacy is not as important and not a dealbreaker. For me, at my age I know that would be a dealbreaker. I also think it is very touching the person who would stay with wife even with no sex. Of course if something happened to my husband, accident injury where he was unable to do those things I would stick with him. But to me that is a different thing.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 10:25:38 AM by partgypsy »

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #70 on: March 19, 2015, 11:53:53 AM »
The OP hasn't ever posted a response, so no idea if they are reading.

There are also alternative styles of physical intimacy than straight up PIV sex leading towards orgasm. If you can get back to a touching/cuddling baseline, talk to her about Karezza. It's a method that worked wonders for my wife and I after a long dry spell.

You can get a basic gist of the approach at r/karezza but if you want to see all of the science and philosophy behind it, read the book "Cupid's Poisoned Arrow"

I definitely wouldn't proceed any further in the relationship until you've arrived at a balanced intimacy that BOTH of you are happy with AND that level has been maintained for at least a year. There's an awful lot of folks on relationship forums like r/deadBedrooms that thought they had things fixed, moved to the next relationship stage, and then the libido immediately shut off again.

gt7152b

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #71 on: March 19, 2015, 12:31:17 PM »
Deal breaker in my opinion but you have to decide for yourself. Don't worry about the life you've built together. Just like in financial investments those are sunk costs. Cut your losses and start fresh. You are way too young to worry about time invested in a relationship that is not working for you. Just imagine how much harder it will be after marriage and possibly kids.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #72 on: March 19, 2015, 01:19:13 PM »
Echo most of what has been said.

To me, if you are not having sex, you are roommates. 

Kiwi Mustache

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #73 on: March 19, 2015, 01:36:16 PM »
Thanks for all the replies so far. Glad to Iím not the only person that has gone through this sort of thing.

I have no idea how or when to break the news to my fiancťe that I want to end the relationship. How do I tell her, what is the right moment? What do I say? Iíve never done this before. I still care a lot about this person so donít want it to end ugly with us hating each other and going through legal battles with lawyers to split up the house assets, etc. I know this is going to crush her completely but I want to do it in a respectable way.

Iím also deeply embarrassed because all my family and friends were looking forward to our wedding. I get along with her parents and sister really well also.

Iíll probably have to move out the next day as it would be really awkward living together after Iíve told her.

mm1970

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #74 on: March 19, 2015, 01:44:14 PM »
I have been through this as the rejecter. I said most of the things your fiance said, and my partner said most of the things youre saying. During this time, I was on the pill (completely cut my libido), very stressed about work, exhausted every damn night. I had been through the most ill years of my life.  I had my weekends constantly overbooked and had nothing to help me relax. There was no time to just "be" with my partner, so I certainly didn't want to be intimate with him! For me, I can only be intimate when we are also being randomly cuddly during the day/week.

Couples counseling is the best thing you could possibly do. To get through it, we did the following:
Went to separate psychologists. We had started this as things went downhill, but we also went to a couple of sessions with the other person and their psychologist.
I got off the pill. He was very resistant to it, both for possibility of getting pregnant and my periods becoming more painful (the reason I'd gone on it), but I'd started other solutions for periods and we're very good with condoms now!
We started regular no-pressure touching, eg hugs, massages of head/back/feet, just holding each other.
We also improved the crap out of our lives. Cut back weekends to one, maybe two outings. I switched projects and offices at work. He finished his degree and has a temporary job. We spent a lot of time talking about everything and going on walks. It took a lot of effort from him when he felt he was just going to get rejected for everything (he kept doing sweet romantic things) and from me to start doing those things for him.
This is a very important thing to read.  There can be many things causing this.  I too have been in the situation as the rejector, and stress, lack of sleep, many things can cause it.

We went a year after our first kid with none.

There were times that I didn't want him to touch me because I didn't want sex.  I wanted a cuddle only, and I was afraid he'd push for sex.

We've had pretty long dry spells after #2 also.  Not getting much sleep at night, wakeups from the little one, stress at work, no time to relax. Plus I don't want another baby and it took him 2.5 years to go through with the snip. Sometimes, I'm not in the mood!!  And, I was tired of being the only birth control.

Frankly, I wouldn't START my marriage like this (ours didn't start this way either).  It's important to find a middle ground.  There will be ebbs and flows, but you have to make sure it's not 100% ebbs.  And that means for the person doing the rejecting, sometimes you just have to go with it.  I married a husband, not a roommate.  (Plus I find the more you get, the easier it is to get in the mood).  I find that I have to make time for snuggles, and sometimes just make time for a quickie.

Psychstache

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #75 on: March 19, 2015, 01:50:07 PM »
Thanks for all the replies so far. Glad to Iím not the only person that has gone through this sort of thing.

I have no idea how or when to break the news to my fiancťe that I want to end the relationship. How do I tell her, what is the right moment? What do I say? Iíve never done this before. I still care a lot about this person so donít want it to end ugly with us hating each other and going through legal battles with lawyers to split up the house assets, etc. I know this is going to crush her completely but I want to do it in a respectable way.

Iím also deeply embarrassed because all my family and friends were looking forward to our wedding. I get along with her parents and sister really well also.

Iíll probably have to move out the next day as it would be really awkward living together after Iíve told her.

There will never be a good time. It will always be painful. She will be upset. You will be judged by your family and friends. But ultimately, you have to do what is right for your life and not burden her with a resentful husband, so it is the best decision for the onyl two people who matter in the decision.

As far as what to say, be honest. Don't cast blame, but point out how it is not a healthy relationship for both parties. Maybe after some time and distance, you two will be able to rebuild your friendship, but I wouldn't expect that to instantly be okay.

Good luck.

Peacefulwarrior

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #76 on: March 19, 2015, 01:52:01 PM »
You're simply friends. Roommates. Don't get married.

swick

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #77 on: March 19, 2015, 01:57:03 PM »
Iíll probably have to move out the next day as it would be really awkward living together after Iíve told her.

I don't know the laws where you are but this could be a very bad move. It is damn uncomfortable to stay in a house with someone once you have ended the relationship (been there, done that) but you do have to protect your property and rights

Also, it sounds like you have made  a decision, but instead of starting the conversation with "I want to break up with you" Why don't you start with "These are my concerns and issues, can we talk about them" and use lots of "I and me statements" instead of "you"  blaming statements. How you start the conversation will determine how it goes. She might be relieved you are bringing it up, but you don't want to start with putting her on the defensive.

sol

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #78 on: March 19, 2015, 02:00:25 PM »
Speaking as someone who has far too much experience ending relationships, I'd recommend against going to her and saying "I'm breaking up with you."

Instead, start by discussing your relationship issues around touch and intimacy.  Explain that these are really important to you and a vital part of what separates a marriage partner from a best friend, and that the two of you need to decide together which of those two things your future relationship is going to be.

You probably won't get anywhere in one session, and it's okay to let it sit for a few days while she thinks about it.  During that time, try to be as supportive and wonderful of a partner as you know how to be.

Eventually you'll have to get back to this topic. She might realize that she'd rather start having more sex than lose you, or she might acknowledge some event in her past that makes her feel this way and agree to seek outside help, or she might be relieved to have a ready escape hatch from a relationship she's also unsure about.

In any case, try to make the decision as mutual as possible.  If she cares about your feelings at all she won't demand that you give up sex for life for her.  This approach gives her a framework for making the decision about whether to try to change herself or end her engagement.

Even partnerships that are in the process of failing are still partnerships.  Don't do anything unilaterally, be open and honest about your feelings, desires, and goals, and then decide whether you want to try to work through a long and hard solution that keeps you together or accept the long and hard process of extricating your romantic feelings from your potential future friendship.

In all cases try not to make her angry even if you know it's going to make her upset.  Upset is something you can talk about together. Angry just leads to bad decisions.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #79 on: March 19, 2015, 02:24:58 PM »
Speaking as someone who has far too much experience ending relationships, I'd recommend against going to her and saying "I'm breaking up with you."

Instead, start by discussing your relationship issues around touch and intimacy.  Explain that these are really important to you and a vital part of what separates a marriage partner from a best friend, and that the two of you need to decide together which of those two things your future relationship is going to be.

You probably won't get anywhere in one session, and it's okay to let it sit for a few days while she thinks about it.  During that time, try to be as supportive and wonderful of a partner as you know how to be.

Eventually you'll have to get back to this topic. She might realize that she'd rather start having more sex than lose you, or she might acknowledge some event in her past that makes her feel this way and agree to seek outside help, or she might be relieved to have a ready escape hatch from a relationship she's also unsure about.

In any case, try to make the decision as mutual as possible.  If she cares about your feelings at all she won't demand that you give up sex for life for her.  This approach gives her a framework for making the decision about whether to try to change herself or end her engagement.

Even partnerships that are in the process of failing are still partnerships.  Don't do anything unilaterally, be open and honest about your feelings, desires, and goals, and then decide whether you want to try to work through a long and hard solution that keeps you together or accept the long and hard process of extricating your romantic feelings from your potential future friendship.

In all cases try not to make her angry even if you know it's going to make her upset.  Upset is something you can talk about together. Angry just leads to bad decisions.

+1

at least give her a chance to work on herself. if you've been going along with it for a long time she probably doesn't know this is seriously a relationship-ending issue for you.

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #80 on: March 19, 2015, 03:50:54 PM »
I'm a bit worried that if OP's SO starts to "work on it", she may be pushing herself into something which she will not be comfortable with long-term, with the result that things default back to where they are now (and in the past it was only ever sex every two weeks at best) and OP will find himself back in the same position he is in now but much closer to the wedding, or even after it.

I'd suggest something like "I love you.  But our relationship has become one of friends and room mates rather than lovers, so it seems to me that it wouldn't be right for us to get married."

electriceagle

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #81 on: March 19, 2015, 05:24:53 PM »
Thanks for all the replies so far. Glad to Iím not the only person that has gone through this sort of thing.

Iím also deeply embarrassed because all my family and friends were looking forward to our wedding. I get along with her parents and sister really well also.


I'd recommend against giving up on the relationship completely. Just because its not time for a marriage doesn't mean that the relationship cant be saved.

Take it to counseling and see if it can help. The chance of success is worth the time and money.

sol

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #82 on: March 19, 2015, 05:28:44 PM »
I'd recommend against giving up on the relationship completely. Just because its not time for a marriage doesn't mean that the relationship cant be saved.

Take it to counseling and see if it can help. The chance of success is worth the time and money.

That's all well and good, but don't get married either.  There's a lot of middle ground between marriage and dumpsville.  Don't feel compelled to pick one or the other.

Big Boots Buddha

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #83 on: March 19, 2015, 05:44:13 PM »

Eventually you'll have to get back to this topic. She might realize that she'd rather start having more sex than lose you, or she might acknowledge some event in her past that makes her feel this way and agree to seek outside help, or she might be relieved to have a ready escape hatch from a relationship she's also unsure about.

In any case, try to make the decision as mutual as possible. If she cares about your feelings at all she won't demand that you give up sex for life for her. 

I would say, "BEWARE". If she does these things its calculated to keep you, not because she has changed. Thinking that she changed because you gave her a warning shot happens far too often. The no sex will pop its head up the day after the ring goes on, or worse, the day after shes pregnant.

Give her time to change, if that's what you want, but it appears you already have.

If that's the case, just dump her, spend that psychic energy on yourself and let her worry about her own issues. You're not a miracle worker, you're a human being with your own issues and happiness to worry about. Its not like you will be friends with your old GF who wont hug you.

Wupper

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #84 on: March 19, 2015, 05:57:10 PM »
This is a fascinating thread, indeed.

But there should be no question- dump this chick. Choice of spouse is one of the top 10 decisions we make. Get it right the first time.

Sorry you're going through this, OP.


MBot

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #85 on: March 19, 2015, 09:16:55 PM »
I'd recommend against giving up on the relationship completely. Just because its not time for a marriage doesn't mean that the relationship cant be saved.

Take it to counseling and see if it can help. The chance of success is worth the time and money.

That's all well and good, but don't get married either.  There's a lot of middle ground between marriage and dumpsville.  Don't feel compelled to pick one or the other.

Both of these. She's your fiancťe. Try further counselling.  Professional counselling. These are very common issues, and it's amazing what a skilled third party who knows the right questions to ask can draw out and uncover about the real causes of a situation..

Even if you break up, both of you will understand the root causes of what happened and begin to heal from them and have better relationships  later.  And if it resolves things, even better!

I need wayyyy more touch and physical closeness than DH does, and used to always initiate. It was toughest a few years into the marriage. With intention and communication, we got to a much better place now and things are good. Really, really good. You've been together six or seven years, you said? There's a lot of things can be at the root of this. I wouldn't just end things based on a symptom. Get to the root.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 09:22:48 PM by MBot »

sol

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #86 on: March 19, 2015, 09:31:17 PM »
I wouldn't just end things based on a symptom.

On the other hand, if he does end things and move on to other women, he's going to be blown away the first time a girl he's dating tries to mount him in the back of a taxi cab.  I can already see his next relationship having the exact opposite problem with lust overcoming good sense and obscuring real relationship problems, if he's spent so long with someone for whom sex doesn't exist.  He might as well be 19 again.

Stupendous

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #87 on: March 19, 2015, 09:40:50 PM »
I would end things if they don't improve. I would continue the counseling and see if there is improvement but after 3 months of counseling I would expect some. I'd push the wedding off for 2-3 years to see how things go.

yyc-phil

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #88 on: March 19, 2015, 09:51:38 PM »
Damn, breaking up with a life partner because they aren't interested in engaging in an arbitrary physical act with the same frequency as you would prefer? What about all the more important things in a relationship, like the common goals, the time you share together, and the history between you? Not to mention "love", assuming you believe in that. Why cast that all aside over an arbitrary physical act?

If you want sex, there are many ways to get it without a relationship. Maybe you could investigate whether your partner is okay with you having sex outside the relationship in order to satisfy that need, while the emotional exclusivity remains between you and your wife.

Some of the the replies here just blow me away. I suppose it's clearer than ever that I will never have a romantic relationship though.

+1

Kiwi Mustache

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #89 on: March 19, 2015, 10:16:59 PM »
Take it to counseling and see if it can help. The chance of success is worth the time and money.

We have. Four appointments so far over two months.

Nothing has changed.

sol

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #90 on: March 19, 2015, 10:18:28 PM »
Damn, breaking up with a life partner because they aren't interested in engaging in an arbitrary physical act with the same frequency as you would prefer?

As people have widely discussed above, this isn't just about different preferences for an arbitrary physical act.  It's about one partner failing to listen to the other partner's expressed feelings and needs. 

Second, I think people in this thread are neatly divided into two camps.  The half that includes Cathy and ykphil can't understand why you would leave someone just because they don't want sex (the "love is about more than sex" camp), and the other half can't understand why you would ever be with someone who doesn't want sex (the "sex is what defines romantic love" camp). 

I think I can understand both sides, but I'm pretty firmly in camp number two.  I love my sister, but the reason I'm not going to marry her is because we won't ever have sex.  I could share a house with her, share finances, raise children, grow old, and generally have a great time every day.  But it would never be a romantic relationship. 

To my mind, romantic love is always founded on either sexual attraction or (via the oppressive patriarchy) some sense of ownership that excludes other sexual options.  Love is a beautiful and expansive things and I don't mean to demean the love you feel for your best childhood friend, or your mother, or your dog, or the Grateful Dead.  But those types of love are not romantic love, and I can say so with certainty because you're not having sex with any of them.

« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 10:57:33 PM by sol »

Grid

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #91 on: March 19, 2015, 10:26:28 PM »

TOTALLY agree with all of these. I too have a lower libido than my BF, but the big differences are a) I ACTIVELY work on trying to make him happy in this way (and after reading some of y'all's posts I'm thinking maybe I should try getting off hormonal BC?) and b) I love other kinds of physical intimacy (hugs, kisses, massages, snuggling). the lack of ANY of that would make me feel so unloved and totally insane!!!

Definitely a good idea.  It bothers me how readily people are willing to mess with their bodies' natural hormonal chemistry.  Hormones are some of the most powerful substances in development and psychological well-being, and ingesting said hormones (especially reproductive ones) is bound to produce some unwanted consequences.  A quick search brought up some changes in the likelihood of some cancers (up and down):  http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/causes-prevention/risk/hormones/oral-contraceptives-fact-sheet

If condoms are out of the question, non-hormonal IUDs are are a viable option...   Let your body do its thing!

Kiwi Mustache

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #92 on: March 19, 2015, 10:27:14 PM »
Damn, breaking up with a life partner because they aren't interested in engaging in an arbitrary physical act with the same frequency as you would prefer? What about all the more important things in a relationship, like the common goals, the time you share together, and the history between you? Not to mention "love", assuming you believe in that. Why cast that all aside over an arbitrary physical act?

If you want sex, there are many ways to get it without a relationship. Maybe you could investigate whether your partner is okay with you having sex outside the relationship in order to satisfy that need, while the emotional exclusivity remains between you and your wife.

Some of the the replies here just blow me away. I suppose it's clearer than ever that I will never have a romantic relationship though.

I couldn't ever imagine going off somewhere else to have sex and then come back and be happy couple. That sickens me at the thought. I consider myself a loyal and faithful partner and my best friends Dad cheated on his wife and I swore I would never ever to that to anyone. I would never make that compromise. This is just me and how I feel about it based on my up-bringing and family morals.

And it isn't just about the sex as a physical act. This might sound like I'm just a horny guy that needs to release some sort of urge.

I can assure you it is not!

This is about feeling a deep connection, trust, emotional vulnerability and overall closer relationship to my partner. It is absolutely soul destroying when you open yourself up and put yourself in a situation where you want to connect with your partner and she just crushes your self confidence when she rejects you time after time.

Perhaps one night you just want to snuggle on the couch when watching a movie with the woman/man you are in love with. I can't do that. I just get rejected when I mention it or get closer or put my arm around her.

What about when your partner is brushing her teeth and night and you come up behind her and wrap your arms around her stomach to hold and hug her and lock eyes in the mirror? I can't do that either as I just get told not to.

It's pretty horrible to live through it.


slugline

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #93 on: March 19, 2015, 10:38:02 PM »
The fiancee secretly wants to break up but doesn't want to be seen as the one who ended things.

sol

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #94 on: March 19, 2015, 11:01:45 PM »
The fiancee secretly wants to break up but doesn't want to be seen as the one who ended things.

I think this is a distinct possibility.  She wouldn't be the first woman to apply this tactic in order to avoid feeling responsible for a relationship she wanted to end.

Which is still a cop out.  If I wanted out of my marriage I could punch my wife in the face so she would leave me for domestic assault.  Just because she would be the one doing the leaving doesn't mean it wouldn't be my fault. 

OP, are you 100% sure she actually wants to marry you?  I would certainly have my doubts, if my partner acted in the way you describe.

sartorius

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #95 on: March 20, 2015, 12:59:57 AM »

Perhaps one night you just want to snuggle on the couch when watching a movie with the woman/man you are in love with. I can't do that. I just get rejected when I mention it or get closer or put my arm around her.

What about when your partner is brushing her teeth and night and you come up behind her and wrap your arms around her stomach to hold and hug her and lock eyes in the mirror? I can't do that either as I just get told not to.

It's pretty horrible to live through it.

Again, these exact situations happened to my partner with his ex wife. (We are Kiwis too). Today he is a ruined man, a decade after meeting her, and deeply regrets walking down the aisle. Can you guess what happened on the wedding night? Nothing. And pretty much every night since then? No cuddles, touches, no funny stuff in the hallway, nothing physical at all. It drove him mad. He would lie awake each night desperate for some sort of human physical connection. He put on a brave face and got on with it as he is a good and kind man.

But by the end he was so unhappy that she was unhappy too. Which is another aspect to consider - from her side. So she may be asexual, and there is nothing wrong with that, except someone who is not asexual should not marry her. Can you imagine being a woman married to a man you love, but who has a deep unhappiness that you are not able to fulfil, because you were just not made that way? It;s a recipe for depression.

Despite the awkwardness, the hassle, the pain, it will never get better. I almost want to get your phone number so the two of you can chat!

Spondulix

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #96 on: March 20, 2015, 02:38:19 AM »
Even partnerships that are in the process of failing are still partnerships.
This. If my partner came to me and said, "I want to break up cause we don't have enough 'intimacy'," (aka sex) I'd think he was a total a$$hole and things would NOT go well in our separation. I completely agree with what Sol said about making your case abundantly clear - "I need you to decide if you want to be my friend or my spouse." I'm wondering why the sense of urgency to get out. If you've been having problems for 4 years (which means a lot of resentment and frustration built up), it could take some time to work out.

Can I reframe the question... What if your therapist (or fiancee) said, "We've got a diagnosis (maybe it's medical). She'll recover and you'll have great intimacy, but it could take six months or a year." Would you stay?

Anatidae V

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #97 on: March 20, 2015, 03:27:48 AM »
Even partnerships that are in the process of failing are still partnerships.
This. If my partner came to me and said, "I want to break up cause we don't have enough 'intimacy'," (aka sex) I'd think he was a total a$$hole and things would NOT go well in our separation. I completely agree with what Sol said about making your case abundantly clear - "I need you to decide if you want to be my friend or my spouse." I'm wondering why the sense of urgency to get out. If you've been having problems for 4 years (which means a lot of resentment and frustration built up), it could take some time to work out.

Can I reframe the question... What if your therapist (or fiancee) said, "We've got a diagnosis (maybe it's medical). She'll recover and you'll have great intimacy, but it could take six months or a year." Would you stay?
That is basically what we did. I decided I wanted to be my SO's spouse, not friend, and besides the lifestyle factors mentioned I also went to my doctor to chat, and after appointments with a few others was prescribed a treatment for an issue I'd had the whole time that made sex difficult and painful. Check if it's not something like that with her too if you want to continue this relationship, but for us it took a year to start to really work well together again because there were emotional things to get through as well as treatment.

Kiwi Mustache

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #98 on: March 20, 2015, 03:52:06 AM »
Even partnerships that are in the process of failing are still partnerships.
I'm wondering why the sense of urgency to get out. If you've been having problems for 4 years (which means a lot of resentment and frustration built up), it could take some time to work out.

Can I reframe the question... What if your therapist (or fiancee) said, "We've got a diagnosis (maybe it's medical). She'll recover and you'll have great intimacy, but it could take six months or a year." Would you stay?

Things in life build up and then hit a point where enough is enough. I reached that point in early January.

Yes of course I'd stay.

It's like a job. If the pay is good, the work is challenging and fun, your workmates are great but you hate your boss completely. The other dozen things are great but the only thing you think of is the crappy boss. After a while, you just leave the job because you can't stand that one thing.

Bjorn

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Re: Is No Intimacy in a Relationship a Deal Breaker
« Reply #99 on: March 20, 2015, 05:29:34 AM »
She might not be aware, but she is completely checked out of this relationship through her contentment and (lack of) actions. I'm curious what she would say if you asked her why she wants to marry you and what makes you as a couple any different from just a couple of close friends. Close friends don't marry.

I'm also curious what she would say if you suggested you get your needs fulfilled elsewhere. Its abit f-ed up according to some peoples standards yes, but it certainly isn't cheating.

How about you start a discussion with her and ask some tough, critical questions regarding your issues that needs to be solved or you will have to break up. Put some ultimatums out there.