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Opinions on this relationship situation needed. Long.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by differentname, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. I am a regular poster, but my partner knows who I am on TES and sometimes reads it. I would prefer to remain anonymous.

    I am about to state some facts about how our relationship is at the moment. I am going to do my best to be unbiased. Any advice you can offer me would be much appreciated.

    Partner (male) and I (female) have been together for nearly five years. We met at University. We moved in together a year and a half ago, but also lived in a shared house at Uni for our final year. We have always felt as though we were both in it for keeps.

    At first we had an active sex life but over the past two years it has completely dried up. We are, however, affectionate and tactile, enjoying cuddles in bed and kisses too. It just never leads to sex. Whilst I have always wanted more sex, I haven't been OVERLY unhappy with how things were. We talked about it and neither of us seemed to mind.

    Since we got together, we have had ONLY mutual friends. I was introduced to his friends he is still in touch with from school early on in the relationship and I get on with them well. They consider me to be a friend, now, and automatically invite me to go out with them. Out of coincidence my job brought us to the same area in which my partner grew up, so the people we go out with are essentially his friends. I don't have any friends of "my own" in the area. Additionally, all our Uni friends are mutual.

    Recently, my partner said that he has been unhappy with our relationship in general and that we are more like friends who live together rather than a couple. Whilst we are coupley when we are alone, we effectively ignore each other when we are out with mutual friends and often, new people we meet are astonished to discover we are a couple.

    He feels, from what I can gather, stifled by our life. This has, apparently, stemmed from his new job - an office job where everyone else is in their 20s and either single, or committing adultery by sleeping with others in the office whilst having a partner at home. My partner says this disgusts him - and I believe him - but also that meeting new people and seeing a new side to life (after all, he's been in a relationship with me since we were 19) has let him know that there's more to life and that he shouldn't be in a stale relationship at 23 years old.

    In practice, I totally agree. I want to work really hard on saving the relationship as, on reflection, I am not happy either.

    The big complication is a girl that he used to work with, before she left recently. She added me to Facebook a while ago to "see what I looked like" - I recognise now that she was essentially checking out her competition. She has left my partner's work now, but they appear to be in regular contact. She telephoned him when she was out drunk one night, and she texts him frequently during the day. One example is that she texts him a "good morning" text at 7.30 every morning on the way to her job. This girl has a boyfriend...should she not be texting him?

    I asked my partner about the situation and he said that whilst he doesn't have feelings for her (and I believe him) she might have feelings for him. I believe that for our relationship to survive, we need to work together without this outside influence. After my inital questioning, my partner then started to hide his phone and put it on silent. This made me even more paranoid. He said he did it because it is "less hassle" for the both of us if I didn't know when she texts, because it makes me a bit cross and wary and he doesn't want to have to justify himself. I explained that his behaviour makes me even more paranoid.

    I trust him implicitly. That isn't the issue. This issues are a) that she's the first girl he's become close to, ever, since we got together...and I admit, I'm very wary of that; b) that, whilst she has a boyfriend, in my opinion she is quite openly "trying to get close" to my partner despite knowing we're having problems; c) that if we're ever going to sort out our problems I believe her constant presence is a little damaging; d) if I were getting continual texts from another man, my partner would be outraged, and (most importantly), e) I believe I deserve more respect from my partner on this issue; he gets cross and annoyed when I try to explain how I feel, and has never told this girl to back off so that we can save our relationship. In fact, he readily texts her back - more often than he texts me, even - and I'd imagine they're emailing at work as well.

    I trust my partner. I don't trust this girl. And I know the more upset I am about this, the more I will drive him towards her.

    Any thoughts?

  2. Apologies for length of post. Will be grateful for any replies!
  3. Before looking at the issue of this girl, you need to address your sex life I think. Why has it dried up? Lack of desire for one another? If that's truly the case (and you owe it to your happiness to be honest here) best to separate now rather than get further embedded in the relationship. You will make new friends.
  4. Yeah, and I can't believe I'm about to holler this (I generally have better taste in music, however I never distrust my instincts)....

    SPICE UP YOUR LIIIIIIIIIFE (I sing just as badly as they do :p)

    23 is indeed far too young to be stale. If you've not had sex in 2 years, at this age, may /I ask, meh????

    Are you happy with him? Yep, good, hen know that the 7.30 am lass is muscling in, and maybe trying to keep her options open. I only text the one I want at half seven am.
    Do a mindmap (or whatever those things are politically called these days) of sexy things you can do to spice up said life. And I'm sure fellow TESsers can help with suggestions :D

    If you're not happy with him, end it.

  5. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I would say that you need to move your focus away from this girl and on to fixing things with your partner. I can see that it is irritating but she didn't cause the way you are together.

    Work hard on how to save the relationship and if it works she will probably drift off. If you focus on her rather than saving what you have then she may cause problems.
  6. He should ask her not to text anymore because it upsets you.

    Do you ever go out, just the two of you, and have an evening of fun? Do you go on holiday together or are there always others around?

    It seems as if you have a slightly middle-aged relationship. Are there mutual plans to marry or have children one day?

  7. At first it slowed down because I was very ill after two operations (aged 21). We never got it back after that. The operations caused me to put on about 2 stone in weight (going from a size 12 to size 16).

    My partner and I have talked very honestly about it in our efforts to work out what we need to do to repair our relationship. He says he misses the spark and excitement that a new relationship has. He also admitted that he'd like it if I lost a little bit of weight. When he said that it fell into place why he'd been constantly mentioning the "fun sounding step class" that the girl he's texting goes to.

    I have joined a gym - not just to lose weight for him, but also because I want to do it for myself, FINALLY...and so that we have separate interests (one thing we agreed was that our lives and friends are too intertwined, and we need our own space to be our own people so that we appreciate our time together more).

    I have, over the past couple of weeks, tried to inject some spice into our relationship. I bought some new, expensive underwear, totally cleaned out our bedroom and made it more comfortable and sexy...and he didn't bat an eyelid. He says the problem isn't the sex itself - he er...always gets aroused when we kiss even briefly - but that he's lost the spark for our RELATIONSHIP so simply having sex won't necessarily fix it.

    Since our long serious talk about this, he has been loving and friendly...but still texting this girl etc. I am confused, entirely. He is an honest man and he said if he wanted to end it, he would - he'd just go. He's still here, still telling me he loves me. So why won't he try to have sex (says he only likes going to bed when he's tired, to sleep - I say that we should go to bed early deliberately and try things out) or actually try to do ANYTHING to fix us?
  8. Bombay - that's what I'm telling myself every second of every day. I want to make him want ME and forget about this girl. I ACTUALLY hate her...I think it's the first time I've hated anybody. I need to push her out of my brain, though.

    Dudess - that's precisely why I said to my partner, "why isn't she texting her boyfriend at 7.30? Why is she texting you??"

    Pip - he is very stubborn. If I ever asked him to not text her, he'd do it even more as he won't be dictated to. He cannot see how much it upsets me - or, he can...he just chooses to keep texting her as he "doesn't see it as a problem." Yet, at the same time, he freely admits that if it were a boy behaving like this towards me, he'd be incredibly angry. I am starting to get very annoyed at the double standards, to be honest.
  9. To be honest and brutal with you, the other girl is not the problem she is a result of the problem. If everything was rosey in your relationship nobody male or female would be an issue. By that I am not suggesting there is any kind of affair going on but OH clearly needs to feel that he is still attractive to women perhaps because he has missed out on all the going out on the pull his workmates have and are experiencing.

    People do an awful lot of growing up in the years after uni, it may just be that your growing up has seen you growing apart. I was in a relationship with someone for four and a half years through uni and after but we both got jobs and grew up and the grown up versions of us just werent that well suited. It didnt mean I didnt care deeply about him but like you and your other half it became more like friends than lovers.
  10. DN.

    Don't spice up your sex life.
    Don't try and save your relationship.

    The first thing you need to do is look inside yourself VERY VERY deeply and be VERY VERY honest with yourself.

    Ask yourself the following questions:

    Do I really want to spend the rest of my life with this man?
    Do I love him as a lover or is he a lovely habit I'm finding difficult to break?
    This girl- is she a threat because I still want him truely and deeply- or is she a threat because she may be the one that unsettles my comfortable life?

    Different- look at yourself and your hopes and dreams- allow yourself to explore the world outside what you have and see how you feel.

  11. Pip - yes, mutual plans to marry. Even as recently as two months ago, he'd tell me some of the scenarios he's thought of, of how to propose to me. This is why these recent things have made me so confused and miserable.
  12. LB - at first, when he said he wanted to end it if it carried on like this, I was utterly heartbroken. I spent a day when he was at work crying for six hours. I was unable to function. Over the past week I have started to ask myself those questions. At the moment I am almost preparing myself for the worst and, if he does finally decide to break up, I am liable to laugh in his face and tell him to get lost after playing with my feelings so much.

    I am feeling very peculiar. But I need to continue to ask myself those questions, I know.
  13. You've grown apart and he feels more wanted by tempress texter. Do you want him back or is it time to call it a day? (as Big Brother says, "You decide)
  14. He feels more wanted by her because she's exciting and new...when I would put everything in this world that I own on the fact that I want him more.

    I just don't know HOW I want him...I need to work out whether it's for a life partner. I guess when you get to five years together but you're still young, you reach a point where you say, "yep...staying together cos there's a definite, clear future", or you end it amicably...

    ...so he can go off and shag text girl, it will last three months, and then he'll realise he's been a fool. I may be fatter than her, but she was on my facebook (after she had a good look at my pictures - I added her before I became very aware of her - she deleted me) and she looks like she's been hit in the face with a spade.

  15. Is it me or is it a little strange to tell someone how you would propose to them? Surely you simply propose? The scenarios are kept in your head until carried out. If he asked you to marry him today but kept on texting the girl, what would you say?

    If he's that stubborn about texting someone more when you have asked him not to, what does that say about his feelings for you? How would this stubborness manifest itself after marriage and especially when you are vulnerable after having a child.

    You say that you have only mutual friends. If you split up it would obviously be lonely but do you have relatives/old friends that could support you?

    It sounds as if your support network is him and his friends. Perhaps that is partly what is stopping you from taking positive action (if that is what you really want to do).

    You are not old (I am almost twice as old as you!) and certainly do not need to put up with a situation that makes you unhappy and is supposed to make you happy. Think seriously about what you want for your future.
  16. Pip - I'd say no. Without question. I'd tell him to ask me when we both had resolved the situation. The "proposal scenarios" were always quite jokey...affectionate, though. Not 100% serious, if you get what I mean...he wasn't being romantic, or anything! Just sort of...nice. I can't really explain.

    I know I DO have a lot of friends. Especially recently, when they've all noticed something is wrong. I have good friends who are colleagues, and my next door neighbour (who I've got to know recently and is also a teacher) is a real laugh and we get on brilliantly, so she'll be there too.

    When this first all blew up, I was heartbroken and I saw it to be up to him to break things up. Now, when things appear to be "better" but I feel in my heart they're not, it's only just starting to occur to me that actually, I can ALSO choose whether our relationship continues.
  17. Awww, its a tough thing to go through, but you sound like you have your head screwed on the right way...you do have the choice to decide whether your relationship continues.

    If he wants fun and exciting, and you want to give it to him, go get some male attention, hun. It could give him the kick up the backside he needs to see you as sexy. Maybe a night out with colleagues or your neighbour, strictly no men. Go for the show-not-tell and see what happens :D

  18. You sound as if you need a bit of thinking time.

    I am sure that the right decision will come to you in time.

    I really wish you luck, whatever you decide.
  19. "I just don't know HOW I want him...I need to work out whether it's for a life partner. I guess when you get to five years together but you're still young, you reach a point where you say, "yep...staying together cos there's a definite, clear future", or you end it amicably..."

    I think if you even have to ask yourself this question, then deep in your heart you already know the answer, honestly I know its a cliche but if its right you do 'just know' and you wouldn't (either of you) have doubts/issues this strong.
  20. Hi

    I guess it could go one of 2 ways- either you both recognise there is a problem & somehow resolve it and then look back on this time in years to come as a 'rough patch' or acknowledge that this is the end of the road.

    It is worrying (IMO) that he was so willing to leave if you wanted him to- he should WANT to stay... maybe he doesn't realise what he has got (in terms of the relationship & you) and has begun to take it all for granted.

    I feel that you should really value yourself and consider whether he is treating you with the respect & love that you deserve (it's all very well him saying that he loves you, but he should demonstrate it).

    Maybe you should imagine you have a friend in this position- what advice would you give?

    I think it must be so hard- only you will know whether the relationship is meant to last.

    Not sure if this is helpful

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