Topic is Sleeping.
Fablegirl (original poster member #56784) posted at 7:07 PM on Sunday, September 25th, 2022
I haven't checked in in a while and now with some developments in my life need a gut check on some issues. It's been four years since my divorce and, like everyone else on this forum, I am still healing and figuring out life after marriage (I was married for 20). I have been in a relationship/companionship for four years with a guy who lives nearby. We met at a fundraiser and he's been pretty supportive of me and my daughter after XWH abandoned us. He helped me through my divorce and we kept each other sane during the pandemic. We travel well together, my friends like him and I like his friends. I feel like he's a member of my family, as does my daughter.
However, there are some issues I have tried to ignore or just learn to live with. The major one is our relationship is completely nonsexual now. He's older and, by his own admission, has no sexual desire. We tried to have a life of intimacy early on but it was problematic. He tried to break up with me once over it, saying, I wanted things from him he could not give. On the rare occasion we did try to have sex, the effort didn't make me feel closer to him, just unattractive and undesirable. We barely even kiss except for a peck on the lips, coming and going. He rarely holds my hand.
Also this: in our four years together he's never said "I love you" or even "I miss you." He's an emotional avoidant who is content to have me come over to his place two or three times a week (he never comes to mine), cook dinner or go to events together. We have never talked about future plans or moving in together. That, and the lack of physical and emotional connection has taken a toll. On our recent four year anniversary I took him to an expensive evening at the theater. I got zilch. Not even a card. That is not to say that he hasn't give generous gifts in the past, just that the one to recognize our anniversary is something he doesn't do anymore.
I finally asked him not long ago if he ever wanted to know if I hooked up with someone else sexually, and he first responded, "Well, it depends..." Then concluded he did not want to know.
Several months ago out of the blue a guy I briefly dated 30 years ago reached out by email. He saw something I wrote that was published online and was moved by it. We started writing back and forth every day, then moved to phone calls. He lives in a different state. We recently agreed to meet in a city where I had to travel for work. We met at the airport after we landed. We spent the weekend together in what I can only describe as the most intense romantic experience I have had in a long time. We're supposed to see each other in another week and, as excited as I am, I feel conflicted, as if I am cheating on my longtime companion. People close to me, who know our situation, disagree. They say I just need to have stronger boundaries and less codependency on what my companion might think or feel about what I am doing.
Any feedback would be great (please be kind -- feeling kind of vulnerable with this one).
nutmegkitty ( member #33882) posted at 8:27 PM on Sunday, September 25th, 2022
Are you exclusive with your long term companion?
It seems to me you are having an affair.
Me - happy!
Very happily divorced from an NPD since 2013.
someassemblyrequired ( new member #81179) posted at 12:30 AM on Monday, October 17th, 2022
Fablegirl, I wouldn’t classify it cheating necessarily, but certainly not honest. It is very important to understand your needs and for both of you to accommodate and compliment the other. He sounds like a great friend and if that’s what he wants to be, so be it. Nothing wrong with that. As to the "affair"— Im beginning to be of the mind that going back to previous hunting ground is another kind of avoidance. Revisiting your youth to feel younger and avoid the unpleasantness of the present, and its challenges. That’s who my ex cheated on me with—a fling from 30 years in the past. But I certainly get the physical need part. For so long I wouldn’t ask because the rejection hurt too much. Then she jumps in bed with this other guy. I think the only path is honesty, with self and others. I know I probably haven’t helped much.
Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 2:47 AM on Monday, October 17th, 2022
While I agree with others about the need for both people in a relationship to be open and honest about their sexual needs, this man's response to your trying to get him to open up a bit about sexual exclusivity was loaded with freight. I wonder what he was starting to tell you. Like, was he going to give his "okay" for you to do the deed elsewhere, and just not talk about it?
Please do yourself a favor and run some kind of background check, at least. There are all kinds out there. Personally I would trust my gut on this whole thing, thank him for what you have gained from your relationship, but end it before someone gets hurt.
[This message edited by Superesse at 7:56 AM, Monday, October 17th]
OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 8:22 AM on Monday, October 17th, 2022
The first relationship has run its course and is not meeting your needs. Time to say that and offer that the friendship continue. That is the most honest, least codependent path regardless of what happens with guy #2.
It wouldn't hurt to do a background check into guy #2, but if it's a long-distance thing, then this relationship may not be The One either. Run a background check on both guys? Idk know about that. Maybe it's always necessary these days. It's ok if the R with guy #2 stays just a fling, but try to see it honestly and not try to force it into something it can't be.
I do think it is concerning that you accepted so little from guy #1 for so long. Your friends are right about boundaries and codependency. Jumping from one R into the next doesn't happen when we stand up for ourselves and cut things off when our needs are not being met in the first place. You feel like you are cheating because you can't/didn't do this which is not healthy. Are you currently in IC to work on your boundaries and protecting your needs?
[This message edited by OwningItNow at 8:28 AM, Monday, October 17th]
me: BS/WSh: WS/BS
Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.
Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 2:51 PM on Monday, October 17th, 2022
After pondering all this, and having noticed a duplicate post further down the page with different poster responses, I considered what I had shared and felt it was too personally revealing, so I edited part of my previous post but left in the recommendation to do a background check, based on what I wish I'd done. I do think your man friend is hiding some part of himself from the "relationship" you two are having.
If you don't come up with anything incriminating on a background check, try withdrawing from the familiar pattern you grew into. Do it not to elicit change from the man friend, but to shift away from trying so hard to make a "better than nothing" relationship into something it will never be.
Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 12:08 AM on Tuesday, October 25th, 2022
Hi, what kind of agreement do you have? Have you both agreed to be together or companions only?
I think you need to talk to him and figure it out.
Be open and honest.
Sounds like you are hiding this from him, to me that says something about how you see it.
Legally separated, one more step.
EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 2:28 PM on Wednesday, October 26th, 2022
Guy #1 - This really sounds like a good friendship vs a relationship when I look at how you describe him. IE like family, supportive, etc.
There is nothing wrong with having a relationship with this person as long are you both are ok with it. Which you clearly are not.
And that is ok - but you need to straighten that out first. If you want more from him and he is willing to work at it (which seems questionable), then couples counseling? Drs appt to help him with his desires (if that is the problem - maybe he is an abuse survivor that just won't let himself that close to someone, etc).
Sounds like he is content with what you guys have though. IE it doesn't seem like he is giving off the vibe to work towards something better together. More like...."This is what I can do....take it or leave it".
If this doesn't work for you, get it squared away.
If you are interested in having an open relationship, then you guys need to set the perimeters on that. But that doesn't seem like what he wants either based on your previous discussion.
Guy #2 - I would pause this until you get it all straightened up with Guy #1. Because you were so denied the intimacy you needed from Guy #1, it will take very little from Guy #2 to make you feel absolutely fabulous. You deserve so much more than that.
Lastly, does Guy #2 know about Guy #1? If so, he is ok with that? If he is, that should tell you something about his character or what he is looking for. If he does not know about Guy #1, then it is not fair to him either.
Tough stuff - but please square it all away so you can have the happy/healthy NB you deserve.
Fablegirl (original poster member #56784) posted at 10:53 PM on Monday, October 31st, 2022
Thanks everyone for their messages and advice on this problem. I am actively resolving this issue and trying to act with integrity and honesty. Trying is the operative word here.
To backtrack, after this initial post, I went back to Guy 1, my "boyfriend" of the past four years and said that our celibate relationship was no longer working for me and I wanted to date other people. I said that his lack of desire made me feel undesirable and thus unlovable. He said he understood and added the only thing that bothered him was that whatever "activity" I do with anyone else might lead to another relationship. I responded by assuring him that I would never date anyone local (we live in a small rural community), which I think addressed his main concern of having no one to do activities with. I did not tell him about Guy 2 because I don't know what it is yet beyond a physical relationship and a deep connection that's in the honeymoon phase. He lives in another state. He knows about my relationship with Guy 1 and has not put any pressure on me to do anything.
I feel a sense of loss about Guy 1 because it's the beginning of a necessary end. In looking back, the whole experience has been a bit gutting because I do love him and have told him so multiple times (he's never reciprocated and said he has trouble talking about his emotions). He's an ideal partner in terms of crossing off boxes. He was everything WXH wasn't -- smart, successful, funny, responsible and a great support during my divorce. If I had to describe his attachment style, it's a bit like breadcrumbing. When he's focused on me, there's no better feeling, but those times were rare and kept giving me hope. Most of the time he's distracted, irritable, focused on his causes, narcissistic, and has even recoiled from me when I tried to be affectionate. It was tearing me apart. Yes, I should have ended it a while ago but I guess I didn't because the pandemic was happening and we kept each other company during it.
So I guess the upshot of this is I am telling the truth slowly.
Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 2:18 AM on Tuesday, November 1st, 2022
Fablegirl, from everything you say about Guy #1, I can't help but wonder if he is "on the spectrum" like my WH is. Look up the criteria for what used to be called Asperger's Syndrome. So many times this is not picked up on and we think it must be us or something else going on. If you are trying to have a relationship with such an individual it is important that you don't set yourself up for disappointment, wanting the kinds of reactions he will never volunteer. He sounds like a friend, though. Best wishes keeping the friendship a friendship.
grubs ( member #77165) posted at 3:34 AM on Tuesday, November 1st, 2022
He said he understood and added the only thing that bothered him was that whatever "activity" I do with anyone else might lead to another relationship.
You know that Guy#1 doesn't work for you. Whether Guy#2 was local or not you know that you will need to pull back from Guy#1 if things work out with Guy#2 or anyone else that is a better fit for you. What was your rationale for not making a clean break or at least re-classify this relationship as a very scaled back friends only? It's unfair to everyone to keep it going at this point.
Yes, I should have ended it a while ago but I guess I didn't because the pandemic was happening and we kept each other company during it.
See above. He does get something from your relationship but hes not capable of giving enough for you. When you find someone new, what's left for guy1 will not be enough for him. You know the path here. Move along it sooner rather than later.
[This message edited by grubs at 3:38 AM, Tuesday, November 1st]
BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 3:29 PM on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022
You’re not intimate with Guy #1, not even verbally. He’s not fulfilling you physically or emotionally. Why can’t you just continue to be friends with him and not have the boyfriend/girlfriend label?
You obviously want a sexually active, romantic, intimate relationship. So why would you close yourself off from opportunities to have that type of relationship by keeping Guy #1 as your boyfriend but relegating Guy #2 (or potentially other men) to fuck buddy status?
[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 3:33 PM, Wednesday, November 2nd]
BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy
I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.
Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 2:39 AM on Thursday, November 3rd, 2022
Good questions, BluerThanBlue. Is the answer to your second question "because, a 'sexually active, romantic, intimate relationship' seems like an impossible dream?"
Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 7:19 PM on Saturday, November 12th, 2022
Fable girl, thanks for the background. Guy number 1 is not ticking all the boxes. If He is not ticking the important ones, is this the right person for you?
You deserve to be loved in all senses of the word.
Legally separated, one more step.
Topic is Sleeping.