Fablegirl (original poster member #56784) posted at 7:25 PM on Sunday, September 25th, 2022
ablegirl has posted a reply to your topic "Is This Wrong?".
Here is the response:
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).
EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 8:36 PM on Sunday, September 25th, 2022
I'm saying this as gently as I can, but you are cheating/have cheated on your so. I think you know that.
I'm not gonna go into a bunch of stuff about that part tho. I am gonna say that however "nice" your so is, the things you laid out are huge red flags.
If sex is an important component in a romantic relationship for you, and he had no interest in sex, why would you stay in a relationship with him?
If emotional connection with your so is important for you, why would you stay in a relationship with an emotionally avoidant person?
There's nothing wrong with you wanting sex and emotional connection in a romantic relationship. But if those are things you need and want, you owe it to yourself and your partner to make sure you're compatible in those areas. If you're not compatible, the right thing to do is to end it.
Please break it off with your so before starting something new with someone else. You know first hand what being cheated on does to a person, so don't put that pain on someone else.
"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger
"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park
BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 12:15 AM on Monday, September 26th, 2022
As a wayward, what jumps out at me is the vagueness of your timeline. The ex popped up "several months ago." You asked about a hypothetical hookup "not long ago." You had sex with the ex "recently." What was the actual sequence here? Were you already in a deepening connection with the ex when you asked your partner this supposedly hypothetical question? Do you believe you gave him the true picture of your intentions, or did you word things carefully to give yourself cover and justify keeping him in the dark?
The first lies are always the ones we tell ourselves.
BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 2:15 AM on Monday, September 26th, 2022
Two things: You talk a lot about the non-sexual nature of your current relationship. And how you aren’t happy with it but have only vaguely addressed it with your partner and discussed NSA sex (or that is how it sounds to me). Then you go into how the old flame makes you feel and the sex, the phone calls, the texts. This right here is justification and how the lies begin. You are creating a justification for having a PA with someone else. (You mention having sex with others, but you are having feelings and a relationship, not NSA sex.). So yes you are cheating.
And the other is — why are you with this current partner if it is not what you want? Totally fair enough to not want a sexless relationship. But be honest with yourself and with him. And don’t hang on to him while you have an A just so you don’t have to have difficult conversations and decisions with your current partner and to hang on to the parts of the relationship you want. That is cake-eating unless he is 100% onboard with it. That’s just not fair. Sounds like you get on great as friends— so be honest and kind with him and try for a friendship instead of a partnership.
I think you knew this too- your gut has been telling you this. And you know to listen to your gut.
Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)
**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **
lostandbound ( member #56011) posted at 7:55 AM on Monday, September 26th, 2022
I'm a little confused--did you and your long-term companion ever have a "define the relationship" talk and agree to exclusive terms, or have you just been hanging out for four years?
Cabrona ( member #9596) posted at 11:10 AM on Monday, September 26th, 2022
Is your long time companion consider himself your friend or your significant other?
"The truth is, everybody is going to hurt you... you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for." —Bob Marley
grubs ( member #77165) posted at 3:19 PM on Monday, September 26th, 2022
Count me in with the confused. How exactly have you two defined your relationship up until now? Most of your post talks about your existing relationship as if it is just friends without benefits, but you don't break up with someone if you are not dating aka you are currently in a BF/GF relationship. Just in sexless one. A four year bf/gf relationship deserves more than what you are considering. Even one as imperfect as you describe. Fix it or get out. At this point, I would put this new relationship with an ex on hold for a few months. It's not fair to that existing relationship to have one foot already in another relationship while you are considering that old relationship's fate. You don't really know this new guy, even if you did 30 years ago. New and Shiny always looks better. If you are truly incompatible with the bf of 4 years take steps to end it, but be single for a while. Both your boyfriends and you deserve that much.
[This message edited by grubs at 3:20 PM, Monday, September 26th]
Fablegirl (original poster member #56784) posted at 7:03 PM on Monday, September 26th, 2022
Thank you for the honest and mostly gentle feedback.
Everyone is right. It feels wrong to me, too. I have been limping along in a bad relationship in part because I believed in the possibility of things getting better. I pushed for counseling and he said no. I tell him I love him and he says "thank you" or nothing at all. I stayed because it wasn't bad enough to leave, because he's alone and has no family other than me. These are bad reasons to stay with someone but as a co-dependent I fell into a caregiving role. I need to break it off and start over.
Fablegirl (original poster member #56784) posted at 2:25 AM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022
Just another update and thanks to folks who keep responding. I really, really appreciate that people read this and tell me their thoughts.
The update is that I was specific with Guy 1 in that I wanted to date other people. Now he's bargaining stage of loss. He sees I am ready to move on and is now trying to engage more and states that he does want sex at some point. I pointed out that sex was not our only problem - that we had trouble resolving conflicts and that in the four years of being together he never said he loved or missed me. His response was, "Well, yes, there's that." Also he didn't think counseling was necessary because we had so few conflicts. Now he says he wants a life partner. I never felt like I was even in the running that that. I feel angry that he's now realizing what he's losing, and trying to do something but it's too late.
My update on Guy 2: I like Guy 2 a lot. Our physical life is amazing. We live in different states but his line of work and mine ensure that we see each other at least once a month. There are some red flags, or just areas of concern. Guy 2 seems to make good money but recently I watched him buy a train ticket and his credit card was rejected. I also recently stayed at his house and it's a mess. The house itself is nice enough, but in dire need of housekeeping and in a state of neglect - like a hole in the bathroom wall,dishes stacked in the sink and dirty countertops and newspapers stored in the bathroom linen closet, unopened mail stacked on a table. I felt a bit uncomfortable in his house but thought, Geeze, "I am not marrying this guy." But this is also what I do, reckon with flaws and loosen my boundaries...
It was also a switch from Guy 1 who is OCD about his house and cleaning -- to the point where that was an issue in our relationship.
The general sense with Guy 2 is chaos. He's disorganized and a bit of a slob, but emotionally available in ways I haven't experienced in a while.
Thank you for reading.
Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 6:02 AM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022
What an update, Fablegirl! It's almost like that TV show with guy 1 behind door 1, guy 2 behind door 2, but who you actually want to find is behind door 3, right?
Guy 1 continues to sound emotionless by nature, and sorry but that ain't gonna change. The kind of counseling that might really help is for him to do IC and get a professional assessment of his personality type, and go from there. It just doesn't sound like you two are compatible, but I could be wrong. Opposites attract, then drive each other nuts, eh?
Guy 2 sounds like a hot mess, even as you are trying to tell yourself you won't get emotionally tangled up with his problems. I couldn't do that for long, I'd be knee deep before I realized it was affecting me, based on my unfortunate history of dating my WH too long before scoping out details that might have revealed a lot.
If you had to pick, though, would OCD win out over slobby?
EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 2:27 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022
Hi FG - thanks for the update.
Guy1 - Frankly, I would be pi$$ed. I mean, you have tried to have these conversations over the year and were roadblocked. NOW....NOW....he is dribbling tidbits. "He wants sex at some point" and a life partner????
Ummm - no thanks. He had more than enough time to meet you halfway. He is doing some half-attempts at dangling carrots.
This would be enough for me to shut that door for good.
Guy2 - Nothing against G2 - but you were so deficient in many aspects of a relationship from G1, that this guy has to do very little to make you feel great. You have been deeply starved emotionally.
I get it - been there. All I can say about my 'G2-type' relationships is they were very instrumental in getting me where I am today. It was not the healthiest way to heal, but it did the job
Since Guy2 is not a keeper for you, state your demands. Like "If you ever want me to come back here again, clean this place up" or whatever bothers you.
Again, if Guy2 is not a keeper but just your FWB, his money issues are not your concern/stressors either.
These things are only issues if you are thinking this guy can turn into more. In that case, you have some flags waving.
Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 6:57 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022
EvenKeel makes a point: emotional starvation can have distorted your perception of Guy 2 a bit, because he showed you the truth of what you knew all along: things didn't have to be the way they are with Guy 1! Guy 2 can look sooo good in comparison! But it's all part of the same problem; isn't it? Mismatched in some important ways.
(Related to that starvation analogy, just for the heck of it, search 'Cassandra Syndrome.')
ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 4:55 PM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022
Guy #1 had his chance and he blew it. If he doesn't like being downgraded to "just friends", you might consider, "annual Christmas cards". He knew what the issues were and he chose not to address them. If he addressed them now, it would only be to regain your interest and not because it's what he truly wants in life.
Guy #2 appears to have more red flags fluttering in the breeze than downtown Beijing. First, there's the distance thing which can hide a multitude of sins. You're not likely to see his truck in the parking lot of the most notorious beer joint in town or bump into him at the grocery store while he's with some bimbo in daisy dukes bagging vegetables. You only see him on his terms when he's ready. Next, there's the messy living situation, which on the one hand makes it pretty clear that he's not shacked up with anyone, but on the other shows you exactly where you would fit into his future on a daily basis... as an organizer and housekeeper for a dude who has no problem looking at a hole in his wall every day but never getting the urge to repair it. Then, there's the money thing. When someone makes good money but doesn't have any, that money went somewhere. It didn't just disappear. Ex-wives? Ex-kids? Gambling? Partying? The money has to have gone somewhere and the one place you can be pretty certain it hasn't gone is Merry Maids. If all you're looking for here is sex and fun on a part-time basis, I think you're good to go. If you're looking for more though, there's a lot of questions needing answers.
BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7
No one can make you into a liar but you.