Hi everyone, I am so grateful to have found this forum – seems like you are all great people trying to help each other. I will try to make this first post of mine as concise as I can, but there is a lot of nuances and it is hard to know which parts are the most important.
Anyhow, if you make it to the end I am entirely grateful for you spending your time!
I, 31 and my partner / W (not married though) have been together for 7 years now (close). I am from Austria, she is from Mexico, we both live in Sweden. We don’t have children. We have had a few bumps in those 7 years, including her needing space and moving out 2 times before.
The main reasons in those times were that we are different in some key aspects. It took us a while to build a longer life vision together (like having children, moving to Mexico at some point) and she felt we were not 100% aligned. That has changed in the last 12 months when we took deliberate time and wrote our life visions together to see how aligned they were – and they were basically the same!
We also became very dependent on each other as we do not have family here and most of our friends have moved abroad – one of the reasons we said that we move to another place closer to her family. Which makes our R quite fragile in moments of conflicts and issues I believe.
Now, what happened in the last few months was that we lost intimacy with each other. With COVID and working from home nearly everyday, seeing each other ALL the time and not having much of a social life, we kind of got used to each other. I felt really comfortable and nice, but also not super attracted to her – neither did she. We started to focus a lot on work and projects that were started during COVID and got still quite busy some days. For a period I was actually fine with not having a sex drive and us enjoying our time together – it made things a bit easier (sex has most of the time been slightly difficult for us). But in the last month or so I got really frustrated about our non-intimacy situation.
And normally I try to approach conflict in a way that is not too hard on the other person – before I would be quite easily go into confrontation, which she could not handle as she is quite sensitive. But this time I was so frustrated that I couldn’t keep my cool and I blamed her partly for the situation (I know, putting pressure on someone about sex will definitely not help, but I didn’t think it through).
That happened twice, once we went out for 2 nights in a cozy cabin in the middle of nowhere and the other time on New Year’s Eve. The first time I just went to sleep when she just wanted to play games one evening and I was expecting that we will have at least some more adult stuff happening. On New Years Eve the same, we were celebrating by ourselves and after dinner and some games I was ready to get a bit more physical, but she wanted to watch a movie instead. That’s when I said that I will just go to bed (at 10pm) and she didn’t react at all to it. But once in bed I couldn’t hold it and had to come back and start complaining how I am unhappy about our lack of sex and intimacy – how I do not want to watch movies and play games every evening and I was hoping we could be a bit more intimate this evening. We talked and it wasn’t the worst fight we had, but quite a sensitive subject. She was on her period and said that she didn’t think about it at all this evening.
The next day in the evening she asks me if I want a massage and we have 3 hours of just enjoying each other / no intercourse but intimate and I felt really good afterwards. The day after that in the evening I ask her suggestively if there are some more massages on the menu. And that is when BD happened.
She said that we should talk about what I raised the other evening and I reluctantly agreed. She said that she loves me, but more like a brother and sister. That she had struggled with this for a while, in her opinion for most of our relationship and that she needs to be true to herself and her feelings. That she needs to explore herself and be completely free for a while, like 6 months. That we wants to experiment and maybe meet other people to see if this sex blockage she has is her or our issue. That there should be no expectation that we get back together (which she said the previous 2 times as well)
I did not take that conversation to great and begged to try out different approaches as I am sure we can fix this. We have gotten so far, have worked on our R so much and this happens to 1/3 of all R. But she was quite determined and said that I have convinced her before that we should work on our R and it never 100% felt to be her decision. I became desperate and said things I regretted once I said them, like if you leave me I will kill myself (I told her not much later that I said that in impulse and that I wouldn’t do it, but once it’s said the damage is done anyhow). I also pushed her to be more concrete what this means and after 1 minute or so of thinking, she said that we are not going to be partners anymore. I felt I pushed her too much again and she was not clear about that before.
The day after we talked a bit more on a walk and I tried to explain her how I see things, but I also understood that she has made her mind up for now. She also said that her initial idea with the conversation the day before was not to go all the way to move out but rather to see what we do next. I just cant handle vague areas and I feel I pressured her to take a stand – I feel a bit like an idiot on that one.
I started to stop fighting and accepting in a way that I have done the 2 previous times – if this is what you need then I won’t be in your way. I want you to be happy and love you no matter what. She said that it would be great to stay in touch and meet a few times this week as it is a lonely time currently and we shouldn’t make the change too drastic. But I told her that from our previous breaks staying in touch was quite painful for me and it would probably be better to have no or as little contact as possible for 4 weeks (not sure if being so explicit about my feelings instead of just going silent was smart, but I am an honest person and want to be true to myself). She respected that choice/need but cried again and said that that is not what she wanted. I nearly changed my mind then and there.
She stayed at our place that day as well, we still slept in the same bed and watched a movie in the evening to not continue talking about the hard stuff as we were quite emotionally drained. She had a pretty shitty night, had to vomit before going to bed and felt miserable – so did I.
Now she moved to the empty apartment of a friend of mine who is currently in the US. We cried a lot when she packed and we said goodbye for like 10 minutes in tears, telling each other how much we love each other and that we send each other positive energy.
I am just so confused – I do understand that we have issues and I am not a great communicator sometimes, we lost intimacy and that she felt she was not truly happy with that. But at the same time she loves me so much and wants to stay in contact. She cares so much and it is such a weird loving way to take a break – similar to the other 2 times we did this btw.
I think that I should take the no-contact now and let her sit with her decision. But I also feel that I pushed her to take that decision a bit and that she was not wanting to do this so radically this time. So maybe talking and doing fun things together would help make her change her mind – as I have also been quite distant in the last 3 or so weeks. We have never been not communicating with each other for longer than a week maybe and not have been together for longer than 3 weeks besides the 2 times we took a break of 3-6 months (but even then we saw each other every week). I was quite frustrated in the end now myself and was thinking myself if this is how I want my relationship to be – void of intimacy and sexuality. I think I thought a bit about if we are not compatible and I didn’t value us as much in the end as I did just 6 months ago. So I am also a bit unsure if we work well together – because I want to feel loved and accepted for who I am. I told her that as well sometimes, which might not help her feelings for me. We are quite different in some aspects:
- She vs Me - She loves her family, I am semi-distant to mine due to not great childhood - Mexican vs Austrian traits of course – living life more as it comes vs structure and planning - Conflict-avoidant vs seeing conflict as a good thing to align - Not sure about this, but I believe she is a distancer and I am a pursuer (but I do have traits of distancing as well as I did this time for example with just going to bed without saying a word) - LL of QT and WOA vs QT and PT
At the same time I fear that I will loose her this time – I do love her and want her in my life. But I do want her to want me and be committed to us, which I feel is on very thin ice often. We have so much history, shared experiences and have values that are aligned imo especially now after writing our life visions and making long-term plans. I am also afraid of my mental health now in these isolating times, but that is the smallest issue now (a bit frustrated that she has to pull this one off now, but there is never good timing).
If you read until here, thank you! I feels good to just write this down and hopefully someone has some suggestions on what to do now – I ordered the DB and DR books so will read those.