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Extremely Confused, There's No Spark?

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  • Extremely Confused, There's No Spark?

    Hi there, I'm really new to this forum and this is my first post.

    I don't really know where to turn to. I don't have very many friends, and the ones I do have.. they aren't at the same place that I am in my life. I don't feel like I could really go to them for advice. I kind of feel like I would be burdening them..

    I am 20 years old and have been in a relationship for the 5 years. It was long distance to start with and up until a few months ago remained that way.
    My boyfriend and I have been through a lot. I have been going through a lot of changes, of course, and he has too.

    I guess the thing that really is bothering me is that I feel old. That's the only way I can describe my situation in my personal life. I don't have much of a social life, and at home I feel like I'm stuck in a rut. My boyfriend has put up with a lot from me. I have put up with a lot from him.
    I have done a lot of things in my life that I'm not proud of, just like anyone else. There's a lot of things we've been through together. However I feel as if he may not understand that. I did break up with him at one point, but only for about a week.
    We were still long distance at this point, and I had come to the epiphany that we just weren't compatible. We hadn't been communicating much, we had been fighting a lot. I felt like he was controlling at the time. To this day he denies it, but we would get into fights because I would do or say something that he didn't agree with and he would suddenly stop speaking to me. I would ask him what was wrong and he would say "nothing". It would be hours before he would tell me what it was that was bothering him, and I would end up very upset because he hadn't told me in the first place. After this behavior had been going on for a few months I broke up with him. I felt that he didn't accept me for who I was, I had to watch what I did and say so that he wouldn't get upset at me.

    We ended up getting back together because I felt guilty. I knew there was an issue with communication and I felt like I hadn't done enough on my part go fix it. After we got back together, he ended up pulling away from me emotionally. This span of time lasted about a year. A lot of bad things happened to me during this time and I didn't feel supported by him through it.

    When he would come for to visit, we would be close. We get along together very well in person. We work together as a team for the most part, and I felt as if the main issue with our relationship was the long distance. A few months ago he moved to the city I live in, and for financial reasons he is living with me right now.
    While we are getting along well, I feel no spark at all. I feel like I am holding grudges against him for the things we have been through, and I don't want to do that. He has told me that he had purposely pulled away from me emotionally after we broke up, because he couldn't believe I would do something like that. He has been trying harder to rekindle the emotional relationship we once had, just like I did. But to me I feel like it hasn't been working. Like I said, we get along well, we can joke, talk, live together. There are only minor issues I have as far as living with him goes, and they are so minor I don't even bring them up.

    I feel like there is a part of me that wants to feel like I'm head over heels, like I've been swept off of my feet. I want to feel IN LOVE. I want to feel excited sexually. And I don't. And I don't know if this is normal in a relationship when we've been together for so long, even though most of that time has been long distance. We haven't slept together. We have "fooled around" but as far as real intercourse goes, we haven't done that. I have expressed wanting to be intimate with him but he gets upset and says "there is more to a relationship than that". I'm needy. I want to be cuddled and kissed and held tightly. He does this sometimes when I ask him to... but I have to ask him. When we cuddle, I feel nothing. I don't feel fulfilled. I don't understand if this is normal. If it is because I am used to being with him, or if it is because of our past. I know every serious relationship has it's issues. Couples go through hardships and work past them, but don't they still have spark? I don't know if he feels the spark, but I don't think he does. I am afraid to bring this up with him because I don't want him to "pull away" more than he has. When I bring up any worry or insecurity I have, he has the tendency to sigh loudly and say "what did I do THIS time?!".

    It makes me wonder if it is him being a jerk, or if I just don't know how to pick my battles? My entire life I have been terrible at communicating and opening up, and lately I've been trying to be open. It's hard, and I wonder if now that I'm trying - if I'm going over the top? Everything I do in my relationship I do because I am wanting to make things work again. I want to feel emotionally connected. I want to feel something strong. I wonder if this is just a romanticized ideal that isn't realistic..

    I don't know.. I feel like I am rambling. I feel like there is such detail to this story and all I want is advice. This post has gotten to be long. Could you make any observations and tell me what you think from what I am saying currently?
    I am trying to sort out my story, sort out my questions. There is so much I've been holding in and it's all coming out at once while I type this. I'm sorry if this post has been "all over the place".. there is just so much.. and I wonder if any of this sounds normal.

  • Hopeful, welcome to the board. I am sure you will get a lot of good advice here. A few questions I have (and I am sure other members will have).

    Why doesn't your boyfriend want to have sex? If it's religious or he wants to wait till you guys gets married, that's understandable. If not, I would be very concerned and start assuming he is either asexual, has some sexual dysfunction or is gay.

    You allude to past histories. Besides the time you guys broke up, where there anything else? You don't have to share anything you are not comfortable with, but I think it would be helpful for us to know.

    From what you have written, you boyfriend sounds emotionally immature and not really able to handle a relationship in a mature fashion. He behaves like a child when he doesn't get his way. He also seems very emotionally guarded and not willing to open up.
    Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

    Comment


    • I agree with sp346 about your man's immaturity, although that seems to happen in men of almost any age. We like to work things out in a very broad sense, but many men seem to turn inward when trouble comes. Sometimes it takes a lot of work and patience and understanding to get that man to 'grow up' so to speak and start communicating, but it can be done. It sounds like you're on the right track yourself as far as that goes.

      The one warning sign I see here is your lack of affection for him. You seem to quite naturally want an emotionally fulfilling relationship ...with someone. It just sounds like it might not be him. If that's the case, I think you're best of coming to terms with that before you try to fix the guy. You'd be doing the world a favor by fixing him before you turn him loose, but you've got to think of yourself first. There are some great guys out there (more than a few) ...maybe one for you if you look hard enough.
      [FONT=Trebuchet MS][COLOR="#800080"][B][SIZE=4]Woman trapped inside a woman's body![/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/FONT]

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      • Hi there, thanks for making some observations and asking more questions..
        I guess I do agree that he has acted emotionally immature in the past. The thing that really makes things hard is I feel like as a response to that I've reacted in the same way. I feel as if he started the ball rolling as far as our communication issues go, but I didn't do much to help. I got upset when he would give me silent treatments and as a reaction I found myself doing the same thing. It makes it harder when I feel like every time I try to communicate with him I feel as if we're taking a step back instead of a step forward. I never feel better after any argument we have. I just feel frustrated, not understood...

        I feel like I should work harder at this to make things work, but at the same time I feel like I've already put so much time into it and I don't see things getting better. I don't want to make him sound as if he hasn't been trying. He really has, and I feel like there are things I am just not able to let go of that he's done or said to me. Like I said, I've had my share of mistakes that I have learned from and want to move on from as well...
        The thing that makes it hardest of all is that he moved to my city to be with me. I told him before hand "I don't want you to move just for me. If we separate for any reason I don't want to feel guilty that you moved here".. and even though he told me not to worry about that, that we should focus on the positive.. I feel guilty. I feel guilty that I'm having thoughts of this not working out and he's only been here for a few months. I thought that if we had any chance to last we couldn't do long distance any longer, and I told him that.

        I've been through a lot in the past few years that he has put up with, I really have to give him that. These last few years have been really hard on me. I will go into more detail if you think I should.. an example of that would be my father passing away, becoming estranged from my entire family, living on my own in an apartment, extreme drama at work including sexual harrassment ... a lot of things did happen that I was dealing with and on top of the issues we've had with communicating I know it wasn't the easiest to deal with on his part. I ended up going to a psychologist, which was something I only did because he pressured me to. The psychologist ended up really helping me out.. so I don't want to say that this relationship has been one sided, I feel like it would be unfair of me to paint a picture like that and I don't mean to..

        Is it possible to be with someone who could have everything you want in a man, yet you feel no chemistry or spark? It was there at the start, but somehow it's faded. And I don't know what to do..

        Comment


        • Not all couples are meant to be together and loving someone isn't just a sum of them having the things that you want. No fault to anyone, but it sounds like you two are just not made for each other. Maybe you would both be happy with someone else.

          You are 20 and have been in a relationship for 5 years so this started when you were very young. People change a lot during those years, and what seemed right then may not be right now.

          Comment


          • The statement you made that jumps out at me is that you got back together because you feel guilty. About what?

            Second thing I think of here is, that you're 20 yrs old, which means you've been in this relationship since age 15, correct? How old is he? I think you've outgrown him. You said the spark was there at the start...but what we want/need at 15 is very different from the desires of a grown, young woman of 20. If we and our partners don't grow together, we change in different ways, and we just don't mesh as a romantic couple any longer.

            I keep picking up this sense of guilt, or owing him something or feeling obligated to him in some way. You owe only yourself-to be happy and find what meets your needs in life.

            I think that you realized it wasn't right, back when you broke up, but didn't have the strength at that time to stick with it. I think that you can continue trying to work on it and things may change, but I think more likely, you may need to look elsewhere to fill your needs.

            No shame, my dear. There is nothing wrong with that. I can tell you care deeply for him, love him and appreciate him. But that doesn't mean he is the right one for your future.
            Doesn't mean he isn't either, but there's some soul searching and work to do on both your parts.

            I'm sorry life's been rough and I applaud your seeking counsel for the turmoil you experienced.
            Keep talking Love, the ladies and gentleman here are eager to share opinions and we all have different perspectives to help you build and expand your thoughts and offer new insight.

            Comment


            • I agree with kitty about the guilt aspect popping up - guilt over him moving to be with you, guilt over him "putting up with you," and a sense of debt over him helping you to some extent with the psychologist. Those things aren't good elements to build a foundation on, sweetheart. Over time, you will just begin to feel resentment for having to pay him back so to speak if your actions aren't motivated by love.

              Originally posted by hopefulnot
              Is it possible to be with someone who could have everything you want in a man, yet you feel no chemistry or spark? It was there at the start, but somehow it's faded. And I don't know what to do..
              Yes, it is possible. This world isn't perfect, and not everything is fair, but don't punish yourself for wanting it to be. Your intuition is telling you something that might spare you a lot of regret and even unhappiness in the future. Whether that's to invest further and rehabilitate him or to move on, I don't know. But whatever it is, I think you have to figure it out and listen to yourself.
              [FONT=Trebuchet MS][COLOR="#800080"][B][SIZE=4]Woman trapped inside a woman's body![/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/FONT]

              Comment

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