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Should I still try?


Leea
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Hello everyone and sorry for the long post. I really felt the need to tell the whole story and hear how other people see it. Also, English is not my first language so bear with me :)

I have met my boyfriend almost 6 years ago online. We were both playing some MMO game and got to talking more and more. We come from different countries so we’ve spent a few months chatting and calling. It was one of the best moments of my life… He used to SMS me every night before going to bed and every morning when he would wake up. He was sweet and romantic and I could certainly feel the click! After a few months we decided to meet in Paris and spend a week together there. Its been a long time ago but I can still remember it was a great week and at that point I was in love with him. After Paris things got even more intense, to the extent that he got 400€ phone bills because he was calling me every day. A month later I visited him and we spent another week together. Things started going really fast! We were so in love with each other that we were looking for ways to move in together, so I moved to his country for six months. We both knew at that stage that it was temporary. After the six months we both had to go separate ways to finish our studies. That’s when the problems started between us! In the last month of living together he avoided talking about the future, about what’s going to happen between the two of us. He was about to move to Paris for a student exchange program and he seemed so attracted to the life he was going to have there that he didn’t care so much about what was going to happen between the two of us. The day came when I went back home and he went to Paris. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I stayed in contact with him for a few weeks hoping he will talk about the future. I was hoping that being away from each other would trigger him to think about it or talk about it. But nothing happened. Trying to ask him about it didn’t help much so I decided to end the relationship. I told him I don’t want to hang around for a guy who’s not sure if he wants to be with me or not.

I went ahead with my life and met someone else a month or two later (and yes I know it was a rebound but it helped me move on!). But because we still had common online friends he found out about my new relationship and he was everything but happy with it. He sent me some nasty emails and we had a few unpleasant conversations which made me block him and cut all contact. Months later he called me and said that he wanted to apologize for everything that was said and done and asked me to unblock him because he wanted to send me an email. The email I received from him was extremely emotional and contained explanations for everything that happened between us. As expected, after that email we got back in touch on the pretenses of being friends. But that ‘friendship’ didn’t last long… He slowly convinced me to try again! Only that this time the steps we took to be together were much more life changing. As I was finishing my bachelor studies at the time I decided to look for a master’s program in his country and move there. We both worked together to find the right program and to submit multiple applications. After a while and a few negative responses I was really pessimistic about my chances to get into any master program so we decided to take a vacation together around Europe. In the middle of this vacation we received news about my acceptance to the last master’s program I applied to. It was a happy day! We had a lot of planning to do since I was supposed to start classes in two weeks and we were in need of a place to stay. It was a crazy period for the both of us. He was looking for an apartment to rent and I was in my home country trying to get together all the documents needed. At the end of August 2008 we moved in together for the second time! It was a great time. We did everything together and we had a lot of fun. But after 8 months things turned sour again. We started fighting and he told me that he felt suffocated and that we should maybe live separately but still be together… WHAT?!? I couldn’t accept that. I felt that a relationship doesn’t go backwards and living separately but still being together was not an option. The part where I moved out and on to the campus of my university was tough, really tough. For both of us. I moved to a place where I didn’t know anyone in a time when I was heart broken. I needed friends and family around at that time… I don’t know if being lonely or alone was the reason why I couldn’t stay away from him or just an excuse. We kept seeing each other and he ended up moving into my student room. Living there for nearly 3 years our relationship was on and off. The major issues we had were the fact that he wanted more independence and I was extremely controlling and jealous. He wanted to spend more time with his friends (without me!) and to even go to festivals on his own. I told him I understand the ‘time with my friends’ part but that I won’t accept him going to a 1 week festival alone. This of course came out of jealousy and my need for control. In the summer of 2009 he decided he was going to go to a festival without me and I asked him to also pack his bags and move out. I gave him a choice between me and that festival and guess what? He went for the festival. After the festival he went to live with friends and had the independence and freedom he was asking for…but he just couldn’t stay away from me… Once again we made up and tried again. He moved back in and things went smoothly for a while. In that time we also got to talking about our sex life and more specifically about a FFM threesome. I struggled a lot with the idea because I am a jealous person by nature but there was also a part of it that attracted me. Something about a threesome was exciting but also terrifying. We went on all kind of websites searching for information and getting in contact with people that have done these kind of things. At some point we also got in contact with a couple that were into swinging. I was confused about it all but they seemed like nice people so we kept on chatting to them. Things got very uncomfortable when the chats of my boyfriend with the woman got flirtatious. That really got to me so I told him I want it to stop. He was not very happy with it but he stopped talking to her… Or at least I think he did. Meanwhile we kept on talking about the idea of having another woman involved. I thought about it long and hard and although I was not 100% comfortable with it, I agreed to try it under certain conditions. Since I wasn’t comfortable with the flirting I told him I am willing to try it with a paid girl. Hiring a girl reassured me it will be entirely physical without any emotional involvement. All in all, I enjoyed the experience and he did as well. We kept having threesomes with other women every now and again. However, he kept bringing up the swing idea. We talked about it a few times but I always told him that I am pretty sure I can’t do it. The total separation that would occur of him being with the woman and me being with the man makes me very uncomfortable. In time I also realized that the more he brings up the idea of swinging the more I resist it…

Our relationship continued with bumps and struggles… at the end of 2011 we hit a rough patch again and we talked about what we want out of this life. He told me at the time that he wants to have variation in his sexual life. I told him that I also enjoy and agree to a threesome every now and then but that is my limit. I told him I can’t promise anything more at this time.

I didn’t realize or I didn’t want to admit the fact that the whole time I’ve been with him made me very insecure, made me feel like I am not enough and that he is not committed. Silly to say it, I know. While you’re reading this story you probably have spotted the red flags from the first lines… I am not sure if I was blind or if I just didn’t want to see it. In any case, its too late now.

In April 2012 we bought a house together an we got married. He has always been against marriage but he took this step. Now, 8 months later, our relationship is really in trouble… Our sex life slowly turned into us having sex once a month or even less. To be fair, we have never been the kind of couple to have sex more than once every 2 days. I don’t think we’ve ever has sex more than once a day, not even in the first weeks of our relationship. But in the past months I always feel like we’re having sex just because we have to. Although the lack of sex comes mostly from him I also have to admit that I stopped trying as well. I cannot bring myself to be the initiator because I don’t want to feel like he’s doing it because he has to… My pride I guess…or what’s left of it. Since we moved into the new house we’ve had 2 threesomes and a short period after having one his sex drive is higher. I don’t know if that’s because his actual sex drive is higher or because he is trying to motivate me to have more threesomes…

In the past weeks we’ve been having fights again. I stared them because of our almost extinct sex life and because of his general lack of affection… Generally he is a very honest guy, too honest even. Starting these fights brought out a lot of things I wish I wouldn’t have heard… hurtful things. He told me that he doesn’t want to sleep with the same woman for the rest of his life, that he feels he’s not the relationship kind of guy and that he would like to be able to do whatever he wants without having to ask permission or explain anything, he told me that he is still sexually attracted to me but that its not how it used to be and that there’s nothing wrong with my body but that he generally prefers skinny girls… Hurtful as I said but still didn’t make me run for the hills… The conclusion of all the fighting we’ve had lately is that he ‘doesn’t know if he still wants to be in this relationship’. He says is not easy to make a decision like this but on the other hand he says he knows these feelings won’t go away.

At a rational level I guess most people realize that love isn’t always enough and that having sex with the same person for countless years is maybe impossible… hence all the cheating out there. But as a woman I can tell you I DON’T WANNA HEAR IT!!! Its something I am aware of but I think it shouldn’t be said. I’ve been in an 8 years relationship before and I loved him very much but sex did get boring. I didn’t cheat on him because I would never cheat on anyone, but I sure as hell fantasized about it. Ironically that relationship ended because he was very jealous and had a crazy sex drive… even after 8 years he still wanted sex every day or several times a day. I didn’t. Karma?

Now back to my current situation. Why don’t I run? I’m not sure. I love him but the uncertainty and insecurity I feel in this relationship drive me crazy. I am fearful of being on my own in a foreign country where I don’t have my family around and only one good friend. Returning to my home country is also not an option since I have built a career here and leaving that behind would be stupid. The house we bought together is also a big problem… I can’t afford to keep it and he wouldn’t want to keep it since is far away from his friends and family. Getting rid of the house would be a BIG BIG mess. Moving out on my own scares me a lot but what scares me most is that if we decide to go our separate ways we would have to be in contact until everything gets sorted out (house & legal stuff). The only way I see myself getting over this relationship is having a clean break, not knowing he exists anymore!

Starting my life over for the second time also scares me….

I wrote this story mostly because I need some outside views. Being so caught up into all of it makes me doubt what’s ‘normal’ and what’s not. I also wrote this because I needed to get it all out.

Any opinions, ideas or comments are welcomed.

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I'm not sure anyone is qualified to advise you on whether you "should" try again or not, so I'm going to restrict myself to questions.

What would you get (what have you gotten in the past) from trying again?

Is what you get the same as what you want to get?

It seems clear that he wants multiple sexual partners. It's a little less clear what you want, though it appears that you might prefer to restrict yourself to just him? And if my interpretation is correct, the question becomes, why do his preferences "win"? As a disconnected factoid, I can assure you that there are couples who have sex only with each other; in fact, at one time, that's what marriage meant ...

In fact, I might turn that thought around and ask you, if that's not what marriage means (to you or to him), what does it mean? Knowing its meaning to you (and I'm sure many different meanings are possible) might help you decide whether it is achieving that purpose.

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Thanks for your response. I do admit my post is a bit confusing but thats exactly how I feel right now... Trying again in the past brought me right back to the same spot. I realize that but for some reason or another I am always hopeful things will be different every time.

Regarding the sexual side, I am not against a threesome every now and again. I enjoy it too. What I don't want happening is my sex life being conditioned by having other people involved. I want to have a good sex life with him in the first place and then something extra.

I never really thought about the meaning of marriage to be honest but I will give that some thought now...

I think I've said it before...at a rational level I know I should just end it and move on with my life. But there's something still keeping me in this relationship and I can't be sure if its pure fear or something else.

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I have only my own experience to go on, and humanity has a lot of variety to it, but at least I can give adequate background on stuff that actually happened to me.

My ex and I separated several dozen times, getting back together all except the last time. Looking back, I am aware of several forces that held us together, from my end at least: as with you, financial issues like a co-owned house; fear of getting by alone again; and, for me, the fact that I had considerable personal identity tied up in the concept of being married and being a step-father to her teenage son. Not the fact of those things, as she didn't really give me much feeling of being a husband or much opportunity to be a father, but the idea in my head that divorce would lose those facets of identity for me.

This realisation is of course hindsight for me, and may not help you identify what's keeping you there. But it does suggest that any investigation into what _is_ keeping you (individual or couple counseling, for instance) might help you decide what you really want. To my mind, we only get one life, so it makes sense to get what we want out of it, if that's at all possible.

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Whats puzzling to me is why would he come back so many times in the past? He had countless opportunities to be single, to live the life he claims he wants. The last time we've broken up he's been living with his mates for 3 months having the freedom to do whenever he wanted but still... he came back to me and our relationship. To top that, he married me and he bought a house with me. That is very hard to understand because I find it hard to believe you would take such steps when in doubt about the kind of life this relationship has to offer. To me it seems that he is creating a sort of idealistic image of certain things he wants and ends up discovering reality has nothing to do with what he imagines. The worst part of it is that he doesn't seem to learn anything from the past.

At this point I am assessing the options I have and I am trying really hard to keep my impulsivity in check. What I mean is that if I decide to leave this relationship I want to be very sure its truly what I want. I fear history repeating. I want to be sure once I make such a decision it will be final and I won't back off ONCE AGAIN. On the other hand, I feel that its his responsibility to make such a decision and live with it. It sounds childish maybe but I don't want to make things easier for him. If this is what he really wants he should also man-up and make a decision, right?

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Well, trying to figure out the other person first is one of those natural impulses that's doomed to failure, like wishing the world was a different place. We all do it, at various times, wish the world was different ... but it never is. I know I spent quite a few years hanging on in the hopes that finally she would understand, when what was needed was for me to understand something, about myself.

We split, as I said, dozens of times (that's not an exaggeration), and always got back together. You could call that impulsive, but the implication of that word would be that we really wanted to be together. You could instead question what the pull was that made us reconcile over and over again. I didn't realize until later that I had tied up a good deal of my identity in being married, even if the marriage was a bad one (which I can tell you ours was.) Your marriage is different, and I can't say whether it's good or bad; that's up to you. But it might be useful to identify your reason for going back, so that you can make that decision, either way, and live with it.

Maybe he "should" make a decision, but no one's going to be able to force him to, not even by telling him to "man up". So, do you want to wait for his decision, trying to guilt him into making one, or just make one of your own? Maybe you deciding makes things easier for him in some way, but doesn't it also give you peace of mind and a direction of your own and ownership of your own life?

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Well, he's made his decision. He wants out of this relationship.

I am having a very hard time accepting all of it...accepting he's throwing away 6 years of relationship. I'm having a hard time leaving behind this house which we've bought and remodeled together... I want to move out in the next few days but I can't even bring myself to start packing my things. There's so much pain...

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