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Wanting to leave a good relationship


Separation and Divorce Considering ending your marriage? Going through a divorce? Let us know!

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Old 26th April 2017, 11:30 PM   #1
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Wanting to leave a good relationship

Hi everyone

First time here and looking for some advice.

Ok so this is a bit of a tough one. I am 37 this year and been in a relationship with my partner (56) for the past 13 years.

I have been in relationships non-stop since I was 17 and have reached a point where I don’t want to be in one anymore. I want to be alone, and when I say alone I don’t mean “single”. I have no interest in dating or partying. I mean ALONE. Making decisions for me and me only.

For the past 20 years I feel like I’ve been living someone else’s life. The life that was expected of me rather than the one I’ve wanted.

Every huge decision in my current relationship has been one I “went along” with, not one I actually shared any passion for. For example buying our house. While I love the place, I would be just as happy living in a small studio apartment and renting. But everyone told me how much I NEED to have a house so reluctantly, I poured the money I had saved for 9 years into it.

Passions aside my heart just isn’t in this anymore. I am there in body only at the moment, just going through the motions.

My partner is a WONDERFUL person who has always treated me with the utmost respect and caring. He has done absolutely nothing wrong, I feel though I am the one who has changed. How on earth do I explain this to him? How do I explain it to MYSELF? I can’t put it into words, I just FEEL. Is it the age difference? Has anyone ever been through something similar??

Last edited by LostandLonging; 26th April 2017 at 11:43 PM..
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Old 27th April 2017, 12:54 AM   #2
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It's wise to be true to yourself.

Why don't you sell the house and move? Then date your partner when you see fit...or not.

See a counselor to become stronger as you go along and make progress - that way you have support and guidance.

Try not to isolate - that can be depressing.
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Old 27th April 2017, 2:11 AM   #3
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Thank you for your reply.

Oh I absolutely donít want to isolate. I love having people around me, I just donít need any of my major decisions to involve them like they do my partner.

Iíve never lived life entirely on my terms. Itís something Iím desperate for. But when it means hurting someone so much I just donít know what to do.

I keep trying to remind myself I need to be true to me, AND to him!
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Old 27th April 2017, 6:43 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by LostandLonging View Post
I want to be alone, and when I say alone <snip> I mean ALONE. Making decisions for me and me only.

For the past 20 years I feel like I’ve been living someone else’s life. The life that was expected of me rather than the one I’ve wanted.

Every huge decision in my current relationship has been one I “went along” with,
LostandLonging,

You say that you want to be able to make (have the freedom, autonomy to make) decisions for you and you alone. But then you also say that you haven't made ANY (important, significant) decision for the past 20 years...not for yourself OR anyone else, is how I'm interpreting it.

Have you considered that you do not necessarily need to leave your good relationship in order to be assertive and contribute to the decision-making in your household?
I mean...instead of first jumping ship, you do have the option of staying where you are in the physical sense and unraveling/changing some of your own psychology that has caused you to, up until this point, just "go along" with life and the people around you. Perhaps with the help of a professional therapist, life coach or even spiritual mentor.

I got divorced at about your age, after a similarly lengthy relationship. It ain't no picnic. And, I especially wouldn't advise it without first at least making attempts to
improve how you are doing things in this relationship. If not, you may severely regret it later; and, for the sake of another 12 months - in what you describe as an otherwise good relationship situation - perhaps you don't want to risk such regret.
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Old 27th April 2017, 7:45 AM   #5
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Have you considered that you do not necessarily need to leave your good relationship in order to be assertive and contribute to the decision-making in your household?
Agreed.

LostandLonging, going to accept at face value your description of your partner as "a WONDERFUL person who has always treated me with the utmost respect and caring". So he hasn't held you back or failed to consider your input - you've done it (or at least allowed it to be done) to yourself. Were it me, I'd want to understand why that is, why you haven't spoken up and taken responsibility for and control of your own life ???

That knowledge would be valuable and would serve you well regardless of the path you take. As Ronni said, that's where I'd start...

Mr. Lucky
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Old 27th April 2017, 12:00 PM   #6
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I have a wife and kids, and I can tell you that theoretically i have the freedom to decide almost all decisions by my self. Yet, most of my decisions are not really independent. Most of them related to career limitations or my children. Truly my wife limits me very little in the equation.

I might add that although my wife gives me a lot of freedom (Extremely much more than the usual), i like sharing many of my decisions with her. Or with my friends. and other members of the family.

Believe me, this FREEDOM you're craving for so passionately is just a fake term that got into your had. It may nice for a short while, because it will be new and different. But very quickly you will ask yourself - "Is this what I was craving for so many years? really?"

So I advice you to tell everything to your partner, and ask for some freedom in the relationship. If you promise him not to date others in that time, he might be very supportive.

If you don't want to commit to not dating others, that all of your nice words about not wanting to date are... Ahm ahm...
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Old 27th April 2017, 6:32 PM   #7
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Thank you all for your contributions.

I didnít want to mention this at first because I thought people might latch on to it and not pay much attention to anything else Iíve said and/or think Iím an awful ogre, but Iíve never been attracted to my partner physically. When I met him he gave me safety and security and always has, however sex has been a chore for as long as I can remember, leading to a completely sexless relationship for the past 5 years or so. Itís odd, we still get along so well and enjoy one anotherís company thoroughly. There is never any hostility or snarky remarks about the lack of sex, but it certainly feels like much more of a friendship.

The hard part is I have no DESIRE to work on it. I am not attracted to him and itís as simple as that. No amount of ďspicing upĒ or therapy is going to ignite a spark that was never lit.

I donít want to go sleeping around with people (REALLY), but I donít want to be in a sexless relationship with someone either. Am I just holding on to him for the safety still?
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Old 27th April 2017, 6:45 PM   #8
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I'd want to understand why that is, why you haven't spoken up and taken responsibility for and control of your own life ???

I think itís a classic case of going alongwith societyís expectations because itís just easier than having to explain myself.

Iíll try and explain what I mean.

I live your typical ďgreat from the outsideĒ life. House, car, job, partner, luxuries. If it were up to me I would live in a small apartment with a warm bed and do nothing but travel alone. Volunteer overseas and see a different country every year Ė maybe even twice a year! I donít need a car. We both work close to home and live in the City. I donít need a mortgage. Buying that place was his dream, not mine. The day I poured my life savings into that place I literally threw up. I was THIS close to hopping on a plane and never coming back. Why didnít I? ďBecause you NEED to have a car!!! You NEED to buy a house!!!Ē everyone around me said. "Travelling all the time? Donít be crazy! What kind of a life is that? Don't be so immature and irresponsibleĒ

Donít get me wrong, Iím not a fool who thinks I can quit my job and join some hippy troupe selling paintings by the side of the road and travel from place to place for the rest of my life. I am aware I need to have a full time job and some sort of grounding, but, Jesus, not this much. Itís draining me. So whatís the alternative? Taking our menial savings and going travelling on my own, leaving him with no money? Galavanting around living my dreams while he sits at home waiting for me to be done?
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Old 27th April 2017, 6:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by lolablue17 View Post
If you don't want to commit to not dating others, that all of your nice words about not wanting to date are... Ahm ahm...
What does that mean?
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Old 27th April 2017, 6:53 PM   #10
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Believe me, this FREEDOM you're craving for so passionately is just a fake term that got into your had. It may nice for a short while, because it will be new and different. But very quickly you will ask yourself - "Is this what I was craving for so many years? really?"

How do you know that? I know people who have gone from LTRs to singledom and said it was the best choice they ever made. I am not necessarily saying that would be me, but isn't everyone different?

Last edited by LostandLonging; 27th April 2017 at 8:06 PM..
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Old 27th April 2017, 11:58 PM   #11
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Thank you all for your contributions.

I didnít want to mention this at first because I thought people might latch on to it and not pay much attention to anything else Iíve said and/or think Iím an awful ogre, but Iíve never been attracted to my partner physically. When I met him he gave me safety and security and always has, however sex has been a chore for as long as I can remember, leading to a completely sexless relationship for the past 5 years or so. Itís odd, we still get along so well and enjoy one anotherís company thoroughly. There is never any hostility or snarky remarks about the lack of sex, but it certainly feels like much more of a friendship.
In the news business, this is called "burying the lead". Knowing this would have allowed posters to give you better feedback, it's certainly a big part of the disconnect.

I'd guess your desire for "alone time" would disappear the moment you met someone who caused sparks to fly...

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Old 28th April 2017, 1:59 AM   #12
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The hard part is I have no DESIRE to work on it. I am not attracted to him and itís as simple as that.
LostandLonging,

I get the part about wanting a healthier sexual relationship with your partner; and I get the part about not wanting to work to make this particular relationship work. But I don't get your actual reason for posting here...unless there is also something in you that is looking for a reason to stay?

If truly you are ready to leave, then, as difficult as it may feel, that's what you need to do. Life isn't meant to just struggle and suffer through. It doesn't matter if or not anyone else has been through a similar situation...just follow your own heart.

You have actually explained your reason for wanting to leave quite well here, so perhaps just tell him the same things? No matter what, it's not going to be easy, but there's no point just feeling stuck for the rest of your natural life.

Hope things work out okay.

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How on earth do I explain this to him? <snip> Is it the age difference? Has anyone ever been through something similar??
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Old 28th April 2017, 2:12 AM   #13
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Iíve never been attracted to my partner physically. When I met him he gave me safety and security and always has, however sex has been a chore for as long as I can remember, leading to a completely sexless relationship for the past 5 years or so.
Well, now you're being honest. I can be very frustrating to be in a sexless relationship with someone you've never been attracted to. I couldn't live like that, not even for a month. It's a deal breaker. All the other talking about "making decisions of my own" looks pale comparing to this.

Tell him what you told us in your opening post. It's less hurting. It won't do any good to tell someone you're not attracted to him. I wouldn't wait another day.
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Old 28th April 2017, 6:40 AM   #14
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The huge age difference is catching up.

You just tell him that you don't see a future anymore and it would be better if you both split.
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Old 28th April 2017, 9:46 AM   #15
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You were very young when you met him and he was much older than you. It sounds like your attraction to him was based on stability and security and not much on sexual attraction or romance. He most likely knows this too. I think there are no kinks or troubles in your relationship because you both avoid being honest with each other about your true feelings and desires. Five years with no sex and he has nothing to say about that? He knows how you feel and he wants to avoid having any conversations about it because he is afraid of the possible outcome.

I'm sure that he is a wonderful person with wonderful qualities but when he was almost mid forties and he went after a young twenty something he would have known the huge gamble he was taking. You have grown up and changed and now you want more from life than just security. That's understandable. If you were in love with your partner and romantically attracted to him I would say to stay with him and try to alter the relationship to better suit your dreams and desires, but neither one of you deserve to spend a lifetime in a relationship devoid of romance and sex. As you say, you can't work on getting the spark back because it was never there. At 56 he will not be alone for long if he doesn't wish to be. Single women way outnumber single men in his age group and even younger so he will be okay and he can find a woman who thinks he's the hottest sexiest man she has ever laid her eyes on.

Of course there are pros and cons to every situation. Single life has it's challenges but it can also be wonderful, just like relationships can be challenging but also wonderful. I've been single for about 5 yrs now and I love it. The first year was a little hard and scary but once I got over my fear of being alone I began to truly enjoy and embrace my independence and freedom. There is no correct relationship status. It always makes me chuckle when people assume that everyone who is single must be lonely and sad and secretly desire a full time relationship. That's simply not true. Some people are happiest being single and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be single. Have an open honest conversation with your partner and do what you need to do.
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