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relationship struggles since her learning phase


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Old 29th December 2016, 2:30 PM   #1
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Question relationship struggles since her learning phase

Hi,

I'm Dieter (male) and new to this forum!

I have already searched a lot for answers to this issue and have had some insights. But it is still unclear to me how to act correctly and in what situation I am right now. I know that a distant analysis is hard, but some talking/writing about this might help me a lot!

I am in a relationship for almost three years now. She is 27. We live together for 2 years now, and we are also engaged since 3 months. For me, marriage was not that important Now, she has always been studying during our relationship, while I already work. Since 2 months, she has started learning for a particular difficult final exam. Learning involves 100 days of intensive learning, 8+ hours per day, sometimes also on the weekends.

Especially at the beginning of this learning phase she told me that this would a very hard time for her. She had always feared this phase. And indeed it turned out to be hard, time-consuming and life-energy-consuming for her.

Our relationship struggles since then. Some examples of that:
- she seems to be open to talk about anything with close friends, not-so-close friends and others... if I wanted to open up a conversation with her, she often answered with only one syllable (although this seemed to have changed a bit to the better in the last days)
- there was a phase of no sex of about one month; she just said she did not have any Libido and reacted declining to approaches
- three weeks ago, she said this would be all too much and she feels that she cannot give me what I need and maybe, we should have a pause; I was not sure what she meant and she more or less took it back because we still lived together; however, she sleeps at a girlfriend some nights; also, we will not celebrate Sylvester together
- at Christmas we were at her mother's place and it was quite nice; we were drunken, we had sex, although it was poor because I came way too fast (well, after this long phase of nothing, who wonders)

She has quite hard moods. This day started with her saying that she worries about our relationship because she has no feelings for me anymore and is just not happy with me. She had said this a few times in the past weeks. She also said that she is happy when she is with friends, which is correct (I know, she writes a lot with two (especially one) great female friends and when they are around, she also laughs and has fun). She also said that she had much stress but that this stress is not ALWAYS with her at the weekends... Still, even then she feels no attraction/has no feelings.

Well, until now I had always said "Okay, you need your time, you need your space, I get that and it's fine, I will bear with your moods and all that" - especially since also her mother said that she is always distanced like that when she has to learn a ton... I get that but her friends seem to get through to her.

Then again... today, she was again a bit pessimistic (which I had tolerated a lot due to her situation) and said "we always get on each other's nerves. I am afraid that these missing feelings are not just due to learning."

To that I made clear: "I know, this might be possible. I do not see how it makes sense to break up now, as it is unclear how you really feel. When the learning phase is over and it does not get better, we should discontinue this relationship."

I had never communicated that I could end the relationship as well, if it would not get better. I had always been the guy to say "okay, I tolerate everything DURING your learning and I will NOT break up with you".

She started to cry.

I approached her and began to pet her a little bit. She wanted to get into bed to cuddle (we do that oftentimes) and she, surprisingly, also told me that she wanted to have sex.

Again, it was bad sex and she gave me quite open feedback, but at least we had sex. We also made a tour today and she seemed quite open and quite happy.

Well, these moods are killing me. At one day, I feel like our relationship is great (apart from the infrequent sex which is - I am quite sure - ALSO because of her generally low libido during learning). At the other day, it feels like we are about to break up.

She does not know what is happening within her and I do not know, either. Again, her mother says she knows her and this is due to learning. But neither my fianceť nor I are sure about this.

I know that I should improve my attractiveness. I train everyday know. I am not overweight, but I not full of muscles, either, although relatively tall with 1,91m. I am rather the funny/silly guy and not the Alpha in the group, if that's a word, but also not the type to mess around with or make fun of. She has high expectations, she is aware of that.

This has been a lot of text, sorry for that... I am confused and do not know what is important and what not. So, I tried to cover the most important points.

I definitely want to keep her. The working relationship with her was great, a lot of fun, good (not always great, I have to improve) sex and we could talk about many common topics (not so much about the details of work, but this is not her area, so this is fine).

Has anyone here experienced anything similar? Any tips? Any ideas? Any attempts to read the situation or her?

I am thankful for any insightful answer, thank you in advance!

Last edited by DieterP; 29th December 2016 at 2:40 PM..
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Old 29th December 2016, 2:46 PM   #2
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Lightbulb

You're engaged, right? Don't let the pressure of investing two years in shacking up and three months engaged to force you into marrying her. Two years have gone by. This is who she is. When you get married and life/kids kick in - same way she's treating you in this stressful moment in her life, she's gonna do it again and probably worse cuz now she's got the ring and you're obligation to stick it out.

Seriously, if after my little spill you still wanna subject yourself to an 18 year prison sentence (each child you have with her can't be set free till it's 18), then seriously, get six months of "pre-marital counseling"...and, not with a religious dude, do it with a professional. Why six months, cuz in six months, things will come up - like the stuff you posted about and the counselor can help you guys either learn to work through it as a couple, or give you all the bad news that you should forget planning for a wedding and break up. Also, this type of counseling is where you both are forced to discuss all the practical and unsexy stuff about what you should expect in a mate...like religion, how to raise the kids, money, inlaws.

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Old 29th December 2016, 2:50 PM   #3
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If things are already like this before marriage they will increase ten fold after you tie the knot.
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Old 29th December 2016, 2:56 PM   #4
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Lightbulb Also...

Also, have you both ruled out any medical issues? But beware, my FWB's ex would say she had a STI, then lie about going to the doctor to have it taken care of. She used it as an excuse to refuse having sex cuz she was molested as a child. My FWB felt guilty about divorcing her cuz he believed she was "mentally ill". I believe that while whatever happened to her as a kid was bad, that she didn't want to let it go and used my FWB as a punching bag for all the men that abused her as a child. He tried to "rescue" her, but after over a decade of her coldness and insults, he gave up. She was a broken person
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Old 29th December 2016, 3:02 PM   #5
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Well, the two years have been intense. We have been on vacation several times. And although she has her moods, which some women just have, she always came back and concluded that she wants to be with me and would not see that there is a better husband.

Also, it was her who said that we should postpone the wedding because this stress is too much for her. We now get married in 2018, so... wedding is not the topic here, this is not even planned definitely. It is go to handle the relationship itself. Pre-marital counseling could be an option, I agree.

If she just wanted to get the money out of me after marriage, she could have just lied a lot. But the mood swings are real...

I mean, I have read multiple times that intensive learning can mess up ones emotions and I get that. And it seems that it is exactly this what is going through her now. She is also quite sure about what she will do as a job afterwards and it will definitely be less stressful.

I get that my post reads extremely negative... I am a bit of a pessimist myself. But we had intense and great times and she seems like a different person since she had started learning so intensively.

Medical stuff should not be an issue, she has been tested on many, many illnesses, checked blood etc. But we will go for an additional check later on, maybe. But, like said, it's not just the sex because I understand those swings a bit better (not entirely, though, this is also part of the question!).

But it is also about her need to get distant to me sometimes. Why?

Last edited by DieterP; 29th December 2016 at 3:04 PM..
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Old 29th December 2016, 3:08 PM   #6
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What is she studying?

So what.... what happens when she has a baby? Has to sell a house? Lose a job? All these things and more occur in life, and she has shown she has no ability to cope with stress....if it's not her studies it will be something else.
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Old 29th December 2016, 3:09 PM   #7
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Dude, from what you're posting, her "mood swings" have always been there - before this "learning phase".

She also seems to be happier with her friends and not you.

After your money? Ok, she already has it. You said you work, right? She already got you paying her rent, utilities, etc....no need for her to lie cuz the "starving you, then giving you a sip" push/pull routine has you "trained" to hold out just for a sip.

So, that's why I suggested a medical work-up and pre-marital counseling cuz seems like you need an objective, third party to either have you two work as a married couple or root out of marriage is right for you two.

Sorry, but from what you described, she's been lukewarm about you for the longest and you're the one who wants more.

But sure, guaranteed you're gonna still marry her. Congrats
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Old 29th December 2016, 3:28 PM   #8
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I want to make one thing clear: Before the learning phase we had a great relationship that was great for me, made my life feel great and this is also why I proposed to her. Some people have moods and yes, this might be an issue, (I have issues myself). This does not mean that the relationship or marriage cannot work out or is doomed.

If it does not get better, marriage is off the table. I made clear to her that things have to change. And I started changing myself as well. A part of me has already accepted that this relationship is over. But I also think, a relationship of this quality should not be thrown away because of bad times.

I see your interpretation of what is up with her. And the pre-marital counseling is a good idea, thank you for this!

Sarcasm and bitterness do not help me at all, though. And I would be interested in other opinions and insights, as well.

Last edited by DieterP; 29th December 2016 at 3:31 PM..
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Old 29th December 2016, 3:32 PM   #9
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You proposed to her during the honeymoon phase - 3 months in? You didn't know the real her. This is the real her.
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Old 29th December 2016, 3:33 PM   #10
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We are in a relationship for three years now. For two years we live together. I proposed to her three months ago.

Maybe, this was not clear in the original post. Edit: Meh... might be that I messed up "since" and "for" in the original post. She learns for her final exam for 2 months now... So, since 2 months ago. Not the native language, not my best day today.

Last edited by DieterP; 29th December 2016 at 3:36 PM..
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Old 29th December 2016, 3:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieterP View Post
We are in a relationship for three years now. For two years we live together. I proposed to her three months ago.

Maybe, this was not clear in the original post.
ok thanks for clarifying.

I find a lot of people use moody as an excuse. Moody is kind of a choice. You don't have to snap at your partner because you are in a bad mood. Once in a blue moon understandable, people who are miserable and grumpy often though - no thanks.

I don't see how this will change once real life starts and the studying is done. Have you talked to her about it? Does she see it as an issue?
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Old 29th December 2016, 3:41 PM   #12
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Well, I have to admit I have made the mistake of not setting real boundaries... I am improving on that now.

Real life is not as hard as learning in this matter. This is one of the hardest learning phases one can have in a profession. Also, when she has a bad mood, she apologizes for that later and has regrets... but those moods have not been there (only to a less larger degree) before she had to learn that intensive. This learning phase takes 100 days (this is the usual plan) and she knows that it takes so long and she hates it. Medicine. And she aims for a quite relaxed job after that. I know the kind of job and the people in the department are all quite relaxed. Sure, there will be stress as well, but to a different degree. Many medicine students go crazy in this learning phase - she just seems to go even more crazy. And I want to get to the details, I want to understand her better

If it goes back to normal when the learning phase ends, this would be great. After all, it WAS great before and she had had a lot of stress before, just not so much learning in this time. I don't know, I just don't get her totally in this matter
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Old 29th December 2016, 3:43 PM   #13
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FYI, after my FWB, I went into hibernation dating wise for almost three years. I was under a lot of stress and didn't wanna drag guy through it.

But that stress was there when I was with my FWB, but I never neglected him. That's what you do in relationships - it's not all about "you". And, I was often glad when I pushed through and was there for him, cuz in return, it helped me too. In relationships we need to turn towards each other, not away....that's the whole point of having your SO, it's 'us against the world'.
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Old 29th December 2016, 3:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieterP View Post
Well, I have to admit I have made the mistake of not setting real boundaries... I am improving on that now.

Real life is not as hard as learning in this matter. This is one of the hardest learning phases one can have in a profession. Also, when she has a bad mood, she apologizes for that later and has regrets... but those moods have not been there (only to a less larger degree) before she had to learn that intensive. This learning phase takes 100 days (this is the usual plan) and she knows that it takes so long and she hates it. Medicine. And she aims for a quite relaxed job after that. I know the kind of job and the people in the department are all quite relaxed. Sure, there will be stress as well, but to a different degree. Many medicine students go crazy in this learning phase - she just seems to go even more crazy. And I want to get to the details, I want to understand her better

If it goes back to normal when the learning phase ends, this would be great. After all, it WAS great before and she had had a lot of stress before, just not so much learning in this time. I don't know, I just don't get her totally in this matter
Sorry but wrong, life is WAYYYYY more stressful than studying. Dr or not. Sickness, death, finances, hell just owning a home can be stressful as hell! What if she has a sick child? What if she has issues at work? This isnt going to disappear after school.
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Old 29th December 2016, 3:45 PM   #15
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YOU are the one with high expectations here. She told you that it's going to be a stressful time. Instead of being supportive during this time , you are making it all about yourself. And that is the reason she is distant.
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