Just a rough patch?

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Just a rough patch?

Unread postby CharlottefromAUT » 11 October 2021, 23:14

Hello dear community!

I'm completly new here and the reason I looked for a place like this is my current relationship. I think I need some clarity, some unbiased advice. I need to talk about this with strangers, talking to friends would make this too real.

I've been with my girlfriend for almost five years now. We broke things off for short period of time (about 5 months) 1 1/2 years ago, when things got really ugly (there was some cheating involved). But we started seeing each other again, after we did some healing and both were in different, better place to be in a relationship. When we got back together the first wave of the pandemic - I think at that time, we needed each other to feel safe again. Our relationship is quite good, I would say: we are both very respectful towards each other, we talk a lot and have a lot of shared interests in values. I love her family and she gets along with mine as well. But the past few months I was starting to have these doubts, if this is really it. I mean, I don't think anybody in this world knows as well as she does or loves me as much as she does. Coming from a home where receiving this kind of security wasn't a common thing, I grew quite dependent on receiving this kind of validation from her. Still, I started fantasising about kissing other women. I started develop this dream, almost urge an irge to leave the country and study abroad. To be clear, this is a dream of mine, but these days it feels more like a way out of my current situation and less like something I just want to do in life.

We haven't had sex for about two months and to be honest, I feel absolutely no sexual want towards her. To be completely, brutally honest: it feels like a duty I'm dreading. And it's not that I don't experience any sex drive, I'm giving it to myself more than enough, I just don't want do it with her.

I really love her, I do. I'm just not sure if I'm still in love with her. You know, I could see myself sharing the rest of my life with a person like her, but at the same time, there are a lot of things that really aggravate me about her: she can be really negative and gets extremely stressed out about small things. I am a very laid back person and I really can't do drama. That's also why I feel like, I can't talk to her about these feelings, because I don't want her to get worried or sad. She's currently working a lot for her master's diploma and our shared time is cut short. With that distance these thoughts about leaving the country, or doing really stupid shit become stronger and stronger.

I feel really stuck and I can't put a finger on this whole thing. Is our relationship coming to an end for good? Is this just rough patch, we need to work out? Can you fall back in love?

I keep telling me, that a relationship is a piece of a hard work and a decision I have to take upon every day. There is no never-ending honeymoon phase, I know that. But should it really feel like this?

I am desperate.

I need advice.
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Re: Just a rough patch?

Unread postby pozboro » 11 October 2021, 23:50

Welcome to the forum!

In some ways, the answer is whatever you decide it should be. In other words, if you work at it, you might find it's just a rough patch. If you decide to study abroad you might discover it was time to move on. Either way, it doesn't sound like you feel happy and fulfilled right now. While not every relationship has a strong sexual component, describing it as "a duty" is anything but positive. You have to listen to your feelings. It's pretty clear some needs (for both of you) are not being met.

Maybe as more posters leave comments we'll get a better idea of what's going on for you. Good luck!
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Re: Just a rough patch?

Unread postby ThatNomad » 12 October 2021, 01:35

Always remember one thing, you can love someone without being in love with someone. What it sounds like is that you've fallen out of love with her and no longer really have any desire to be with her romantically. At that point it may be best to move towards a very deep friendship and start to see other people to see how that makes you feel. Be completely open, and honest, and always move with love as your prime motivation and I'm sure you will find what you both need!
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Re: Just a rough patch?

Unread postby Eryx » 13 October 2021, 18:16

pozboro wrote:Welcome to the forum!

In some ways, the answer is whatever you decide it should be. In other words, if you work at it, you might find it's just a rough patch. If you decide to study abroad you might discover it was time to move on. Either way, it doesn't sound like you feel happy and fulfilled right now. While not every relationship has a strong sexual component, describing it as "a duty" is anything but positive. You have to listen to your feelings. It's pretty clear some needs (for both of you) are not being met.

Maybe as more posters leave comments we'll get a better idea of what's going on for you. Good luck!
I was going to say a bunch of things but you can't really be much more concise than that.

OP, I believe you should open up to your partner about what you're feeling and going through. With the way you describe her, it seems she will be understanding. Talk patiently, express your feelings, and respect what she will be comfortable with. That's the only way to make the relationship prevail. It also doesn't hurt the sex drive, with all the possibilities and things that go through your mind...

Good luck! I loved your post. Super well-written and self-aware. I really wish you the best.
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Re: Just a rough patch?

Unread postby CharlottefromAUT » 14 October 2021, 13:15

Thank you guys, for your replies. This whole situation is really messy, or maybe I am just messy. I think the extremely stressful time she is experiencing at the moment takes quite the toll on her and with that also on our relationship. The thing is, I really want to be supportive, this is about her career and we are both very ambitious, so I get her priorities. But at the same time I still hate all the complaining, the negative attitude towards literally everything - it triggers the hell out of me. But how do you tell someone "I don't really like you at the moment"? And waiting another six months or so, hoping that it's going to be ok again, sounds kind of insane to me.

Some weeks ago we were on vacation in Greece, far off everything and she was the kindest, most loving person and we didn't have one fight that time. But now, back in our hometown, with work and school, she is like a different person and I feel like I am the one who has to do all the emotional balancing, while there's a lot going on in my life as well. And even though she asked me recently how I was feeling and that she doesn't really know what's going on with me, I didn't feel comfortable to share my anything with her.

You guys are totally right, I should talk to her about everything. But there are two things that prevent me from doing so:
1. I don't want to put this on her additionally. She has so much going on right now and doesn't really have time for her friends and family, she can barely make time for me. So going up to her being like "this isn't working for me right now" feels like the worst I could do.
2. I feel like every minor inconvenience can push her over the edge these days. I really dread a conversation that is probably goign to backfire at me, it always does in some ways. We had tons of conversations like these and they always ended with me wishing I would have just kept my mouth shut.
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Re: Just a rough patch?

Unread postby LeeLong73 » 14 October 2021, 16:11

It sounds like a definite rough patch, but you have to be open and honest with her, or things will never change. You HAVE to be honest to be happy, and I k ow it's scary, because your afraid of what that honesty means. But you are worth it.
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Re: Just a rough patch?

Unread postby pozboro » 14 October 2021, 21:47

Is there any way you two can get away for a weekend? In some ways, being away from the 'distractions' of real life (like when you were in Greece) would provide a way to say, "Wow, I really prefer this to the pressure cooker life back at home. How about you?" If you don't relieve the pressure soon, something will give out.

CharlottefromAUT wrote:The thing is, I really want to be supportive, this is about her career and we are both very ambitious, so I get her priorities. But at the same time I still hate all the complaining, the negative attitude towards literally everything - it triggers the hell out of me. But how do you tell someone "I don't really like you at the moment"? And waiting another six months or so, hoping that it's going to be ok again, sounds kind of insane to me.


Well, unless the major stressor is a very specific limited-time project (thesis, experiment, building project, etc), it's not going to just get better some time down the road. While some people do work in fields with understandable ebbs and flows, generally the stress doesn't just magically evaporate until someone decides a change is needed. So yeah, hoping it's all going to get better in six months isn't a great choice.

About the bit I bolded above, a better approach is to make this less personal and about the general environment you two are in. "Gosh, I'll be so glad when the project's completed - it's just so stressful!" Remember, you two are in this together, so try to approach how the outside is affecting the "we". Of course as the conversation evolves, you will need to talk I statements, "I feel there isn't enough time for us to ...", "I wish you weren't gone so much." Stuff like that.

Try to understand what the real problem is and how that's impacting your relationship. We can't change others, only ourselves and our view of a situation. You said, "... or maybe I am just messy." Have you spent any time working with a therapist? I only ask because you do seem a bit unsure of yourself and working with someone might help solidify your sense of self, priorities, and needs. Also, they could help with a bit of roleplay in how to have that critical discussion. Certainly they would ask plenty of questions in an attempt to understand what's going on and help you approach your partner in a way that fosters growth rather than confrontation.
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Re: Just a rough patch?

Unread postby Eryx » 14 October 2021, 23:32

I'd add that it's possible she might be much more understanding than what you're expecting. Recently I've noticed more that I tend to push people away a bit when I'm feeling too vulnerable or in the wrong, and it has consequences in some relationships. But when someone else opens up to me about something that is really causing them grief about my behavior, it really makes me take a step back and reevaluate. Maybe it'll work with your girlfriend, maybe it won't, but not having that conversation means you're likely not getting any closure anyway.
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