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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » relationship implosion

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Author Topic: relationship implosion
love2much
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Ok this is going to be a long one. I apologize in advance. For those of you with weak hearts stop reading now.

So I have been dating my girlfriend for just over 2 years now (we are in our early 20’s) and I'm completely in love with her. We have spent basically all of our free time together since we started dating. Lived in each others apartments throughout college and now we have a place of our own. The problem is that we are both really unsatisfied with the way our relationship has turned out.

Here is the story: the first six months of the relationship were amazing. We were able to just have the best time hanging out and being with each other. We both felt needed and appreciated. everything was great. We fell in love.

Right around this point in the relationship we decided to explore being sexual with each other. I had always wanted a really close sexual relationship, and now I know its something that I need. She had told me about some past experiences that made her feel uncomfortable about sex and that was why it was taking her longer to be ready to have sex. I listened to her problems and attempted to make her feel better and safe with me. After several long discussions in this early part of our relationship I had thought that I had resolved her insecurities and we could finally be together. Our first time was not good by any means it was one of the saddest days in my life. I had every desire to satisfy her sexually and I ended up not being able to because she was in tremendous pain. I'm a confidant man and I hate to admit it still bothers me and I remember the painful expressions on her face. No lover ever wants to see that. I know for some the first time can be this way and it tends to get better. However for many months after our first time she continued to experience pain with sex. Being very concerned about this I urged her to see a doctor to try and get to the bottom of the issue. Since it had been happening for some time I told her it was effecting our relationship and I was worried. Mainly because she would avoid having sex, obviously because it was painful. I also felt guilty every time we did end up having sex because I could tell she was in pain for at least part of it, and most of the time it felt like she was only doing it for me and was not very interested herself. It hurt me pretty much every time she would turn me down. I understood why she was doing it but it still was very painful because I could not be with my lover. I desperately wanted her to need me sexually the way I needed her and every time we made love she seemed very distant.

After going through the doctors and trying new birth controls we seemed to have stumbled into a place where sex was not completely unbearable for her. Normally this would have been great. It was a long and trying road to get to this point and I made some serious mistakes along the way. I focused too much on our sex life and added a ton of sexual pressure to the relationship that I'm not proud of. Basically, I got really sad every time she would not be up for sex. I know that its wrong to pressure your partner and I never wanted that to happen. After hearing no over and over and over again I felt beyond unwanted sexually. I felt like I would never be loved sexually the way I needed to be due to her chronic conditions. We talked about this many times throughout our relationship. I've told her how much I love her and how unhappy I am because she makes me feel sexually unwanted and unsatisfied. She told me that things would get better and not to worry. I believed her so I stayed in the relationship. Even though I was miserable. After all I loved her. Still do.

Time went by and things were not getting better. Her libido was lower and it got to the point were she stopped asking me for sex. This was a very difficult part of our relationship. I already felt unwanted due to the rough start. This magnified my already prominent insecurity. After that happened, in retrospect, I realize that I started to act very irrationally. I said and did things I really did not mean to do out of pain. My girlfriend is absolutely gorgeous and we have a ton in common. I legitimately want to marry her and spend the rest of my life with her. I don't know why I made her feel unattractive and insecure with me. I wish I never made those mistakes and I've said sorry so many times. I broke down and looked at other women because I felt so lonely and disconnected from her. She says its a breach of trust, which I agree with. I would not like it if she looked at other guys. Granted, I never had sex with anyone else, I honestly don't think I could ever bring myself to do it regardless of the amount of pain I'm in or what I need. I have thought about it before and every time it ends the same: No, I love my girl and this would not be right. One of her strongest qualities is that she is very loyal and I admire her for that and would never want to betray her in that way. Thats the reason I have always been faithful even though my body is screaming for sexual attention. I tried to own my mistakes but it made her even more hesitant to have sex and this in turn made me even more depressed and irrational causing a painful cyclic death spiral that we are still trying to get out of. Because of all this mess we have broken up with each other many times but we would always find a reason to almost immediately get back together.

After I made those mistakes I layered it with another mistake by trying to fix our sex life before fixing the problems in our relationship. Which I did not realize until very recently, unfortunately. She told me that I focus too much on sex and I continuously pressure her just by talking about it. My heart breaks a little every time she says I'm pressuring her because I believe that in a healthy relationship sex should not be pressure and you should want to please your partner as much as you possiblely can. Its very perplexing to me that she loves me and yet feels pressured to have sex. I'm basically dying to please her sexually and she has absolutely no lust for me. I listen to her explain her views and ultimately find myself unable to relate. She tells me my views on sex are unhealthy. I personally don't think so but thats why I'm on this website that she recommended. To get other opinions and to show her that I love her and I'm willing to step up, own my mistakes, and get help. Everyone makes mistakes. Its how you deal with them that makes the difference.

So here we are, in professional school with tons of additional stress as an added bonus and she feels like she has none of the basic foundations of a relationship. This broke my heart when I first heard it. I spent countless hours over the last year and a half trying to fix what I thought was a great foundation. We have like I said a ton in common, similar goals, and a strong education. The only thing I have ever had an issue with is our sex life. I really tried to make clear that I valued all the other parts of our relationship and I did not want to loose that.

Recently, she has been telling me that she keeps feeling this sexual pressure and she needs space. So for the past month and a half we stopped having sex. I did not want things to get any worse and even though I felt like I hit rock bottom and this was definitely something that would make things worse for me I thought maybe this would help her and balance out in the end. I'm terribly worried about her because a few weeks ago she broke up with me because she still felt pressure and finally could not deal with it. Every time I try and talk to her and try to comfort her and tell her I made mistakes she responds by pushing me further away and telling me to go away. I understand she needs space to heal, but she won't even tell me what I need to do to make her happy again. She said she wants to get back together with me if I change and she loves me but she constantly tells me I have to figure it out on my own and I have to fix myself. I still don't know what that means and every time I ask her she gets super pissed off. I just want to make things better but it feels like she is playing cryptic games with me when I am legitimately trying to fix a problem and move on and it bothers me. I would much rather get straight to the point and fix it.
I don't consider myself stupid, but I'm clearly missing something here. I made some serious mistakes out of pain. I do think that many people do this throughout their life, and while its not an excuses it does serve as a decent reference point.

Obviously there is a lot of additional details that I don't have time to explain. I think I hit the high points. At the end of the day I still feel sexually neglected, and she still feels like she does not have the basics. I'm at a loss for what to do. When I try and give her the basics she says she needs space. It always feels like a lose-lose. Like I said before I know I made mistakes so I am not super interested in someone ripping me apart. I was under the impression that people who love each other are able to forgive you for your mistakes, especially when you admit your wrong over and over. Christmas is coming up and scared I'm going to be spending it alone.

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Okay, so what I'm hearing here is that you two have been together for 2 years and the first six months of your relationship were great, whereas the last year and a half was not. I'm hearing that your libido's are not even close to each other's. When you two started becoming sexual, that's when things started going down-hill. Your girlfriend feels you have been pressuring her into sex (which has been at it's best "not completely unbearable") and you agree, although not entirely, with her. I'm hearing that you feel that you have become too focused on sex. Am I correct about all of the above?

First off, if sex is something somebody doesn't want, at one particular time or at all, then you DO NOT have sex with them. You do not need to be sexual with her. If it comes down to it, there's always masturbation. Your girlfriend has clearly expressed at times that she doesn't want to partake in a particular activity but you have pressured her into it, and continued with it. She has expressed being in pain during sexual activities but you have continued with them anyway. There is no one way anyone "should" feel about sex, one doesn't necessarily feel like they want to please their partner as much as possible. And it sounds, to me, like the way you could please your partner as much as possible is by NOT being sexual with her when she doesn't want you to be.

This relationship sounds immensely unhealthy to me, for both you and your GF. You've spent 3 times as long fixing the relationship as you have enjoying it. I'm not going to tell you what to do, at the end of the day that is a decision for you and her to make. But I think it is time for you and she to decide whether it is worth working to try and save the relationship. Is this relationship what you want, knowing that your girlfriend's libido may never be in line with yours (and needing to be okay with that)? Is it something your girlfriend wants (and only she can answer that)?

--------------------
~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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love2much
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Well your right about our libidos being mismatched. Im on the high end and she is on the low end. That was always difficult. Things did start going down hill after we started having sex because I feel like there were very few positive experiences. She did have a handful of times where it was amazing for her and then b/c of that I was extremely happy. Looking back over the 2+ years we were together it seems like such a small slice of the pie. I did focus too much on our sex life b/c it was the part of the relationship that was bothering me. And when I did give it time it never got any better. I feel like if I left our sex life to her she would never initiate, change things up position wise, or say anything during to help us bond. I realize not everyone is into the same things, but I feel like sex is not on her to do list even though she says it is. Its definitely on mine, and I need someone to understand themselves sexually in order to bond with them. Its become clear that she is not ready for a sexual relationship. I have waited around hoping things would change because she told me they would. That is how she kept me in this relationship so long. Because if things did change everything would be perfect. She said she wanted to be my everything ect.. Every man dreams of hearing that phrase. But now after she broke up with for almost a month now. She is putting a huge gap in our relationship that I don't know if I can bridge. And like you said I've spent more time trying to fix the relationship than enjoying it. I see how its unhealthy for both of us. I'm sure she feels similarly. She has drawn some pretty hard lines with me when I feel like I have been extremely flexible on many issues. She is making me feel like I don't stand chance with her anymore. Honestly though, I never had any intention to commit to a relationship for the rest of my life where I was miserable. I guess I just kept on hoping things would change. Its all very naive. Im not ok with the way her libido is now. I feel very trapped and unable to express myself sexually with the person I love. I always believed in giving people the benefit of the doubt, but maybe 2years is too much. I still have not hit the point where I can comfortably move on. It hurts every single day.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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This is going to sound like a highly simplistic question, but I think talking about it would be sound: do you think it's possible that when it comes to a sexual relationship -- a relationship that is either about that, or includes that -- that you two simply have never been a sound fit?

That another kind of relationship, like say, a very close friendship, might be something that fits you better and might have from the start?

Perhaps I can also ask this: you obviously are very sexually attracted to her. Besides that feeling of sexual desire, can I ask you to think and talk about why you felt pursuing a sexual relationship was sound even though it seems clear that right from the start, you two just weren't a good sexual fit in a lot of (most? all?) ways?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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love2much
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Well, I must say I never did get what I wanted sexually out of our relationship, except for a few times where it truly felt she was into me. So to answer your first question I have indeed for a long time felt like we were mismatched sexually and I believed for most of this relationship that it was something that could be worked out. Not sure anymore.

A very close friendship may have been better once we started encountering these problems. I let it go way past that. now its almost like im experiencing withdrawal. I don't have anything against her as a person. She is clearly someone who is important to me. I guess its just a major let down that she cant be there for me in the way that I need. If I am able to overcome the pain of our relationship I don't see why we could not be friends.

The reasons why I ended up pursuing a sexually relationship with her are as follows: I fell in love with her, naturally wanted her that way. And like you said even though it was clear that she was not a perfect fit for me that way in the beginning it was something she said she wanted to work on with me. For a long time that was good enough. I felt good that she wanted to try and make things work and she sighted reasons why it may have not been working that seemed plausible. For example, she said her birth control could be lowering her libido and she did not know what her true libido really was. She said she needed time to open up and express herself b/c of what happened to her in the past (assault). She said she needed to feel a romantic connection to be sexual. All of these things seemed reasonable and by the time we had gotten around to talking about all of this we had already invested some serious time into the relationship. I figured why not stay and see it out to the end.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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So, it sounds like you both really did what you were able to do when it comes to incompatibilities and problems, but have probably been past the stop point for a while now. In other words, that point where at least one person, and hopefully both people, really have no choice but to recognize that issues you thought you might be able to resolve aren't issues you can resolve, at least not in the way you want to or in the model of relationship you're in. It also sounds like, very unfortunately -- but hey, learning to do relationships is a learning process, and we will all make mistakes or missteps as we learn, especially early on in life -- things have been extended well part that point, to the point where the relationship is now unhealthy and you're both feeling really miserable.

So, have you two talked about that yet? Just acknowledged all of this and talked, at all, and very directly, about separating?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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