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I (26F) no longer know how I feel about my boyfriend (28M): Is it over?

This is the first healthy relationship I’ve been in, so I really do not know if what I’m feeling is normal, if this means it’s over, if it’s fixable, or just in general what I can/should do about it. I apologize for its length. Using a throwaway account because my boyfriend knows my regular account.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2 years now. And for the past 10 months, I’ve been having on and off doubts about him. I seem to be focused on little things and asking myself if this is who I want to be with. And I don’t know if this is a defense mechanism of some kind after the two bad relationships I’ve had and my insecurities acting out.

My current boyfriend is beyond amazing. He is kind, he is understanding, he has no toxic male masculinity issues, and he whole-heartedly agrees to some of my important desires in life (e.g., I want my parents to move in with me and him when they become too old to take care of themselves). We have never had a big fight; we always talked our issues out and we both communicate extremely well. We also have great chemistry, which is kinda the reason why I fell for him in the first place.

I really don’t know how I landed him! But now here’s the issue. I don’t know where these doubts are coming from. I hear that doubts are normal after the honeymoon phase, but is 10 months too long to have them? At that point, does it mean I am actually not invested in him?

One major thing that has me doubtful is that I don’t want to have sex with him. We both have low libidos, but even on top of that I don’t want to have sex with him. We went 4 months without sex once, and I was completely fine with it. Now, this obviously is a huge flag, but I’m unsure of what it means because of the following:

My previous ex was a wonderful guy except for the fact he didn’t commit to me, so I developed a lot of insecurities for nearly 4 years. He had a high libido and wanted it 3x a week which was a lot for me who has low libido. But because of my insecurities, I went along and would have sex with him despite actually not wanting to. So for 3x a week for 4 years, I would make myself have sex with him when he wanted and over time I believe I developed a negative experience with sex. (Please note: my ex never forced sex on me. I just always said yes for fear of him breaking things off. I wasn’t in a good place mentally.)

The feeling I used to get with my ex is what I’m getting with my current boyfriend—which is this feeling of “ugh, I really do not want to have sex.” I could excuse this as past trauma of some sort, but I’m still getting confused because in the beginning of our relationship I was the one who was eager to have sex. I genuinely wanted to have sex a lot during our first year and then it waned over time to how I feel now. I also daydream about having sex but it’s never with my boyfriend.

So ultimately, I’m conflicted on how to view my desire of not wanting to have sex. Is it from my past relationship, or is it truly how I feel about my boyfriend? A mix of both? How do I act on this?

Some other things that stick out to me: I fell for his goofiness, but after the honeymoon phase I’m realizing he’s goofy 24/7 and trying to be funny all the time. Which, ultimately, made me realize that I prefer someone who is a mix of serious and goofy. His constant goofiness quite honestly turns me off a bit. I was hesitant to bring it up because, well, it’s his personality and it didn’t feel right to ask someone to change their personality.

He’s very messy due to ADHD, and I completely understand logically that executing tasks can be difficult as well as maintaining a good environment. But emotionally, it has worn me down over time and while I don’t view him or his place with disgust, it certainly dampens my mood and feelings. This, I did bring up as gently as I could and acknowledged his side of the situation, and I’m doing as much positive reinforcement and encouragement whenever he mentions he’s about to clean or did clean. It’s a slow progress that’ll work out, but right now I’m still feeling meh about it.

He is also quite emotional compared to me. Anytime he is upset, he has explosive anger for a few minutes. It’s kinda like an erupting volcano. And if someone doesn’t step in, he just spirals and it gets worse. Most of the anger comes from self-esteem issues. He has confidence issues because of his ADHD, so whenever he misplaces something or forgets something or is clumsy, he has that kind of explosive anger at himself. His old roommate and some friends have also commented to him that he may have anger problems.

And it really irks me sometimes when he gets explosive anger about other things like not finding a parking spot or a driver cutting him off. He’s not wrong in how he feels, but I think it’s an area where we are not compatible. Compared to him, I’m very level-headed and it takes a lot to piss me off. So when I witness him being easily angered, I get annoyed thinking to myself “dude it’s not a big deal, let it go.” But, again, he’s not wrong in how he feels. It’s more that it can be hard for me to fully empathize with him because of how differently we naturally react to things.

I have considered breaking things off, but I always find it extremely difficult for one primary reason: It’s my first healthy relationship with a very healthy person. I have fears that I won’t find someone who is like him—especially someone who communicates so well, is extremely understanding, and is more than happy like him to eventually have my parents move in with our family (it’s a big deal for me). On paper, he is amazing and everyone I tell about him thinks I found a keeper. And I completely agree! But I can’t deny that emotionally, I don’t know if I feel for him anymore. If 2 years in, I feel this way, will things just get worse? Will we end up like my parents? My mom also prefers a more serious guy and my dad is goofy 24/7 and she is always yelling and is short-fused with him. I know I may be projecting and my parents’ relationship doesn’t dictate how me and my boyfriend would end up, but it still is on my mind. Again, if 2 years in I already feel this way, will it just grow to be like my mom’s resentment?

That said, I know it’s a pretty selfish reason for both parties. He loves me dearly and always expresses how happy he is with me and how much I’ve helped him improve in life. But what if he’s missing out? I am introverted, and he’s extroverted. He’s always willing to stay in with me when we see each other, but I can’t help but think he’d be happier with a girl who loves to go outdoors like he does, do the activities he does, or have the same level of enthusiasm and zest as he does. More fulfilling, you know? I try my best to go out with him and plan some things on the weekend so we’re not inside all the time, but I admit I sometimes feel pressured to do this. And maybe I too would be happier with another introvert who likes doing the same things I do.

I also see how much his friends and family love him. His friends and family laugh loudly at his goofiness and they genuinely love being with him. And it makes me realize that it’s just me who seems to be bothered by it. And I don’t want to ask him to change who he is for me, that doesn’t feel right.

Maybe this situation is obvious to people, but I’m having a hard time figuring out if this is normal to feel in a relationship or if this means we should go our separate ways (since this is my first healthy relationship). I know that relationships are a choice and hard work, not just solely based on feeling. But surely there must be a minimum amount of feelings involved?

We have talked about my doubts before, and I felt so much better afterward. But solution-wise, I feel like there wasn’t much we could do about it. Do I give it another go with a talk? If so, what do I bring up? Every time I talk to my best friend about it, I feel immensely better afterward and in love with my boyfriend again. But then after some time, I fall back into the doubts and the cycle just repeats.

I apologize for the length. If you got this far, thank you for reading and I look forward to outsider insights on this.

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3 Yorumları

  1. > My current boyfriend is beyond amazing. He is kind, he is understanding, he has no toxic male masculinity issues, and he whole-heartedly agrees to some of my important desires in life (e.g., I want my parents to move in with me and him when they become too old to take care of themselves). We have never had a big fight; we always talked our issues out and we both communicate extremely well. We also have great chemistry, which is kinda the reason why I fell for him in the first place.

    Do you realize how much of this is contradicted by the rest of your post?

    You’re not sexually compatible. His personality frequently annoys you. He is messy and inconsiderate, and you’re having to coddle him like a child who needs a gold star anytime he makes any effort. He has anger issues.

    This isn’t what I would personally call “beyond amazing” and “great chemistry.”

  2. I haven’t finished reading this fully, so I apologize if you address this but what you’re feeling sounded so much like what I went through I figured I should comment.
    So I am married, my partner is fantastic. We have excellent chemistry and get along almost perfectly. We originally had a very active sex life but after a couple of years, even before we married, it started declining in frequency. When we had sex I still found it pleasurable, but I rarely ever felt the desire to start it and the idea of it usually just made me feel tired.

    A few years of being married and I figured it out. I’m a sex positive asexual. I don’t crave sex or want to initiate it, but I’m also not adverse to it. Once I felt secure in our relationship I stopped needing it as a way to feel connected (yay past traumas).

    I encourage you to check out the asexual spectrum and just read up on it. Even if you don’t personally feel like it fits your situation it’s still good to know about.

  3. I am/was in a very similar situation to you (we broke up today after nearly 4 years). Ive had doubts for a really long time. I felt like I had fallen out of love with him, think it was due to many reasons (growing apart etc). Boyfriend was lovely in many ways. But also had some attributes that really ground on me. Such as being messy. So I totally get you, I think those reasons are very valid and can you see yourself putting up with them long term? Because I couldn’t, and if you have communicated the things that he does such as messiness, explosive anger and they haven’t changed then you have at least tried.

    On the sex drive aspect. I felt the same way (could go with not having sex just fine) I came off the pill and also my anxiety medication and I found my libido really improved. Obviously that is very personal to me but if you are on the pill I would suggest coming off as I’ve had multiple friends have the same reaction as well.