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  1. Reboot!

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    tronic [sign in to see picture]
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    Hi OA,

    I'm in need of your opinions or advice, you're a wise lot and I am all in a muddle, so I wish to see what you reckon.

    In a similar manner to film classics or so on, me and OH's love life needs a reboot. The current situation is that we love each other, there's a lot of caring and those kinds of feelings. There's no question of that aspect of the relationship. For known reasons the physical side of things has completely gone. I can predictably and consistently offer her sexual favours and she will respond and everything works fine, she enjoys it, she is happy, I am happy, wonderful. If I do not follow this route, however, nothing will happen. I mean literally nothing.

    We've been sorting out a lot of issues and fixing the ways we communicate, it's all very new agey but it does make a difference. It has come to a point, though, where I am less able to contribute to the process of fixing things, now it's time for her to work out her stuff and it seems impossible to encourage this without invoking her wrath, Again, simply leaving it alone just means that everything remains in stasis and no changes will happen.

    To cut a long story short, if I try hard to make everything nice, she is happy, but not responding similarly. If I don't try especially hard, she remains neutral and we drift apart. If I go balls out and upfront with things, she takes a defensive position and fights back, before telling me things will be ok, which I don't really believe. Somewhat of a pickle.

    I think the answer is staring me in the face, but I am really hoping for some wise and excellent thoughts from you folks to help me muddle through this minefield of a clusterfuck.

    Apologies for the clinical tone of this message, it makes it easier to keep clear in my head!

    Any ideas would be very welcome! If I can explain anything better please let me know.

    1274438937
    tronic [sign in to see picture]
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    It does make sense, I'm sure there is something there from childhood but I can't get to the bottom of it, and she's very unwilling to go for counselling for some reason.

    Having said that for years our relationship was 'normal' and we'd have a pretty fulfilling sex life, so I'm always drifting into the realm of blaming myself, because it makes some perverse sense?

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    Little Lady [sign in to see picture]
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    Mmm I'm not sure what to advise to you apart from telling her how you feel and that you want to try and work something out that makes you both happy and works?

    Fair enough if she doesn't want to go to counselling, would she be open with you about it? I'm sure you have already but make sure she knows that she can tell you everything, even past stuff that may be bothered her.

    I'm sure it isn't your fault, nor hers. It's more than likely a patch that you both need to work out together. =)

    I hope stuff gets better for you soon and hope my advice was useful. Like I said I wasn't sure what to say, sooo I just gave it my best shot. ;D

    Hope you're well! =)

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    Tigerlilies [sign in to see picture]
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    Hi, Tronic, is this a new scenario, or something that's been lingering from the early days?

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    Alicia D'amore [sign in to see picture]
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    tronic wrote:

    It does make sense, I'm sure there is something there from childhood but I can't get to the bottom of it, and she's very unwilling to go for counselling for some reason.

    Having said that for years our relationship was 'normal' and we'd have a pretty fulfilling sex life, so I'm always drifting into the realm of blaming myself, because it makes some perverse sense?

    As little lady said - perfectly resonable. What's not reasonable however is refusing to put any effort in whatsoever!

    If she truly loves you she will want to fix things but maybe she is just too complacent? Maybe she needs to realise what's at stake, that if something doesn't change, she will lose you. I would do *anything* to keep hold of my partner and if ever something isn't right I look inwards for a solution, then talk to him. If she refuses to go to counselling the least she can do is 1) give you a reason and 2) work hard to open up without counselling.

    It seems she may have her reasons but won't tell you - which baffles me in a solid relationship.

    She is the one being unreasonable now, you have done everything right so far (from what I can tell) and it is unfair of her to keep batting you back!

    Ok I've not offered any advice on what you should do other than make her realise what's at stake, but I really can't see how you can make a person change who doesn't want to - without her wanting to, what else can you do? If she realises what's at stake - she may realise she wants to figure this out and maybe then you'll get somewhere with your efforts.

    Good luck lovely,

    Axxx

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    sweetlove666 [sign in to see picture]
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    i can't really offer much advice hun but massive *hugs* for you

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    tronic [sign in to see picture]
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    I think that is the bit that is of concern, that surely if she wanted to work this out as much as I do she might switch off CSI or her iphone and offer to talk about it instead of sitting and wondering why she doesn't feel very happy.

    I've really tried all the proper stuff like discussing it and anything she has asked me to do I have done, but when I do that she just settles back into the groove and trundles along, It's not really a compromise if only 1 parts makes all the movement, and it has lately occurred to me that why should it be such a compromise anyway? There is a slim chance that I could actually up-sticks and go halfway round the world, start again, and be actually happy for most of the time, rather than really rather infrequently. That has only just occurred to me, for some reason up to now I have thought I had to do everything within my power to try and make this relationship work.

    This has been going on for the last couple of years but until recently deftly swept under the carpet in favour of more practical considerations.

    Cards are on the table now anyway. Since I was unwell I have realised that this needs a resolution for me to 'move forward' - god I hate that phrase - and after our trip away next week I have decided to go away for a month-6weeks and see where my decision settles when extricated from the immediate scenario.

    She has told me she is worried that I will decide I don't love her any more or something, which baffles me because if she is really that concerned I would have thought she would be trying to sort things out.

    I know some of the reasons why she has difficulty, in fact I've been working with her a lot to find out what it is. It's possibly not that I am so disgusting and repellent a man as I first thought, but some more gnarly stuff, but it is stuff I can't help her to deal with, she needs someone trained to get through that. I didn't mean it to sound like I'm trying to force her to get therapy, but sitting on her own staring at the tv is not helping her, and she doesn't spontaneously deal with things herself if the subject is dropped. For literally months/years.

    Hmm spraying all this word-mess out is making me think. My gut feeling says, let her be, tell her I care for her and will support her, and then just let nature take its course. If it goes it goes, if it comes back it comes back. I shouldn't even be fretting about this I suppose, it's either gong to bloom or wither and die pretty much regardless what I do, I just ought to watch and wait. Time to do some more painting I think. lol.

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    SEXYGET 69 [sign in to see picture]
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    tronic wrote:

    To cut a long story short, if I try hard to make everything nice, she is happy, but not responding similarly. If I don't try especially hard, she remains neutral and we drift apart. If I go balls out and upfront with things, she takes a defensive position and fights back, before telling me things will be ok, which I don't really believe. Somewhat of a pickle.

    Hiya Tronic.

    In my experience sexual problems are the effects of underlying problems and more often than not us folks cannot resolve these and need to seek advice from a councellor. If continued discussion between you both isn't working then as a couple or individually councelling needs to be sought after. If this is a long standing problem as you have indicated then you are definitely going to need professional help to resolve this. When you're ill you wouldn't just lay there until you died would you? You would go to see a doctor asap! Lots of people use councellors as relationships are like anything else. . . .they can break down so need to get it mended.

    - Are you doing the best that you can?

    - Can you do anything more?

    - If not, what is preventing you from doing so?

    You cannot control other people, your partners decisions seem to be outside of your jurisdiction. You can only do the best you can Tronic.

    If I were you Tronic I would sit my partner down and explain to them clearly what I thought about the situation, what I thought needed to be done to resolve the situation and what I think will happen to our relationship if the situation carries on for much longer without any help from any source what so ever.

    It appears that you are doing a lot of giving and not getting anything back in return.

    I wish you luck and hope that you get what you want fella.

    SG

    1274446739
    Alicia D'amore [sign in to see picture]
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    tronic wrote:

    She has told me she is worried that I will decide I don't love her any more or something, which baffles me because if she is really that concerned I would have thought she would be trying to sort things out.

    I know some of the reasons why she has difficulty, in fact I've been working with her a lot to find out what it is. It's possibly not that I am so disgusting and repellent a man as I first thought, but some more gnarly stuff, but it is stuff I can't help her to deal with, she needs someone trained to get through that. I didn't mean it to sound like I'm trying to force her to get therapy, but sitting on her own staring at the tv is not helping her, and she doesn't spontaneously deal with things herself if the subject is dropped. For literally months/years.

    Hmm spraying all this word-mess out is making me think. My gut feeling says, let her be, tell her I care for her and will support her, and then just let nature take its course. If it goes it goes, if it comes back it comes back. I shouldn't even be fretting about this I suppose, it's either gong to bloom or wither and die pretty much regardless what I do, I just ought to watch and wait. Time to do some more painting I think. lol.

    She's more worried about you stopping loving her than you leaving her?

    Gnarly stuff isn't an excuse. Shit happens, it happens across the world to hundreds of millions of people. Yes, whatever your partner went through, however bad, or mild it was, it has affected her and she deserves respect for getting through whatever it was. But it's not an excuse. If she wants happiness, she has to work for herself, not expect it to be handed on a plate. She needs to take action.

    You should (though you shouldn't feel obliged but you love her after all) offer her your care and support and love but you shouldn't promise to stick around. Your happiness is important too and if she wants your support, you need it back...if she can't offer that, maybe you shouldn't be together.

    If she's worried about feeling embarrassed with regards to counselling - Relate offer telephone and email counselling http://www.relate.org.uk/phone-online-counselling/index.html - you pay £28 per email and £45 per hour phone call. Because you pay, you don't need a referral so she wouldn't need to explain anything to anyone other than the counsellor assigned to her.

    Ax

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    Alicia D'amore [sign in to see picture]
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    SEXYGET 69 wrote:

    You cannot control other people, your partners decisions seem to be outside of your jurisdiction. You can only do the best you can Tronic.

    If I were you Tronic I would sit my partner down and explain to them clearly what I thought about the situation, what I thought needed to be done to resolve the situation and what I think will happen to our relationship if the situation carries on for much longer without any help from any source what so ever.

    It appears that you are doing a lot of giving and not getting anything back in return.

    This is great advice....you are much calmer than I am haha!

    I would like to add as a disclaimer that I get very wound up when people don't take responsibility for their own actions so I apologise if my posts come across as harsh - I know that you (Tronic) are bright enough to make your own decisions and completely ignore me if needs be

    Ax

    1274447251
    WandA [sign in to see picture]
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    I'll leave the advice primarily to many of the other helpful members here but it does sound like some form of therapy is the best idea. You obviously understand the importance of communication but it might take a bit of a prod to get her to/

    I'd just like to wish you luck with it and remind you that even if I can't help directly as other members here can this forum is a great place to get away from our everyday problems and I hope it provides a few laughs and a bit of fun. I know Ad's been talking to you recently and you seem a great kind hearted bloke.

    Good luck and I'll keep popping back in this thread if I think of anything productive!

    1274447308
    SEXYGET 69 [sign in to see picture]
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    Calm down! Calm down girl!

    SG x

    1274457967
    tronic [sign in to see picture]
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    Another friggin epic reply - sorry about this!

    Aye thanks all for your thoughts. I just think it's one of these things that gets on top of me every so often. I'll be ok for a few weeks then it will really start to irk me again and I'll whinge. Thank god for the OA where I can be a pervert in pleasancy! :)

    SG, as for "If I were you Tronic I would sit my partner down and explain to them clearly what I thought about the situation, what I thought needed to be done to resolve the situation and what I think will happen to our relationship if the situation carries on for much longer without any help from any source what so ever."

    I did this a few weeks back and she definitely understood, there was no confusion or miscommunication, it was clear as crystal. That's why I'm a bit struck that she has not changed her approach at all.

    @ Wickedgirl - She is on some medication and I think it can affect her libido. The condition she has and is being treated for is incurable and has affected her a lot. In a similar way to the love life, she seems unable to respond to numerous advices from doctors to do various things with her lifestyle and hypoglycemic diet etc. to help relieve some of the symptoms of the condition. It's a proper tricky old situation, it's as if something is blocking her from acting in any direction of her own free will - very strange, and at this point getting beyond me.

    Here's a summary type thing, it is maybe clearer - either way I'm just farting out of my mind-arse to clear the air. Sorry for the disgusting imagery and general vileness. All this venomous ichor is rerouted anger and frustration from how things have been the last week!

    If I go through it again with her and ask what it is that is stopping her feeling sexual, she will inevitably get upset. After the upset, she will be rational and actually accept there is a problem and without attention we will likely not remain together. She will tell me she doesn't want to split up, she loves me, and I may well be duped into believing that this time I have finally got through to her the gravity of the situation.

    Nothing normally happens except both of us have dumped some emotional upset so the atmosphere is a bit easier for a few days. So I usually start to think, well, what's going on? I may ask her this. This counts as me 'raking over' the topic. And apparently that doesn't put her in the best mood to want to change the way things are! I have in the past asked, well, what would be a better way for me to help you? The answer is usually along the lines of back off, leave me alone, don't ask for sex, don't touch me etc. So I can try to leave off of the physical side of things, see if it gives her room to get going herself. And the cycle begins again.

    If I leave the subject alone, I will have a quiet life and providing I kowtow to about 66.6% of her demands I will not get a bollocking. She will not really make any changes. She may make me a cup of tea without me asking because somehow to her that is a sign of intimacy and emotional support. Don't ask, it's a long story that. I will possibly get grumpy sex on my birthday if I ask nicely, but don't ask too often.

    You have given me really good advice and unfortunately some of it is already done and not worked. I suppose I will talk to her again about things and see what she has to say. You're right though, her choices are not mine to make nor in my control, and if she chooses (continues to choose) not to bother then it will inform my subsequent decisions.

    I'm gonna go and let my steaming brain-pan cool down now. Thanks again for all your words, you are a lovely bunch and it's a godsend (or big-bang-send for WandA and AdnaW) to have a place to moan where the fact that it all revolves around sex isn't seen as a crap reason to grumble!

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    Alicia D'amore [sign in to see picture]
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    Tronic...have you ever actually tried sitting with her and making a plan?

    Don't make it all about sex though.

    Do you think she may be depressed?

    Tricks like, getting her going shopping and splashing out on some sexy (but comfy) matching bras and knickers, some pretty dresses and make up (if she's into things like that, or just sexy, tight fitting clothes if she's not a dress type of person) - encourage her to put effort into her appearance - it sounds so superficial but when I suffered with what I call "stress" (which was actually mild depression) I stopped caring about my looks, would rock up to places in an oversized hoody and no make up. Since getting back on track I've realised just how more positive I feel when I put some effort in, it takes quite a bit of effort to get in the mood to look nice at first but eventually the buzz makes it easier.

    I find drinking loads of water, going for lots of walks (even if they are short one's cripple that I am ) and generally keeping out of unmotivated humps.

    Also - planning dinners works a treat! I eat so much more healthily now we plan what we're having for tea. We do all sorts of healthy treats and put effort into making yummy but healthy food (researching what good foods she's good to eat and doing it together might encourage her?)

    If she can feel a bit brighter outside of the bedroom maybe she will feel more motivated to work things out in the bedroom?

    I don't know - you're quite vague so maybe you've tried these things but just suggestions

    Ax

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    MissTerryCleavage [sign in to see picture]
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    Hiya Tronic, firstly *big booby hugs* sounds like you need them....

    Now I can't and won't profess to know anything about your personal situation but I will attempt to tell you little bit about what mine was like and see if any of it rings any bells for you, if it doesn't, hey no loss, just the time it took to read....

    Your situation sounds very similar to how mine was in many ways, a mis-communicating relationship bumbling along cos that was the 'right thing to do'. We had sex infrequently, mainly from my doing, I just didn't have any desire to be that intimate with him, cos I think deep down I knew in my head that our relationship had run its course, I just didn't have the balls to tell him, nor the financial ability to make it on my own, so I stayed and put up with it cos it was 'easier' (it wasn't, I see that now)

    He tried to get things on track for us, and I replied in similar ways to your OH cos it was 'easier' than being honest as I was scared of what would happen if I actually told the truth. Now I'm not saying for one minute your OH has decided the same as me, but perhaps she feels you have, despite all your great attempts to fix things, and has now gone into some kind of "protect self" mode? So she says the things that you would be 'expected' to say, I love you, I want this to work, I don't know why I feel this way, I wish I had answers etc etc... but then her actions betray these words, surely a person who genuinely meant them would act on them?

    I don't wish to suggest anything negative and hope my post doesn't come across as such, but I was hoping to give another perspective, albeit probably not a relevant one...

    In the end, events conspired against me and my ex, (altho I am a firm believer in fate anyway) and things happened to force me to do something about my inate unhappiness, and that was to actually have the balls to be honest and tell him, turns out he felt the same, but felt 'obligated' to remain cos we had been together years, had a mortgage etc etc....

    He left, I cried, felt like life would never be the same again etc, now 8 months on, I think it was the best thing that ever happened and I love life again, I smile again, I realise that sex is fun and I love it and I feel comfortable with myself and my body etc for the first time in years.

    Like I say, I think my post is mainly irrelevant waffle and hasn't reached a point or a conclusion, but it was meant with good intentions!

    Keep smiling hun, it confuses people and I hope you make the right decision for you, that makes you happy, not the decision you believe is expected and keeps the waters level xx

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    CurlyCoupleWife [sign in to see picture]
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    Hi Tronic

    Some excellent advice from everyone.

    I wondered if you turned the problem on its head & say "I have a problem" she might be willing to help you.

    From the sound of things she's in denial about her problems, maybe if you treat it as your problem she'll be more willing to lend a hand as then she can play the caring nuturing role rather than admitting she needs help which seems to be a stumbling block.

    I'm not sure how that reads & I'm sorry if it reads badly (wasn't my intention)

    I really hope you guys find a way through this to happiness.

    *hugs*

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    sexy little minx [sign in to see picture]
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    Hi Tronic, sorry to hear you are having a really tough time of it just now. I'm not sure what I can add to the advice.

    It doesn't matter how much you want to help someone, if they don't truely want the help they won't take it.

    A relationship is a two way thing and it sounds like you are doing all the work which isn't fair. Maybe some time apart is what is needed for both of you. You have obviously put a lot into the relationship but you need to remember at the end of the day that you deserve to be happy too.

    *massive hugs*

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    Honeytongue [sign in to see picture]
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    Hi.

    I really feel for you. It's so hard to be in such a desparate situation and feel like the decision is all down to you. It does sound as though your OH has some real issues. The trouble is that therapy only works when the person having it knows they need it and has chosen it to help themselves not to keep anyone else.

    Have you tried working on trying to help her "find herself" out of the bedroom - I'm sure you have - you sound ike an amazingly thoughtful caring man. It's just that if there are serious issues that she's scared or unwilling to address, it could mean that she is locking herself so much inside herself to stay safe that it will almost take a real crisis to break through the walls. I don't think I'm explaining myself very well.

    Also, I really understand about the cups of tea. That's my OH's way of choice of expressing love and care.

    Hugs to you.

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    tronic [sign in to see picture]
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    Hi you lot, so much useful stuff, I thank you.

    As for pampering in non sexual ways - ofc I have been down this route every which way. Clothes, make up, days out, home cooked nice dinners, all this kind of stuff I have tried, she enjoys, with clothes etc. it goes in the cupboard and she slithers into her 1994 sweatshirt and baggy trousers etc. So yes I am of the feeling that she is still depressed. She had a bout of depression which seemed to resolve or at least she stopped counselling and so on, but I think it is still hanging around TBH. I think she may be willing to go back and see her GP again as it might be something they can deal with. I've talked to her about this many times, both tactfully and bluntly, and none have really stirred her into action.

    @MTC - yeah I sometimes think that maybe she doesn't realise that she maybe isn't in love with me any more? not clearly anyway, or maybe she just wants the bills to carry on being paid - no that's too cynical a view. Hopefully the 6 week break will clarify this for her. (and me)

    As for helping her find herself, I don't know what to do now. She's been and done horse riding, we bought 2 dogs and 2 cats, kennels, all to help with her depression and so on. Now she won't even walk the dogs and it's almost all left to me to deal with. We arranged for her to take 6 months off work to get her head together, so I took on all the bills etc. and burrowed a bit deeper into my debt-hole. The 6 months became 10 months, and during that time she didn't really do anything! I was working my bollocks off at the time to make ends meet so I admit I wasn't taking her out as much and so on, but there we go. Things got worse if anything during that time. I understand how depression can affect a person and I'm going through some stuff right now, but I'm not stopping with myself til it's fixed - I'm aware that wallowing around doing nothing will only perpetuate the vicious cycle of depression and intervention is necessary. For some reason she doesn't see things the same way, and thinks it will somehow work itself out.

    Tonight, she came home, I had her cullen skink heating on the stove, she was quite pleasant etc. we had a brief peck of a kiss but there was no spark and no excitement, just a flatline. So I sit with her and we talk about her day and it's all very interesting, but there's no passion, no fire, just like flatmates or siblings or something. Utter balls. Yes I know I could have given her a more passionate kiss, but I am at the point of really not being bothered I think. I'm done chasing and feeling like some kind of numpty. I can help as much as possible but it's up to her to help herself just as much. And she would rather sit in front of the TV.

    Anyway, thank you all for your kindness and advice. Henceforth any post I make here will contain specifics rather than generalisations of a few years' nonsense in the hope that any useful tips I may receive can be put to practical use. :)

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    WandA [sign in to see picture]
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    It does sound like she still is suffering from the depression. I think medical advice is the place to go.

    You do seem like you have tried quite a lot and I think people in a 'normal' state of mind would have responded in some way more than you described.

    Hope you get through it with her T!

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