In a lot of pain and confusion right now. Open to any thoughts and suggestions.
My fiancee and I are both currently 30. We started dating 6 years ago, got engaged 3 years ago. She is my first love, and to her I am her first serious relationship.
A month ago she told me she was unhappy in the relationship and doesn't know why because I'm just a "great guy". Logically, she thinks she should be with me because I take care of her, but emotionally she says she wants someone feels intimate with. She says it is a lot of work and she doesn't know if she wants to try again. She said she wanted a man who she wants to kiss, who takes charge. We had been through something similar 2 years ago. At the time she didn't feel I was supporting her goals, and since then I've bent head over heels to support her as best as I can, which she has been grateful for. However, that caused me to be her butler and I forgot the court and date her.
Unfortunately, communication isn't our best suit. She has a tendency to get upset when I try to get her to open up, and I, afraid of upsetting her,
don't often pursue. I think over time she started to lose attraction for me because I was not emotionally in tune and focused too much on sex, thinking everything was great. I acted too needy and a pleaser and I believe that was why she lost her feelings for me. In addtion, we are both introverts and don't socialize much outside of each other, which may have led to me smothering her with what I thought would keep her happy. It also doesn't help that her only friends are guy friends, who I'm sure are interested in her because she is beautiful.
Alongside, I found out she has been bantering with another coworker that she says she is not interested in for about a year. I confronted her earlier and she stated it was just fun. She also said she did meet someone that she was interested in and had been on a two coffee meetings with him, though she tried to say she didn't know it was a date. I get the sense she has been lining up my replacement.
When she had told me this in the beginning, I made mistakes by trying to reason and plead with her to give us another chance. I seriously was caught off guard but after reading online, etc, I realize this was not a good move and likely further lowered my attraction to her. I also began to realize all the mistakes I made and I wanted to fix it. She stated we can try, but she is looking for apartments so she doesn't feel like she is stuck.
So I decided to act more like a man and let her do what she wants, pretending it doesn't bother me and trying to give myself the mindset that I know my value and she can leave if she wants to. Last week, we started to get closer again to the point where we would cuddle together in bed. I felt like things were turning up, which was surprising to me since a week ago I thought she had lost interest completely. But the next day when I dropped her off at the airport I told her that I do not care if she sees/flirts with other guys, but that it is testing me and if she messes it up with me I will walk away. I tried to show strength and that statement brought her to tears. During her vacation she gave me the silent treatment, though I can tell she was texting the guys mentioned above. I feel like I made a mistake because I was just getting her to open up again but stupidly brought the drama back at the worse time ever.
Anyway, she is back and i'm trying to get her to open up to me emotionally since she obviously shut me out during that week. At the same time I am worried that if I keep probing her to open up she will always associate the negative feelings with me, pushing her further away to avoid these hurtful feelings. She hasn't found an apartment yet but is looking for one in June, which puts time pressure for me to reattract her to stay through my actions.
I love this girl more than anything, but I'm trying to date/court her again and try to help her develop attraction for me, without forcing it. I feel that I need to make myself more scarce in order to give her space, be less needy, and show her that my life will go on and to give her a chance to miss me. But I do fear she will leave if I start to neglect her like this since her interest is so low already. I had a date planned on Saturday which she is open to, though her interest is clearly low.
Apologies if the above is scrambled. I know 6 years isn't THAT long and we aren't even married, but I haven't felt this much pain, agony, and heartache ever before. I know this experience will teach me to be a better man instead of a needy pleaser that I was, but I love this girl to no end. The other aspects of my life (career, etc) are fantastic and I am a confident professional in those areas, but when I'm with her I sort of lose myself and smother her.
Please help, lay down the truth, smack me in the face, whatever it is!
Thanks for your post and your honesty.
I think to help resolve your situation, it's important to get to the heart of what's real. The short of it is that, IMO, your partner's needs weren't being met. In my work, i've never come across a couple where each partner's needs were being met at high levels and didn't have any passion or intimacy. It just doesn't work that way. I'll say the same thing about her as well.
The real issue here is that, in relationships, people often fail to maintain the same effort in a relationship after a number of years as they did at the start. What your going through doesn't just happen. It's the small things that compound over time that lead to a moment that we say things like "i've fallen out of love for my partner" or "There is no passion in the relationship".
I'll be brutally honest here in that, you are on a very slippery slope here in terms of how you handle this situation. In a nutshell, you've gone from one extreme to another. You've been the pleaser, the needy partner to the partner that puts on the facade of not giving a s*** and sadly, neither of these approaches work in the long run.
You need to strike the right balance here. The part of you that shows the confidence and strength that you do in other parts of your life, yet showing presence and level of vulnerability that she also needs to balance things out. Without this balance, the relationship goes from one extreme to another and never ends up moving forward in the way that you both want to.
There is no doubt in my mind that she wants you to step up for her a man. Be her rock. Be her voice. Be her strength. Show her that nothing phases you. But as long as you smother her and fail to show up for her in the way she needs you to, then all she's getting is a 'hairy' woman and that simply is not what will create the spark and the chemistry that she needs in her life. In fact, she will lose respect for you. If she doesn't get that, she will find it in other places. As an introvert, she will be wanting you to lead and guide her. She will be attracted to confidence and extroversion so this is where you will need to step that up - but if you balance that out with some real authenticity and vulnerability, then you have the foundations for a real partnership.
I hope that all makes sense.
If you have any questions, please let me know.