I am in a long term relationship that has dwindled to basically no affection. I mean he gives me a hug, but there’s no physical contact. I am a loving and affectionate person by nature and I feel like I’m “starving” for some attention from him. Every time I initiate affection he tries to change the subject or push me away. He says it’s not me it’s him but at this point I don’t believe him.I feel so lonely, what do I do?
Hi there. Sorry to hear about this. May I ask how long you've been together, and when the physical disconnect started?
Also, your respective ages? Many times, age can be a big factor, and it's rarely easy to talk about...
He’s never been super affectionate but it became increasingly worse and really distant a few months ago. We have been living together 2 years. He is 44 and I am 49.
In the beginning, when he was the most affectionate- would that level of affection/intimacy be acceptable for you now, and longer term? I ask, because my theory is this; he has shown you his maximum (that he's currently comfortable with/capable of, at least). Everyone is different. He may not be comfortable with or capable of more. I'm not saying that's the case, just that it's a possibility. Could you accept him, as is? Without expectation of change? If not, is there genuine opportunity and willingness to change things, on both sides?
Have you discussed the role health and aging play in libido? And how any or all of the associated factors may be affecting either or both of you? Also, do you still go on dates, or plan time together? Does he withhold all affection out of fear that physical contact may progress toward more than he can handle/want (physically, and/or emotionally)?
Have you two ever had a full conversation about this, or does it just feel too awkward?
I'm sorry for all of the questions. This is a complicated issue, and I'm trying to get a better read on it. But fyi- I went through this with my ex (24yr marriage). We couldn't find common ground, and eventually split. I'm in a similar situation again now (limited physical affection), but it works for us. Very well, actually. Happier than I've ever been, by a very wide margin. (I'd be happy to answer any and all questions you may have for me, too. Turnabout is fair play, and I am happily unashamed to share.)
I'm thankful you're reaching out. I didn't have the courage to talk about it when I should have, and I paid a heavy price. Good for you for stepping up.
We have had several discussions about this. He seems to be fine with the way things are. He said he believes he has low T and that is to blame, but he isn’t comitted to getting help for it. Honestly I feel as if I’m drowning and I can’t get any help. I love him and I want so badly to be close to him...it’s so lonely....and frustrating. He’s right in front of me but I can’t have him. I can’t live the next 40 years of my life like this. I’m to the point that I think it’s time to move out. He falls asleep most nights on the couch and won’t come to bed. I’m at a loss...
Bunnyhabit - I have thought that it could be someone else but after some consideration and snooping, I hate doing that, I have concluded that I’m just grasping at straws. I think at times that it has to be me, you know, maybe he just isn’t attracted to me anymore. But really I think he’s just lazy...I mean he sleeps a lot, never wants to go out and do anything other than an occasional lunch or dinner out. We don’t “date”...we just watch tv. I have talked to him about it so many times. Maybe he needs the drastic move of me moving out to wake him up and let him know that I can’t deal with it anymore?
Oh man. Am I ever familiar with the heartbreak of being denied what you want most, when it's right in front of you. It. Sucks. Ain't even gonna try and lie. I wish magic were a valid strategy in these situations. Because in my experience, the resentment this generates (on both sides, unfortunately) is lethal. If there's not a way for both of you to be satisfied with the level of intimacy, this leads nowhere but to even more resentment and pain. Don't let it get ugly. Be proactive,in whatever way you can.
It sounds like your SO's lack of libido/function is indeed centered around health issues. And, he may even be a bit depressed, which wouldn't be surprising. None of that is a relationship killer, unless he's unwilling to at least to try and improve his situation. Which sounds to be the likely scenario here. Again, I'm sorry you've found yourself in this situation.
I think moving out is perfectly reasonable. You can do a trial separation, and play it by ear. It may be a wake-up call. Regardless, you should take this opportunity to spoil yourself a bit, and just get as centered and focused on yourself as you can. Listen to your own voice, and indulge your interests. Take extra good care of yourself through this. None of this is easy, and all of it's exhausting. So take care of yourself, and give yourself time to find your way.
Huge hugs to you, my friend.