5 Year Relationship Going Stale

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  • #943121 Reply


    Looking for some different perspectives. My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years. We have lived together for 2. He has always been a great partner and team mate. Supporting me through life. Not financially, but emotionally, career, family, music (we are both musicians) etc..He’s a good person to have on my side, cares about my well being, my family and overall he is a good boyfriend. The first couple years of course were full of wooing and cheesy texts and compliments and lots of I love you’s. However, over the last year or 2, all of that has subsided. He is still a good partner, loyal and committed, but I’m feeling like my emotional needs are not being met. In turn, his sexual needs are not being met. We have talked this through. I told him for me to feel “turned on” it starts in my mind. The wooing, the cheesy texts, the compliments,the expressions of love, affection, etc…these are all things that make me want to get frisky. For him, he can’t give me all those things unless we have sex. He doesn’t feel connected if we don’t have sex, and I don’t want to have sex because I don’t feel connected. I don’t feel wanted, special and desired. He doesn’t feel wanted, special or desired if I don’t want sex, because he feels rejected. So, being the woman here, and usually we as women are the first to make changes to better the relationship..I started initiating sex more…even though I had not been “wooed” to do so. But, no change on his end. Still no kind words, still no I love you’s, still no good morning texts as he used to. So now, we are back to the lull in sex because I am not mentally stimulated. We talked about if he got what he needed I could get what I needed…but it didn’t happen. It’s a vicious cycle. When I try to talk to him about it, he gets defensive and agitated as if I’m attacking him…no matter how rationally and calmly I start the conversation, using I statements and not you statements. I follow all the “relationship rules”. I don’t nag him, I don’t control him, I don’t manipulate him. I am direct, clear and concise, and yet I’m still not getting what I need emotionally. He seems to not be into me in “that” way any more. I have a life outside of him, but we live together, so of course there’s alot of time together. But, even at home, if I spend more time in the rec room downstairs to give us some space, he thinks I’m mad at him and don’t like him. I am not concerned about him cheating, it’s not his style, but part of me wonders where this has gone wrong. We have a solid foundation of trust, committment and friendship. How did we lose the romantic spark and how do we get it back when I seem to be the only one who is willing to put the work in? He thinks I think love is like some Hallmark movie, but that’s not true. I have realistic expectations of love, but is wanting your man to tell you he loves you every now and then unrealistic? A compliment is unrealistic? being told you are beautiful is unrealistic? Wanting your man to make you feel special is unrealistic? He has a more practical view, he puts air in my tires, feeds my cat, helps with day to day life. He cooks, cleans, does his own laundry, pays his share. He’s loyal and honest and all of the good things, so he doesn’t know what I’m missing that I’m not getting from him. He thinks he is a great boyfriend. Why am I feeling so unwanted then? Is it all in my head? Am I making up problems that don’t exist? Should I be happy with a loyal committed guy who just isn’t in to the “romance” stuff? I mean for my birthday he bought me a rust proofing package for my new car. It was expensive and he came and picked up my car and took it to the shop for me to have it done. To him, this is love, this is romance. For Christmas last year he bought me new snow tires. He also sourced out my new car, handled all the negotiations, went to pick it up, took it to the mechanic etc..So, his approach to love is practical. I am trying to hard to recognize this is his love language and doing these things for me is his way of expressing it…but rust proofing my car isn’t a “turn on” for me. Am I asking too much? I don’t want to leave him, he is good to me, just not in the ways I prefer, or in the ways he started out being good to me. Is it normal for all the fluffy stuff to fade and a more practical love to set in? And if so, how do you keep the sex life alive after this level of comfort sets in? Thanks

    #943134 Reply


    Have you two looked into love languages? Sounds like you two differ in how you receive affection, and often people show it in the same way they wish to receive it, which creates communication conflicts and people kind of dancing around each other. Maybe take a look into the 5 love languages a bit more and reconciling when you and your partner have different ones and see if that helps. Otherwise, people can grow apart over time and need to do work to grow back together, so you’ll have to see if you’re both willing to put in some effort or not. If only one of you is willing, not much changes and you may need to reassess if that means he’s not meeting your basic emotional needs anymore.

    #943143 Reply


    Hi Melanie,

    He “cooks, cleans, ..is loyal and honest” . high five!
    Now the taste in his presents, is definately a “guy thing” . but you have to also hint what you want before your birthday. If not, he has a preference of his own. Give him like multiple selections . .”I really wish I had.. “, “maybe one day I could get a .. ”

    I’ll relate it to a usual stereotype that when a woman buys clothes for a man.. it’s what you want him to see him wear. Now, he is doing it with your car. . he wants to see you in that type of car, with those types of wheels. .

    Now, you gotta train him just to be a little sweet. Maybe you have to be sweet to him too.. Maybe he doesn’t get it and needs an intermediary like a guy friend that you can tell him who “gets it”.

    #943150 Reply


    his love language isn’t words and yours is. I think you are still in this honeymoon phase when everything was perfect and it seemed like he has settled in. Also you now live together so he probably thinks this is enough for you to proof his love to him.

    #943176 Reply


    I don’t think your expectations are over the top. Especially when you gave him what he wants, he should have stepped up and given you what you need as well. I agree with someone suggesting that maybe someone else needs to step in to make him understand that keeping the romance alive is a non-negotiable.

    #943189 Reply


    I broke up with a man who didn’t speak to me my love language. I showed him examples, I explained it. Eventually more than a year went by and he still hadn’t tried much. I told him articles to read etc. in the theory they talk about “love tanks” not being full if you don’t try to meet your partner there. It almost feels like an anxious/avoidant attachment dance. I would suggest making him read more and talk about his and how you to try meet him there. Guys are usually simple minded and really need succinct examples. If he’s still not doing it—know it won’t change unless you possibly try therapy.

    #943217 Reply


    It seems like you two keep communicating past each other. You aren’t speaking the same languange so to speak. I´d recommend visiting or revisiting John Gray´s work with Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. He talks a lot about how to understand those differences and how to communicate in a way he hears you. Men value trust, accpetence and appreciation most of all. It sounds like he is missing that. For women we need caring, understanding and respect. You don’t feel loved, understood or respected, he doesn’t feel trusted, appreciated and accepted. When a man feels that, they will start doing on the romantic stuff you want. Good luck.

    #943221 Reply


    Has this man ever mentioned marriage to you? Five years is a long time to be in a relationship without a true commitment. Face it, you’ve communicated your needs to him and he’s still not coming through. Your story sounds similar to what I went through with my ex. We lived together for 8 years and toward the end I didn’t feel loved at all. We were more like roommates than a couple. Every time I’d want to talk about things he’d get angry and accuse me of bitching at him. It soon became clear to me that he was no longer in love with me but he didn’t want to admit it. Finally I made him move out and that was the end of it. Go with your gut feelings. Good luck.

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