Partnership.. Not Marriage

Hi. I think I'm coming to the conclusion some people are wired for the kind of intimacy I need and some people simply aren't. They love, they marry, they have kids...laugh, etc.. but not the kind of Love I need in my life.

We'd talked about it before and she'd always throw it back on me to define, as in, "So what do you want me to do?" I knew she loved me, with what she knows is love, but its not something you can explain well, and certainly nothing you can 'direct' like some Director to an actor.

I've read all the Spark this, re-ignite that, even a book called the Sex-Less Marriage. I've tried all kinds of things but none really got through - so like I said in my first part...kind of thinking its possible for some, but maybe some just aren't wired for it.

Its the million little small things that let you know, and its the million little things you do to and for a person when you feel they are the 'one'. Its a touch here, a look there, simply walking up behind someone in the kitchen and putting your arms around them; its the quiet time at night in each other's arms, not having to say anything at all, and just simply feeling complete, feeling happy, putting your cheek to theirs and closing your eyes knowing they feel the same, etc.... You can't simply put all those things on one big To Do list and its not something you can fake. I could no more sit there and outline the specific things she 'needed' to do, because then they'd be directed....fake. She simply couldn't understand - either you felt it or you didn't, and I'd become convinced she just simply didn't.

For a little bit it got better, but then it all started feeling like block-checks from her; again, you can't fake it.

So I'm stuck - either I accept this 'cold' version of love, or face the prospect of leaving, or cheating...or I don't know - all I know is I'm misserable most of the time.

Having a relationship, my kind of relationship, is so important to me its like oxygen... I need it to breathe.

Not sure what to do...
RandDannesk RandDannesk
46-50, M
14 Responses Nov 25, 2012

When it is so clear to you, the answer is obvious and probably only somethign a stranger can say......LEAVE, when your ife becomes so depressing to you that you consider having affairs it's time to leave

You are right everyone seems to love in different ways, and you have to be with someone that shares the kind of love you do. Love has to be more than a physical connection it is a blend of emotional and physical.

If the OH knows how you feel and still does nothing to deal with it...they are just not good enough for you or not right enough for you, being loved and being in love is probably the only thing that has kept us humans going outside of evolutionary means, it's what makes us human!

Good luck hope you find a way to really love and be loved

I can totally relate to your post and to so many who posted after your original post. I think I'm in the same place you are right now. I, too, have kids and they are probably the reason I have stayed this long. (13 years of marriage.) I recently cried myself to sleep for 3 weeks straight...he knew it some of the nights and never asked me what was wrong. I finally made him listen. I used the same expression you just did....that it is oxygen...I need an intimate, emotional connection to survive.

I think that's one of the worst things about your and my situation - the fact that they know, but don't even care.

Hope you find a bright side somewhere. :)

I wish the same for you. Please see my most recent story. Let me know if you have felt this way too.

Hi.. I just read it and I think a few of the comments mention it. If they are the ones being chased, being seemingly fawned over.... if we are the ones practially hanging on any gesture at all from the, that's one hell of a lot of power and, for them, one big ego booster.

You are very right, you cant fake that. I have had many talks with my husband and had tried many things to spice up my marriage. I did things that I thought would make me a better wife. Sometimes my husband would put effort in for a couple of weeks, but even then I could tell he was just doing those things because I wanted him to, not because he did. I know marriage takes work but I think some things should just come natural and with us they dont. I told my husband I want a divorce, were still living together til we sort out some things. I hope things get better for you.

I'm sorry for your situtation. I do know about 'charity' intimacy... I hated it, but like a dumb sap, was grateful for even that.

At least you have a light at the end of the tunnel :)

Well, stike one for the first night of "working on things"... she's in the bedroom BS'ing on the phone for the past 2 hours since coming home...and I'm here on the forum. Glad 'we're' making an effort. Sorry so negative....just ....I don't know - the same old same old... I hate this crap.

It was with a friend (female) from work. Still working through things.

Thanks for the 'hang in there'. I'll be happy on the other side of this one way or another.

I go through the same thing night after night.

Thanks so much for your thoughts, Bek. They are similar situations - I think, after reading all the comments and getting some pretty good thoughts from members, that the answer lies in finding myself; not as a game of denial to our spouses, but truly find our 'own' lives. Perhaps gain some self-respect back.

I think you are right. Some people are lucky enough to love each other the way both need. But more times than not, someone is always lacking the love and intimacy they need. Your story is a lot like mine. Good Luck my friend.

<p>I really want to thank everyone, not just those who replied and offered their thoughts, but all the other storise and posts I've seen today (just joined). It gave me enough of a reality check to bring it all up with my wife tonight.</p><p>We're going to work on it. We've done this before, but I think I was more clear tonight than ever that, in the end, does it really matter how many steps each of us took away from the other? If we're 10 steps apart, does it really matter if I took 8 or those or she did (the blame game)? As well, if we're 10 apart, each needs to take 5 back toward each other... if the conclusion here is I need to take 10 (be less 'needy'..a term I hate), or she needs to take 10 (essentially fake it), then we're done.</p><p>She defaulted to asking me to define what I needed as is normally the 'solution' she's used in the past. I think for the first time I made clear if we're going to look at this, look at OUR relationship in terms of what I need, like its all about placating me...we're equally doomed. </p><p>I think she at least understands just how close to the edge I am, and that I'm not going to, once again, allow this to be about my supposed insecurities, my supposed neediness, etc...</p><p>I'm definately going to keep in touch with this forum as it make me realize I'm not the only one, and therefore not somehow 'abnormal' in what I want out of love.</p><p>Thanks again to all.... will keep you posted.</p>

I think you make such an important point, and one that many people don't consider. Different people do have different intimacy requirements and capabilities; successful relationships depend on the compatibility of both. My ex hb did not require the type of intimacy I did, and was hostile to it. I suppose he loved me the only way he knew how but it was not what I needed. My advice is to get out because what you see on a day to day basis is what you have. I found sometime else whose intimacy level was compatible with mine and now even my ex is happier, and is a better dad to our kids. You will both be better off, good luck.

Good for you! I'm glad it worked out for you both. :)

I hear you!!!! From personal experience - get out while you can!!!! It will not get better - it ll get worse …. You try and create a parallel life and cheat – pretend to your self that you have the best of both world – but the guilt and unfulfilled life will be eating you from the inside…. You will end up having kids, commitments ( cos this is what people do..) and you will hurt more people and hurt yourself and your partner more if you end up leaving 10 years later….. leaving some one doesn’t mean you don’t love them or want to hurt them - it may just mean you love them enough to be honest about happiness for both of you…


First of all having these feelings does not make you emotionally dependent, but a better person and a better man, my wow was of admiration:)
I think one of the most important things in life is knowing how you feel about everything and not sweep it under the rug, not being in denial or ignorant.
This only comes with a twist, as for people who are more in touch with their feelings must learn not to dwell on their negative emotions, but rather to act and change what is wrong.
I did not know there were children involved, I cannot relate to this, but as one user said, the kids pick up the negative , they are more sensitive , so it would be a good thing to try and have a big talk with your wife soon, be as serious as possible and tell her that she must compromise and not care what other people think because she s heading for divorce. At this point she should only care what you think and if she has some issues of her own, she should tell you.
The children can be affected by the divorce, but they can be also quite affected by parents who do not get along on a regular basis.
And about the relationship you spoke, the one before, could it be possible that it was a great one because it did not last as long as marriage and children and the spark did not ran out? Maybe also being younger made things more exuberant?
Or you did not feel that love at all with your spouse when you were at the start of your relationship?
Try and remember the time you met your wife, why was she the one who attracted you and why did you marry her.
I hope everything will turn out all right and I hope these answers help you in some way,
the decision should be yours only, but it helps to know that people relate and feel your story.

Wow..... I've been there. It sucks, it really does. You try to find something really "wrong" with the relationship, but you can't really find anything she does "wrong". I had this exact same thing happen to me with a wonderful woman. I was with her for 4 1/2 years. After arguing, trying to find out how to fix the relationship, I came with two conclusions- either stay with her, and constantly think of cheating, and other girls, or else I could leave her, and let us both find a better match. It took about a year of deliberation before I decided to leave her. It was hard, heartbreaking, damn near unbearable. My family still dislikes me for my decision, and side with her on it. But I found the woman that I always dreamed of afterwards. Was it worth it in my situation? Hell yes!!!! Will it be worth it for you? That I do not know the answer to. You must choose your own path. Choose wisely.

I wonder about that... we have kids which certainly makes it more tough, and much more to consider, but I do wonder about finding that again. Thanks.

Was she ever affectionate ? Was she touchy-feely? If not, this is very useful

FullMoon, what a great video... and I think you're right - the Coke may never have been there..have to think about this one. Thanks!

Thanks everyone for the thoughts. I know part of the problem is I've had 'that' kind of relationship before, LiDDIaliddia. I've known what the kind of relationship I want feels like. That ended only because I joined the Army and moved out - she was and will forever be a home-town girl, still living down the street from her parents, who live down the street from theirs. So that relationship, as wonderful as it was, serves as part curse and part blessing. Part curse, because I know what I feel missing, and part blessing for having the wonderful fortune to have felt it in the first place.

Several mentioned a Dealbreaker. I wish I knew. We have children, who we both love and I take my responsibilities to them, and yes, her seriously (as in being here/around even if only serving as the 'janitor' mentioned below).

Bazzar...honestly, have been thinking the 'outsourcing' option; but caught in the normal, logical train of thought that says just get the divorce over with. Is it possible to remain married, be here to raise the kids, but have something like that outside the house? My logical half says 'hell no' after it gets done laughing at such a stupid question, but my emotional half says I just can't look back on my life and say, "I wasn't happy, but boy I had some great kids".

LiDDIaliddia, I understand your "wow" and men feelling this. it used to bother me that as a man I would feel all this... and what that possibly meant about what kind of man I was to be, frankly, honestly so emotionally dependant. But I have to remind myself (sometimes more than others) that I've got a lot of 'man' things I could easily check off: multiple combat tours in combat leadership positions, last of which was living and fighting with an Iraqi battalion during the surge... so I know its not a 'whimp' thing even though that still tugs at my brain once in a while.

I know my solution (if there is one) has to be my really helps getting other's thoughts though... thanks so much again for all the input.

Wow, so you are men and you are asking for exactly the thing I need from my relationship...I am a woman and I simply thought that most men are not capable of doing the small gestures and being intuitive about what the other needs. Sorry if I sound sexist, I am not , but studying my partner and my friends and my girlfriend's boyfriends, this is what I thought... I made myself believe that I ve been dreaming at a relationship that does not exist.
I completely understand where you are, I have explained everything to my partner , the little things I need, the support and the love that needs nurturing...and I sometimes think that I have done the wrong thing by telling him that. I just thought that it would be simpler for him to know what I need, as he is utterly oblivious and thinks that everything takes its course without him lifting a finger...
I can tell you this though, I think you may have a receptive partner and you should discuss this with her. I think she will feel good hearing that you need the same appreciation and the atmosphere of true love created by the small gestures , as I believe she is craving this too.
Try and talk everything out, see what her reaction is, do not dismiss her if she feels attacked and says something hurtful, the chances are she will later regret it and then she will try and understand and apply what you asked her.
And yes, try to direct what you want, this can hurt your feelings, but some people need to hear exactly what you want, that does not mean that they do not love you, in their own way, as you said.
Do not cheat! Please do not think this is a solution to your problem. You sound like a sensible man and if you do this, the guilt is not something that you can tone down when you want to. And if you cheat, you are not only hurting your spouse, but you are damaging the one you choose to be your secret lover, these two words may sound tempting, but keeping a secret this big can be exhausting, not to mention that you cannot find that " perfect one" feeling by starting with a cheater...if she cheats with you, she can always cheat on you later.
If however, talking and being patient with the changes does not help your feelings, maybe you need a time out , a trip or a separation, and only after that, if your feelings have not renewed, then its kind of clear you need something else in your life.
Some of these thoughts about the perfect one and the perfect relationship can evolve from our own insecurities, you can find yourself dwelling to much at making sense of what you have with your spouse and you can feel unfulfilled, this may come from other areas of your life. That s why you should try and have a little " you" time, to sort everything out and to see what happens with your relationship with new eyes.
I hope I made sense and I wish you all the best, let me know if things get better:)

Sure you know what to do, indeed, you are doing it.

You will stay exactly where you are until the situation reaches dealbreaker status.

You could start preparing for that time right now if you want, sourcing appropriate information so that when dealbreaker status is reached you have a viable option or two in your pocket.

You don't need to research the staying option as you are already doing that and are experienced in it. Confine yourself to researching how a divorce would shake out in your jurisdiction. Consult a lawyer.

Have a read of the story "Outsourcing Your Needs" which explores the cheating option. That might be something that is a good fit for you as a temporary measure (but can also lead abruptly to the divorce option too)

Tread your own path.