Ending a Long Term Relationship

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 15, 2011 2:12 PM GMT
    I've been with my partner for 11 years. In the past couple years or so, it feels like we have become more like close friends sharing a mutual home than partners. The sexual attraction has all but diminished. I've tried to find my way back to feelings of intimacy, but it's not happening. My question is, how do you think or feel you know when something is truly over? Be nice. icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 15, 2011 2:47 PM GMT
    it happens to be honest. At least it isnt that you guys hate each other just that you come to the point were your love is more of family than of sexual partners. id say end it on mutual terms but stay close friends...and then take some time to figure out how you both do without being in another relationship and see if anything comes up again that would bring about you too dating again. BUT STAY AS FRIENDS!!!! you can never have too many close friends mate.icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 15, 2011 2:51 PM GMT
    Sounds like you two need to spice things up a bit, and communicate. Don't all marriages go through this?
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    Mar 15, 2011 3:09 PM GMT
    Unfortunately often I think the problem is the lack of communications that degrades the relationship on many levels. At this stage, it's questionable whether unexpressed feelings have accumulated to the point where expressing them now would put a spark back into the relationship. In my opinion, if you sit down and BOTH open up as to what you want, need, don't have, aren't feeling, no hiding, all on the table, no anger, no shouting, just open honest, not getting mad at the other for anything said, expressions of your feelings you'll at least know whether you might be able to salvage the relationship or if you should just agree to moving on, chalking up the experiences gained towards the next relationship. Good luck.
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    Mar 15, 2011 3:59 PM GMT
    It's truly over when you can no longer look your partner in the eye and say "I'm in love with you" and mean it without equivocation or reservation. I'd suggest, however, that you look around you before you do anything drastic and irreversible. I'd bet that your love life is better than you think it is, particularly given what's really out there. Sometimes we don't appreciate what we have until it's gone.
  • bad_wolf

    Posts: 1002

    Mar 15, 2011 4:00 PM GMT
    Hug?
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    Mar 15, 2011 4:03 PM GMT
    I get it: two years ago I felt we were growing apart sexual, I couldn't keep up with his desires and it led to mutual frustration.
    We talked about how he made me feel and his answer was not to initiate anymore and fake disinterest when I did. I think we almost went a month without any intimacy. (yeah a month is a long time for us)
    It got worse when i went back to the gym, hoping it would change my energy levels in the concerned area.
    He, of course, thought this meant I was getting in "dating" shape and hated the idea; even more upset about the gym I use (hot jock central). It worked; however, and were back to...--not gonna brag.
    Now he is happy about my renewed motivation and the added communication was very revealing about our insecurities, even after all these years together.

    Hate long post...I guess what I wanted to say; in short, was, what have you done to improve the relationship?
    Or should I just ask: What's his name? (the guy you met).
  • hdurdinr

    Posts: 699

    Mar 15, 2011 4:04 PM GMT
    It sounds like you should just communicate what you think the problem areas are and see if you can fix the relationship - just like some of the other guys have been saying on here. The grass is always greener and trust me being single isn't so great!
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    Mar 15, 2011 4:08 PM GMT
    Kama-Sutra.jpg

    ^ I heard this works wonders. But in the end, it's up to you and your partner to figure out if your relationship ran its course, since relationships are a two-way street. Good luck, urbanguy. I wish all the best for ya. icon_smile.gif
  • twentyfourhou...

    Posts: 243

    Mar 15, 2011 4:14 PM GMT
    Great question. First of all - love the pics of your cats! Of course, your main pic is nice to! You know, only you can decide. I really do think that each of us has specific needs and values that are difficult to quantify or justify to others. Essentially, if 100 people surveyed say you should stay BUT you know in your heart that it is over, then it is over. You know yourself and your situation better than anyone else. Someone commented on here that hetero relationships often go through similar challanges - i totally agree! One major difference here (and i will offend some) is that, in same-sex relationships typically there are no children to keep the relationship together, there is no marriage license or expensive divorce settlement to deal with, and for the most part, financially it is more doable. OK -now back to your question. How does your partner feel? Does he want to try? Does he aknowledge this issue? Don't answer these questions here. The answers to these questions will help determine what path you should take.
    I for one am a romantic at heart and would say end it if there is clearly no alternative and you know deep in your heart that staying together is not an option.
  • CAtoFL

    Posts: 834

    Mar 15, 2011 4:30 PM GMT
    First, sorry to hear you're going through this. But at least you're aware of what's going on. In my experience (which may or may not be representative of the overall gay community), a lot of guys stay together long after they've become nothing more than roommates. It's an easy trap to fall into.

    The way to stress test your relationship is to either move closer or to move farther away. Closer means more time together. Establish Friday night as your date night and stick to it no matter what other obligations interfere. Try something unexpectedly romantic - perhaps flowers or an edible arrangement of fruit or an unexpected gift. You can probably figure out what I mean by farther away. Pursue your own interests, become less accessible. See if you miss him and he misses you. If it were me, I'd try the 'move closer' one. ;-)

    It's tough to re-ignite the spark, but it's worth a try. Good luck to you. After 11 years, he's more involved in your life than you probably realize right now. Hope it works out for you guys.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 15, 2011 4:37 PM GMT
    It can be a challenge, my suggestion.. don't pronounce it "dead" unless it is a mutual decison and you've both had a chance to talk.. and ponder what is best for both of you.

    Sex aside, do you still love him? How important is it for you to have sex in your relationship? Can you still be awesome friends, but part ways in the name of "partnership"?

    You've spent 11 years together... that I can relate to. If you decide to end it for good, make it as positive an experience as possible and if you do still love him should you toss it away?
  • needleninja

    Posts: 713

    Mar 15, 2011 4:47 PM GMT
    Pyrotech saidSounds like you two need to spice things up a bit, and communicate. Don't all marriages go through this?


    seems like a lot of them do....which is quite sad.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 15, 2011 5:00 PM GMT
    I would like to say that I am sorry for what you're going through.

    "Marriages" are a lot of work. The work isn't just in trying to learn to live together. The work isn't just learning how to share lives.... the work also involves the sex and intimacy. Keeping the love, intimacy, and sex alive and a vibrant part of the relationship is hard hard work.

    It sounds like while y'all were working on other aspects of the relationship, you may have not worked quite so hard on the intimacy and the love. Those are key ingredients in bonding two people and, in my opinion, the hardest things to work.

    We always take the sex and intimacy for granted expecting those areas to take care of themselves when they don't.

    I hope you can work it out with him. In my opinion, 11 years, is a lot of time to throw away. Even if you have grown apart, you can always work to come back together.

    As someone else said, don't all marriages go through this? I think they do whether it's hetero or us.... lol

    After a few years together, we often reach a level of contentment and begin to coast in the comfort of that contentment which means we begin to not work quite so hard on some areas of the relationship. I know how this goes. We went through this.

    Our first 3 to 5 years were somewhat rough. We had to work so very hard not to argue, and it took us at least that long to learn to live together, share ourselves, etc. After that, we began to settle into a period that seemed peaceful and content with one another. We began to slack off. After a couple more years, we began to hit rocky times because we stopped working hard on the relationship and all aspects of it. Once we began to work on it again and once we finally began to put the other one first in everything, things really started to come together. So... for us it took about 7 to 10 years to get it to working for us both. Looking back, it seems so long ago at times and at other times, seems like yesterday. I wouldn't give back the 18 years I've had with him for anything in the world. Not only are we true partners in every sense, but we are also best friends. He is my rock.

    Good luck and I hope only the best for you!

    P.S. Hopefully, not everyone takes as long as we did to turn it into a "bed of roses."
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    Mar 15, 2011 6:46 PM GMT
    Thanks for all the advice. I am a big communicator, maybe too much so. My partner is not good at expressing his feelings so a lot has gone unsaid over the years. I agree with the one poster that at this point we have basically become glorified roommates. I'm not the type of guy who can have a relationship without intimacy. I'm Italian after all. Thanks again to those who took the time to post constructive supportive advice!
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Mar 15, 2011 6:50 PM GMT
    first, i am sorry to hear that your relationship is ending. hell you look great so i can't imagine not still being sexually attracted to you anymore. anyhow, i say when the sex is completely over and you two are talking about bringing others into your relationship than it is pretty much over. that is my opinion and that is how i would view it. by the way, paul/ks dude, you are a inspiration dude. 18 years. i think he also gave some valid points. if you i would reevaluate your situation. if you are still in love with him and his still in love with you. i think you two owe it to yourselves to see if you can make it work
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    Mar 15, 2011 6:58 PM GMT
    Sounds like it took you 11 years to get to the 7-year-itch (or 7th inning stretch).

    You say you are a good communicator, yet you have given us a total of 6 lines about what must be a very complex situation. Perhaps you have already decided and simply wanted approval?

    Why do you think the "sexual attraction has all but diminished"?
    Did he change?
    Is that true both ways?
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    Mar 15, 2011 7:40 PM GMT
    Caesarea4 saidSounds like it took you 11 years to get to the 7-year-itch (or 7th inning stretch).

    You say you are a good communicator, yet you have given us a total of 6 lines about what must be a very complex situation. Perhaps you have already decided and simply wanted approval?

    Why do you think the "sexual attraction has all but diminished"?
    Did he change?
    Is that true both ways?


    I wasn't necessarily looking for advice for saving the relationship, so I didn't feel he need to communicate more than 6 lines.
    My question was how in your heart and mind do you know a relationship is over after you and your partner feel all avenues have been explored. Several posters answered that specific question with honesty and I truly appreciate that.
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    Mar 15, 2011 8:17 PM GMT
    urbanguy911 saidThanks for all the advice. I am a big communicator, maybe too much so. My partner is not good at expressing his feelings so a lot has gone unsaid over the years. I agree with the one poster that at this point we have basically become glorified roommates. I'm not the type of guy who can have a relationship without intimacy. I'm Italian after all. Thanks again to those who took the time to post constructive supportive advice!


    I think you have answered your own question right here. Do you sleep in the same bed? Do you spoon or cuddle regularly? I think if you at least have that it can be saved. But for all the love you have developed for him I can understand why you might have to end it to seek affection and the occasional sexual release. I can't speak to you as someone who has been in an LTR but I can tell you what being single most of my life has been like. I don't find single life as lonely or depressing as many believe it is. I've had a lot of great experiences by virtue of being single. That said, I will say that you carry a regular craving for physical intimacy. I have problems with insomnia but I would still rather sleep with a lover than alone. It is therefore hard for me to understand how a sexless relationship is much different from a deep friendship. I don't see why an LTR can't smoothly transition into a life long friendship. It shouldn't be perceived as a loss but rather an awakening. As I am perpetually single, loving friendships mean a lot to me.

    One of the friends I made here on RJ spoke about this with his marriage. His wife had cut off all forms of affection with him. When he was visiting her parents he noticed a hump in the middle of the bed and took it as evidence that they had little to no physical contact while sleeping in the same bed. He said even if he weren't gay he would have to leave his wife before a similar hump formed in the middle of their bed. He's also a quid essential Italian American. I'm not but I can certainly relate.

    I hope that helps.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 15, 2011 8:40 PM GMT
    Actually, I was in the same situation, we were together for 8 years and I finally called it a quit.

    Just a very simple question to ask yourself, can you see yourself to live the exact same way without any changes for the next 10 years?

    If you answer no, it means u are ready to move on and make changes..
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    Mar 16, 2011 11:06 PM GMT
    It is unfortunate to hear this. I hope you guys figure something out.

    I may have found the problem though. The problem is right in your post:

    "The sexual attraction has all but diminished"

    That should have NO effect whatsoever on your relationship if it was an actual 11 year relationship (As in, when you started, it was not centered around sex).
    This can only tell me that you two both started seeing each other based on sex and not on personality. It is a very accurate assumption based on the information you have provided.

    Otherwise, you would be with your partner regardless. I mean, my parents have lost a lot of sexual interest and both of them are 38, yet they have been together for 20 years and are living a happy life together.







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    Mar 17, 2011 3:53 AM GMT
    Caesarea4 saidPerhaps you have already decided and simply wanted approval?


    That's my thought as well.

    In that case, good luck to you on your next relationship, urbanguy.
  • ParkingLotLC

    Posts: 1

    Jan 04, 2012 9:04 PM GMT
    WOW!!! I searched "ending gay relationship after long term" and this was one of the first things that came up. INCREDIBLY HELPFUL!!! Reading through the comments will give me a lot to think about.

    I will celebrate 14 years if we stay together through June. My career is about to move me to another country and it has me thinking about the relationship. I feel I am in a very similar situation as the one who started this stream. We are good friends, albeit VERY different in our priorities. Our families know and like each other and we share a home, cars, and a dog. But the intimacy is not there, trust is questionable in that area, and we simply seem to be roomates. The proverbial "comfortable brown shoes."

    My issue is that I started this relationship when fairly young. I still have years left!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 04, 2012 9:08 PM GMT
    I first read this as "eating a long term relationship"
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    Jan 04, 2012 9:28 PM GMT
    It's not over unless you're miserable.

    You may not be as physically attracted to him anymore, but you both aint spring chickens!
    Looks are important, but are kinda shallow in the respect you been together for this long aready! It should be taking more than just looks fueling the relationship by now. We all have to get older!

    If it's intimacy you want, then set a day of the week aside just for the 2 of you. Call it "date night" and plan a romantic night together and reflect on memories together bringing up good times and re-kindle these good times.