Ending a long term sexless relationship

  • jphil19

    Posts: 3

    Jul 11, 2012 12:21 PM GMT
    Hi Guys,
    I created an account to post my question.

    Just a few days ago I told my partner of 15 years that I wanted out. We've been almost sexless for the past two or three years and for the 10 years before that it was me who initiated almost every single time while he either refused (maybe 9 times out of 10) or just laid there and let me do the work. My sexual confidence has taken a massive bruising as a result.

    I think I tried to work hard on the relationship. Maybe I could have done more, but I really feel I pushed hard for us more than him. There are other problems apart from the sex, and I feel like I've given so much but received little in return over our years together.

    I guess I checked out of the relationship about 2 years ago, creating my own hobbies, avoiding time alone together, and counting down the hours til he left for his job at a restaurant in the afternoon.

    In the end I met another guy about a month ago, which gave me the final push to tell him it's over.

    But now I feel incredibly bad for him. He was shocked and devastated. There is still love between us, and I can't bear to see him so hurt and sad. I'm not rethinking my decision, just feeling completely miserable about the whole situation.

    So, anyone been in a similar situation? How long does the pain last? Is it possible to stay friends? Should I move out first or wait for him to move?

    Any insight into what lies in store for me (and him) would be appreciated.
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    Jul 11, 2012 1:14 PM GMT
    Sorry to hear about this situation. Fifteen years is a long time. I was once in a similar situation but the relationship was over after three years. Perhaps you should have looked into therapy before making this decision? Just a thought. Of course, you know the situation better than anyone else. No sex can definitely negatively affect a relationship. From what you've written, however, it doesn't seem like there was really any sex to begin with. My therapist once told me that there's a difference between loving someone and being IN love with someone. Sounds like you love him but you might not be IN love with him. Regardless, it's not an easy situation to deal with, especially for your partner if he was completely caught off guard. My former partner/boyfriend and I have remained friends but the decision to break up had been mutual.
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    Jul 11, 2012 2:03 PM GMT
    I was in a similar situation myself. I was in a relationship got 4 years and the last yer and a half was completely sexless. Carnal urges aside there were still many reasons why I should have left earlier than I did. And once I did, boy did it hurt. It still hurts and that was months ago now, but I have never once regretted my decision. What I came to realize is that we spend so much time worrying about making the other person happy that sometimes we forget about ourselves. You deserve to be happy too and if that means not being in that relationship, then so be it. If he loves you then he knows that too. I will always have love for my ex but what we had will never be again. We grow as we get older and sometimes that means we grow apart. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with us. Break ups are always hard but I'm sure, once the dust is settled both of you will live happier, healthier lives. It just takes time.
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    Jul 11, 2012 2:07 PM GMT
    Been there. Looking back I was probably wearing the rose colored glasses of love and enjoyed doing everything for the one I loved to make them
    Happy. You and I were in a relationship but not a 50/50 partnership. As long as it was a 80 / 20 deal all is fine but unless you are Mother Teresa it wears on you. It can't be fixed because your partners deal is that they are comfortable with you running the hotel and providing full room service. If you go to counseling they will only tell you to even try harder to Make it work which is BS. I have a friend that was in the same deal and he was shocked like me that his dates actually wanted to give something back in a relationship.

    So you haven't failed you have outgrown the relationship. I didnt move out. Of course my partner expected I would because I had always done everything and expected the same royal treatment again. Start inviting your dates over and enjoy your liberation.




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    Jul 11, 2012 2:17 PM GMT
    jphil19 saidSo, anyone been in a similar situation? How long does the pain last? Is it possible to stay friends? Should I move out first or wait for him to move?

    Any insight into what lies in store for me (and him) would be appreciated.

    Not exactly the same, no breakup longer than after about 2 years. As for who moves out, I suppose a lot depends on the housing arrangement you've had. Who owns the place or has the lease? If your legal & financial interests are equal, then I suppose the simplest protocol is that the guy who initiates the breakup (you) is the one who leaves. It would seem unfair for you to kick him out, and worse in order to make room for your new guy. You made the decision, you offer to make the move yourself.

    The pain fades, but I don't know if it ever goes away, for either of you. It might be hardest for him, as the "jilted" guy, and if in his own mind he was still in love with you, even though he failed to express it well. Being blindsided is a real body slam.

    I've remained friends with some ex-BFs, not with others. But of course they weren't 15-year partners, and every person is different. Doing this as amicably & equitably as possible will influence your future relations, but frankly I don't think you can predict it, too many other personal variables at work.
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    Jul 11, 2012 2:25 PM GMT
    Nothing wrong with doing what is best for you and the relationship (in this case a split). I wouldn't feel bad and I would just move on with your life. People break up, these things happen. I have been a very similar situation (meaning super LTR and then it fizzles). I tried to live as "friends," but it was too difficult (esp. if the relationship is one-sided). For you, things may be different, but I don't recommend living with ex's right away.

    Just move out and began a new part of life. You can always remain FB friends who only talk on occasion or just pop in his restaurant if you like. IMO I wouldn't try to keep the bond going because if you two have a good friendship, it will happen naturally. Good luck!


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    Jul 11, 2012 2:51 PM GMT
    I've had to end a relationship like that. I tried everything to enliven the situation, and sought advice. I'm a psych major so I already have some insight into the subject. In the final analysis, some guys are just not compatible sexually. In my case, everything outside the bedroom was fine. Things inside the bedroom were fine too - - - but far too infrequent. When I got the impression the b.f. was not going to change or even try to improve, I had to end it.
  • TroyAthlete

    Posts: 4269

    Jul 11, 2012 8:19 PM GMT
    jphil19 saidHe was shocked and devastated.


    If your version is accurate, it is telling that he did not seem to notice how unhappy you were because this breakup should not have been a shock. It appears that he has never been or tried to be cognizant of your feelings.

    Probably would have served you both well to have had (multiple) conversations about your unhappiness, but what's done is done. Doesn't sound like there was ever much passion; seems right to let it go.

    Feeling bad and having regret is normal. Doesn't mean you two should be together.
  • ATXnative

    Posts: 240

    Jul 11, 2012 8:55 PM GMT
    I left a relationship for similar reasons with a guy I loved.. did it for me, and for him. I knew we needed better. 3 months later, and a ton of pain, and separation.. hard heart lessons. A suicide of our friends ex that kind of wrapped around us situationally even though we didn't know him in life, only in pre-suicide jealously, reminded us what's really important and how important love is.

    We're trying again after identifying thoroughly what we think we did to get in our rut. Feels right, he might be the one. Sexless doesn't define anything about that though, and at our young age, we already recognize at some point our relationship will probably be open.
  • jphil19

    Posts: 3

    Jul 11, 2012 10:37 PM GMT
    Wow, thank you so much for the kind replies.

    We did have amazing sex for the first 18 months or so, but after that it declined quite rapidly. I guess I should say he is Japanese, and we live in Japan, and this problem does seem to be pretty widespread here - sexlessness, lack of communication.

    I briefly had counselling 5 years ago after affairs on both sides (he refused to go, of course), and funnily enough, my counselor said that although she almost never advises couples to split up, in this case she thought it would be the best thing. If only I had listened.

    I relate very strongly to the 80/20 divide. That sums up my relationship nicely.

    And also to the difficulty of being complimented by the guy I've just met. I have gone 15 years with few compliments, and especially none about my physical appearance, so when it happens now it's shocking and kind of just baffling! I have absolutely no idea how to react whatsoever.

    Well he seems a bit calmer this morning, and I become more sure of my decision with every passing day. I hate hurting him, but yes, I think it's about time I put my happiness first.
  • jphil19

    Posts: 3

    Jul 11, 2012 10:49 PM GMT
    Sorry for multiple posts. Just about the financial situation, basically I pay for everything as he doesn't earn a great deal. There's no way he could afford to live here alone. Fortunately we only rent, which makes separating a little easier.

    I'm thinking I will either give him a big lump of money and ask him to leave so that he can be secure for 2 or 3 years without having to turn his entire life upside-down, or move out but continue to pay the rent on this place for a year.

    I agree that the thought of moving the new guy in here is too cruel to contemplate, so I guess I will probably move out myself, if not right now then sooner or later.
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    Jul 11, 2012 11:24 PM GMT
    Thank you for posting this.... gives me a lot to think about...
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    Jul 12, 2012 6:14 AM GMT
    OP "There is still love between us, and I can't bear to see him so hurt and sad. I'm not rethinking my decision, just feeling completely miserable about the whole situation.

    So, anyone been in a similar situation? How long does the pain last? Is it possible to stay friends? Should I move out first or wait for him to move?
    Any insight into what lies in store for me (and him) would be appreciated."..

    Anocxu
    First and foremost..I am sorry you are going through this..It's awful..i have been there..twice..
    Honestly 12 good years out of fifteen is pretty damm good..

    Now..if this guy is in shock per your anouncement..are you shure he truly understood the relationship was in ruins??..Were you too passive at the end??..i mean giving hints..VS. saying .."Listen!..This is not working".."things have to change or else"!!!..are not the same!!
    The reason i'm pointing out these specifics is ..you might just need time apart..or councelling?..Or a good 2 hour talk?
    long term relationships have a way of drifting..and sometimes all you need is a jumpstart..
    (So yeah i'm overly optimistic)..Hugz
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    Jul 12, 2012 6:39 AM GMT
    Ensure rent is paid until the lease is up. Give him ample time to move- do not keep the apartment. Keeping previously joint assets is an emotional weight you don't need. If he is financially dependent on you, give him the tools to readjust to a new lifestyle- do not pay him money and say goodbye(this seems very asian in my opinion, i've never heard of it before). The most insulting thing you can do is tell him he's only worth your money, even if its over.
  • tommyboi

    Posts: 64

    Jul 12, 2012 6:44 AM GMT
    I know where your at. It's like that with me and my bf. We have been together for 3 and a half years and in the last year and a half it has been mostly sexless. We have sex maybe once every 4 months and when we do, its very lackluster and lacking passion. It kills me a little bit every day as I love my bf, but can't stand the lack of sex. I have spoken to him about this before and he tried to change and it worked for about 3 months but then we went back to old patterns.

    Going to talk to him again but am not looking forward to that conversation.