How to find out if it a long time relationship is going well

  • SwissGuy11

    Posts: 3

    Nov 25, 2013 1:37 PM GMT
    Hi guys! I've been lurking these forums for a while, and finally decided to sign up with my own account and tell you my story. Sorry in advance for the long post icon_smile.gif

    So here I am, 37 years old, currently in a long term relationship lasting 11 years, been living together for 9. My partner is 34.

    We've had our ups and downs. About 5 years into our relationship, we mutually agreed to start being an "open couple" (not in the strict sense: we wanted to see other people to have threesomes, just for fun and to spice up things a bit). He was the one requesting it, while I was initially reluctant, but in the end we have both been enjoying it, so no problem there.

    With the years, I've started noticing that I was more looking forward to the threesomes than to sex alone with my partner. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that this feeling was probably "not right", but I chugged along. At the same time, my partner was worried from time to time, because he noticed that I was much more involved when a third person was there, compared to when it was just the 2 of us.

    Fast forward 5 years (to about 3 months ago), I suggested to change our status to a real "open couple", where everyone of the 2 was allowed to have sex with others, because I needed "more spice" (this time I was the one suggesting it, while he was more reluctant). We've both had our experiences, but my partner is being extremely jealous and I can tell that he doesn't really like this. Also, the fact that we decided not to tell each other what we're doing probably doesn't help (fear of the unknown and all).

    And this is where the problem starts: while hunting around for casual dates, I met a guy who is now my fuck buddy, or more of a friend with benefits. With him I'm experiencing the sensations you usually get when you have a new crush - kind of the "honeymoon phase" of a new relationship. The adrenaline rush, the "can't wait to see you again" thing, the feeling that he's perfect - you all know it, I'm sure.

    Now, every sensible person would say "get out, you're ruining your relationship". Well, not so fast. I have started thinking that I actually like these feelings (who doesn't?). At the same time I've also started questioning whether my relationship is what I want, or rather not. Of course this "honeymoon phase" feeling is normal when you have a crush, and it will fade eventually - the part I don't like is that I'm not getting these feelings from my partner. This leads me to thoughts like "why should I settle for not having these feelings, when I could be out there and experience them all the time? Why settle for something good enough, when I can have an adrenaline high all the time by looking for new crushes?".

    On one hand I did find what I wanted - the fuck buddy who is giving me the crush I was craving for. OTOH, what sense does it make to maintain a long term relationship, if the thing I'm looking forward to most is seeing my friend with benefits?

    So I put together a list of pros and cons of staying in the relationship with my partner:

    Pros
    - We give each other companionship. We do almost everything together, we have friend groups in common, we enjoy going on vacation together, we explore new places
    - We give each other support, we talk a lot, we listen to each other, we care about each other
    - We have common interests
    - We hug, we cuddle, we kiss
    - We give each other financial support (we have 2 nice salaries that we combine together so we can afford what we like)

    Cons
    - The sex drive has gone down. We have sex about 1-2 times a week, and then it's only a quickie. He seems more involved than I am, but sometimes it seems more like "we do it because we are supposed to". I could honestly thing about not having sex with him for weeks, I wouldn't really "miss it". It's not bad, it's just OK
    - We do a lot of bickering and have little fights over ridiculous issues. Sometimes he even starts fights in public, which I hate and is embarrassing (but it has gotten better with time)
    - We both spend a lot of time on gay dating sites looking for someone to have a threesome with (or to look for a fuck buddy for when we have our "alone time")
    - He's very jealous and tends to be controlling (when I don't answer a text within 15 minutes he starts making jokes like "so who were you with? is he hot?")
    - He often brings up arguments about his insecurity in the relationship, saying that he's afraid I might leave him and that I don't want him anymore (yes he's very sensitive so he might have guessed something is not right). This brings a great deal of stress into everything

    What bothers me is that if I take the hugging, cuddling and kissing out of the "Pros" list, it boils down to being best friends and roommates. The "butterfly in the stomach" feeling is long gone. It appears that we love each other, but that we're not "in love" anymore - but it's hard to say. Maybe it's just how relationships are supposed to be, once the "honeymoon phase" is over. But I also think that I may be sticking to the relationship because I'm afraid of being alone.

    So here's my question to you guys: has anyone in long term relationships experienced anything similar? Do you think this is "normal", or are we only staying together because we like each other's company, but are not really a couple anymore?

    I really don't want to settle for something "good enough" or "just OK", but maybe the compromise we have (with the open relationship and all) is really the best one can get. I don't know if a different guy would give me different sensations 11 years in a relationships, because this is my longest (and only) one. And who knows if I'd be able to find anyone else who wants to be with me in the long term, as I'm not really 20 anymore, and not your average hottie either icon_smile.gif

    Yes, I know, one is supposed to talk these things out, instead of posting them to a forum. Believe me, we talk a lot, although probably not so bluntly (he would be devastated if he ever read this). So I thought I'd get some insight and opinions first, as many of you guys surely have more experience than I do.

    Thanks icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 25, 2013 3:52 PM GMT


    "The "butterfly in the stomach" feeling is long gone. It appears that we love each other, but that we're not "in love" anymore - but it's hard to say. Maybe it's just how relationships are supposed to be, once the "honeymoon phase" is over."

    No, it isn't. What you're describing in your post is often what happens when people forget what it was they first saw/smelt/felt/heard/tasted etc in each other, COMBINED. I'm talking visceral memory here, reliving it when you remember it, not like remembering a movie you saw once. *eye twinkle*

  • JustDoYou

    Posts: 4

    Nov 25, 2013 4:45 PM GMT
    Whoa! What a read Swiss! icon_lol.gif One of the things that stood out to me the most while reading your post was your ability to create a list of balances that you experience from this relationship. I couldn't help but notice each category had 5 reasonings, but you were far more elaborate over one than the other; even your reasons had reasons (if that make any sense). I believe anytime you can venture out after stating facts, it's something that appeals to the heart. Not to say you have an interest, but it affects you deeper. It is well within my belief that your partner whole-heartedly regrets requesting this one way of spicing up a love life.

    Being 5 years deep in a relationship is a rather long time especially in the gay community; it's almost unheard of these days. So he may have thought that regardless of how many threesomes or "fun" you all have, your love for him, your outlook on the relationship, the way you feel toward him will never budge. It's quite interesting how things we'll never consider trying become such a pivotal part of our lives once experienced. I hope I'm safe to say that the majority of the ones you all have played with are considerably younger or would be deemed AS your "average hottie".

    You were 26 and he was 24 when you all decided to date each other so there is something you are trying to revisit/relive. Time is created to only go forward, not backward so we aren't living the life of Benjamin Button here. I think it would be a good idea to really get to the root of why you feel this way and in many ways it will come out through communication. Try the blunt approach while communicating on this matter because sometimes sugarcoating leaves a rancid taste. The same energy you all put into being an open couple, use this moment to be completely open with one another. It is very possible to get those butterflies back! icon_wink.gif
  • SwissGuy11

    Posts: 3

    Nov 25, 2013 8:14 PM GMT
    Thank you everyone who took the time to read my huge post icon_smile.gif

    JustDoYou saidIt's quite interesting how things we'll never consider trying become such a pivotal part of our lives once experienced.


    That's so true, and I've realized that in the past few years.

    JustDoYou saidI hope I'm safe to say that the majority of the ones you all have played with are considerably younger or would be deemed AS your "average hottie".


    Yes, that assumption is absolutely correct icon_lol.gif

    JustDoYou saidI think it would be a good idea to really get to the root of why you feel this way and in many ways it will come out through communication. Try the blunt approach while communicating on this matter because sometimes sugarcoating leaves a rancid taste. The same energy you all put into being an open couple, use this moment to be completely open with one another. It is very possible to get those butterflies back! icon_wink.gif


    Thank you, that's some nice advice. I'll definitely consider this.

    meninlove saidWhat you're describing in your post is often what happens when people forget what it was they first saw/smelt/felt/heard/tasted etc in each other, COMBINED. I'm talking visceral memory here, reliving it when you remember it


    Any suggestions on how to get those memories back? icon_rolleyes.gif

    woodsmen saidYou cannot expect the initial chemistry to have the same powerful effects. I think it boils down to whether you both feel the love which is differentiated from the initial chemistry.


    That's exactly what I'm trying to figure out: whether we both "feel the love". I know it's different from the initial chemistry, but how do I know if it's "the right thing" I'm feeling right now? The contrast between my feelings with my partner, and the rush my friends with benefit gives me, is huge. My rational mind says "of course it's different, you fool" - but these things are often not rational. So I guess I'll have some more pondering to do icon_wink.gif
  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Nov 25, 2013 8:28 PM GMT
    To Chime in, I understand where you are Swiss. 11 years, almost 12 and the work to be in the relationship is more than the reward.
    You seem to have a good thing going, the stability is nice. And as nice as the Honeymoon phase is, you never know if it will go better or the same as your current situation.
    Ask-Could you live without him?
    And, as hard as it might be, talk to him too. See where his mind is. Maybe take a break from being open and just be a couple again.

    Good Luck
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 26, 2013 4:13 PM GMT
    lol @ the eye roll, OP. You did ask for opinions and insights, not solutions.

    But that's a good question. To do that will be an emotional ride for both of you, because it entails sitting together for serious periods of time reliving everything together from when you first met. This is emotional interactive remembering and not intellectual recalling. Interestingly, the more the two of you want this and desire those feelings the better the odds you'll succeed.

    Cheers!
  • SwissGuy11

    Posts: 3

    Nov 28, 2013 3:49 PM GMT
    meninlove said lol @ the eye roll, OP. You did ask for opinions and insights, not solutions.


    My apologies, it wasn't meant as an eye roll. It was more of an "innocent look of someone hopelessly looking for a response", lol.

    But you guys gave me plenty of insight, thank you so much!

    Latenight30 saidAsk-Could you live without him?
    And, as hard as it might be, talk to him too. See where his mind is.


    That's a really good question. It's what I've been trying to ponder for the past couple of months or so - imagining what I do everyday, without having him around. That's not something easy to imagine and even harder to answer that question.

    Latenight30 saidMaybe take a break from being open and just be a couple again.


    I'm afraid this would be a disaster. I can definitely tell I'm not the only one who craves for fun outside of the couple, and I wouldn't want to put neither myself nor him in the position of having to decide "either it's only the 2 of us, or nothing". So I'll leave this out for now.

    But I'll definitely pick a moment when we're alone to talk all of this through with him.