I have been with my boyfriend for over 5 years but three weeks ago he said he doesn’t feel the same way about me anymore. This came after we had an argument which started because I felt he was no longer making an effort in the relationship.
I had annual leave so decided to go away for a week to give us both time. During the week we were in contact mainly via text only. On returning back to our flat he said he felt that he just wasn’t happy anymore and that we have come to a dead end. I got very upset as did he. He said he wanted try and work on it but also says he doesn’t like seeing me upset.
We have been getting along well during the last 2-3 weeks until we both went to his parent’s house for the weekend but then I have been feeling him being distant again. He says that breaking up is a big decision and doesn’t want to just make the decision just like that. I feel like I am in limbo and dislike feeling like I am being made to wait for a decision that he may or may not make in the next day, week or months. I don’t want to break up with him but it doesn’t feel like it is up to me anymore. I also feel under great pressure from my job as I am at risk of redundancy so I really feel lost.
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After five years of being together it is curious that you are feeling alienated from each other. Immediately, I have to ask, what happened?
Intimate relationships always have their ups and downs. Daily pressures of life, such as money, career, in laws, disagreements and sex, all add “fuel to the fire.”
Two of the major problems that afflict most intimate relationships are sex and money and they are of equal importance. After five years sex can become routine unless a couple does something to make it stimulating and exciting as it was in the beginning. This requires that the two people discuss with one another what excites them and what they wish the other would do. The daunting problem then is that the couples discuss sex openly and with mutual sex. Surprisingly, this is difficult for many couples. That difficulty may reflect a lack of trust, fear of being criticized and the dread of being told that you are not good in bed.
How to handle finances and pay bills exert enormous amount of pressure on most, if not all couples. Questions arise such as, who will pay what bills, how will the cost of entertainment be handled, will money be combined and distributed equally or will each keep their salary private? It would seem like these questions are easier for married people to handle but that is not so.
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In both cases, the concept of trust comes in. The issues discussed above depend upon two people feeling comfortable with one another so that all problems and conflicts can be brought into the open while feeling safe with the partner.
In reading your question, what strikes me is that you do not mention the reason why the two of you are growing apart. For instance, you mention nothing about why your lover is feeling different about you and the relationship. What complaints does he have about you and you about him? What are the two of you feeling angry at the other about? The bottom line is that you need to communicate.
Five years is a long time to spend together and, naturally each of you has a lot invested in one another. Neither of you wants to end things but neither of you seems to know how to resolve problems.
In my opinion, going for couples psychotherapy might help you begin to truly communicate and resolve problems. My educated guess is that there is a lot of anger there that is not being expressed for some reason. I am guessing that neither of you knows how to go about breaking up this emotional log jam. Again, couples therapy makes sense.
Best of luck to both of you and your relationship.