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I am in a relationship with a woman who is 10 years older than…

I am in a relationship...
I am in a relationship with a woman who is 10 years older than me. I'm 31, she's 41. It is extremely obvious that my feelings for her are much stronger than hers for me. She says is happy with me. I have no kids of my own. She has 2 kids, one is an adult but we still have 2 young ones, because we have guardianship over her granddaughter who is 2 years old. The other daughter she has is 6 years old. Neither of the kids have their real father but I love them like they are my own. The problem is that I am very passionate about her, but the importance of our relationship to her is that we get along well and that I love her family. I do much more than the common man would do in my situation and she appreciates it. But she is not affectionate at all. And the sex is boring. I get so into it, and I would go as far as saying that she almost laughs at me. She "gets" hers quickly than wants me to get it over with quickly after. It’s never exciting or passionate. She has shared with me that past relationships were very steamy and she was passionately in love, but she was cheated on multiple times. What I get out of it is that she is satisfied being with someone and not being as in love as she has been in the past. For me, its devastating. I want to be loved like she has loved before. I want to have sex like she has had before. We have a great relationship otherwise. We have fun together, we get along well and rarely fight. We are not married yet, we are engaged. We had a date set, but postponed it for this problem. We are uncertain about our future because she says she can’t keep falling short with me. In other words, she wants me to be ok with how she is. She gets upset when I want to talk about this issue. I know she is damaged, but I can’t help but feel like I'm missing some qualities that would make her more passionate about me. She tells me that it’s not about her anymore. She is a grandma, and she only loved the way she did because she was younger back then. I have a hard time accepting it. I don't want to lose her, but I don't know if I can just settle for this. To give a little more background, she is very attractive. Model attractive. Her past men that she was madly in love with were also very attractive. I'm not the studly kind of guy. I'm the "nice guy" that usually finished last. I mean I have had girlfriends and flings, but not as much as other guys I know. She did admit to me that her past marriage (which took place after leaving the guy that cheated on her) was stale, and that she only married the guy because she wanted to live properly. Plus at the time he made over $100k per year. She is a strong catholic and wanted to live a proper life by God (no more pre-marital sex, and to have a stable home for then one child). She even admitted that when she was married, she frequently thought of her ex-boyfriend who she was with for seven years (but cheated on her). Needless to say, that marriage didn’t work. That guy was the father of the 6-year old, and recently died from an overdose. She says he got hooked on prescription drugs and that ruined the marriage. I can’t help but think the poor guy turned to drugs because of the same thing that makes me depressed. She divorced him about 2 years before we met. She has told me though she is long over her ex-boyfriend she used to think about and that she doesn't think about him at all anymore. She and I met at work. We work for the same credit union. At the time she was living a "confused" life, going out to bars, having different flings here and there. She had basically given up on finding a solid relationship. Me, I was in the party mode. I am a musician and I enjoyed going out a lot. We became friends, going out and having drinks, talking about relationships that didn’t work out. In the beginning when we first hooked up, it was VERY steamy. We would meet up on weekends secretly as to avoid conflicts at work. After about 5 months we got serious and moved in together, and our boss placed us at separate branches of the credit union. The passion slowly fizzled out with her, while I still remained very attracted to her and passionate about her. Last night I was feeling neglected as I often do, and I asked her how she feels about me. She didn’t like that I brought it up again. She said she loves me, and that what I do for her and her family is important and she doesn’t want to lose me. During the arguing, she admitted that she loves me about half of how I love her (something she later took back, and said that she's just not as affectionate as I am). In the end she said if we can't "meet halfway", she is going to leave me. I don't know what to do. I am very in love with her. Should I just accept what I can get from her? Am I stuck in the “honeymoon stage” and can’t accept that it doesn’t last forever? She is very faithful and loyal to me. Please help!
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
12/2/2013
Rafael-E-Therapist
Rafael-E-Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3,303
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Verified

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this sad and frustrating situation you have been facing in your relationship.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Could you please tell me for how long have you been living together?

Customer:

yes, we moved in together in August of 2011

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Based on your story, i do agree with you that it seems you do truly enjoy each other company but there is no real reciprocity at the level and intensity of romance, passion and excitement each of you experience. For this person to have accepted you into her life seems to be a very positive step forward, showing how much she trust you after going through previous unhappy and painful relationships. On the other hand, as you said, it seems extremely obvious in your words that you feel very different about each other, but I think that this is something that is very sad and frustrating but not something she has intentionally done to hurt or neglect you, but just happens to be the way she feels about you. She cares and loves you as much as she feels it, which seems real and healthy but obviously far from enough for you to feel fulfilled and for both of you to build a mutually fulfilling marriage-life together.

Customer:

So are you saying the smart thing for me to do would be to move on?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thanks. You have then been together for a little more than 2 years already and from experience know how your relationship has been working... What I am saying is that based on your story, I think that unless at least one of you happens to be able and willing to work on yourself and the relationship, making significant changes in the way you feel, think and approach it, the relationship would remain the same or would deteriorate with time.

Customer:

Part of me feels like I need a professional to tell me that I need to stop being so needy and to just be happy that I have someone who is beautiful and loyal to me. But at the same time, if I flash forward ten years, I don't want to regret not going after the kind of relationship I really want while I was in my prime. In your experience, is it possible for someone (in her case) to get stronger feelings this far into the relationship? Or would it be chasing rainbows to think that way? By the way, thank you for responding.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If she feels comfortable and fulfilled the way she is, and the way things are between you, and does not see herself feeling and doing things in your marital life in significant different ways, then it does not seem you would feel any better, unless you happen to change and come to terms with the fact that that's the way she is and feels, and that it is good enough for you in the present and in the long run. But based on your words, it seems unrealistic to believe that would happen, or you feel you could adjust yourself that much and feel happy and fulfilled in this relationship?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do not think you are needy at all, but have reasonable and healthy needs and expectations from your partner, but the core issue is that your partner dopes not share the same level and intensity of affection and passion you have for her, and that is nobody's fault here, it is just the way it is, Romantic love and passion do have a core ingredient that is spontaneous, it cannot be manufactured no matter how much and willing people could be about it. Some people in her shoes could even strongly push themselves to feel more, but time shows them that it just does not work tat way. You know what I mean?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thank you for being this open and honest here.

Customer:

I do know what you mean. it makes perfect sense... Just really depressed about the ugly truth here

Customer:

I'm not sure if I can come to terms with it. Have you seen this type of situation before? If so, has it worked out? and what was the solution?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do think that what you have, this special connection, because of the mutual values, what you admire and value in each other, your life and family together are precious blessing, but at the same time i can see that while she is and could be totally fine in the present with it, you do not feel that way at all; and one of my main concerns is what would happen in the future when either or both of you meet a person who really complements you the way you long for at those other core levels.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

i can tell you that nobody can know for sure what will happen but time, and you experiencing each situation you choose to afford, and what takes the difference is your intention, level of accountability, commitment, honesty, truthfulness and assertiveness to learn and change with what you discover and feel in the process. In this way you would not self-sabotage nor hurt each other.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Individual psychotherapy and in a more superficial level, counseling, could really help a person in your shoes to work on this tough dilemma. Then from there you would have a clearer mind and heart about what you truly want to afford, and both talk about it. Ideally couples therapy would facilitate this dialogue to be more productive, objective and healing, in order for you to support each other whether you choose to stay together for longer or not.

Customer:

Thank you for making things a little clearer... Unfortunately I'm still completely list

Customer:

lost

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

My suggestion is for you to look for individual psychotherapy and then to invite her to join you in couples therapy to discuss about your relationship, assessing your core needs and expectations, if you could meet them as a healthy couple, what you are willing to afford or not, and work on taking consistent action from there.

Customer:

ok.. thank you very much for your help

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This is a tough situation and that's why I believe it is absolutely necessary and worthy to work on yourselves with the best support you could get, that way you would know that you did your best to make it work. It would be totally different than you pushing her to become more passionate and romantic and her pushing you away, because of not feeling this intensely connected an in love with you.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions and to follow up, since I am here willing to support you as possible. Thank you for your trust. Take gentle care and consistent action.

Rafael-E-Therapist
Rafael-E-Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3,303
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Verified
Rafael-E-Therapist and 87 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
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