My bf and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary this weekend -
I was feeling so ridiculously...
My bf and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary this weekend - I was feeling so ridiculously in love with him. Head over heels. What I feel for him I haven't felt in a really long time. We've been talking about moving in together, even gone and looked at apartments together, and I've just been feeling like everything is coming together so nicely and naturally. We have so many common interests and we share dreams for the future. I'm 30 and have been in some crap relationships and this one just feels so good.
That being said, it's not like there haven't been any bumps in the road. The biggest one came up about 6 weeks ago. I felt like he'd been secretive about a friendship he has with this girl named Helen. From what he'd told me earlier, they text infrequently and aren't very good friends. He also told me they had dated over 10 years ago, and then a few years ago they'd had a casual sexual relationship, but it's totally over and absolutely nothing to worry about. He said she's a "trainwreck" and he has zero interest in her. Something just felt off to me. So one day I asked him if I could see his text messages and he said yes. I opened his messaging app but didn't see any texts from Helen. "Where are the texts from Helen?" I asked. At first, he started giving me some BS about "It's normal for me to delete old texts, I haven't heard from her in a long time, etc". But then he shook his head and decided to tell the truth. They text all the time. They've essentially been texting all day every day since him and I started dating. And I had NO IDEA - like I said, he'd briefly mentioned her before but it sounded like they weren't very close. But now he's telling me they talk all the time, and he actually talks about our relationship with her a lot to get her perspective. He's told her about some of my personal challenges, too which really hurt my feelings. There are certain things I don't share with my own friends, and he's sharing it with this girl who's a stranger to me. I was immediately concerned about the intimacy of their relationship and also the frequency of the texts. He continued to say I had nothing to worry about and he just likes having someone to talk to about more serious problems. He said he only talks to his guy friends about sports and topical stuff, with Helen he can be more open. I told him he should talk to ME about our relationship issues (or anything else he'd like to talk about), or a family member, or a counselor. But he said he appreciates her perspective on things. I told him that I felt it was completely inappropriate and asked if he would consider not texting her anymore. He said he'd think about it and we'd figure something out. The issue was dropped until a couple of weeks later when he said he understood where I was coming from and had decided to stop talking to her altogether. He said he'd been getting tired of their friendship anyway because she was constantly complaining about her bf and hardly ever asked him about his life. This was about 4 weeks ago.
The past 4 weeks have been the best we've ever had together. We talk about our future together all the time. We make dinner together, laugh, plan vacations, talk about moving in. I spent Thanksgiving with him and his family and had a lovely time. I was so grateful he'd decided to stop talking to Helen, and that he'd do something so selfless for me. I was starting to feel guilty about it actually. I was starting to feel like I had overreacted to their relationship and maybe it would be healthy for him to have a good friend, as long as he would stop spilling my secrets to her. On our anniversary we drank a lot and passed out. I woke up with a start at about 7am and decided to see if he'd been texting with Helen. I just wanted to make sure he was being honest with me, and if he was, I was thinking about telling him he could start talking to her again. Well. I didn't find any recent texts from her, but I did find the ones he had sent during the 2 weeks he was "thinking about it" that hurt me a great deal. First, she texted him a pic of her face and he told her it was adorable and cute. Also, he told her that he didn't find me physically attractive :-( He said that our emotional bond, and the companionship we have, is stronger than he'd ever felt before but he didn't feel physically connected to me. He said he wanted to stay with me though because he's running out of time and doubts he'd ever find someone as good of a match for him as I am who he's also attracted to. Freaked out, I woke him up and immediately (but very calmly) told him I had read his texts with Helen. And I asked him "Are you not attracted to me?" And he said "Of course I am!" He explained that he does find me attractive but he just doesn't feel a "spark". He said he doesn't get butterflies in his stomach when he sees me. There's no "craving". He says he thought his feelings for me are growing in that direction but it's just not something he feels right now. He said he'd sent those texts to Helen because he was "blowing off steam" after our previous argument and he didn't intend to be so mean. We were both hungover and tired so we went back to sleep then woke up and spent most of the day (yesterday) watching football. But it was on my mind the whole time. Eventually in the evening I just started bawling my eyes out and I told him I was scared that if he didn't feel a "spark" for me that this isn't the right relationship for him. I said "What happens in 5 years from now when you meet someone you have that feeling for?" He said he loves me and is dedicated to me. He said he isn't going anywhere. He admitted that he struggles with that feeling a lot, though, and wonders why he doesn't feel it for me when everything else between us is so great. But he said that our relationship seems to get better and better, and as time goes on he feels stronger and stronger about me. So he has hope that eventually he's going to feel the way he expects to feel about the person he loves. We spent the rest of the evening together amicably.
But I have no idea what to do or how to feel. Part of me feels like I should just break up with him now. He lied to me about his relationship with Helen for the majority of our relationship. Who knows what he told her before he deleted the texts. What I did find was really hurtful. And it turns out that he doesn't even feel a "spark" or whatever for me. I'm not even sure I understand exactly what feeling is missing for him. I'm not 100% convinced that he's even attracted to me. He acts like he is, and we have sex like he is, but then why would he tell Helen that he isn't? Do you think he really was just exaggerating to her? I feel like crap about myself right now. I don't want to be in a relationship that makes me feel like crap about myself. I have had enough of those.
The other part of me feels like, things between him and I really do keep getting better and better. He doesn't know a whole lot about relationships and I guess he's learning from me. The friendship he had with Helen is completely inappropriate, but it's over now. And maybe that's one reason why things have been so good between us recently. All day yesterday he was very patient and sweet to me, he gave constant reassurance that he loves me very much and is invested in our relationship. I have not ever had a partner who worked so hard to be so warm and understanding. I also appreciate that he was open to talking to me about this difficult, uncomfortable topic without getting defensive. I don't want to lose what we have. I don't want to lose the dreams we have for the future. But if I stay, I guess I don't know what steps to take to get past this. My stomach is all torn up about it, I feel overwhelmingly insecure about myself right now. What would you do?