Dr. Caroline West addresses another reader’s question.
Q: My girlfriend and I broke up last year after a 4 and a half year relationship. My ex and I are still in daily contact almost nine months after the breakup; we support each other emotionally with our daily chores and we still have a great friendship and emotional connection.
The main reason for the breakup was the children; She wanted them and I was on the fence. We lived together for a short time and after I moved in, things changed quickly.
Within a few months, we slept in separate rooms, because she said she couldn’t get a good night’s sleep beside me. There was a significant drop in her overall appearance.
Sex is as good as stopping, as well as any enthusiasm or interaction during sex. She said it was because she gained weight, but she refused to do anything beneficial to her weight.
I suspect some of the above is because I don’t want to start a family, but I’m not content with sex being used as a bargaining chip in a relationship. Sex will only happen if we “try” and this feels very transactional and lacks real desire.
I’m starting to doubt if my ex has any sexual desires for me and see me as a servant, almost like I’m the wrong person, but what would I do to start a family?
I found it all very frustrating. My mind and decision making is like a pendulum that goes from one extreme to another. Is it having children, lack of sex? Maybe if I’m honest, I don’t like her enough, but I trust her and know she will turn her back on me in the future.
Dr. West replied: This sounds like every possible component for a failed relationship. Your sex life is unsatisfactory, lack of emotional connection behind sex, your lifestyle is different, your desire to have children is different, you admit that you may not be attracted to her, and you are walking on eggshells.
Living in limbo doesn’t help, and you can’t get out of the relationship just yet. That breakup can be important to think about in the relationship and see if the two of you can get along as friends, but the back and forth you’re both doing isn’t helping either of you.
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It seems like both of you are in denial about the future of the relationship, which leads to living in hope that something will change, because it’s hard to make the ultimate decision to let go. This will become more difficult if there is still affection and interest in each other, but this is not a sustainable situation.
The longer you stay in this situation, the greater the risk of resentment, as neither of you will be in a relationship where you are both thriving together and separately.
Your comment about sex being used as a bargaining chip makes me suspect that this resentment has crept in. It’s great that you have a good friendship with her, but intimate relationships are more than just friendship.
It doesn’t have to be negative feelings or experiences for a relationship to end or a major event. Love can change as much as people can. You write about knowing that she will “support you” in the future – but is she doing it just as friends? Is there a fear that it’s easier to work through this relationship than to start being single and dating again?
Children are a big deal and a legitimate adversary. If you really don’t want to have children, you need to own this and be clear that this is your stand. You are not suitable for this woman if you want other lifestyles, with or without children.
I hate the phrase “Band-Aid baby,” because children can’t salvage failing relationships, and the growing financial, emotional, and physical stress on children makes everything worse. becomes very difficult. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on the shoulders of a child who does not want to be born into such circumstances.
Our partners often take things too seriously, and that can affect our confidence, our sense of sex appeal, and our enthusiasm for sex. If she has trouble sleeping in the same bed, that will affect her health as well, as lack of sleep can greatly affect our ability to cope with stress and our energy levels.
You say that if you’re being honest, you’re not as attracted to her as you used to be, but you’re hesitant about this. Think about why you’re hesitant: why there’s such a struggle to accept her body change, and what this means for the way you see your partner. yourself in relationships?
I suggest you guys take a strict break from each other for at least six months. You can’t get over the relationship or see it objectively while still in daily contact and basically still together.
Space will give you time to reflect on your true feelings about your children or your future with this person. You may find that you want children, but this person doesn’t, or you may decide that you don’t want children at all. I wouldn’t recommend dating during this time, as that will distract you from handling the relationship.
If you find that after a few months you want to get back together, you can talk about what has changed for both of you and what your shared future looks like.
The reality of your relationship now holds many lessons for the future. By allowing each other some distance in the relationship, you can avoid the spiral that slowly leads to resentment, or having children in a relationship you don’t want, or even having children. that you don’t want.
She can find someone who wants the same things as her, as this seems to be a more pressing matter for her. The swinging pendulum must stop so that you can stay on stable ground again.
Dr. West is a sex educator and host of the Glow West podcast, which focuses on sex. Send your question to email@example.com. Dr. West regrets that she cannot answer questions privately.
https://www.independent.ie/style/sex-relationships/asking-for-a-friend-should-i-get-back-with-my-ex-even-though-i-dont-fancy-her-41429094.html Ask a friend: ‘Should I get back with my ex even if I don’t like her?’