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Hello to all. I have been lurking about for months and finally decided to register and ask s few questions. I have been divorced for about 5 years. A few years ago I met a wonderful woman. She was fun, affectionate, intelligent and great to be around.

A year ago we got engaged.

Within two months of getting engaged things started to change. First, she lost interest in sex. As time went by she also lost interest in kissing and 'making out'. Now, I feel lucky if she sits close to me on the couch when we watch TV.
She still claims she loves me and does not want to break the engagement.

She has had some rough spots since the engagement with work and family and I am sure that has got her down.

About three months ago, I decided that I would make an extra effort to be attentive, affectionate, etc. I was concerned that maybe she was responding to something negative in me. It has not worked. She claims she loves me, but does not have the old feelings.

Frankly, I feel like I am going out with my cousin.


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Erwin,

If you believe it's a stage she's going through because of the situation, then I'd stay engage to her, but I would not marry her until the condition has changed. Do you a date set yet?

It is quite possible that she enjoyed pursuing you, but started losing interest once she caught you. If that's the case, then you can't marry her, because there's no reason to think she would suddenly gain interest.

It sounds like you've talked to her about this. If there's something you're doing, then she needs to tell you. I wouldn't threaten her with this, but she needs to know that you don't intend to marry her if she's lost the old feelings. Both of you will be unhappy in the marriage.


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I have to agree. Has she identified why she's changed towards you? You were together a significant period of time before being engaged so it sounds as if the relationship itself had a good core...so either outside things have affected her or she views marriage itself as something that changes relationships. Either way, you need to know so you can know how to deal with it. You do not want to doom either of you to an unhappy marriage.
Perhaps you could take a step back in the relationship and see if that improves things?

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She has admitted that after being single for so very long (almost 20 years) she does fear losing her independence. Yet, she also claims that she is tired of being single.

No date has been set. Initally, she wanted to get married within the year. Now, she does not bring up a date.

Recently, when we were apart for several weeks due to her business obligations, her messages got more friendly and affectionate. After one evening together, it was back to feeling like I was with my cousin.

I am confused.

Last edited by Erwin_flagstone; 03/22/10 09:29 PM.
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Originally Posted by Erwin_flagstone
I am confused.

You're not confused.
You're in denial that she is not the right woman for you.

What you see now, is what your marriage will be like .... if you go through with it despite the redflag redflag redflag RED FLAGS.



Last edited by Pepperband; 03/23/10 12:46 PM.
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How much time do you spend together? Dating on occasion over a five year period is different than spending a lot of time at each other's homes over five years. Have you taken care of each other when sick? Spent holidays together? Do either of you have an idea of how it would be to actually be together, living in the same household? Perhaps it is the unknown that scares her...perhaps she loves you but isn't sure how you'll fit together in practical application of everyday life. Have the two of you talked about expectations? It could help just sitting down and discussing what a day in the life of looks like to each of you. Perhaps she'd be more comfortable if she knew you could each have your own checking accounts and contribute to a joint account to be used for paying joint bills. Perhaps she'd be more comfortable knowing you'd have meals together on weekends but each be responsible for your own during the weekdays...or whatever solutions the two of you can come up with. She may be afraid of what she sees as potential changes. It is a big deal, changing one's life drastically after 20 years of being on your own. Perhaps she's focusing on what those changes mean to her rather than the positive changes that also come with marriage. It sounds like she likes things as they are and isn't sure about upsetting the apple cart.


Enacting life's lessons into positive change... .
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Originally Posted by Erwin_flagstone
She has admitted that after being single for so very long (almost 20 years) she does fear losing her independence. Yet, she also claims that she is tired of being single.

So what does she think will change once your married? Really, she shouldn't have that much independence now if you're in the engaged state. maybe you've talked about details, but if not, you should. But maybe she just isn't the right girl.


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Originally Posted by Erwin_flagstone
. She claims she loves me, but does not have the old feelings.

Frankly, I feel like I am going out with my cousin.

Erwin, I would get down on my knees and thank God you found this out BEFORE you legalized this union. If you are this unhappy NOW and you get married, it will get worse. But if you get married, it won't be so easy to get out.

Please don't commit yourself to a relationship that you KNOW will make you unhappy. Cut your losses and move onto a more suitable partner.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Hi, E.

Since you've been lurking, I assume you've read the basic concepts adn that you've ruled out the possibility that you have committed enough Love Busters or failed to meet her emotional needs to the point that your fiance isn't romantically attracted to you. You're own behavior is always a good place to look first, mostly because you can control your behavior.

The second possibility is that you have a basic incompatibilty when it comes to sex.

Regardless, I recommend reading Will Our Love Last? which is about compatibility and includes some easy exercises to help you get a sense of how compatible you are with your proposed mate.

Good luck.


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Erwin,

This reminds me of a couple of relationships friends of mine have had.

A big mistake the person in your position can make at this stage is appearing too needy and also thinking the answer to your problem is giving her more affection. When she first starts pulling away, and you start thinking you need to give her more affection, you may have been unintentionally pushing her further away instead. Because to her this seems more like you don't have enough respect for yourself to set boundaries for what you will put up with in a relationship. Then eventually she will start losing respect for you because attraction and respect go hand and hand, you can not have attraction without respect. The more she pulls away, I am guessing the more you try to hold on tightly and then the more you look needy to her because you continually try to please her instead of setting your boundaries and limitations for what you will put up with.

So what do you do from here? You get activities outside your relationship, go out with your friends more, keep yourself busy, don't hang on her every word and every small affection she gives you. Set your boundaries and make yourself strong and let her know that if you lose her, you will be just fine. And you will!


Hope this helps you a little and makes sense to you. :-)

A

Last edited by Anna2000; 03/25/10 06:34 PM.

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
~~Socrates

The secret to happiness is wanting what you already have. ~anonymous
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In the past few weeks, I have drawn away a bit. Not unfriendly or hostile, just a bit busier than usual. i am not sure what is going to happen, but I do know that I will not be marrying her anytime soon. I am hoping that she can work through some of the family and work issues and get back to 'normal'. I do not want to give up yet, after all, we all can be subject to issues that effect our emotional health. Yet, I must see some progress is dealing with them. Musn't I??

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Erwin, I think it's also best if you find a way to make sure she understands the cause of your actions. I don't mean in a way that comes off as a punishment or tit for tat sort of things, but that you have a genuine concern and you want to protect yourself from getting hurt. If she does not clearly understand the cause for your actions, she doesn't have much chance to react to them honestly.

Don't say something like "I'm withdrawl because you did....". Say "I'm withdrawl becaause I'm concerned that this is the kind of interaction we'll have in the relationship going forward, and this is not what I want." Don't blame her, just state your feelings.


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I don't think it'd be uncalled for to be very forthright in this situation...state what you've observed, how that makes you feel, what your concerns are, and how it will likely affect you in terms of your own behavior. That way she can see how she's affecting you, if she hasn't seen that already, and she has an opportunity to bring out in the open what is on her mind and open up possibilities for resolution. You are wise not to go ahead with marriage plans until you can resolve this.

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E, people are subject to stress, sadenss, etc. Depending on the magnatude, you need to give it time. YET, it is important that you evauluate how long it takes her to get back to normal and who much she allows the stress to harm the relationship.

The death of a child, a job loss, serious illness, all these and more can rip a marriage apart, or if you feed and nurture the relationship during the bad times, the relationship can become stronger and stronger.

These days, I wouldn't marry someone who hadn't demonstrated an ability to nurture the relationship during stressful times.


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Originally Posted by Greengables
These days, I wouldn't marry someone who hadn't demonstrated an ability to nurture the relationship during stressful times.

Well said GG! I want a man who turns to me, not away from me in stressful times.


The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
~~Socrates

The secret to happiness is wanting what you already have. ~anonymous
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Thanks for the advice. I have talked with her, as suggested, saying that I am concerned about the lack romantic interaction and the long term effects on our relationship. She admits she is not the same woman she was when we met and she says she wants to get the feelings back.
Remember that old Barry Manilow song "Trying to Get That Feeling"?

tryin' to get the feeling again
The one that made me shiver
made my knees start to quiver
every time she walked in


I will be patient.


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REALLY make absolutely sure about this.

You sound in EXACTLY the same place that I was in 7 years ago. I had warning signs all over the place, but could only think about the girl I "REMEMBERED" NOT the one who I was seeing at the time. I kept thinking, if I wait long enough, If I love big enough, If I am consistent enough, if I change, if if if...

The fact was... that the person I was seeing was who I ended up marrying, NOT the person to whom I fell in love. Don't sensationalize the enmeshment phase of your relationship to the point that it overshadows what you are seeing now. Sure, there are rough times in any relationship, with ups and downs to be had and expected. HOWEVER, YOU are seeing exactly what I IGNORED.

I LOVE my wife, and would continue loving her forever, however, the actions, neglect, and disregard for my children and my needs were there BEFORE my marriage... just before to be sure, but BEFORE. I would not see them, because I kept seeing who I wanted to see. I kept seeing the lovely, warm, generous woman who went to the Pumpkin patch with my children and me and hugged and played with them. NOT the woman who wouldn't even say 'Goodnight' to them. Everything changed when I asked her to marry me. It was almost like "The work is over... now I can cruise." Or perhaps more toward the truth of my marriage, when she had something to lose... she couldn't handle the stress of keeping it, and therefore she sabotaged it because she was expecting it to fail. It breaks my heart... but sometimes I wonder if that was the case. That she couldn't believe she had something and someone WORTH having... and just couldn't handle the pressure.

It WON'T get better. Ignore the past and look at who you have with you RIGHT NOW. GIVE THAT PERSON a MONTH and still look at her. Is THAT the person you want to be married to, NOT the person you remember, but the person she is? THAT is the only thing you have to work with. If she will jump into working with you with both feet, ie HNHN then see how that goes. IF she is hesitant then I would pull the plug quickly.

It WILL NOT GET BETTER!!! SF WILL DECREASE EVEN FURTHER!!!

Personally, if my marriage ends in final divorce (she filed). Then I would not go out with anyone who was even remotely hesitant about working HNHN with me even in the best of times. IT is that important to me. Seems simple enough, but apparently it is far beyon what some are willing to do for a great marriage. THOSE are the ones I want to weed out.

Last edited by Cantfigureitout; 04/11/10 09:51 AM.
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Hi folks. Well, this situation gets sillier and sillier. After the latest incedent, I have actually found myself being rather emotionally neutral.

Earlier this week we met for after after work. I noticed that she was even cooler than usual, rather abrupt in her comments and critical of little things. Finally, I asked what was the problem. She seemed to think I was cheating on her. Why? Her reasoning was that because I am a healthy, normal male, and there is no sex with her, and, since I am not fussing or complaining about that, I MUST be getting it from somebody else! We talked more and she finally admitted she had put me in a no-win position, and she apologized.

I was so upset that the next day, I met my cousin for coffee and told her what is going on. So far, I have kept this private except for this anonymous forum. This was a big step for me as I normally do not talk about the close details of my relationships. She thinks I should advise my g/f to get counseling and give her three months to show some improvement. After all, she has to deal with this problem or it could go on forever. She also thinks that it is possible my g/f has lost interest in me, but fears the unknown world of being alone again.

As, I said in the beginning, her family and job problems are an issue and I think supporting one's partner/friend is important. But, How far does that support have to go? In any event, there will be no marriage until this is cleared up.

On the plus side, I am spending more time with a few good friends, and have decided to plant a garden this spring. I am remembering how much fun gardening can be.

Last edited by Erwin_flagstone; 04/21/10 04:18 AM.
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People have suggested that I may have contributed to this through my own Love Busters. I fully admit that I have made some mistakes and my behavior was not always great. But, I don't think I made a habit of Love Busting, nor did I do something dreadful. When I make a mistake, I apologize and do my best not to repeat it.

I thought I was meeting her needs. Maybe the family and work issues have changed them. I don't know.

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EE, I think the answer is staring you in the face. You just don't want to admit it.



Divorced.
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Remarried 10/11/08
Widowed 11/5/08
Remarrying 12/17/15
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