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Dear Wendy

Has the spark died?

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  • This topic has 8 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 week, 2 days ago by avatarСтремись не к тому, чтобы добиться успеха, а к тому, чтобы твоя жизнь имела смысл. https://helloworld.com?h=e87ca7852e6ce74384aec5cd37e95c17&.
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  • #963737 Reply
    avatarlynndynn
    Participant

    Me and my partner have been together for 3 years this week. We have a wonderful life, live together and share three pets. On the surface, everything should be great. But the excitement and the passion seem to be gone…. we don’t kiss or touch much anymore and recently, despite how much I love and cherish this person, I am constantly annoyed with little things like having to hear about his day or work. We don’t argue much but when we do it’s on big topics like future goals and where we see our life’s going and how they don’t fit well in the bigger, long term picture. But even when this happens we are also communicative and kind to one another. I love him very much and he is genuinely one of the most honest and attentive people I have ever met…. but I’m just feeling totally shut down. HELP! Is it over? Is this just a phase? And if it is over, how do you got about separation when our livelihoods are so deeply intertwined? (Cars, pets, bills, furniture, etc). Is it possible for a relationship to be over when you still have love and respect for your partner?

    #963739 Reply
    avatarron
    Guest

    Yes, it’s very possible it could be over. You say the spark is gone — if you don’t even kiss or touch each other much, then the spark really seems gone. That might be depression from Covid fatigue, but you also say that you argue about the big things: where you want your lives to be in the future. You may have reached the point of recognizing that your life goals simply aren’t a match. You could try couples counseling, even if you have to do virtual.

    One thing to consider: your lives are intertwined now, making a separation difficult, but the longer you stay together the more intertwined they will become and the more difficult, painful, and financially costly the future separation.

    The goal of counseling should be twofold:
    1. to calmly assess how each of you see your future and determine if an acceptable compromise is possible. This is easier with a professional, neutral facilitator who should be able to prevent this from turning into the fight, which it normally does.

    2. explore why the spark is gone. Do both of you feel that way? Why are you basically withholding affection? Is it because of the incompatible goals for your lives/relationship long-term? I say withholding affection, because even if the frequency of sex declines markedly after the honeymoon phase, which it does for some couples, especially is over-worked and over-stressed, the kisses and casual touches should continue. That almost seems a deliberate choice, caused by one or both of you being angry at the other.

    #963744 Reply
    avatarTurtledove
    Participant

    So, I guess my question is– do you want to get the spark back? Does he? Are the big issues that ya’ll argue about dealbreakers or are they things you can figure out?

    I’m honestly more concerned about the big stuff and now is absolutely the time to figure that out. I think it’s better to break up over large incompatibilities while you both still like and respect one another. Maybe that makes the breakup sadder in some ways, but it makes the process of detangling your lives easier if you do it while you can still work towards a common goal.

    I’ve been married for 12 years, and together for 4 before that. The spark does wax and wane over the years and to me, it’s probably the “work” part of the relationship. More than something you feel, love is something you DO. The physical affection is something you have to make sure to do, even when you don’t always feel it. And I’m not really talking about sex, more just general affectionate touch. It’s a habit. The way you speak to one another is a habit. You have to make an effort to maintain good relationship habits the same way you maintain your workouts and your dental hygiene. If you aren’t maintaining basic good habits, it slowly kills the spark.

    #963755 Reply
    avatarLisforLeslie
    Guest

    What steps have you taken in the last several months to connect? Have you been rebuffed? Have you sat down to talk about it? Have you taken any action or are you just noticing it?

    #963756 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    “Is it possible for a relationship to be over when you still have love and respect for your partner?“

    Yes. It does sound to me like this is over. You find him annoying. You have incompatible goals. You mentally have one foot out the door.

    Anyway, if you have an e-reader (so he doesn’t see what you’re reading in paperback), get this book:

    https://www.amazon.com/Good-Leave-Stay-Step-Step-ebook/dp/B002JPGQ34/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=mira+kirshenbaum+books&qid=1603887857&sr=8-3

    It helps you figure out if you should stay or go. She writes it based on lots of her clients’ experiences – she’s a counselor.

    There’s another one literally called, should I stay or should I go, by a different author. I haven’t read that one but it has good reviews.

    #963765 Reply
    avataranonymousse
    Participant

    I agree with most of the above. The big thing here is you have incompatible life goals. Maybe the spark was enough to hold you together for these few years but now it’s faded and all the other things are coming to the surface.

    It’s hard to break up when you have a house, pets, friends, etc but it’s far easier to do it now than investing more and more time into something that you know isn’t working for you. You can love and respect him and still know it’s not the relationship for you.

    I had a similar situation years ago. We really tried to make it work. We had two dogs, two cats, a house we bought together, etc. It was a pain, but I seriously couldn’t even stand for him to touch me anymore.

    It was hard, but manageable and my life became so much better.

    #963897 Reply
    avatarBridget
    Guest

    Been with my boyfriend over a year we’ve known each other for about 20. When we were just friends I could talk to him for hours about anything and it was also the same in the beginning of our relationship. Now when he isn’t at work or sleeping he is literally on his phone playing a game or on his Xbox, the other day he was on his phone playing for 13 hours and the next night on his Xbox for over 16 hours. I’m lonely he don’t talk to me we very rarely have sex and when we do he’s just going through the motions it’s not the same. I have tried and tried talking to him and all I get is “ok” or he ignores it or gets mad. I love him so much and he swears he loves me but I feel alone and completely unappreciated. I want this to work so badly I really believe he is my forever I just don’t know what to do at this point pls help
    – Helpless & Alone

    #963906 Reply
    avatarbrise
    Guest

    Lynndynn, when a relationship doesn’t have common projects, it dies. It is not surprising that the spark decreases after three years, but common projects should then animate it again. If you disagree on big future issues, this is the real problem.
    A serious conversation is due here, when you don’t argue: you discuss what you both want. Before seating him down, reflect on what you want. It is much easier to have a productive discussion if you state what you want, rather than describing a general dissatisfaction. If you can talk calmly, respectfully, about your respective expectations on the future, the situation will appear much more clearly and you will be able to make a decision. Take your time, you don’t need to make it a deal-breaker on the spot, and don’t use ultimatum. Just talk openly and honestly. Reflect on hit and make your decision.
    It is very possible to part amicably. It happens often. Yes, it is tough to entangle a common life, but well, this is splitting, right? It is hard, but easier if you have talked thoroughly about the issues and make an inner decision about your own future. Don’t stay out of passivity.

    #963907 Reply
    avatarbrise
    Guest

    And if it is impossible to have a calm discussion on these topics, if he gets angry, starts arguing or avoids the talk, then you have your answer.

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