Loving someone, but not "in love"

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Loving someone, but not "in love"

bayosgirl bayosgirl
I've heard this phrase here and there but never really gave it much thought. But now I'm in a situation where I can kind of relate. And boy, how frustrating it is. My husband is my best friend, and, 14 years older and wiser than I, almost like a father figure to me. Not in a weird way-I mean he advises me, and most of the time he is right. I've grown quite a bit in the past couple of years, in large part thanks to him. He knows when to push me, and when to back off and just support me in love.

I've realized that when we first started, it wasn't love at all. It was infatuation and lust. I'm a bit ashamed of that, but at least I can admit it now. I do love him now that I've gotten to know him really well. Sure, there are some things I don't like, but overall, the total person, I love.

Here's where it gets complicated. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like being with someone else. I feel guilty, because he's good to me. But I don't feel that spark, either mentally/intellectuall y, or physically/sexually. I've touched on this before on the forum. For me it's not just about "fucking" more, it's about that mental connection. I would love to be able to have more cerebral conversations with him. But when we talk, even about basic things, I sometimes feel like he's barely listening. And forget about any deep, meaningful conversations.

Basically, I don't feel "in love." Honestly, I don't think I ever was. Then I wonder if I'm overthinking it, or expecting too much. There is no such thing as a perfect partner, I know that. I just want to know if anyone else knows what I mean. I sometimes wish that we had remained friends so we could share that platonic love without the expectation of deep commitment and marriage.

Thanks for reading through--as I've said before, I don't have friends, so this is pretty much my only outlet.
08/28/2012
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Ansley Ansley
I've been reading your posts for awhile now and I have to say the emotional rollercoaster is even too much for me to handle, so I don't know how you're making it through day to day.

Have you ever considered therapy for yourself? I know there are stigmas and taboos, and of course the fear of discovering that things are not okay and that you need to get out of your situation, but I think this is something you should honestly consider. You need someone who can line the ducks up into pretty rows for you and give you the clear picture.

I mean one day you're ready to move the world to help this guy and the next day you're ready to call it quits, then another you're ready to have a family and then the next you want to throw it all away.

If there are outside influences causing you to flip back and forth on the issue, you need to silence them and listen to what's in your heart. Regardless of what other people think, this is your life. It is your future. It is sitting in your hands and no one else's.

So, while we can listen to you vent and offer words of advice and support, ultimately the decision is yours and yours alone.
08/28/2012
bayosgirl bayosgirl
I tried therapy, it wasn't that helpful so I backed off for awhile. I might consider doing therapy somewhere else. I recently started a Buddhist chanting practice that helps me quite a bit with my emotions. Still, it'd be nice to have a non-biased person to talk to.
08/28/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by bayosgirl
I tried therapy, it wasn't that helpful so I backed off for awhile. I might consider doing therapy somewhere else. I recently started a Buddhist chanting practice that helps me quite a bit with my emotions. Still, it'd be nice to have a ...
There are many types of therapy, but I think deep down inside you know what you want, you're just looking for permission to do it.

And you most certainly have mine! I went against the grain in every conceivable fashion when it came to my relationship and I am better off for it. But, my decisions were not your decisions and it's those tiny little details that make all the difference.

It's pretty easy to fall into one camp or another - leave him and try something new with someone else, or stay and try to grow the relationship, and the third option which is stay and do nothing and be miserable.

I'm just going by what you've put out there for all of us and I don't mean to be harsh but more often than not it sounds like you're unhappy.
08/28/2012
KrissyNovacaine KrissyNovacaine
This is why I am poly. I am so happy with my fiance, but he is my best friend that I have sex with. Our relationship is easy. It is effortless, but we don't have a ton of sexual chemistry. It is there, but not overwhelming.

We are poly, so with my other partner I have to work at our relationship because we are more volatile. We are both people that are high strung. But man do we have chemistry.

I value both in my life and love that I found them in different people. It's all about the different flavors.

Polyamory doesn't work for everyone, but it's my solution to a problem I had that was like yours.
08/28/2012
tami tami
before you do something that cannot be undone....... think long and hard..think about the good the bad and everything in between...are you just romanticizing? maybe there is someone else out there for you, may be there is not....I think you have made up your mind you are just scared to take those steps?
08/28/2012
jr2012 jr2012
sometimes I wonder if the "spark" is a made up ideal of a relationship. I truly believe in being with your best friend above all else. In my opinion, a true loving relationship does not rely only on sex or adventures, it is about enjoying being together and caring for each other.

You seemed to describe that kind of relationship in the beginning of your post, so I am inclined to feel that he is good for you. Not that I'm doubting anything you're saying, but I am hoping you evaluate your own expectations (and if they're realistic) when making a decision like this.

If you don't want to talk about it with him, may I recommend doing things that can bring the spark back? Go on a date, take a vacation, go to the park for a hike and a picnic. Sometimes people just get so comfortable that they don't even see an issue. Maybe he just has to be reminded you like being "sparked" every now and then!

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best!
08/28/2012
LusciousLollypop LusciousLollypop
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
I've been reading your posts for awhile now and I have to say the emotional rollercoaster is even too much for me to handle, so I don't know how you're making it through day to day.

Have you ever considered therapy for yourself? I ...
I agree with Stormy. I read your forum posts like it is a blog. I don't know how you get through day by day either. Therapy is a great outlet. I wanted to comment more on that. I recently started going to therapy again and it really has turned my days into good days. Whenever I go to therapy, I get it all out and I get the support and advice that I need. I am told that I am not crazy, it isn't all in my mind, and I have a choice in what I do during the day, ect ect.
I am proud of you for coming to the EF community and I wish you all the luck in the world. You are a tremendously strong person and I couldn't be more proud of you. You are worth everything and more. If you ever need someone to talk to, I am always here, as well as the EF community. We would never turn you away. You are an amazing person and if I could give you a hug right now and wipe those tears away, I would. All I can do for now is a internet hug.
08/28/2012
Supervixen Supervixen
Quote:
Originally posted by jr2012
sometimes I wonder if the "spark" is a made up ideal of a relationship. I truly believe in being with your best friend above all else. In my opinion, a true loving relationship does not rely only on sex or adventures, it is about enjoying ...
But she also indicates that he barely seems to listen to her when she talks to him and they don't have deep, cerebral conversations, which are important to her. I think having a certain "spark" in a relationship is about more than just sexual chemistry--there needs to be an intellectual and emotional bond as well, but they are all tied into each other. If one is out of sync, it can throw the other ones off balance.

Bayosgirl, I wonder about the age difference, and the reason I say that is because you refer to him as a father figure and an adviser who has helped you grow and mature yourself. That's all well and good, and I'm certainly not down on relationships with age disparities since I go for older men myself, and my current SO is ten years my senior. But maybe part of the problem in feeling that disconnect with him stems from a sense of an imbalance of power between the two of you. Maybe you don't want a father figure for a husband anymore, but someone you can be on equal footing with. And perhaps those deep, cerebral conversations you wish you could have with him aren't happening because the dynamic of the relationship is that he's the wise, mature one who is taking care of you, and you are the younger, less experienced one who "needs" his guidance. I'm not saying that that is necessarily true, but it seems to be the mode that your relationship has functioned on for some time.

I would encourage you to go back to therapy and try a different therapist. Sometimes you have to shop around until you find someone who can help you. Also, what is your communication with your husband like? I'm new here, so I apologize if you've been over this already, but do you talk to him about this? Does he know how you feel? Communication is absolutely key in a healthy, functioning relationship. And if he doesn't see the problem, that doesn't mean there isn't one. If one of you is unhappy with something in the relationship, then it's both your problems and he needs to be willing to help the relationship get back on track. You talk as though it's all your responsibility to make the relationship work, and because you're the one with doubts, it's up to you to work it out. You can only work through your own issues as an individual, but you cannot be expected to "fix" the relationship that you are in with him. Relationships take two people to make it work, and while you can't change him as a person, the two of you can change the dynamics of your relationship--that will take BOTH of you, though. That's why it's important that you communicate with each other...

I wish you the best, in any case, and hope you figure it out. I was in a relationship for eight long years with someone that I was no longer in love with, but felt I "loved." But the spark wasn't there, and we were both dreadfully unhappy. I also looked up to him and assumed him to be wiser and more capable than I was, which just made me dependent upon him. It sounds like you're going through something similar, although it's even more complicated because you two are married. Sometimes things can be worked out once both people in the relationship are working on it together, but sometimes relationships run their course...and it's better to end them once they're over, instead of living with a ghost.
08/31/2012
Total posts: 9
Unique posters: 7