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Do I expect too much from a relationship?

(42 Posts)
Goodynanny Sun 20-Jun-21 02:17:00

My husband died 6 years ago. We had been together for 44 years since I was 14. I was absolutely devastated. I am now 63.
Three years ago I reconnected with a man I had befriended many years before. He was divorced, attractive, romantic, sexy, kind and generous and just a year younger than me. Everything I could wish for in a man. He was very affectionate, always wanting to kiss and cuddle, he made me laugh, told me and everyone else, that he loved me and would do anything for me. We had sex occasionally, but it was mostly about giving me pleasure. I did wonder about this, but didn’t dwell on it. I fell in love with him.
Fast forward a year and we decided to live together. He moved to my area, got a new local job, and moved in with me. He says he loves living in the country, (he was in a city before). I’ve got a lovely house, and he now only works part time. We’ve got two dogs and a cat now too.
Since then I have discovered that he drinks far too much, has diabetes and erectile dysfunction. He’s still kind and generous, and says he loves me. He gets on well with my family and friends and is now cutting down on his drinking.
My problem is there is not much affection. We sleep in separate rooms, there’s very little kissing and cuddling. I feel like he’s a different person to the one I was with during that first year. I somehow feel that maybe I’ve been played! I try to talk to him about it, but it always ends in a row.
I’ve realised that to be happy I really need affection and to feel that he finds me attractive. It’s not so much the lack of sex (though I wouldn’t say no), it’s just the feeling that we are more like housemates.
I would miss him dreadfully if he did move out.
Am I wanting too much from a relationship at my age? Should I just be glad that I’m not alone and I have someone that loves me?.

Kamiso Mon 21-Jun-21 16:55:13

The excessive drinking is certainly not helping his erectile dysfunction or diabetes. Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to some alarming consequences, even amputation. Do you love him enough to nurse him come what may? Could your lovely house be suitably adapted or would you possibly face moving to more convenient accommodation?

Sorry to ask difficult questions as I do feel for you, but better to think it through clearly now rather than wait til he becomes so unwell that you would feel cruel to ask him to leave.

I’ve got a lovely soft hearted friend who is now stuck between a rock and a hard place with a man who quite clearly loves himself far more than he loves her. Her children are loosing patience and also left looking as if they are interested only in their potential inheritance when they intervene, which is not the case.

Ladyleftfieldlover Mon 21-Jun-21 16:59:09

I am afraid this whole scenario sounds doomed to me. Please don’t be bamboozled.

DiscoDancer1975 Mon 21-Jun-21 17:33:46

I’ve been pondering your predicament, and have to say a few things baffle me, which lead me to think you may be in love with the idea of being in love, rather than actually being in love, if you understand me.
You don’t have to answer this...but I can’t see how you didn’t realise he has erectile dysfunction until he moved in with you, when you had been intimate before. I can understand you wouldn’t necessarily have known he was diabetic, or an alcoholic. They can hide that very well.
In any other instance, I would say you can work through all these things...if you’re on the same page to start with. The fact you’re now sleeping separately suggests you’re not.
Talking is always the first port of call, but I’m wondering if he should move out first, with the promise that you’ll do this from separate places. I’m inclined to think he just won’t bother while he’s living with you. He’s comfortable and doesn’t need to do anything.
I do hope you’ll find the right way. You know him, and we don’t. All the best.

Mouseybrown60 Mon 21-Jun-21 18:02:38

Maybe the affection has gone because he is worried that if he starts kissing and cuddling you he would be expected to take it further and he’s afraid to let you down. This could also be why he avoids sleeping together.
When you try and speak to him it ends up in a row due his embarrassment regarding his ED.
I think you need to have a full and frank discussion with him. Try and stay as calm as possible and be understanding. I personally wouldn’t throw in the towel yet; you both might be able to work through your problems (once he admits that these problems exist).

Perdido Mon 21-Jun-21 18:14:03

I have also been pondering on this and have a few questions such as who it was who made the reconnection, what befriending means in this context and how much time the couple had actually spent together before Goodnanny invited him to move into her home and how well she really knew him.

If he had to leave one job and find another it suggests he moved a fair distance and though living in the country may have seemed idyllic at first, the gloss may have worn off.

Also, it's impossible to forget the strain we have all been living under since early 2020.

Whose decision was it to have separate bedrooms and just how much time does he spend in there? He wouldn't be the first man in a relationship to spend his evenings surfing porn or chatting to women on dating apps. If Goodnanny thinks she may have been played, maybe he is playing again.

This is all conjecture of course but something is making him unhappy and provokes anger whenever Goodnanny tries to talk to him about it.

I agree with you DiscoDancer that people can and do conceal alcoholism and diabetes, often in denial about both. The ED not so easy to conceal unless it has worsen as a result of drink and diabetes which are never a good combination.

At the end of the day, this is a relationship of comparatively short duration. If one person wants physical closeness, demonstrative affection and sex and the other doesn't or can't then it's time to move on. Personally, I think 62/63 is too young for compromise. Do you want to be living and feeling this way in five, ten or twenty years time?

Goodnanny hasn't mentioned whether her partner was an owner-occupier or tenant before he moved in with he. If she asked him to leave would he have anywhere to go? Could he afford his own place if he has now dropped to part time working and how easy would it for a man of 62 to find another full time job in this current Covid climate? Who knows? He may want to move on and is trying to figure out how he can do it.

I think we need some more background but meantime - food for thought?

Goodynanny Mon 21-Jun-21 22:22:43

Re the ED, looking back, when we were intimate, it was more about my pleasure than his. I think it has got worse with the diabetes. He says he is very embarrassed by his inability to have sex. The separate bedrooms are mainly because of my snoring, which I admit, is horrendous. We were together a year before he moved in with me and he was renting and would find it very difficult to afford a place of his own now, without using all his savings. He would have to work full time again. He hasn’t got any family to stay with. He really doesn’t spend much time in his bedroom, just to sleep.

Perdido Mon 21-Jun-21 23:13:34

Thank you for clarifying that.

I was married to an epic snorer for 32 years until he died. Muffles earplugs from Boots were the remedy there so that's easy to resolve.

Controlling his drinking and diabetes could improve matters on the ED front but he should speak to his doctor about it. It could be as simple as taking Viagra which is a safe and effective treatment for diabetics. Vacuum pumps work too.

TrendyNannie6 Tue 22-Jun-21 09:10:57

You say he’s kind and generous and says he loves you, he has ED which obviously is not going to be helped by his excessive drinking also diabetes, but he’s getting help for his drinking, well that’s a start, you do need to have a conversation with him about what you need from him, you sleeping separately is because of your snoring, you want more affection but maybe with his ED he thinks you will be expecting sex so that makes him uncomfortable, of course you can have different types of affection not leading to sex, why does he work part time? I don’t think you are wanting too much from a relationship you are same age as me, you need that talk,

Corisanda Thu 24-Jun-21 16:33:51

The question to ask yourself is do the positives of him living with you outweigh the negatives? It doesn't sound as if they do but only you know. It might be worth writing two lists.

After men divorce, in a lot of cases, their prime objective is to find another relationship and replace what they had. These days a lot of women don't feel that need and create a happy and fulfilling single life for themselves. I've read that those who live longest are single women and married men and can well believe it.

I would hazard a guess that he was all the things you wanted him to be initially which resulted in him moving in after a year. Although you had known his previously a year isn't a long time.

You say he now only works part time and couldn't afford to rent. That doesn't mean if you felt it was what you wanted that you couldn't ask him to move out. He will need to work longer hours or stop spending his salary on alcohol. Ultimately it is not your problem. You can give him a good notice period. If you wished you could say you would like to continue with the relationship but have come to realise that you really need your own living space.

I wish you all the best.

jeanie99 Sat 26-Jun-21 00:37:50

Just to summarise
You say you love him but could this be you are afraid of being alone again.
He moved into your property.
What happened to the property he had?
He only works part time.
Does he pay his full share of the running costs of the home?
He is in fact a house mate as I see it.
If this is a big concern then you need to ask him to leave.
If you are looking for a full relationship then this is not it.

Esspee Sat 26-Jun-21 07:39:54

You have never answered the question of how much he contributes financially to your living relationship.
You should be receiving at least half the running costs of your home including food, Council tax, power, insurance, maintenance etc. in the form of a direct debit. He should be taking you out to dinner, treating you in different ways and paying for things such as holidays.
How is the domestic work divided? Does he do 50% of the chores or do you cook and clean for him? When is the last time he saw to the laundry?
You need to assess whether you are being used or not. I suspect you are.

Heidihi Sat 26-Jun-21 12:42:58

I can relate to this in so many ways. The first thing that came to mind is ''does he have Asperger's?'' My ex who had Asperger's, moved in with me and went from funny, sexy and attentive to a distant man who played computer games . No sex in 4 years afterwards and like you, when I bought it up he started a row citing all reasons that were critical of me. He paid a minima amount to the upkeep of the house and did think to ever offer more for food, holidays, days out etc. When he drank , he drank until he passed out and got argumentative too. I am in psychiatry and there is little help for partners of people on the spectrum . However I researched and joined a forum. I really wanted it to work . And it is very very typical of people with this syndrome. They learn to 'woo', do all the right things until they move in and then relax and revert to type. Most have no sexual feelings and do not like to be touched. I am generalising here so before I get the angry brigade I am not running down people with autism. I am sympathising with the partners of. I have studied and joined courses to understand but, what is a given is that of course they cannot change and I am wholly sympathetic to them. But I had to leave, what was a soulless, sexless, emotionless relationship. I get lonely at times but not as lonely as I was in the relationship.

3nanny6 Sat 26-Jun-21 14:23:26

GoodyNanny :
Sorry to hear about your less than happy living arrangements.
It sounds like most aspects of the relationship were happy until
your friend moved in with you, and then things changed.
To summarise you have now found out he drinks far too much, has diabetes and erectile dysfunction and since moving in has been giving you very little affection.

The erectile dysfunction can be because of his alcohol consumption or the medication for his diabetes maybe both of those things. I think it is a red flag situation that you sleep in seperate rooms so there is little opportunity for some cuddling to happen. Also his mood changes when you want to talk about things and he gets angry and things end in a
row something I would not feel too happy about.

I do not think you are getting back much from this relationship and only you can decide if you are willing to forego the intimate side of your relationship and settle for
companionship instead is that really enough for you.
You are only 63 and it seems if you become this mans carer
because of his health then that will be it and you will only have a non- existent sexless relationship.

Goodynanny Sat 26-Jun-21 19:15:57

Espee. He contributes half of the running costs of the home and half of the food. He always pays his way. He is very generous..

Goodynanny Sat 26-Jun-21 19:19:04

Just to add he has started talking to a counsellor about his drinking, as has cut down significantly. He has also got a doctors appointment soon too. I’m hopeful but not stupid.

Puzzled Sun 27-Jun-21 15:02:14

Excess alcohol and diabetes sound like a sure fire prescription for ED.
Good that he places your pleasure top of the list.
As well as Viagra, Cialis etc, there are more mechanical devices which work, and have the advantage of almost instantaneous response.
Sex can take place anywhere and anytime that you both feel so inclined. Variations ( Doing naughty things, or in naughty places Don't get locked up though) may enhance the pleasure for both of you.
If all else fails, you can give each other a lot of pleasure without penetration, (although that would be best for both of you, probably).
And nothing succeeds like success
Hope that you both get things sorted satisfactorily