Is my unhappy relationship with this woman worth saving?

Is my unhappy relationship with this woman worth saving?

I’ve been with my girlfriend for over a year, living together for about seven months. I’m 31, she’s 36 and I am divorced. When we met I was at a low point: overweight, miserable, angry and resigned to being alone. Everything changed when I met her. She was amazing… older, in great shape, vibrant and happy. We moved in together and things went downhill quickly. She, being unemployed and suffering from depression and bipolar disorder, found herself going crazy with boredom and full of resentment for me ‘domesticating her’.

This is where it gets sticky. She’s slept with just over 30 men, is open about this and almost has a man’s position on her ‘conquests’. I’ve slept with more people than she has, but she doesn’t believe it and thinks I’m trying to compete with her. She also insists I’m not as wild as I believe I am in bed. Oddly enough, I can’t seem to be. Because of her mental state, she’s hard to get in the mood. In the beginning we had a passionate sex life, but it’s now mundane. I’ve come to realise that I don’t care about her past exploits so much, but I feel slighted that I take care of her every need and yet am the one with which she feels no ‘electricity’. She reminisces about being young and alive and is fixated on the thrill of the hunt.

She insists we didn’t date enough, living together was a bad idea – yet she still loves me very much for the whole package. I say this with no ego, but I am tall (6’7), in great shape nowadays and I’m none too bad to look at. If I wanted, I could walk away and immediately get back on the dating scene with little or no transition time. I feel like all my power has been stripped of me because of her insecurities. It feels like the ONLY thing she has to keep her thumb on me is my insecurity about my sexual prowess and her attraction to me. I pay the bills, run the house and bend over backwards being her support structure, which she takes for granted. It’s almost as if I’m not Mr. Right, but Mr. Right-Now. Good enough, but not too good to be true.

It’s started feeling all wrong because I am not getting something I need, and that’s her adoration. I really think this is headed for a disaster and before I further integrate my life with this woman, I desperately need opinions on what exactly might be going on here. James

Oh dear – where to start James? There are so many issues at play here and unravelling your letter was like solving a Rubik’s Cube. But the gist as I see it is: you’ve gone from being in an exciting, vibrant and promising relationship with a sexy, confident older lady to feeling angry, passed over, sexually frutrated and totally taken for granted. Not to mention your once awesome gal is now a complete basketcase who’s reminising about her past relationships and telling you she’s not that sexually excited by you anymore. Yikes. It’s not exactly a romantic comedy is it?

In essence, this relationship isn’t doing either of you any favours. I don’t often give this advice – but Jimmy my man, get out. Run as fast as that 6’7 body will carry you. I just don’t see the spark returning to your love nest and all that layered resentment is weighing you both down. Be free, dude. You’re young, in ‘great shape’ and could get back onto the dating scene with ‘little or no transition time’. So do it. You’ve already had one failed marriage; don’t add another to your resume. Just go out there and date other girls. It sounds like you want to anyway. Get your mojo back and find someone that wants to be affectionate and wild with you and who makes you feel powerful and understood. Oh, and James. One last word of advice: never, ever ask a girlfriend how many people she’s slept with. Trust us – it never ends well.

Love, reality chick


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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).

1 Comment

  1. Lola 8 years ago

    James, run for your life!
    I sniff plenty of control in the air as well, which doesn’t bode well with any relationship.
    On the topic of bipolar disorder, I’ve got some first-hand experience: bipolar people need treatment. Without proper psychiatric / psychological care, they go from bad to worse. It appears that when you met this lady, she was on a “high”, and that can be an exhilarating and fun experience. However, a “high” can quickly turn into a “low”, or into a mixed episode in an untreated sufferer.

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