Hello, My fiance and I have been together off and on for about 10 years. We have a lot of history and baggage or course. Currently we are committed to each other and planning a future together. He is a wonderful, loyal, loving person and I trust him implicitly. We fight and argue about many things, however, the main issue is that I feel emotionally and physically neglected by him. I know that he loves me very much and I know that he is totally committed to me, however, he does not touch me enough, he is not affectionate enough, and he does not initiate sexual contact to the extent that I want. We’ve discussed it many times. He says its because that’s just how he is, he didn’t grow up in a family that was physically expressive, that I nag at him all the time and he doesn’t want to have sex, that I never initiate sex, that hes tired, that I’m too needy etc. All of that is valid, however, I feel that I cannot have a long, happy life with him when I always feel rejected and unworthy.
I long for his attention, affection, and touch, in addition to a more active sex life (average maybe once per month currently). I’ve tried to act different myself in the hopes that he will be different, but nothing seems to work. Additionally, since we first met, I’ve put on a lot of weight over the years and my self esteem has been dramatically affected. I know that I’m not the person he fell in love with many years ago. He says he is still attracted to me, but it doesn’t feel that way. I don’t know what to do. I’m at the point of ending the relationship because I feel too rejected and depressed all the time and I’m dying for attention and affection. I’ve tried to lose weight to see if it makes a difference but it has not worked. I am seeking insight into his behavior. If its because of my appearance, if its because of the reasons he gives, or if hes just not that into me in that way.
A: Hello Noctlamia: It really sounds like you are struggling with how you are feeling about yourself and the relationship. The fact is, both of you have changed in ten years and are not the same people. He hasn’t gotten any younger, either. The first thing I would have to know is have the two of you been to a couples counselor? If not, why not? A third party (who ISN’T related to either of you) and is professionally trained, will have lots of insight to what is going on beneath the surface. Before you end the relationship, you should seek help (if you want a deeper relationship).
You never mentioned the “M” word, that is, marriage. Are you both fully in agreement that it’s not for you? Or, would you secretly want to be married but he’s against it? There are a lot of reasons that people don’t want to get married, and I respect that, but have to wonder, with the potential benefits of marriage, what stops people from taking that “final” step in commitment.
Please seek help from a couples counselor. You can find one in your area by checking out our therapist directory.
Best of luck. Please let us know how things work out,
Dr. Diana Walcutt
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Apr 2009
Walcutt, D. (2009). After 10 years, there’s lack of attention from my fiance. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 8, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/04/21/after-10-years-theres-lack-of-attention-from-my-fiance/