I know that I am covering a lot in this post, and I am probably mixing up several issues because I have several things going on in my life right now.
I am in my late 40s. I have been married three times; the first two were very short marriages, the current one has lasted well over two decades. I have two children that I love dearly, and I have a good relationship with my immediate family (parents and siblings). However, sometimes I can go for days or even weeks without talking to them and not miss it too much. I have never been in an abusive situation, either in childhood or as an adult. I consider myself considerably above average intelligence. I have a good job that is challenging and mentally stimulating. I am not a social creature, preferring to spend my free time online and doing other solitary activities such as reading, knitting, etc. Social situations make me uncomfortable. I am not a good conversationalist, and I tend to talk too much about myself when I do have conversations with others.
I am currently considering leaving my husband. I have no feelings for him, and haven‚t had any for years. I probably started this process before we even married. I do not want him to touch me; I don‚t care about spending time with him. In my mind, the reasons I have stayed in the relationship are: 1) our children, 2) convenience, 3) not wanting to be a failure once again, and 4) fear that I wouldn’t‚t find any more happiness elsewhere than I have now. But now, the kids are out of the house, and I am thinking that I might not be able to stick with the relationship, that I might need to give it up and go looking for something more.
I cannot be happy in a relationship. I become bored easily. I focus too much on physical appearance, both my own and my partner‚s. I am a perfectionist. I think I am unattractive, and that makes me very sad. I also cannot handle imperfections in my partner‚s appearance ˆ weight, teeth, etc. I do not think I am capable of real romantic love.
I have no interest in sex with my spouse, but do still have an interest in sex in general. I had an affair about 6 years ago. There were no real emotions involved, was purely physical. When that ended, I went back to „live with what you’ve got and just don‚t think about what could be‰ until recently.
I am now in another affair/relationship. The man cares for me a great deal, and is very kind, considerate etc. However, after only a few weeks, I am already feeling the need to move on. I don‚t know if this is because he‚s really not right for me, or if it is because I have issues that will not allow me to feel love toward him. He texts me and emails me a lot, tells me he loves me and wants me a lot. Tells me how beautiful I am, how well I sing, etc. That sometimes makes me feel like he is too needy. Sometimes I think that if anyone cares that much about me, they are probably not worth having. There are physical characteristics that are beginning to turn me off about him. I sometimes think he is not smart enough for me. Other times, I think that he could be very good for me, and that I should give him a chance.
I find that I am crying a lot during this new affair. Is it because I don‚t love him and don‚t want to hurt him? Is it because I feel that I will never find love? Is it because I realize how unhappy I am in my current marriage? I don‚t know.
I don‚t know if it is self-worth issues, or other issues within me that are the cause of me not being able to have a good relationship, or if I just haven‚t found the right one yet. It seems like eventually I decide that my partners are either not physically attractive enough, or not intelligent enough, or not „something‰ enough.
Is there a way I can get over my perfectionism, both toward myself and toward others? If that isn’t the problem, is there a way to understand why I cannot seem to feel true love?