Question: Dear Luise: I’ve been in a relationship for 7 years. We started out as friends at a very young age and became very close. There is just so much in common between us, we could almost be siblings. Our family life was the same, our personalities, everything practically. We are even in the same profession. There is just one problem and I’m afraid it will make me the worst person that ever lived. Over the duration of our relationship I have never been attracted to my mate. He has been nothing but sweet but I’ve never once felt a spark of interest physically. He’s not obese, disfigured, or anything like that, just not my type. When we started the relationship, I thought it would be possible to get out but too soon he became very dependent on me. For nearly the entire duration of our relationship, I’ve been his only friend. I fear what would happen to him if I ever left, he would have nobody. His neediness is so great, it makes him very fragile I fear, and now our relationship has progressed to marriage. I long to be touched and loved but I don’t feel like initiating and I thwart most of his attempts. I do find guys attractive and had a few brief relationships before him. I don’t know what to do. I basically told him I was never attracted to him years ago and I think he senses it. Regardless, he still wants to be with me, he’s content living without much physical relations. I could stay in this relationship probably my entire life and have the perfect friendship but I fear what happens when I’m 60 and realize I never knew physical love. I also don’t think we really drive each other to grow, as we are both quiet people who don’t like to take much control. I wonder if someone who is a bit more outgoing would have been better for both of us. I really don’t know what to do anymore to start digging myself out of this mess, or maybe I don’t have the mess I think I do. J.
Answer: Dear J.: You know you do, (have a mess.) It’s up to you if you want to drift through the rest of your life when you know it isn’t going to get any better. No one can decide that but you. You have already drifted into marriage…knowing what was to come. You may feel like siblings or you may have become his mom since you see him becoming more and more dependent but you sure don’t have anything much beyond those parameters to look forward to.
You aren’t all he’s got…he has himself but he’s never figured that out. That’s his job, not yours, the way I see it. You didn’t “adopt” him.
My suggestion would be to see a counselor. Not a marriage counselor but one who could help you face and deal with your lack of direction and your inability to make a life for yourself. My take is that you are to blame for the mess you are in and you may need some support to be able to dig your way out of it. You deserve so much better but you are going to have to learn how to give it to yourself. Blessings, Luise