When I first met my girlfriend of three years she was happy, extroverted, sexually liberated. We had a very passionate relationship. I brought her to my city for my career. She's started a new career here, and plus attends school.
Our passion has gone, though I've talked to her about it repeatedly.
She says she’s been dealing with depression throughout her life, but refuses to get help.
My company offers great benefits, I set up a call for her, and the counsellor said she was fine, but that she should work out more often to manage stress.
She hasn't done that but she's busy with full-time work and school four nights.
I'm losing my mind over sexual inactivity. She's said I must be more supportive regarding house chores but I'm always travelling for work. I've improved with chores, but still no sex.
I'm ready to end it but feel bad because I'm a huge financial support for her. I love her but won’t prolong this if there's no hope for rekindling the fire.
If no change over six months, it's over.
You’ve got the deadline, but no solutions. A one-shot “counselling call” is no benefit for depression. She’s moved, become financially dependent, is overworked by time and stress.
She needs a break - with chores PLUS less career pressure.
No wonder she’s lost the fire! Fatigue, daily stress, dependency, all affect emotions. She may still love you, but sex has become another stress. She can also feel you’ve “checked out.” A lot of this relationship is all about you.
Either take a break now and stop delaying divide, or get to counselling together.
My mother hasn’t spoken to me for two months because I didn't buy her a Christmas gift. I’d bought a nice card, enclosed a special message, and explained why.
We couldn’t afford more this year. My partner was laid off two weeks before Christmas. He pays huge child support. My contract job’s ending soon and my ex-husband pays little support. We do what we can with what we have.
We made sure that our combined four kids were taken care of with a very strict limit. We didn't exchange gifts ourselves, or gifts from the kids to each other, and no gifts for our brothers just a small goodie bag for our nieces.
My mother had my dad email me Christmas Day that I’d destroyed her; I wasn’t welcome for Boxing Day dinner, or New Year's Dinner.
It stated that I should’ve given her something, anything.
My mother’s an alcoholic (in denial) and everyone for years has cow-towed to her, always apologizing to her for some perceived slight e.g. being in a quiet mood at a family gathering.
I'm ready to write her off, but she's not in great health and I do love her. Do I try to make amends? Did I even do anything wrong?
The rest of my family won't speak to me now either, likely they're afraid not to be on "her side.”
Conflicted and Hurt
No, you didn’t do anything wrong. Yes, you can try to make amends with a very inexpensive gift and an apology. Go personally. Then tell all your family that you’ve done so. It’s too late to change the dynamics here. And you’re not willing to cut her off.
When things settle in your lives, consider going to Al-Anon for people affected by others’ alcoholism. You’d benefit from a support group, especially as your mother’s health diminishes.
FEEDBACK Regarding the wife whose husband twice raped her several years ago, as “punishment” (Feb. 18):
Reader – “You can report a husband for rape, but surely not until the woman has left the home, for safety.
“No wonder she seems really frightened of this man. The most dangerous time for a woman with an abusive husband is just after leaving him, as this is when he feels most threatened.
“And neither the walls of a shelter nor police restraining orders can protect someone, while, say, at the supermarket.
“I’m surprised she could even get out to counselling. She should leave the house fast and try to get him into counselling, to protect herself and her children.”
Ellie – We know that abused women are often too intimidated and scared to leave, also insecure financially. That’s why I suggested she still get rape crisis counselling to address these fears, and legal advice, to develop confidence to leave.
Tip of the day:
When major moves and huge stress cool passion, lighten the load.