My girlfriend and i have been together for 3 years now. In the last year, the sex has been far and few between!! She works 70-80hrs per week and I know that she does not have time to cheat. When I try to express my feelings of being lonely, she says "Ok i understand," and that is that. Nothing ever comes of our conversations. I have told her time and time again that she needs to talk to me about her feelings. She never does. She thinks that our relationship is "fine." I don't.
We might make love once a month if i am lucky (which is not often). When she comes home from work I understand that she is tired, but it seems that she does not take my feelings into consideration. Its seems that she blows me off. She thinks that if she takes me out that is a cure all. I am the one that has to reach for her. I don't think that she is attracted to me anymore, but she says she is.
She was brought up not to show emotion, but god, a kiss every now and then would make a world of difference! She always talks about work and that is about the extent of our communication.
Please help me figure out what to do. I love her with all my heart and don't want to lose her... How can i help our relationship? Thank you for your time.
- the lonely lesbian
The Lonely Lesbian
Your situation is quite common. And though not nearly as stigmatized, it can be equally as concerning as infidelity is to a relationship. Anything we do to avoid a connection with our partner threatens the survival of our relationship. It is good that you are concerned, and seeking information about your situation is a great place to begin.
Your question actually poses several issues:
1) My partner works too much
2) My partner has withdrawn from me sexually and affectionately
3) My partner dismisses my concerns, and tries to appease me rather than address my real concern
4) I am not stimulated by our conversations that center solely around her work
Some of the answers I encourage you to search for are these:
1) What is my partner's motivation to work so much? How do I participate in that? Am I viewing the whole picture (for example, is she pursuing a goal that requires a short-term investment of a lot of time to reach a promotion or work goal?), or am I only seeing how I am affected?
2) How and when did our emotional/sexual relationship change? What was going on in my life then, and what was going on in hers? How did I respond to her withdrawal from me? Did that help, or did that hurt our connection? What do I need to do to get my needs met here?
3) How do I participate in allowing my partner to dismiss my needs? What role do I play? How can I do that differently?
4) What do I bring to our conversations? What are some of the interesting discussions I initiate and how do I make our time together and our connection more interesting and meaningful?
The frustrating thing about relationships is that there is only one person in them that we can change - and rarely is it the one we put the most energy into changing: our self! The more you turn the lens toward yourself, asking yourself the hard questions I've posed above, the more you understand what it is you need, and how you participate in not getting these needs met, the more impact you will have on your own happiness.
If she rejects counseling (which I recommend) you might suggest you two attend a social/educational event I hold monthly for lesbian couples which you can get more information about here), and if she's open to a more intensive weekend experience you could also suggest my couple's weekend which is equivalent to about 3 months of counseling (perfect for the busy couple!).
Whatever you decide to do, don't give up on your own needs!