I have been dating my boyfriend for seven years. In our first year, our physical intimacy declined and has been very scarce ever since. I have caught him talking to other women via social media, and he's seen text messages on my phone that weren't very good either.
Despite our mistakes, I keep trying to make things work and move past the past, but he seems to push that idea away and remains glued to his phone (he literally sleeps with his phone). Our sex life is, again, totally irrelevant to him.
He also said in the beginning of the relationship that he wasn’t a romantic person and isn’t interested in his feelings, whereas I am, 100 percent. My father passed away last year, and while grieving in the beginning, he hardly comforted me when I needed him.
He's been pushing me away, I feel, ever since. He will do something nice here and there, and take me out – but very rarely. Please help advise on how we can reconnect and make things better ... if we even can.
– Can we?
If he's not open to working on this relationship, I don't see why you'd stay in it. He's pushing you away. That seems to be his answer.
Inertia is a powerful force. Sitting with the same routines is so much easier than making a big change. But there's not much reward if you accept what you have. You've said little about what you get out of this relationship on a daily basis. All we know is that you've been a bit disappointed – in some ways, at least – for six of seven years.
You're unhappy, so what's next? That's the big question. Try making a list of things you like to do on your own. What brings you happiness when you're not together? Write it all down and it'll start to become a plan.
Some bigger questions to consider: What steps would be involved in separating? How do you think he'd respond if you told him you're ready to move on?
Because you are. This letter says as much. You didn't ask how you can make a previously good relationship better. You described a partnership that's been six-plus years of letdown – and loneliness.
I'm asking you to reconnect with yourself and make decisions accordingly.
Readers? Can this relationship be saved? Any thoughts on next steps? Do you sleep with your phone?