Dear Dr. Darcy,
This is a final follow-up report to your blog entry of March 3 [linked to here].
I did follow the 0/100 rule, which worked great for the relationship. And I eventually gathered whatever courage and optimism I had left and tried to initiate some sex with my partner, with no pressure and no expectation. And, not surprisingly, she showed zero interest.
I should be used to it by now but I still feel extremely hurt and rejected at times (and pissed-off at her for what I perceive as her total lack of honesty, i.e. saying she's still attracted to me while consistently refusing any sexual intimacy of any kind).
But mostly, I want to move on, with as much compassion as possible.She is not willing or able to do any work to improve the situation. Wewant different things in a relationship at this point…
In a little while, I might try to date other people, while being completely open about my status of course. It seems that living separately would be better, even though selling our house seems so radical (but tempting at times: maybe she will finally understand the extent of the problem...).
Any advice about how to move on and to preserve the love and companionship that remains after the end of any sexual connection?
You can’t have an agenda of both moving on and preserving the relationship – one has to trump the other and the two may prove to be mutually-exclusive. I’m just letting you know the reality so that your expectations can be reasonable.
Furthermore, you can’t unilaterally decide to date other people while living in your home together. Are you kidding me? You’re contemplating ending a 20+ year relationship – but what stands out to you as drastic is selling the house? I’m truly confused.
Rather than trying to understand your thinking, I’m going to simply tell you what to do:
- Let her know that you are ending the relationship. Tell her that your intention is to do this with dignity and love.
- Inform her that you’ll be moving out (you’ll need to have a place to go that day or shortly thereafter as remaining under the same roof will be torture to you both). Since you want to end the relationship, you’re the one who should be inconvenienced by the decision. If, however, she expresses a desire to move out, allow that.
- You’ll need to decide to either sell the house or cover the household expenses yourself. Whatever you decide to do, you need to be in charge of it since you’re pulling the plug on the relationship.
- Give your partner a few months to catch her breath before you begin dating other women. It’s the classy thing to do.
That should take you through the summer. Do this my way and you’ll be happy you did – because it’s the right way to end things. And please keep us apprised of your progress.
Writer’s stats: Female, Lesbian.