I’m a twenty-something who’s recently found the courage to leave a four-year-long sexless relationship.
It wasn’t always sexless, but the past two years saw me and my (now) ex-partner become this lifeless, un-communicative couple that I didn’t even believe in any more.
‘Why didn’t you just leave then?’ I hear you ask. And trust me, I understand your query. It just wasn’t that easy.
You see, every time I questioned leaving my partner – and spoke about the situation with him – he’d promise that he’d change.
And I, being clueless and hopelessly in love, believed him.
But nothing changed.
We spent most of our time in separate rooms, we never went out together, we stopped being intimate and over the past four years I only have a handful of memories to look back on from our time together.
One of the most gut-wrenching things about our relationship was that I have a very high sex drive. He just always rejected me. Time and time again.
It started out with me initiating sex – and he would push me away and reject me. And then, I started hinting – telling him that we hadn’t had sex in a while.
Eventually, I started to ask him for sex – something nobody in a relationship should have to do.
Again, he rejected me – telling me that me asking him made him feel ‘awkward and embarrassed for me’.
We got to the point where we were only having sex once every three months and only if I asked for it.
I questioned why he was even with me. I questioned whether I was unattractive. I questioned whether I was worthless.
It got to the point where I’d ask him the above, and he’d tell me it wasn’t true, that he still found me attractive, he’d just become ‘lazy’.
When I’d try to talk about the reason behind our lack of intimacy, he had nothing to say.
Whatever his reasoning for not wanting to be intimate with me, it didn’t matter. It didn’t change the way it’d made me feel about myself.
And, if I’m being totally honest with you – and myself – it made me feel the lowest I’d ever felt.
Being rejected intimacy made me convince myself that I wasn’t worthy of someone’s love. It made me feel ugly. Hideous, in fact. It made me anxious about showing any affection. It made me anxious about the way I looked. It made me anxious about who I was.
The thought of taking my clothes off began to terrify me because I knew that no matter what I tried, I was going to be rejected regardless.
Even the thought of leaning in for a harmless kiss made me nervous.
And that’s a terrible feeling.
It’s one that eventually took its toll on me, and one that on one particular night was so overwhelming that it was enough to make me realise I needed to leave.
And now, I’m so glad that I recently built up the courage to leave what was a lifeless, unhappy relationship.
Sure, it took me a long time to find, but you see, I’m the type of person to want to see the best in people and to want to give them chance after chance.
And sure, I’m hurting, but I’m happy I’ve somehow realised the respect I have for myself, and that I shouldn’t be in a relationship where I’m made to feel like nothing.
And that’s why I’m writing this piece – to show anyone going through a similar situation that they don’t have to continue in that situation. To remind them that they are better than the cards they’re currently being dealt, and that they just need to find the courage to throw them all away.
I only have one regret when it comes to leaving my unhappy relationship – and that is that I didn’t do it sooner.