I can’t make sense of these feelings
I’m with a man who is quite a lot older than I am – I’m 26 and he is 42.
He really is a great guy and we have a lovely three-year-old daughter. He also has four children from previous relationships.
He always tells me he loves me and is very kind-hearted, but I’ve never been attracted to his appearance. I fell for his kindness and his attitude to life, but now I feel like I need to be with someone else.
I feel very confused about my feelings because when I see another guy I find attractive, I start imagining what it would be like to be with him in a different kind of relationship.
I have everything that I need – a wonderful family life with my partner – but I’ve almost broken up with him several times. Something always pulls me back to him, though, which makes me feel so disappointed in myself.
I am not physically attracted to my partner at all and when he wants to kiss or have sex, it makes me feel sick. But I love him.
What’s up with me? I cannot make any sense of these feelings.
You love him as a friend and you love all those wonderful things about him – he’s a great family man, he treats you well, he’s a good dad and so on.
On paper it looks great, but your gut instinct is telling you that it’s not and if the physical attraction isn’t there, you can’t force it.
And you are very young to be giving up that side of things.
Yes, there’s always a risk that you’ll finish with him and date someone that turns you on like crazy who isn’t as reliable and loving, but you can’t stay with someone just because they make you feel secure.
I think you want to end it, but you’re just scared of doing it.
It is a scary thing, but in the long run it’s harder and lonelier to be with someone you’re not happy with.
And it’s not fair on him either – he also deserves to be with someone who loves him wholeheartedly.
Also if it’s the end of the line for you both then hopefully you can make it as painless as possible for the sake of your children.
As long as the children feel loved and secure, they’ll come through a breakup OK.
If and when you do decide to end things, you don’t have to tell him it’s because you don’t like him sexually– say that while you love him as a friend and as the father of your child, you’re not in love with him any more.
That’s honest enough