There’s something about our relationship that bugs me and I’ve never seen anyone else write about it so finally I’m going to. Maybe it’s a gender difference, but to me it’s beginning to feel more like a total lack of consideration.
We’ve lived together in a small apartment for three years now. We bought it as our first step into the property market. It’ll take forever to pay off the mortgage so I can’t see us moving to anything bigger for a long time. My partner has lots of women friends who she likes to invite around for drinks, frequently. My own preferences for leisure time are exercise, sometimes on my own and sometimes with my partner, reading, online gaming and maybe socialising once a week.
You can see where this is going: I feel like our space is invaded by women who talk at length about everything. I can’t bear to be around this and I don’t want to have to go out constantly. Then when they go, my partner, slightly drunk, wants to make love and I feel completely turned off her. Is this a deal breaker? No, it doesn’t have to mean the end, but you two certainly need to talk about this fundamental difference between you. I’m not surprised you don’t want sex when you’re resenting the situation. Neither of you are wrong, you’re just two individuals, not synchronised swimmers. How do I be me with consideration for my partner and our relationship is a great question to revisit throughout your relationship. Raise the issue in these terms, making clear you want to get things right for both of you. Perhaps in her pleasure at being able to host her friends, your partner is overlooking your equally important need to have some quiet time at home.
Is this tension in you specific to this matter or are you worrying about your mortgage and other life responsibilities? Perhaps you two have polarised with your partner partying away happily and you spending all your time being serious. This split isn’t necessarily gender based and it won’t be the last difference between you that raises a challenge. You two might find my book Staying in Love helpful (available from sextherapy.co.nz).